Visiting London in October? A slew of events await, from real ale and thoroughbreds in Ascot, to witches atop the London Eye. Get inspired and plan ahead.
Get Ghoulish for Halloween (1-31 October)
London delves deep into its bloodthirsty history and revels in telling its most gory tales. At the London Eye, young ones can join the Witch Academy (from 27 Oct) to help to protect the icon from any ghostly goings on, and even perform spells. Meet some of London’s most gruesome characters, such as Jack The Ripper at the London Bridge Experience’s Halloween Show (from 1 Oct). For those with a strong disposition, Phobophobia (from 25 Oct) aims to truly terrify you – previous years included snakes and (pretend) spirits. On a Hampton Court Palace Ghost Tour (31 Oct), hear about the paranormal activity said to have occurred inside the building, plus the story behind the ghost of the Screaming Lady.
Dance to Aussie Songstress Kylie Minogue (from 1 October)
Kylie Minogue has been making hit songs for more than 20 years, ranging from the 80s bubble-gum pop of I Should Be So Lucky to the dance-infused Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. The provocatively titled world tour Kiss Me Once descends on The O2, giving you the chance to relive the diminutive star's greatest hits. As previous tours have seen Minogue emerge from a shell as Aphrodite and don flamboyant outfits by none other than Jean Paul Gaultier, the show is bound to be an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza with disco balls, glitter explosions and plenty of costume changes.
Have a Flutter and a Beer at Ascot Races (3-4 October)
Put on your best hat and frock—it’s time for Ascot. Loved by the Queen, who herself is an owner of racehorses, this quintessentially British event offers the thrill of watching (and betting) on horses. Along with the flat racing meetings, for which the course is famed, don’t miss the CAMRA Beer Festival, with 220 types of real ales, beers and perries on offer. And you can't get much more British than that.
Learn about Local Culture During Black History Month (1-31 October)
Celebrate the rich history of London's African and Caribbean communities during Black History Month. How Nigeria Became: A Story, And A Spear That Didn’t Work (9 Oct) and a revival of the provocative musical The Scottsboro Boys (from 4 Oct) are just two of the shows being staged at West End theatres, and there are many more events in public venues across the city. The idea originated in 1926 in the United States, but it wasn’t until 1986 that it first took place in the UK. During the month, you’ll find dedicated events from theatre shows to exhibitions, all marking the impact of the black community on our society.
Put on your Gladrags for London Cocktail Week (6-12 October)
It’s time for a party, and everyone’s invited. London Cocktail Week is a unique celebration of the finest mixed drinks across the capital and of course the mixologists who create them. The event takes place throughout London with 200 venues participating, including pop-up bars, where you can take part in masterclasses and tastings. For as little as £10, you can obtain a wristband which grants you access to the special events and discounts on drinks. We’ll drink to that!
Join the Festivities for Diwali (12 October)
London is one of the world's most multicultural cities—and proud of it. One of many festivals taking place in the landmark Trafalgar Square each year, Diwali celebrations attract many thousands, to enjoy a Hindu festival which marks the victory of good over evil. Tuck into authentic Indian treats from one of the many food stalls, admire traditional dancing and listen to live music. Best of all, it’s free.
See the New Sherlock Holmes Exhibition (from 17 October)
Sherlock Holmes is such a British icon that many people think he is real. Arthur Conan Doyle created the fictional detective in 1887, who lived at 222 Baker Street—in fact there's a life-size statue of the super sleuth outside Baker Street underground station. Now, at the Museum Of London’s new exhibition Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die, you can discover how he has gone from books to the big and small screen. Elementary.