Guide to what’s on in London in October 2018
Autumn is finally here after a super long summer. Some may be welcoming the cooler temperatures, while others may be lamenting the fast approach of winter. However, lets live in the moment and focus on October. There’s plenty going on around town with many events creeping into the warmer indoor settings. Of course, there’s Halloween at the end of the month and half-term holidays so expect plenty of ghoulish and family events – or both – going on. October is a good month for booze fans with lots of beer and cocktail festivals. The nights may be getting darker, but you could brighten up your home with a purchase from one of the many art fairs on this month.
For a guide to what’s on in London this Halloween, click here.
- 1 – 7 October : London Cocktail Week
Over 300 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 digital pass so you can enjoy cocktails at participating venues for as little as £6. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website. Find out about the Broken Shaker pop-up bar at Madison.
- 1 – 31 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. Highlights include Gourmet Odysseys, Eat Film, Restaurant Hopping Tours, Eat Art @ Saatchi Gallery and more. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.
- 2 – 3 October : RHS Harvest Festival Show
Horticultural show including fruit and vegetable competition, pumpkin display, nursery and harvest displays, harvest games, cocktails and live music. Open 10am-5pm. Free entry. Lindley Hall, RHS Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, SW1P 2PE. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information, visit the RHS website.
- 2 October – 9 December : Strange Days – Memories Of the Future
Video and films by 21 radical film-makers, presented as large-scale, multi-screen video installations. Tues-Sat 12pm-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Free entry. The Store X, 180 The Strand, WC2R 1EA. Nearest station: Temple or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the website.
- 4 October : Young Marketeers’ Harvest Sale @ Borough Market
Local schoolchildren will be trading their homegrown fruit and vegetables at Borough Market. Proceeds go to the FareShare charity. 11am-1.30pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.
- 4 – 7 October : The Other Art Fair
The bi-annual fair is a great place to buy art from 130 emerging and undiscovered artists. There will also be guest artists, immersive theatre, live music, bar and restaurant. Opening times vary. Tickets: £8.96-£22.40. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Holborn, WC1A 2QP. Nearest station: Holborn. For tickets, visit The Other Art Fair website.
- 4 – 7 October : Frieze Art Fair
Contemporary art event in Regent’s Park, featuring over 150 galleries from around the world. Opening hours vary. Tickets start from £38.50. Regents Park (Art Fair near the Outer Circle in SE corner of the park). Nearest stations: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street, Baker Street or Camden Town. For more information and tickets, visit the Frieze London website.
- 4 – 14 October : Oktoberfest London
Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. Opening hours vary. General admission starts from free to £10 (depending on day). Millwall Park, Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs, E14 3AY. Nearest station: Island Gardens or Mudchute. For booking, visit the London Oktoberfest website.
- 4 – 14 October : Wimbledon Bookfest
Festival featuring readings, children’s events, storytelling, comedy, courses, screenings, walks and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Graham Norton, Alan Davies, Lionel Shriver, Sebastian Faulks, Cathy Newman, Michael Rosen, Max Hastings, Billy Bragg and more. Tickets prices vary. A majority of events take place in tents on Wimbledon Common, but also other venues nearby. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the BookFest website.
- 5 – 7 October : Cake And Bake Show
Event celebrating all things baking and decorating, featuring celebrity experts, stalls selling baking equipment, cake competitions and more. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: £13. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House. For tickets, visit the Cake And Bake Show website.
- 5 – 7 October : Tequila And Mezcal Fest
A weekend celebration of Tequila and Mezcal, including Mexican food, live Mariachi bands, Mexican art and artisan products on sale. Open Sat 12pm-9.30pm, Sun 8 1-9pm. Tickets start from £20 (early bird tickets include Tequila or Mezcal samples and free entry to seminars and master classes). Oxo Tower Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Tequila Fest website.
- 5 – 14 October : Herne Hill Music Festival
Music festival in Herne Hill, south London at various venues across SE24 and neighbouring areas including The Half Moon, Off The Cuff, Canopy Bar, St Faith’s Church, Brockwell Hall and Herne Hill School. Tickets range from free to £50. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more information, visit the Herne Hill Music Festival website.
- 5 October – 18 November : Poppies – Weeping Window
The Weeping Window from artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper’s famous 2014 poppy installation at the Tower of London has been touring the UK and returns to the capital. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Imperial War Museum website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the installation, click here.
- 7 October – 3 November : London Horror Festival
Festival of live horror performance including cabaret, film screenings, Zombie weekends, midnight performances and a short horror play competition. Ticket prices vary. Most events take place at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, Islington, EC1V 4NJ. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.
- Now until 7 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened in the Piccadilly Circus area. Festival pass from £49-£149. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- Now until 7 October : Serpentine Pavilion 2018
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Frida Escobedo. Free to visit, but also contains a pop-up café inside. Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. See Metro Girl’s gallery of this year’s pavilion.
- 8 October – May 2019 : Last Nights Of Havana
Nightlife pop-up in Tobacco Dock brings a slice of Cuba to London. Featuring live music, DJs, dance, drinking and street food. Open 5pm-12am. Tickets: £20 in 2018, £25 in 2019 (inc complimentary arrival cocktail). Masterclass: £60pp (include rum flight, special cocktail and discount towards evening event). Last Nights Of Havana, Quayside Bar, Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane (Gate Entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and tickets, visit lastnightsofhavana.com. See Metro Girl’s blog for more information.
- 10 – 21 October : BFI London Film Festival
The biggest event in the capital’s film calendar brings a host of big names for premieres, screenings, Q&As and more. Venues include BFI Southbank, Vue West End, Cineworld Leicester Square, Curzon Soho, Picturehouse Central, Prince Charles Cinema and more. For more information, visit the BFI website.
- 12 – 13 October : Wine And Spirits Show
The best brands from the worlds of wine and spirits. Featuring medal-winning wines, global beer tour zone, G&T bar, spirits masters zone, new products zone and food stalls. Open Fri 1pm-9pm, Sat 1pm-8pm. Tickets: £40 (includes unlimited wine and spirits tastings and a tote bag). One Whitehall Place, 1 Whitehall Court, Westminster, SW1A 2EJ. Nearest station: Embankment. For more information, visit the Wine And Spirits Show website.
- 12 – 14 October : Heist Bank Beer Festival
Heist Bank beer festival returns for a second year, featuring over 100 beers from 30 breweries, including new releases, craft beer, workshops, tastings, games, pizza, DJs and more. Hours vary. Tickets: £15 (inc beer glass and 2 beers). Heist Bank, 5 North Wharf Road, Paddington, W2 1LA. Nearest station: Paddington or Edgware Road. For tickets, visit the Heist Bank website. Check out Metro GIrl’s blog post on this year’s festival.
- 17 – 21 October : Bloomsbury Festival
The theme of this year’s festival – which celebrates arts, culture and science – is ‘Activists and Architects of Change’. Featuring talks, concerts, sound and visual art installations at streets, parks, museums, galleries, laboratories and special buildings in and around WC1. For more information, visit the Bloomsbury Festival website.
- 18 – 21 October : Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Autumn
Annual art fair gives the less wealthy an opportunity to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There is over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging up to £6,000. Tickets: £8-£25. Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea or short complimentary bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.
- 18 – 28 October : London Literature Festival
The London Literature Festival returns to the Southbank, with renowned writers, futurologists and transhumanists discussing the future in these uncertain times. Among the highlights include Sir Salmon Rushdie, Roger Daltrey, Sue Perkins, David Olusoga, Olga Tokarczuk, Melvyn Bragg, Mary Beard, Marilynne Robinson and Andre Aciman. Many events are free, but tickets go up to £70. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 18 – 31 October : Oktoberfest London – Halloween Special
A special spooky edition of the popular German beer festival. Opening hours vary. General admission starts from free to £10 (depending on day). Finsbury Park, N4. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Oktoberfest London website.
- 20 October – 6 January 2019 : Skyline Skating @ John Lewis
Skate on the roof of the John Lewis department store. Along with Sipsmith ice rink, there is also Mypies fresh pies and hot gin being served. Sun-Wed 12pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 12pm-11pm. Tickets: £8pp. John Lewis rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- 20 – 21 October : RumFest
The world’s biggest rum festival takes place over two days in West London. Includes chance to sample from a choice of 400 different rums, live music, food pairings, RumFest auction, dance finale and cocktail masterclasses. 12pm-6pm. Tickets: £44.55-£75.00 (includes all rum samples). ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1UD. Nearest station: West Brompton or West Kensington. For more information visit the Rumfest website.
- 20 – 21 October : Parallax Art Fair
Over 200 artists showcasing their painting, drawing, sculpture, jewellery, textiles and crafts available to buy commission free. 11am-5pm. Register on the website for free entry. Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EE. Nearest stations: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Parallax website.
- Now until 21 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 across the capital, including The Old Vic, Somerset House, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and Barbican. Tickets prices vary. For more information and tickets, visit the Dance Umbrella website.
- 21 October : Apple Day 2018 @ Borough Market
Family festival celebrating the British harvest, including performances from the Lions’ Part, Morris dancers, conker competitions, Southwark Cathedral’s act of harvest worship in the market, live choir, Kathy Slack in the demonstration kitchen, pigs from Hackney City Farm and more. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.
- 22 – 23 October : Storystock
Travelling literary festival comes to Battersea Power Station during half-term. Featuring live shows, storytelling sessions, immersive workshops and more. The Village Hall, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AB. Nearest stations: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website.
- 23 – 28 October : Six Day London
Cyclists from around the world compete in a series of competitions in London and internationally. Tickets start from £20.40-£28.50. Velodrome, Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, E20. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the Six Day Series website.
- 24 October : The Rum Off Semi-Final @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum in the first semi-final of the Rum Off 2018. Two leading rum brands Gosling’s and Pusser’s will compete with cocktail making, with you getting to vote for your favourite. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £8 (inc entry and 2 cocktails). Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 25 – 27 October : Museums At Night
Museums across the capital are opening their doors for some after-hours action, such as performances, lectures, balls and sleepovers, including the Old Royal Naval College, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Strawberry Hill House, London Transport Museum, the London Canal Museum and much more. For more information, visit the Museums At Night website.
- 25 October – 6 January 2019 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink
A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.80. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.
- 26 October : London Nights Late @ Museum Of London
Late-night, adults-only opening of the Museum featuring the fictional Night London Council. Featuring live art, performances, music, talks and the chance to visit the London Nights Exhibition. 7pm-11pm. Free entry. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest station: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Museum Of London website.
- 27 October : Africa On The Square
A celebration of African culture, featuring live music, fashion, dance, stalls, food, plus fun activities for the kids. 12pm-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- 27 – 28 October : MCM London Comic Con
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. Opening times vary day-to-day. Tickets start from £17. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the ComicCon London website.
- 26 – 28 October : RHS Urban Garden Show
Garden show for urban residents, who don’t have much room, featuring indoor and outdoor plants. Featuring talks, creative installations, stalls and more. Open Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £5 for RHS members, public £5-£8 (advance), £5-£9 (on the door). Lindley Hall, RHS Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, SW1P 2QW and RHS Lawrence Hall, Greycoat Street, SW1P 2QD. Nearest station: Victoria. For tickets, visit the RHS website.
- 27 – 28 October : Vegfest
Festival for vegans and vegetarians, featuring food market, shopping, meet the experts, entertainment, cookery demos and kids’ cookery. Open Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: £12. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the VegFest website.
- 28 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. 1pm-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 28 October : October Plenty
Beginning at Bankside by the Globe, this harvest celebration by the Lions Part theatre company features ancient seasonal customs, performances and general festivity, ending at the food stalls of Borough Market. Attendees can take part in apple-bobbing, conker fights, dancing, eating and drinking. From 12pm. Free. Nearest stations: London Bridge, Southwark or St Paul’s. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.
- 29 October : Gin Off Semi-Final
Help find the world’s best gin in one of the semi-final of this year’s Gin Off. From 6pm-9pm. Tickets: £10 (include 4 gin cocktails). Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For booking, visit the Graphic Bar website. For more information, check out Metro Girl’s blog on the Gin Off.
- 29 October – 4 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair
For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 750 independent boutiques. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets from £25. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- 29 October – 4 November : Winter Art & Antique Fair
Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art. Opening times vary. Tickets start from £15 (cheaper in advance). Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympia Antiques website.
- 29 October – 11 November : Remembrance Art Trail
Artist Mark Humphrey has created 11 pieces of art to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I, which will be dotted around Canary Wharf. Free. Canary Wharf estate, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 30 October – 4 December : Foodflix @ Bluebird Chelsea
Weekly film night comes to Bluebird Chelsea in their new cosy orangery. Expect Cointreau cocktails, gourmet fast food, popcorn and modern classic films. Tickets: £25 (includes film, welcome Cointreau cocktail and a Bluebird hotdog or vegan burger). Bluebird Chelsea, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Bluebird Chelsea website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the Foodflix.
- Now until 31 October : Picturing Forgotten London
The London Metropolitan Archives’ exhibition features photographs of the capital’s lost buildings. Opening hours vary. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. For more information, visit the City of London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 1 November : Harvestfest @ Skylight
Rooftop drinking destination Skylight is getting an autumnal makeover. Featuring apple ciders, warming spiced cocktails, Horseshoes and Hay Bale Skittles and street food from Raclette Brothers and YIRO. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry. Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Skylight London website.
- Now until 18 November : Frida Kahlo – Making Her Self Up
Exhibition featuring clothing and personal artefacts of late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Open 10am-5.45pm. Tickets: £15. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets, visit the V&A website.
- Now until Christmas : Casa Bonita pop-up
Latin American-themed pop-up bar featuring classic cocktails, Mexican street food and DJ spinning Latin beats. Open Mon-Sat 2pm-1am, Sun 2pm-11pm. Free entry. Casa Bonita, 5 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PF. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. Visit Casa Bonita’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- Now until 12 January 2019: Divine Proportions
A heavenly new immersive dining experience for Gods and Goddesses in the Vaults below Waterloo station. Shotgun Carousel’s new production reimagines the story of the God of Wine, hedonism and ritual ecstasy. Except a five-course meal accompanied by entertainment. Shows Tues-Sun, doors open 6.30pm. Tickets: £35-£55 (includes dinner and entertainment). The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For tickets, visit The Vaults website.
- Now until early June 2019 : Sculpture In The City 2018/2019
Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the City Of London’s official website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2017/2018 exhibition.