32 Things to do in London in October 2023

London celebrates its food and drink scene, while Halloween showcases the capital's spooky side – just some of the many October events in London.
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London panorama above golden trees.
Roam London's Richmond Park, as it is covered in autumnal colours. Credits: Jon Reid. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.

What's on in London in October?

British schools break up for a October half-term this month, so look out for special family activities at many London attractions. While Halloween ensures the month ends with a spooky feel with plenty of scary events and activities – see below for ideas.

London becomes a little colder in October as autumn splashes the city’s parks and gardens with a riot of autumnal colours, changing the vivid greens to warm coppers, golds and russet reds. Take a trip to Kew Gardens, Richmond Park, or other major parks to bask in the beautiful display of colours.

Top October activities in London

Floating orange pumpkins hanging from the ceiling of the Great Hall, lit up in green and purple light

  1. See many of London's top attractions in one go with a sightseeing pass: The London Pass and the Go City London Explorer Pass allow you to visit multiple spots and save money.
  2. Discover the Dark Arts at Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry PotterGo behind the scenes of the iconic Harry Potter films - but watch out for the Death Eaters...
  3. See the city sparkle on a London by night open top bus tourAdmire London landmarks and the picturesque Illuminated River.
  4. Or take to the Thames on a river cruiseWhether you explore on a one day roamer or whizz along the river on a speedboat tour.
  5. Hone your skills and learn from the very best at a masterclassFrom immersive cocktail making at Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen* to a sushi and sake Masterclass at Buddha-Bar*.
  6. Beat the cold with a relaxing spa dayTreat yourself or a loved one to a spot of pampering as the cold sets in.

Halloween in London

Tower Bridge in a dark setting with dark clouds and the bright blue railings.

  1. Plan a frighteningly good Halloween in London: Enjoy themed events, family activities, tours and more of the best things to do in London this Halloween.
  2. Visit one of London's most eerie museums: Explore London's horrid history at museums such as the Clink Prison Museum and the Jack the Ripper Museum
  3. Take on an immersive experience: Why not test your detective skills at Sherlock: The Official Live Game
  4. Go on a hair-raising walking tour to some of the city's most ominous neighbourhoods: Hear tales of the demon barber on a Sweeney Todd Walking Tour* or discover London's most haunted pubs*.
  5. Venture out of London on a Murder Mystery Lunch on Belmond British Pullman*Indulge in five-course gourmet lunch before solving the clues to a deadly romance aboard the train, interact with the suspects as you try to figure out who the culprit is.
  6. Indulge at an unusual afternoon teaCast spells to retrieve your treats at Wands and Wizard Emporium* or feast on a Sci-Fi Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand Hotel*.

Check back nearer the time for more Halloween events and activities in London.

London Theatre in October

The cast of Phantom of the opera on stage wearing colourful costumes and masks

  1. Be thrilled by the gothic romance of The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre: Enjoy spectacular sets and costumes at Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical.
  2. Be dazzled by the show-stopping songs and technical wizardry of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria: Witness the untold story of the witches in the Wizard of Oz.
  3. Marvel at the magic of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre: Join the world's most famous wizard as he embarks on a new adventure.
  4. See the magical powers of Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre: Laugh out loud as the little girl from Roald Dahl's beloved book teaches the grown-ups a lesson.
  5. Don't be tricked by the eight potential suspects in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap: Can you work out whodunnit in this classic murder-mystery?
  6. Attend a show at the iconic Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: See impressive performances of classics such as Much Ado About Nothing and King Henry VIII. 
  7. Treat the kids to these top musicals: Sing along with the little ones as you watch your favourite shows on stage.

Unmissable events in October

A man dressed in traditional clothing with flower garlands around his neck, at the Diwali festival, while other performers dance in the background.

  1. Make memories in London during October half-termFind fun events and family-friendly activities at popular London attractions21-29 Oct
  2. Celebrate black culture and history at Black History MonthEnjoy free events, exhibitions, music and more throughout October. 
  3. Celebrate the cultural diversity of London at Diwali, the festival of lights: Experience exciting performances and cultural activities in Trafalgar Square. 
  4. Take part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon: Run for great causes in the leafy surrounds of London's beautiful parks.
  5. Attend the Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival: See prestigious authors, rising literary stars and inspiring speakers.
  6. Tempt your taste buds during the month-long London Restaurant FestivalExperience London's top restaurants, meet celebrity chefs and enjoy special one-off menus and food-themed events. 
  7. Toast the return of London Cocktail WeekSip on classic and new mixes at the world's largest cocktail festival, with events, discounts and tastings across the city. 
  8. Or raise your stein at a London Oktoberfest: Celebrate Bavarian-style with live music, authentic German food and of course, beer at a number of venues across the city. 

London exhibitions in October

A painting of blue and brown colours depicting cravelli's garden by paula rego that is exhibiting at the national gallery museum in london 
  1. Don't miss Sarah Lucas at Tate Britain: See the British artist's exploration of what makes us human including sex, class and gender over the last four decades
  2. Celebrate the work of Dame Paula Rego: Crivelli's Garden at the National Gallery: See the impressive piece inspired by the 15th-century Italian artist Carlo Crivelli's Garden. Until 29 Oct 
  3. Journey through 50 years of incredible art by Philip Guston at Tate Modern: A fascinating exhibition that showcases a world in turmoil through abstract art. From 5 Oct
  4. See The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea at Queen's House: A collection of artwork of life at sea, royally commissioned by King Charles II.
  5. Get interactive at Marina Abramović at the Royal Academy of Arts: Take part in the intense, physical encounters In the first major UK exhibition of the artist's work.

For more things to do in October in London, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London. Or discover plenty more seasonal events and activities with our ultimate guide to autumn in London.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see this London weather page.

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