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20 Things to Do in London in October

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This article gives you the best things to do in London during October, including a top 10 list, nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly attractions. 

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN OCTOBER

This section lists our top 10 ideas for things to do in London this month, including tours, concerts, events, and attractions.

For more ideas of popular things to do, check out our posts:

For even more suggestions of activities year-round, make sure to read our master post for London things to do and see!


1. Frieze London

Oct. 13th - 17th, 2021

Art enthusiasts will love this event in Regent’s Park!

Featuring artwork from over 1,000 of today’s leading emerging artists from 160 galleries, Frieze London is an excellent opportunity to discover new artists, admire favourite pieces, and purchase artwork.

Tickets and more information are available on the website.


2. Enjoy Major Concerts 

There are several big-name artists coming through London during October for a blast from the past, as well as some newer up-and-coming names.

Below are some of the top artists in town this month. Check out the full list here.

Here we have listed some artists and events to check out in London:

For even more great shows to attend, check out the full list of concerts in October.

London Travel Tips and Hacks

3. Attend the Goodwood Members Meeting

If you're a fan of motorsport racing, this season-opener is an event you might want to see in person.

During the meeting, all kinds of vehicles will be racing, including formula 1, formula 2, tin-tops, motorcycles and more.

The Goodwood Members Meeting will be on October 16th and 17th of 2021, and tickets are already beginning to sell out, so make sure to pick yours up as soon as possible!

For more sports, check this list of sporting events in London during October.


4. Attend the Theatre/Stand-Up

London is home to West End - the neighborhood of the world’s best plays and musicals - so there’s usually always something going on that you should see!

Unfortunately, the theatre has yet to make a full comeback following the pandemic, and there won't be much happening this month.

That being said, there will be several comedians performing stand-up this October. Here are a few of the best shows happening this month:

For even more laughs, check this list of stand-up shows in London. Alternatively, feel free to check out the complete list of what's playing in London.

For ways to get cheap theatre tickets, check out our handy discount ticket guide to the London theatre.


5. See the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing a show called ABBAphonic this October 1st, featuring a variety of popular songs from the pop band ABBA.

Guests can expect to hear songs like:

  • Mamma Mia
  • Dancing Queen
  • Waterloo
  • Take a Chance
  • Fernando
  • And more!

Purchase tickets or learn more.


6. MCM Comic-Con

Oct. 22nd - 24th

Get your geek on at the London Comic Con! With special appearances by famous actors, panel discussions, vendors, and more, you don't wanna miss out on this weekend.

To learn more and get tickets, click here. Below is a look at last year's MCM Comic-Con:


7. Festival of the Dead

London celebrates all things spooky with the Festival of the Dead.

Inspired by the Day of the Dead celebration, this weekend-long event is a mix of carnival, circus, and concert. This is a great way to get your spooky on early!

Official dates have not been announced for October 2021, but they are planning to hold the event this year.

For a more frightful side of London, spook yourself with a variety of Halloween events:

Get lost in a haunted maze in Thorpe Park Resort, check to see what’s on at the Tower of London and Kensington Palace, or enjoy a number of ghost tours throughout the city!


8. Attend the Kiss Haunted House Party

If you're looking for something fun to do for Halloween, this event is almost like a music festival that encourages guests to dress up for the party.

Even the musical artists dress up, and there are usually quite a few great musicians in the lineup.

Although they haven't announced who will be playing in 2021, the 2020 lineup included some of the following names:

  • Dizzee Rascal
  • S1mba
  • Joel Corry
  • Ashnikko
  • KSI
  • And more

The Kiss Haunted House Party will take place on October 29th, 2021.

Purchase tickets or learn more.


9. London Literature Festival

Oct. 21st - 31st, 2021

Come out to the Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival for a series of talks, readings, poetry, and performance.

Over the course of 11 days, a number of literary influencers will make appearances, such as Elizabeth Day, Armistead Maupin, Brett Anderson, and many more! 


10. Purchase a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

October is a great time to spend a few full days seeing the sights and exploring London’s unique attractions.

One cost-effective way to see more attractions, tours, and landmarks is by getting a London tourist pass

These passes work by bundling together several tourist attractions and tours into one single price and can save you up to 55%.

They also can save you time by allowing you to skip the ticket queue at several locations.

Depending on which pass you get, admission to the following activities and attractions is included:

Make sure to read the full post covering London discount passes.


RESCHEDULED: Ocean Film Festival

If you love the deep blue as much as we do, you'll love the Ocean Film Festival. This festival features a number of fascinating ocean films you can really dive into.

Films will be screened in a number of locations, so for a list of locations and tickets click here

NOTE: This event has been postponed to November 16th and 17th 2021.


UNDETERMINED: London Food Festival

With over 60 events throughout the month of October, London Restaurant Festival local cuisine and favorited chefs.

In addition to special menus and discounted prices on many offerings, the festival will also host restaurant-hopping tours, chef-hosted lunches, and various tasting menus among other things.

Paired perfectly with the London Food Festival is our pay-what-you-wish London Food Tour. We'll give you an idea of where to start on your food journey through London!

Of course, there are also some great self-guided food tours.

NOTE: This event was taken virtually in 2020, and they have yet to announce any in-person plans for October 2021.


NIGHTTIME ACTIVITIES

This section lists some activities, attractions, and tours that are available in October.

There are some great ways to spend your evenings listed in our top ten section above, such as the Festival of the Dead and other spooky Halloweeny activities. 

For even more inspiration on how to spend your evenings in London, take a look at our nighttime activities guide to the city.


Travel to the Nomad Cinema

You never know where you’ll end up when you book with the Nomad Cinema.

Evening showings of both modern and classic films are held in the most interesting of locations: cemeteries, markets, museums and more.

Click here to find out what’s playing when you’re in town! 

For more ideas on night activities at any time of the year, be sure to read our definitive guide on things to do at night in London.


Explore London Dungeon…After Dark

The London Dungeon has been educating and scaring visitors for over the last decade – and now, to make things even spookier, they’re doing it at night with London Dungeon Lates.

A mash-up of theatre, special effects, storytelling, and surprises, it’s a walk through London’s gruesome past.

Oh – and there’s a cocktail in it for you, too! To learn more, click here


London Cocktail Week

Pair your London Food Festival experience with London Cocktail Week! Eat then sip your way around the city, after dark.

You can get drink deals at 300+ bars with the purchase of a £10 Festival Pass, encouraging you to go to all the places you've wanted to visit.

Also included in your Festival Pass is access to the Cocktail Village, a collection of 30+ pop-up bars, street food, and music at the heart of Brick Lane. 

For even more inspiration on how to spend your evenings in London, take a look at our nighttime activities guide to the city.


Take a Night Walking Tour  

Like our walking tours mentioned above, our evening tours are also offered on a pay-what-you-like basis so no matter what your budget, you can join us.

We have 6 evening/night tours including a Harry Potter Film Location tour, a Twilight River Walk, and night versions of our classic Westminster tour and City of London tour mentioned above.

Jack the Ripper Tour Video

For the braver souls, our Jack the Ripper tour and our London Ghost tour are waiting just for you. For availability, check our calendar

For even more inspiration on how to spend your evenings in London, take a look at our nighttime activities guide to the city.


FREE ACTIVITIES

There’s always something interesting and free happening in London! This section lists some fun attractions, things to see, and activities to do in October.

Don’t forget to take a look at our comprehensive guide to free things to do in London.


Escape the Crystal Palace Maze

This hidden London gem is situated on the stunning grounds of Crystal Palace Park. Built in the 1870s, the Crystal Palace Maze is one of the largest in the country with a diameter of 160ft!

With a tricky mix of hedgerows and pathways, navigating your way through the maze is no easy feat.

Explore it all without having to pay a penny!


Take in the Autumn Colours

Take an outdoor stroll in one of London’s many lovely parks during one of the most vibrant times of the year.

See the autumn foliage in places like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and St. James’s Park among many other parks!


Visit a Free Museum

London is home to a host of free museums all over the city.

If you’re interested in world history, why not go to the Victoria & Albert Museum? Archaeology buffs can visit the Natural History Museum.

For a full list of museums that you can visit for free in London, check out our full free museum post.


See the Street Art

London’s East End is covered in graffiti and interesting street art. Some of it is beautiful, other bits are political, and several are shocking.

London Street Art and Graffiti Tour

If you prefer to be led by an expert, feel free to join us on one of our free London Street Art and Graffiti Tours.

Don’t forget to take a look at our comprehensive guide to free things to do in London.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

London has plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy during October, like visiting a free museum listed in our free section above.

Here is a list of other things to do with the kids in London.

Don’t forget to read our full post on visiting London with the whole family.


Take a Sightseeing Tour

London is such a big city with so many things to see - make sure you see the best of it with a sightseeing tour! Of course, we recommend our pay-what-you-like walking tours.

Westminster Royal London Tour Video

We have themed tours for street art, the Soho and Chinatown neighborhoods, Harry Potter, and more. Here are some of our most popular:  

If walking tours aren’t your thing, maybe consider a cruise down the River Thames? Hop-On-Hop-Off buses are also very popular and make it easy to get around London.

Several great tour options are included for free or at a discount with the purchase of a London tourist pass.


Take a cruise to Greenwich

Take advantage of the nice weather before it gets too cold with a cruise on an open-top boat to the lovely town of Greenwich.

When you’re there, it feels like you’re visiting a small village rather than one of the busiest cities in the world!

 City Cruises offers relaxed cruises with guided commentary as you ride along the Thames from the Palace of Westminster to Greenwich. 

For something a bit different, they also offer dinner cruises, murder mystery evenings, and jazz cruises!


The London Eye

Kids will love getting a birds-eye view from this massive Ferris-wheel-style observation pod.

You’ll get a close-up view of the Parliament buildings and the entire financial district with its skyscrapers. 

Onboard the pod there are interactive touch screens that will explain what you’re seeing. 


Surround Yourself With Toys at Legoland

This is an entire world made of Lego, with rides, restaurants, activities, and even hotels. Legoland is the setting for a completely immersive experience great for the whole family. 

Travel through time, drive a car, go underwater, or walk through shockingly accurate recreations of the world’s most iconic landmarks. To learn more, click here


Take a Harry Potter Tour

Walk in the footsteps of the world’s most famous wizard with Free Tours By Foot! Our tour takes you behind the scenes into the world of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter London Locations Tour Video

Guests will be shown through locations used in filming, areas mentioned in the book, and everything in between on this tour offered during the day as well as early evening. 

Check our calendar for availabilities!


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About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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