October 2023: We don’t want to shock and upset you, but somehow it’s October already. While we were all still reeling from the unceremonious departure of the most tepid and anticlimactic August we can remember, a whole month passed us by in a flash. Now we’re bracing ourselves for darker nights, colder temperatures, and the alarming appearance of ‘pumpkin spice’ in places where it’s neither expected nor particularly welcome (pumpkin-spiced anti-bac anyone?)
But its not all bad news! Autumn is an excellent time of year for London culture, with loads of cracking new theatre, major art and museum exhibitions opening this month, not to mention a plethora of culture-forward festivals like the London Literature Festival, the Bloomsbury Festival and the BFI London Film Festival, plus loads going on in celebration of Black History Month.
It’s also ‘spooky season’ (yes, people really do seem to call it that) which means that there’s all sorts of Halloween-themed fun to be had, from pumpkin-picking and scary film screenings to family-friendly frights and spooky nightlife. And for those not embarking on Sober October, there are Oktoberfest celebrations galore, plus London Cocktail Week is also on the cards. So resist the urge to go into hibernation and get yourself out there!
No matter what your vibe, tastes or interests, there is always something to do in London. When the sun’s out, London’s parks turn into leafy social clubs, restaurants dust off their outdoor seating and fountains erupt from dusty concrete squares and suddenly the city air is filled with alfresco theatre.
Whether you want to see cutting-edge art exhibitions, iconic attractions, secret spots, world-beating theatre, stunning green spaces, it’s all here and you can probably fit all this in and more still barely feel like you’ve scratched the surface of the city. And that’s before you factor in all those historic London pubs, the latest must-visit restaurants and vibrant LGBTQ+ venues. And if you need somewhere to stay? Check out London’s best hotels or Airbnbs.
This London bucket list (curated by our editors and always hotly debated in the Time Out office) is a good place to start because exploring this city can be a little daunting. There’s something for everyone here, but you need to know where to look.
Plus, if you want to know what’s happening in London, like, right now, check out things to do in London this week and things to do in London this weekend. After a few days pottering about in the capital, you’ll be more than ready to reel off Dr Samuel Johnson’s famous quote: ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’
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