October is a great time to be in London. As the leaves turn shades of amber and gold, the capital exudes a unique charm. From misty mornings along the Thames to spooky Halloween decorations and the faint aroma of spiced treats in the air, October in London is unlike anywhere else.
Whether you’re planning a trip to London this October or you’re a local looking for some fun things to do in the capital this autumn, this is a local’s ultimate guide to London in October…
Planning a Trip to London in October
Weather in London in October
October in London sees temperatures start to drop fairly rapidly. The beginning of the month may start warm and sunny. But by the end of the month, there’s a solid chance it’s going to be getting chilly.
- Daytime temperatures average 13-17°c (high-50s to low-60s °f).
- However, some mornings and evenings can drop below 10°c (50 °f).
- 10-15 days of the month may experience some rain or drizzle.
- The sun rises around 7:25am and sets around 6:10pm.
What to Pack For London in October
If you’re traveling to London in October, make sure to pack lots of layers. Have items that you can take off when on the stuffy underground or inside attractions, but quickly put back on when you head outside.
Some other items you’ll want to pack:
- An umbrella or waterproof jacket is a must-have.
- Comfortable shoes are essential as you’ll be walking a lot.
- Pack a nice outfit/shoes for any formal events, dinners, or nights out. Many places in London have a dress code.
- A good day bag is necessary to keep your possessions safe and easily accessible while you are out exploring the city.
Best Things to Do in London in October
Have Some Spooky Halloween Fun
October means it’s finally spooky season. And nowhere does Halloween better than London!
From spooky displays to frightfully fun events, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween in the capital throughout October.
For ideas, here’s my full guide to celebrating Halloween in London.
Enjoy London’s Free Museums
October is a great time to make the most of the capital’s many fantastic free museums without the big summer crowds.
There are always new exhibitions and events taking place at the museums. So even if you’ve already visited one, there may still be more to explore.
Check out these 22 free museums in London.
Spend a Night at the Theatre
There’s nowhere better to spend an autumn night out in London than watching a world-class theatre production in the West End.
Take an Autumnal Walk
As the weather begins to get colder, London’s trees turn from a vibrant green to warm shades of red and orange. The city’s many parks are truly at their most beautiful
Best Events in London in October 
London Restaurant Festival (All Month)
The London Restaurant Festival is a bi-annual city-wide event celebrating the best of London’s world-class restaurant scene.
The month-long festival includes over 50 unique culinary events, including curated experiences, exclusive tasting menus, food markets, restaurant hopping tours, masterclasses, local neighbourhood nights, special discounts, and loads more.
A must for foodies, London Restaurant Week is a great way to discover culinary hotspots in your neighbourhood or elsewhere in the capital.
Tickets are already on sale for many of the events, so make sure to check the schedule ASAP.
Japan Matsuri Festival (1st Oct)
Taking place in Trafalgar Square, Japan Matsuri is a huge free celebration of Japanese culture in London. It’s the first time the annual event has taken place in the capital since 2019.
The exciting event features a jam-packed schedule of free Japanese music, dance, and martial arts performances, as well as all of the Japanese food and drink you could possibly handle.
There are loads of hands-on Japanese-themed activities to enjoy in the square too, such as taking part in a karaoke contest or trying your hand at origami or manga art.
If you’re a lover of Japanese culture but can’t currently warrant the flight prices, this day-long celebration of all things Japan is for you!
BFI London Film Festival (4th-15th Oct)
This one’s for the film fans – the BFI London Film Festival is a huge annual film festival held in London every October in collaboration with the British Film Institute.
The 2023 event includes many exclusive red-carpet film premieres in venues across the capital, including One Life, starring Anthony Hopkins, and the new Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.
The festival also includes awards, immersive storytelling experiences, and a line-up of free events, such as talks and debates, short film screenings, and evening parties.
OM Yoga Show (13th-15th Oct)
Need to relax and recenter yourself this October? Maybe it’s time for a spot of yoga…
Held at Alexandra Palace in north London, the OM Yoga Show is the biggest yoga gathering in Europe and one of the largest events of its kind in the world.
The three-day event includes over 170 open yoga classes for all abilities, as well as healing and meditation sessions, workshops, masterclasses, and lectures.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, the OM Yoga Show is a great place to learn more about the ancient Indian practice and enjoy as many classes as you want for as little as £16 a day.
London Cocktail Week (12th-22nd Oct)
Did you know that London is the cocktail capital of the world? And there’s no better time to experience this than during London Cocktail Week.
While it may be Cocktail Week, you can actually enjoy 11 whole days of exclusive cocktail deals, special events, immersive pop-ups, and lots more this October.
A festival wristband (£15) gets you access to specially priced £8 Signature Cocktails in hundreds of London’s top bars.
Tip: If you have a cocktail-loving friend group, you can get six wristbands for the price of five.
Diwali on the Square (29th Oct)
Diwali on the Square is another one of Trafalgar Square’s popular cultural celebrations that’s free for anyone to attend.
Diwali is a festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, and good over evil. It’s celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists.
Diwali on the Square is London’s largest Diwali celebration, with people of all backgrounds and religions coming together on the square to enjoy a lineup of free cultural activities.
During the festival, you can enjoy music and dance from India and beyond, plenty of tasty street food, sari tieing, lantern making, henna painting, and more.