October means the evenings are drawing in and getting ready for Halloween at the end of the month. The clocks go back one hour on Sunday 25 October and there is a school holiday on 26-30 October.
The highlight of the V&A’s India Season, The Fabric of India is the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of Indian handmade textiles from the 3rd to the 21st century. Opening on 3 October and running until 10 January 2016.
Included is a spectacular 18th-century tent belonging to Tipu Sultan, a stunning range of historic costume, highly prized textiles made for trade, and fashion by contemporary Indian designers such as Manish Arora and Rajesh Pratap Singh. Over 200 objects illustrate the skills, variety and adaptability of Indian textile makers and the enduring nature of techniques for dyeing, weaving and embroidery across India.
Natural History Museum
Across the road at the Natural History Museum, The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 exhibition opens on 16 October. Wrestling komodo dragons, ethereal egrets and curious squirrels are among the creatures captured on camera by this year’s finalists.
The exhibition showcases the beauty, magnificence and diversity of life on our planet, while also highlighting its fragility and the role photography can play in preserving it. Incredible work from talented professionals and gifted amateur photographers from around the globe.
While at the Natural History Museum, why not try David Attenborough’s First Life Virtual Reality Experience which is on until 25 October?
Journey back to the ancient ocean with Sir David Attenborough in this fully immersive experience that brings natural history to life through cinematic virtual reality technology. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the experience takes you on a 3D journey to meet some of the Earth’s earliest inhabitants.
There are always lots of reasons to visit this iconic location. One of the best reasons this month is to see Goya: The Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery on the north side of Trafalgar Square. Opening on 7 October, this major exhibition features one of Spain’s most celebrated artists.
Or why not visit on Saturday 10 October for Africa on the Square 2015? It’s a celebration of African culture with live music and a DJ, a fashion show, food, a market and a popular family area.
The next day is great too as Sunday 11 October is The Diwali Festival. This is the Hindu, Sikh and Jain festival of lights. The Children’s Parade re-enacts the return of victorious Lord Ram to his Kingdom, and there’s contemporary Asian music as well as traditional religious music and rites to open and close the show. The food is exceptional at this event and there’s always activities for the kids too.
NFL in London
At the start of the month, the New York Jets play against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 4 October. But even if you don’t have tickets the NFL Fan Rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 3 October is worth attending as it’s a great atmosphere.
American Football has a growing following in London so expect some crowds and some top entertainment from players, cheerleaders and NFL legends.
Later in the month you can have some fun on Regent Street ahead of the Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 25 October.
On Saturday 24 October it’s the NFL Fan Festival on Regent Street with lots of entertainment, popular on-stage events and a mini field for the junior players.
Regent Street Motor Show
Another reason to visit Regent Street, and a great alternative to the obvious Halloween activities, is the Regent Street Motor Show on Saturday 31 October.
The annual motoring event is back to delight motoring fans with an array of classic, vintage and super cars on display along Regent Street. Visitors will be able to get up close and personal with amazing vehicles before they all head off on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the next day.
It’s the London Restaurant Festival so all month there are dining tours and some really interesting foodie tours.
If you would like even more ideas for this month have a look at the October 2015 in London blog post from London Bridge Hotel, our sister hotel.
We’ve got to be brave and admit Christmas needs to be mentioned as the Christmas lights will all be switched on during November.
Christmas at Kew looks really good as the botanical gardens are illuminated after dark from 25 November.
The V&A keeps on bringing us something new and exciting. Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection has spectacular Indian jewellery, drawn from a single private collection. Highlights include Mughal jades, a rare jewelled gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan, and pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewellery design during the early 20th century.
And The V&A keeps on improving as the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art reopens on 4 November after a full redisplay and refurbishment as part of the V&A’s ongoing FuturePlan scheme.
An unusual but interesting idea for next month is Sleeve Notes with Alan Parsons – lectures hosted in Abbey Road’s legendary Studio Two. Alan Parsons is a lauded producer and musician synonymous with Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Abbey Road Studios.
Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.