Guide to what’s on in London in October 2013
Autumn has well and truly arrived after the summer whizzed by. However, don’t let the onslaught of the cooler weather get you down as there is plenty of fun things of in the capital – some even free. Lots of food and drink events too for those foodies amongst you. (N.B. Please check back this as I will more events to the list as the month goes by).
- 3 – 21 October : London Restaurant Festival
Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.
- 4 – 6 October : London Bicycle Film Festival
Launched in 2001, the Bicycle Film Festival takes place at various cities across the globe celebrating the bicycle through art, music and film. Most of the London events take place at the Barbican, except the Velojam women’s track racing event at the Herne Hill Velodrome. Tickets range from free to £10.50. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Bicycle Film Festival website.
- 4 – 13 October : Dance Umbrella
A festival bringing new dance to the capital and a wider audience who may not usually access the art form. Various events at locations in King’s Cross and Stratford. Ranges from free events to ticketed ones up to £15. For more information and tickets, visit the Dance Umbrella website.
- 4 – 27 October : Drive In Film Club
A pop-up film club at Brent Cross Shopping Centre’s South Car Park on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout October. Films include Back To The Future, The Notebook, World War Z, Drive and Django Unchained. Rollerskating attendants will bring popcorn and snacks to your car. Price: £22 per car (all occupants included). Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, The Hyde, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. For more information and tickets, visit the Experience Cinema website.
- 5 October : Japan Matsuri
A celebration of Japanese culture returns to Trafalgar Square. ‘Matsuri’ means festival or holiday so expect plenty of entertainment, food and drink and other chances to buy Japanese products. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Japan Matsuri website.
- Now until 6 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 films and 150 short films screened in the Piccadilly Circus area. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 7 – 13 October : London Cocktail Week
Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Cocktail Week with a variety of offers and events around the capital. To get the most out of it, buy a £10 wristband so you can enjoy cocktails at participating venues for as little as £4. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website. To read about Metro Girl’s visit to last year’s event, click here.
- 8 – 9 October : RHS London Harvest Festival Show
Horticultural show including fruit and vegetable competition, pumpkin display, nursery and harvest displays, harvest games, cocktails and live music. Tickets: Free for RHS members, £5 public advance, £8 on the door. Opening times: Tues 8th – 10am-9pm, Wed 9th – 10am-5pm. RHS Lindley Hall, Elverton Street, SW1P 2PE. Nearest tube: Victoria. For more information, visit the RHS website.
- 9 – 20 October : BFI London Film Festival
Film buffs rejoice for the biggest event in the British film calendar – next to the Baftas of course – but this is the one we can all experience. Eleven days of screenings, premieres, exhibitions, masterclasses and Q&As will be taking place across the capital, at venues including Leicester Square, BFI Imax, BFI Southbank and the Renoir. For more information, visit the BFI website.
- Now until 10 October : Endless Stair
As part of the London Design Festival (below), architectural firm dRMM will erect a temporary staircase structure outside the Tate Modern. The 436 metre structure is the same height as three storey building and will be an interactive experience with visitors allowed to climb it. Open during daylight hours and free to climb. Can accommodate 93 people at a time. Nearest tube/train: Blackfriars. For more information, visit the DRMM website. For Metro Girl’s blog on a visit to the Endless Stair, click here.
- Now until 13 October : Wimbledon BookFest
A two week festival in South West London featuring readings, children’s events, storytellings, comedy and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Kate Adie, Jung Chang, Joanna Trollope, Michael Palin, Wayne Hemingway, Roddy Doyle, Darcey Bussell, Cerys Matthews, Dan Snow and much more. Tickets range from £7.50 to £15 and are recommend to be booked in advance. For more information and tickets, visit the BookFest website.
- 12 – 13 October : Rumfest
The world’s biggest rum festival takes place over two days at the ExCel in Docklands at the climax of London Cocktail Week (see above). Includes chance to sample from a choice of 400 different rums, live music and cocktail masterclasses. Tickets start from £25 (includes five sampling vouchers). Strongly recommended to book in advance as only limited ones will be available on the door. 12-5pm. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information visit the Rumfest website.
- 12 – 13 October : Scandinavia Show
A festival celebrating the best travel, food, furniture, design and lifestyle from the Scandinavian nations of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Tickets: £12. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and tickets, visit the Scandinavia Show website.
- 14 – 20 October : Chocolate Week
Lots of chocolate-themed events, including tastings, masterclasses, lots of chances to buy and even chocolate cocktails. Events take place across the capital. To find out more, visit the Chocolate Week website.
- 15 – 20 October : Bloomsbury Festival
Over six days, the central London region of Bloomsbury will play host to around 200 free events, which will showcase a mix of art, music, dance and literature, while also giving a voice and new skills to diverse young, older and disabled people. Nearest tube: Russell Square. For more information, visit the Bloomsbury Festival website.
- 17 – 21 October : Frieze Art Fair
Contemporary art event in Regent’s Park, featuring over 150 galleries from around the world. 12-7pm daily (except Sunday 12-6pm). Tickets start from £34.40. Regents Park (Art Fair near the Outer Circle in SE corner of the park). Nearest tubes: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street, Baker Street or Camden Town. For more information and tickets, visit the Frieze London website.
- 20 October : October Plenty
Beginning at Bankside by the Globe, this free harvest celebration by the Lions Part theatre company features ancient seasonal customs, theatre and general festivity, ending at the food stalls of Borough Market. Attendees can take part in apple-bobbing, conker fights, dancing, eating and drinking. Nearest tube: London Bridge, Southwark or St Paul’s. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.
- 23 – 30 October : London Science Festival
Festival celebrating the amazing world of science, giving the public an insight into new research and chance to engage. Ticket details and venues yet to be released, although some will be free. For more information, visit the Science Festival website.
- 24 – 27 October : Affordable Art Fair Battersea
For those among us who aren’t loaded, this annual event is a chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. Also with a base in Hampstead, there is over 100 galleries at each fair, with pieces for sale ranging for £40 to £4,000. Admission costs £10-£12 in advance, more on the door. Nearest rail: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. Visit the Affordable Art Fair website for more information.
- 25 – 27 October : ComicCon ExCel
The popular convention celebrating film, TV and games featuring superheroes, cartoon characters and sci-fi. Including memorabilia stands, comic village, retro gaming, a fringe festival, the chance to meet the stars from your favourite film or TV show and much more. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Opening times vary day to day. Tickets start from £10.00. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the ComicCon London website.
- 25 October – 3 November : London International Animation Festival
Showcase of animation from around the world featuring gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmakers Q&As, workshops, audience voting and screenings. Tickets start from £10.50 (Barbican session tickets) to £95 for full pass. Venues include the Barbican, Rio Cinema (Dalston) and Horse Hospital (Bloomsbury). For more information and tickets, visit the LIAF website.
- 26 October – 9 November : Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Screenings, premieres and Q&As during this two week long festival in South East London. Check the CPIFF website for full listings and tickets.
- 27 October : Diwali
Food and performances, lights and saris injecting colour into the square and floating candles in the fountains for the Hindu Festival of Light. Free. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- Now until 10 November : Chris Arthur: Scenes from National Life exhibition
Photography exhibition of working life at the National Theatre, including unseen portraits of Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Smith and Laurence Olivier on display in the Lyttelton Exhibition Space. Free. National Theatre, Upper Ground Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the National Theatre website.