So we know London is a pretty fabulous city to live in, but there’s also a darker side. This Halloween, you can a step back in time to Victorian London, where danger was never far away. This October, Bourne & Hollingsworth are bringing the some of the creepiest 19th century tales to life at ‘Terror On The Thames’, with bloodied skirts on Petticoat Lane, gruesome dissections in Bleeding Heart Yard and werewolves on the Isle of Dogs.
On Saturday 31 October, revellers will be taken down the thick smoggy cobbled streets as they’re watched by mysterious figures lurking in opium dens. The shadowy dancefloor will bring together shifty grave robbers, pernicious pickpockets, razor-wielding barbers, aristocratic sociopaths and scalpel‐happy surgeons.
The late night bash will be held in a riverside venue underneath Waterloo Bridge. Guests can expect all the typical Bourne & Hollingsworth production values, with fabulous entertainment, innovative cocktails and immersive interiors. Among the attractions, guests will be able to take part in a life-size game of ‘peration’, take part in a Dorian Grey life-drawing class and dance the death waltz.
The dress code is Victorian horror, so ladies, think white lace blouses, corsets and hoop skirts, while men, cloakes and top hats wouldn’t go amiss. A make-up stand will also be at the venue to help give you a scary makeover.
- Bourne & Hollingsworth Presents Terror On The Thames on 31 October 2015 from 8pm-2am. Tickets £25. One Embankment, 8 Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2AB. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Temple. For tickets, visit TicketPorte.
For a guide to what else is on in London this Halloween, click here.
For a guide to what else is on in London in October, click here.
For a review of brunch at the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings restaurant, click here.
The summer is finally over (sad face) and the weather is sadly getting cooler. But fortunately, London is doing its best to lift our spirits with a whole lotta fun going on around town. Obviously there’s Halloween at the end of the month (a guide to come…), but there’s tons on around town for those who aren’t interested in the ghoulish holiday.
For a guide to Halloween activities and parties for adults and children, click here.
- Now until 1 October : St Martin’s Courtyard Film Festival
Three day free film festival in St Martin’s Courtyard. Films include Shaun Of The Dead, Atonement and Billy Elliott. Enter the online ballot to receive a free ticket at the St Martin’s Courtyard website. St Martin’s Courtyard, off Long Acre, WC2. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. To sign up for tickets, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.
- 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 Champagne Laurent-Perrier Gourmet Odysseys and American Express menus with Michel Roux Jr, Pierre Koffmann, Helene Darroze, Tomos Parry, Marcus Wareing, Jeremy Lee, Mark Hix, Philip Howard, Nathan Outlaw. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.
- 2 – 11 October : Wimbledon BookFest
Ten day festival featuring readings, children’s events, storytelling, comedy, courses and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Sebastian Faulks, Louis de Bernieres, Alexandra Shulman, Vince Cable, Brian Moore, Seann Walsh, Andy McNab, Steve Backshall, Boris Becker, Shirley Williams, Stella Duffy, Ben Fogle, and more. Tickets range from free to £90 and are recommend to be booked in advance. 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.
- 2 October – 3 January 2016 : Dressed By Angels
An exhibition of over 100 costumes from Angels’ archives, worn by Fred Astaire, Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier, Tom Baker, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep, among others, Opening hours vary. Tickets: Adults £16, Children £9. Old Truman Brewery, Loading Bay, Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate. For booking, visit the Dressed By Angels website.
- 3 October : NFL Fan Rally
Fans of American football can warm up ahead of the New York Jets V Miami Dolphins match at Wembley Stadium that afternoon. Featuring a celebration of American football with players, cheerleaders and NFL legends. 12-4pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- 3 – 4 October : Classic Car Boot Sale
A boot sale with a difference, featuring vintage fashion, homewares and pop culture memorabilia up for purchase from the boots of over 100 classic cars. Entry: £5. Lewis Cubitt Square (off Stable Street), Kings Cross, N1C 4AY. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
- Now until 4 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 Vue Piccadilly and Wes End. Tickets: £12. Passes range from £100 to £175. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 5 – 11 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 £5. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website. For tips and highlights of this year’s LCW, click here.
- 7 – 18 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 8 October : Victorian London In Photographs
Exhibition of archive shots of Victorian London on show at the London Metropolitan Archives. Opening times: Mon and Sat 9.30am-4.45pm, Tues-Thurs 9.30am-7.30pm, Closed Fridays and Sundays. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- 9 – 18 October : South Norwood & Thornton Heath Free Film Festival
Following last year’s inaugural festival, the free film event is returning to South Norwood and Thornton Heath. Screenings, talks, film quizzes and more at various venues across the South London suburb. Screenings include Northern Soul, Despicable Me, The Gruffalo, Quadropheniaand more. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.
With the onset of October, people inevitably start thinking about the fast approaching winter and Christmas festivities. But first we’ve got Hallowe’en to mark first. Every year, the scarefest seems to be getting bigger and bigger and 2014 will be no exception. If you’re a fan of the spooky holiday, there’s plenty going on in the capital for both adults and children alike. Parents looking for some half-term ideas to keep their children occupied will also find some inspiration. I strongly advise booking in advance to many events as those who just turn up without a ticket may be disappointed.
This guide is for 2014, for the new 2015 guide to London at Halloween, click here.
- 28 – 29 October : Little Shwop of Horrors
To get prepared for the Hallowe’en festivities, why not head down to M&S and Oxfam’s pop-up which will sell fancy dress and items donated by the likes of Jessie J, Nadine Coyle, Simon Pegg and Naomie Harris. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own items to ‘shwop’, with proceeds from sales going to fight poverty worldwide. Open 8am-9pm. Marks & Spencer Marble Arch, 458 Oxford Street, W1C 1AP. Nearest tube: Marble Arch. To find out more about shwopping, visit the M&S website.
- 1 October – 2 November : Halloween at the London Dungeon
Of course, one of the city’s scariest places is the London Dungeon, who are making the most of All Hallows Eve with a month of frightful goings-on. As well as the usual features, the Hallowe’en festivities will also include the new character The Master Of Tricks and his Wheel Of Misfortune and some other special surprises. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.
- 1 October – 3 November : Halloween Show @ The London Bridge Experience
The experience will be running its usual adventure with a Hallowe’en twist. Open 10.30am-5pm Sun-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat. Tickets: Adults £20, Children 5-15 yrs £16, Students over 17 £18. London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street, SE1 2SY. Nearest tube/rail: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the London Bridge Experience website.
- 25 October – 1 November : Witch Academy on the London Eye
Imagine you’re on a broomstick and can soar into the sky over London… then open your eyes and realise you’re on the London Eye as part of the Witch Academy. As well as a 30 minute ride on the big attraction, an academy experience also includes a Hallowe’en character host, storytelling for four to nine-year olds and a free goody bag. Tickets: Children – online in advance £17.93 or £19.92 on the day, Adults £24.25 online in advance or £26.94 on the day. London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.
- 25 October – 2 November : Glamoween @ Madame Tussauds
Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (well, their waxwork doppelgangers at least…) will gather at a Halloween party at Madame Tussauds. Children dressed in Hallowe’en costume will get in free with a paying adult (£24 in advance online, £55.80 on the day). Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Road, NW1 5LR. Nearest tube/train: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Madame Tussauds website.
- 28 October : Family Day Hallowe’en @ Benjamin Franklin House
Walk along the creaky floorboards of this 18th century house before a spooky storytelling by Benjamin Franklin’s friend Polly Hewson and other ghoulish goings on. 4-5pm. Tickets £5 for children, free for adults. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG. Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website.
- 30 October – 1 November : Eat Your Heart Out pop-up cake shop
Food art curator Miss Cakehead is celebrating Halloween with the most gruesome looking cakes you’ve ever seen, such as three slaughtered little pigs or giant spiders. A three day pop up will be open at the Hoxton Hotel which is free to visit. Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HU. Nearest tube/Overground: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Miss Cakehead website.
Every year Hallowe’en appears to be bigger than ever before, and 2013 is no exception. Having just returned from the USA, where they really go to town for the Pagan festival, the UK has got a bit of catching up to do to match it. However, if you’re a fan of the spooky holiday, there’s plenty going on in the capital for both adults and children alike. Parents looking for some half-term ideas to keep their children occupied will also find some inspiration.
For the 2014 guide to Halloween in London, click here.
- 25 September – 9 November : Halloween at the London Dungeon
Of course, one of the city’s scariest places is the London Dungeon, who are making the most of All Hallows Eve with six weeks of frightful goings-on. As well as the usual features, the Hallowe’en festivities will also include a new character of the Pumpkineer, a graveyard themed shop and some other special surprises. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website.
- 18 October – 3 November : Climb Of The Cursed at Up At The O2
The climb over the roof of The O2 has been given a Hallowe’en makeover, featuring a few shocks and surprises on your ascent. Once you read the summit, you’ll be given a Gothic-style map of some of the capital’s horror hotspots. The experience takes place during day and night. Tickets £30, highly recommend to book in advance. Up At The O2, SE10 0DY. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For tickets and information, visit the Up At The O2 website. For Metro Girl’s review of Up At The O2, click here,
- 26 October – 2 November : Witch Academy on the London Eye
Imagine you’re on a broomstick and can soar into the sky over London… then open your eyes and realise you’re on the London Eye as part of the Witch Academy. As well as a 30 minute ride on the big attraction, an academy experience also includes a Hallowe’en character host, storytelling for four to nine-year olds and a 4D experience. Tickets are half-price for kids if booked online in advance, or £17.40 on the day. London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website.
- 26 October – 3 November : Boo At The Zoo
London Zoo has plenty of spooky goings on during half-term week. Special events will be taking place across the zoo including The Curiosity Shop of Horrors, creepy creatures in the Amphitheatre and see the Nocturnal animals. London Zoo, Outer Circle of Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY. Nearest tube: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and tickets, visit the London Zoo website.
- 26 October – 3 November : Shriek Week at Ally Pally
Alexandra Palace hosts a week of creepy activities, including spooky storytelling, pumpkin carving, inflatable play area, Dance Macabre at the ice rink (1 November), face-painting and gory games. Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY. Nearest train station: Alexandra Palace or tube station: Wood Green. For more information, visit the Ally Pally website.
- 31 October : Pumpkin Carving Competition at Fortnum and Mason
Two competitions for adults (6pm on the Lower Ground Floor) and children (3pm in the Demonstration Kitchen) to see who can make the most creative and imaginative pumpkin. Adult participants pay £10 to enter, while children 10 and under are free. All entrants must sign up beforehand. Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER. Nearest tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. To find out more, visit the Fortnum and Mason website. Read the rest of this entry