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What’s New in London in October

Copper-coloured leaves under your feet, a spiced pumpkin latte in your hand – October is coming up and it's not just the ghosts who are excited about it! Read on for our spooky suggestions and top picks...

London & Partners


Frieze London and Frieze Masters Art Fairs
Regent's Park, 4-7 October 2018

Discover the world's most exciting artists, from the emerging to the iconic. Frieze London features more than 160 of the world's leading galleries. Visitors can view and buy art from over 1,000 of today's leading artists and experience the fair's critically acclaimed curated sections and talks programme.

BFI London Film Festival
BFI Southbank, 10 - 21 October 2018

BFI London Film Festival is Britain's leading film event and one of the world's best film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and attracts significant international film industry participation. For more information, contact elizabeth.dunk@bfi.com

Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon
Across London, 14 October 2018

The Royal Parks Foundations Half Marathon 13.1 mile route sprints past some of the capital's world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London's Royal Parks – Hyde Park, Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens.

NFL London Games
Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Stadium, 14 - 28 October 2018

The NFL returns to London in 2018 with three NFL London Games (previously named NFL International Series) matches in October. Two games will take place at Wembley Stadium, which has hosted NFL matches since 2007, and one game at Tottenham Hotspur F.C.'s new stadium.

Six Day London
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Lee Valley VeloPark, 23 – 28 October 2018

Six Day London sees the best track cyclists in the world competing at Lee Valley VeloPark at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The lights get turned down and the music turned up as the velodrome is transformed into a hotbed of sport and entertainment.

Museums at Night
Across London, 25 - 27 October

Explore art, history and heritage after dark with the Museums at Night events across more than 30 venues in London. Major museums, heritage sites and historic properties, as well as smaller cultural venues open their doors for the biannual nationwide festival. Discover new exhibitions, take torchlit tours, enjoy live music in historic surroundings and engage in a range of free and ticketed night-time activities.

Africa on the Square
Trafalgar Square, 27 October 2018

This popular event celebrates African arts and culture, as well as enhancing Black History Month. There will be a stage with live entertainment and an African market, food stalls, roaming entertainment and lots of fun stuff for kids, showcasing communities from across the continent.

Diwali on the Square
Trafalgar Square, 28 October 2018

Join in the Diwali festivities in Trafalgar Square, as thousands of people come together to celebrate the Hindu, Sikh and Jain festival of lights. Past programmes have included music and dance stage performances, family-friendly craft activities, yoga, henna art, and delicious food from India and beyond.


Weekend Space Cadets
Astronomy Centre, Royal Observatory Greenwich, weekends throughout October

Come along to this programme of weekend family workshops and participate in a varied range of activities related to space science and space exploration; from the International Space Station to the latest discoveries about the Solar System and the wider universe.

Beast Quest
Hampton Court Palace, 20-28 October

This October half term, the stories and magic of the palace will be brought to life with mythical beasts and fun for all the family, as Beast Quest arrives at Hampton Court. Visitors can make a family 'team' and complete a variety of timed tasks, where bravery, quick thinking and skills will be tested in this action-packed event.

Open-Air Ice Rink
Natural History Museum, 25 October – 6 January 2019

It's time to skate in the magical atmosphere of the Natural History Museum's open-air ice rink. Nestled in front of the iconic South Kensington museum, the spectacular rink is surrounded by thousands of fairy lights and features a glittering 30ft (9m) Christmas tree.

Life in the Medieval Palace
Tower of London, 29 October – 23 December

Step back to the Middle Ages and meet the Knights and Ladies who accompanied King Edward I on his travels. Discover their colourful stories and how they lived in the comfortable and luxurious Medieval Palace at the Tower of London.

Art and Exhibitions

Mantegna and Bellini
National Gallery, 1 October 2018 – 27 January 2019

Explore the relationship between two of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance, Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna. Comprising major loans of paintings, drawings, and particularly sculpture, Mantegna and Bellini will compare the work of two pre-eminent artists who also happened to be related by marriage.

Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture
Wellcome Collection, 4 October 2018 – 3 March 2019

Wellcome Collection will examine ways in which architecture and the built environment interact with our health and wellbeing in this new exhibition. From the bold experiments of urban post-war town planners to healing spaces for cancer sufferers and fantastic utopias envisaged by artists, the exhibition will chart how shifts in design and approach have impacted on the health and experience of those who use buildings to live, to heal and to be human.

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde
Barbican, 10 October 2018 – 27 January 2019

With society's changing approach to marriage, partnerships, family, parenthood and gender, this major exhibition will showcase creative individuals who came together in intimate relationships to work across photography, sculpture, architecture, poetry, music and dance.

Anni Albers
Tate Modern, 11 October 2018 – 27 January 2019

Tate Modern will explore the work of one of the best-known textile artists of the 20th century. As a student at the radical and ostensibly egalitarian Bauhaus art school, Anni Albers enrolled in the weaving workshop and made textiles her means of expression. Albers rose to become an influential figure, exploring the technical limits of hand-weaving to pioneer innovative uses of woven fabric as art, architecture and design.

National Army Museum, 19 – 30 October 2018

Reflections is an exhibition from Combat Stress, featuring artwork created by veterans as part of their recovery from trauma. This exhibition represents the psychological impact of war, but also demonstrates that art-making can offer relief and new growth after trauma.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!
Somerset House, 25 October 2018 - 3 March 2019

This landmark exhibition showcases the original drawings of the cartoon's creator Charles M.Schulz, alongside works inspired by Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, from some of today's most exciting artists and designers. The exhibition explores the impact of the most successful comic strip of all time on the contemporary cultural landscape.

Theatre & Entertainment

I'm Not Running
National Theatre, 2 October 2018 – TBC

What's involved in sacrificing your private life and your peace of mind for something more than a single issue? David Hare's explosive new play portrays the history of a twenty-year friendship and its public repercussions.

The Height of the Storm
Wyndham's Theatre, 2 - 11 October

Starring Jonathan Pryce and Dame Eileen Atkins, two of the greatest actors of their generation on stage together for the first time, The Height of the Storm is a compelling family drama by Florian Zeller. This major new play is a searing exploration of love, family and the fragility of life.

Taj Express
The Peacock Theatre, Sadler's Wells, 2 - 20 October 2018

The production returns to The Peacock from Film City, Mumbai, and a sell-out tour of America, transporting the kaleidoscopic colours of India into the heart of London's West End. Taj Express blends explosive dance with the hits of India's most iconic composers, brought to life by the stars of Bollywood cinema and music live on stage.

A Quiet Evening of Dance
Sadler's Wells, 4 October - 6 October 2018

William Forsythe, one of the foremost choreographers of his generation, returns to Sadler's Wells with this World Premiere. Forsythe creates an intimate, pure evening of choreography, stripped down to its essence. The works range from sparse analytic condensation to baroque inspired counterpoint.

o t h e l l o m a c b e t h
Lyric Hammersmith, 5 October - 3 November 2018

An audacious condensed staging of two of Shakespeare's most brutal and poetic plays, exploring fear, jealousy, power and revenge. Two stories in which powerful men are manipulated into destroying their societies, their households, their loved ones and themselves. Previews from 5 October.

Mixed Bill
Sadler's Wells, 9 - 10 October

This exciting mixed bill is the first opportunity to see the work of the inaugural Young Associates, Salder's Wells' new programme that aims to both celebrate and support young artist under the age of 25, as they embark on their choreographic careers.

A Very Very Very Dark Matter
The Bridge Theatre, 10 October – 29 December 2018

Playwright Martin McDonagh brings his new work, starring Jim Broadbent, to The Bridge Theatre in October. In a townhouse in Copenhagen works Hans Christian Andersen, a teller of exquisite and fantastic children's tales beloved by millions. But the true source of his stories dwells in his attic upstairs, her existence a dark secret kept from the outside world.

An Evening with John Williams in Concert
Royal Albert Hall, 26 October 2018

The Royal Albert Hall will be hosting an event dedicated to John Williams to celebrate his 60th year in Hollywood. Williams will be attending his first UK performance in 22 years and will be conducting five of his finest scores: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Star Wars: A New Hope.

Food & Drink

London Cocktail Week
Across London, 1 – 7 October 2018

London Cocktail Week is a big and vibrant celebration of the capital's fantastic cocktail scene, with 300 bars signed up to the Cocktail Tours. Whether you're a gin lover or a whisky fanatic, there's something for everyone from Clapham to Clerkenwell and all London boroughs in between.

London Restaurant Festival
Across London, 1 - 31 October 2018

This month-long festival is a city-wide homage to great food in London, and the perfect excuse to try out some of the capital's world-class restaurants. Enjoy great value special menus, one-off chef-ed events and a series of gastronomic activities, including restaurant tours and wine tastings.

Harry's Bar
St. Christopher's Place, October 2018

Harry's Bar is a brand new all day dining destination opening on James Street this October. Set in glamorous 1950s style surroundings, the menu will feature Italian favourites from dusk until dawn, serving a slice of the 'Dolce Vita' in the heart of the West End. Located a stone's throw from Oxford Street, the restaurant and outdoor terrace can seat up to 150 guests.

Flat Iron
King's Cross, October 2018

This new outpost of the much-loved steak restaurant will, once again, focus on the feather blade of the animal. More specialist cuts will include the underblade fillet, tri-tip and rump cap, all from Flat Iron's own Yorkshire herd of rare and native breed cattle. New additions include some special Wagyu Fries and home-made ice cream at the ice cream bar.

Barrafina King's Cross
Coal Drops Yard, King's Cross, October 2018

Barrafina has cemented its reputation as serving some of the best Spanish food in the capital. So start getting excited for the arrival of the biggest Barrafina yet at the hotly anticipated Coal Drops Yard development in King's Cross. It will have 34 seats at the bar and a weather-proof outdoor terrace with its own menu.

Cattivo Bar
Brixton, October 2018

Brought to you from Albion East, the team behind Martello and Canova Hall, Cattivo Bar will be a laid-back Italian café with a basement cocktail bar, heavily focused on gin-based tipples. Think ragu, meatballs and filled pasta small plates followed by a perfectly concocted cocktail downstairs. Perfection!


Bankside Hotel
Blackfriars, October 2018

This 'design-forward' hotel has 161 rooms and seven suites and is designed to be a social hub for anyone with a passion for culture, art and food. Set across six storeys, the hotel strives to make everything feel like home, with eclectic artworks and handpicked furniture in every room and public space.

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