Visit London in October

Visit London in October

Tuesday, 08 August 2023

Whether you’re planning a cultural European city break this autumn or you’re ready to be spooked at Halloween events, we have a range of recommendations for what to do in London this October. From walking ghost tours to seasonal cocktail sipping for the adults, plus museum trips and all things Harry Potter for the younger ones – October is a great time to be in the English capital during the half term holiday and for Halloween festivities.

pumpkin display

A pumpkin display in the reception lobby at Bedford Hotel

For thrill seekers:

Are you visiting London in October? Then we have a checklist to pack your trip with plenty of action and adventure. 

- Go on a spook-tacular ghost tour. Did you know that London is one of the most haunted cities in Europe? With its many old buildings and rich history, there is much to uncover. Enjoy a walking tour, not for the faint hearted, as you meander the streets with a knowledgeable guide in search of spectres. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it is a great activity to do as a couple in London. Or as a family, but we advise checking age restrictions when booking a ghost tour.

 street lamp

Discover a spooky side to the city on a ghost tour.

- Or book a visit to the London Dungeon. A must see if you wish to see the city in all its gory glory. One of the scariest places in London, this is a fun destination in October if you are celebrating Halloween. We recommend this attraction for older children and adults - the dungeon actors tell gripping stories and the rides are not to be missed. Be prepared for a spine tingling adventure!

- Have you heard of Jack the Ripper? Dating back to a series of murders which were at the hands of the mysterious ‘Jack the Ripper’, learn what life was like for London’s citizens when Jack was rife. You can join a private Jack the Ripper walking tour to hear about this ominous part of London’s history.

- Be part of the Gunpowder Plot. Travel back in time to the dark and dangerous streets of London in 1605, when a conspiracy plot was afoot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill thousands of innocent people. Discover more about this hair-raising experience, click here. 

For the whole brood:

Are you wondering where to take the kids during October half term? London is an imaginative and enriching place for families: 

- In Shepherd’s bush visit Kidzania, an immersive and creative place for your children to get involved in role play – from pretending to be pilots, firefighters, chefs, scientists and more – let them lose themselves in their imaginations for the afternoon. 

- For an unforgettable evening out, take the family to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Covent Garden. This show has outstanding reviews and is a great experience for any Harry Potter fan, young and old. 

- Take it one step further for the Gryffindor fans in your family and book a tour of the Harry Potter Warner Brother Studios. It's a fabulous day out for the whole family. Squeeze in a stop at King's Cross station where there is Platform 9 3/4, to take a souvenir photo. 

school uniform

A glimpse of the Harry Potter Warner Brother Studios.

For your couple's getaway:

Wondering how to spend a romantic weekend in London? From shopping to strolls in the park, we recommend an autumn city trip for all the cosy and relaxed moments you both deserve.

- October is a romantic month when the trees are beautiful shades of amber and ruby. Take a picturesque walk in London and stroll around Hyde Park in the crisp autumn air. Or walk around the garden squares of Bloomsbury and stop off for refreshments at The Woolf & Whistle, an art-deco laid back bar with park views. 

- Be sure to amble into Covent Garden and peruse the boutique jewellery shops for something sparkly. Or head to Bond Street and treat your significant other to a new handbag or watch, especially if buying a gift for your anniversary in London.

- Stay in London on a Friday night and take a seat in Atrium Bar for a jazz evening. Their ambient jazz evenings are perfect for relaxing with your partner after a busy day sightseeing. Enjoy your meal at 7pm before the music starts at 9pm until late. In October don't forget to try Atrium Bar's seasonal Campfire cocktail. It tastes like a toasty s'more...with alcohol.

cocktail with marshmallows

Sip a campfire cocktail whilst listening to live jazz at Atrium Bar.
For your solo trip:

If you are planning a solo trip to London in October, then we recommend a visit to one of London’s many exhibitions this season.

- Don't miss out on Crown to Couture, at Kensington Palace, a fashion lover's dream - marvel at some of the most iconic celebrity red carpet looks whilst looking back at historical periods and how fashion has changed over the years. The best part? Kensington Palace is a stunning place to be and has an impressive gift shop to buy a royal souvenir at the end of your visit.

- Feel inspired by the Tate Modern's current photography exhibition: A World In Common: Contemporary African Photography. See mesmerising portrait photography and more on the bank of the river Thames.

- Are you a Disney fan? The Walt Disney archives have opened up their doors for visitors to see hundreds of memorabilia, props, costumes and more. The focus to detail is astounding and even the biggest Disney fan is likely to walk away learning something new. Learn more about the exhibition here. 

mickey mouse pumpkin
Disney will be in London this month. Book tickets to their exhibition.

- Browse our autumn solo trip guide for further inspiration. From creating your own perfume to finding the perfect cinnamon bun, you will soon feel like a local after just a few days!

For Foodies: 

- There's comfort food and then there's soul food. Chef Yogesh and his culinary team at Poppadom Indian Kitchen in Bloomsbury, cook up flavourful Indian street food and authentic dishes which warm the soul on a rainy night. Their ruby butter chicken is the most popular dish, which they pair with great wine.

chef garnishing food
Try one of Chef Yogesh's soulful dishes at Poppadom.

-Or opt for a hearty plate of fish and chips with a pint of local ale at London Pub on Southampton Row. This is British dining without the fuss and frills. In a pub with warm atmosphere and live sports, try British food for your first time in London.

- Visit The Hummingbird Bakery where homemade pumpkin pie is on the menu each day. Delectable and scrumptious, this is a great pitstop for those celebrating Thanksgiving in London - as they serve authentic American cakes and treats. 

What to pack for October in London:
We recommend packing light layers. 

London weather is pleasant in the autumn months. It can be warm, especially in September and early October. A jacket will be needed as the breeze gets cooler but you can leave your thicker winter coat at home. A waterproof coat or umbrella is essential because it can rain often. We also recommend packing jeans, comfy walking shoes, T-shirts and lighter jumpers. 

We also recommend packing a phone charger, camera, London map and toiletries. But not to worry if you forget something during your stay with the Imperial London Family of Hotels. Our friendly reception teams and housekeepers keep spare toothbrushes, shower gels, phone adaptors and more. We're here to help. 

For the readers, the book 'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf, is the best novel to read in autumn. Woolf, who previously lived on the site of Tavistock Hotel, was a famous London writer who adored autumn, she wrote 'and all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves...' in her novel 'To the Lighthouse'.

Where to stay: 

For a half-term break in London, the City Sleeper interconnecting rooms are ideal for families who wish to stay altogether but make use of extra space and modern amenities. Equally, Royal National Hotel is an ideal accommodation for half-term breaks and Halloween adventures if travelling on a budget. 

 a double bed and single bed
A standard family room at Royal National Hotel.

If you seek a stay with added luxuries, then Morton Hotel is the place to be for an October week away. Warm those toes on the underfloor heating bathroom tiles and sip coffee in your room from the Nespresso machine. Then pad downstairs to the cosy Library bar in the basement for a glass of red wine by the fireplace. A dreamy way to end an October day in London.

cosy bar

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