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Lambeth Bridge, London | © Captain Roger Fenton/Flickr
Lambeth Bridge, London | © Captain Roger Fenton/Flickr
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What’s On in London in October

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 1 October 2017

As summer comes to an end – although to Londoners it probably feels long gone – and autumn takes hold, London could not be looking more picturesque as the leaves begin to turn. October offers up plenty of excuses to get out of the house and enjoy the capital while it dons its leafy shroud of golden glory.

Oktoberfest London

📅  Thursday 28th September – Sunday 8th October 2017

It’s that time of year again, when everyone’s favourite Bavarian beer festival, Oktoberfest, comes hurtling into sight on the calendar – and right out of it again after a few steins of the good stuff. Be prepared for lederhosen-clad men, girls wearing traditional German dirndls and the customary blue and white diamond-checkered tablecloths representing the colours of the Bavarian flag as Oktoberfest London rolls into Canary Wharf. Find out how Oktoberfest came to be before the festival.

📍 Millwall Park, Manchester Rd, Isle of Dogs, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 207 364 5020

NFL London

📅  Sunday 1st, Sunday 22nd and Sunday 29th October 2017

Britain may have been responsible for developing modern football, as we know it, and exporting it around the world – but it is well known that America did its own thing, in creating American football. Discover the US adaptation in the UK via Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium, where the NFL has been making inroads into the London market by hosting stadium-filling games over the past ten years. Trouble getting tickets? Check out these great sports bars that should be showing the NFL games.

📍 Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 844 980 8001

📍 Twickenham Stadium, 200 Whitton Rd, Twickenham, United Kingdom, + 44 (0) 871 222 2120

BFI London Film Festival

📅  Wednesday 4th October – Sunday 15th October 2017

Get down to London Southbank to celebrate the illustrious glory of cinema at the BFI London Film Festival. There will be galas, presentations, competitions events and talks from leading filmmakers and creatives, as well as film stars, too.

📍 British Film Institute Southbank, Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 207 928 3232


Royal Parks Half Marathon

📅  Sunday 8th October 2017

Having raised over £30 million for more than 750 charities since its inauguration to the athletics circuit in 2008, the Royal Parks Half Marathon will be closing roads and taking over the parks in Central London once again as 16,000 runners take to the course. Somewhat appropriately, the half marathon will meander through half of London’s royal parks: Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

📍 Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 845 680 8668

Kia Oval Darts Masters

📅  Wednesday 11th October 2017

Head out for the day to Kennington, where the Kia Oval Darts Masters will be taking to the oche in the Oval cricket ground again, having been held there for the first time last year. Famous names in the game will be present, including Phil Taylor, Wayne ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle for the men, with Fallon Sherrock and Corrine Hammond representing the ladies. Embrace the culture and it should be uproariously fun, even for those who have never been to the darts before.

📍 The Kia Oval, Surrey County Cricket Club, Kennington Oval, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 203 946 0100


London Literature Festival

📅  Friday 13th October – Wednesday 1st November 2017

Venture down to the Southbank for the London Literature Festival, a two-week affair that endeavours to remind visitors of our “shared humanity in a world on the brink”. It’s a bleak outlook but, frankly, someone needs to talk about it. Hillary Clinton, Tom Hanks, Philip Pullman and Annie Leibovitz will be appearing at the festival, which will include a live reading of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs.

📍 Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London, United Kingdom, + 44 (0) 203 879 9555


Africa on the Square

📅  Saturday 14th October 2017

Observe Africa’s wonderfully rich contribution to the arts with the forth annual Africa on the Square at Trafalgar Square. Over 25,000 were in attendance last year for a jamboree dedicated to exploring food, fashion and lots more from the second largest continent in the world.

📍 Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 207 983 4750

Diwali Festival

📅  Sunday 15th October 2017

Just one day after Africa on the Square, the Diwali Festival will be commandeering Trafalgar Square for the sixteenth year in a row to celebrate Diwali the Hindu, Sikh and Jain festival of light. More than 35,000 people are expected to attend for music, dance, yoga, arts and crafts, street food and so much more. Find out more about Diwali.

📍 Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 207 983 4750


📅  31st October 2017

Halloween almost certainly has its roots in the Gaelic pagan festival of Samhain. Nowadays, those beginnings and its reappropriation as a Christian festival have been largely forgotten as it has become a devilishly delightful facet of the annual events calendar. Any venue in London that’s half decent is guaranteed to be hosting a Halloween party. Turn up if you dare. Oh, and beware: tickets sell out fast. Get costume inspiration here.