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Get set for a taste of both the historic and the modern with flights and vacations in London. Take a history lesson while you tour the Tower of London, or get the lay of the land with a ride on the London Eye. With so much to see and do, there’s plenty for everyone in London.
Home to well known landmarks, designer shopping, and a vibrant arts and theatre community, it’s no wonder so many choose to spend their vacations in London. And with flights from British Airways, you’ll arrive in England in style. With daily flights to London from 20 US cities, it is never out of reach.
From food to films and from art to American football… This month’s line-up of London events is as diverse as ever. And of course, October means one thing – Halloween. Get ready for all manner of spooky antics around the capital… From bone-chilling museum exhibits to grisly Jack the Ripper tours.
Foodies will be in heaven when the London Restaurant Festival brings a variety of events dedicated to dining, to the capital from 1 to 31 October. An array of the city’s finest eateries will be creating special menus as part of this celebration of London’s thriving gastronomic scene.
Meanwhile film fans won’t want to miss the BFI London Film Festival, from 7 to 18 October. This 10-day cine-showcase kicks off with the European premiere of Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep. The festival will also see screenings of over 200 films spanning the genres at cinemas across London.
Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a vibrant feast of music and dance as the religious festival of Diwali is celebrated in London’s Trafalgar Square. The ‘Festival of Lights’ will also see a variety of children’s activities and the chance to savour mouth-watering Asian vegetarian cuisine, on 11 October.
Then in the lush setting of Regent’s Park, peruse incredible works of contemporary art during Frieze London. From 14 to 17 October, over 160 leading international dealers and galleries will display cutting-edge pieces during this awe-inspiring al fresco exhibition.
Take in arresting WWII images captured by one of the most important female war photographers, in Lee Miller: A Woman’s War at the Imperial War Museum. Accompanying her striking photography will be never-seen-before personal artefacts from Miller’s life. From 15 October 2015 to 24 April 2016.
Calling all chocoholics… The Chocolate Show comes to Olympia National Hall from 16 to 18 October. Uniting renowned chocolatiers, artisan chefs and cocoa chefs from around the world, The Chocolate Show programme even includes a fashion show featuring outfits crafted entirely from chocolate.
The very talented Kenneth Branagh will both co-direct and star in Harlequinade at the Garrick Theatre, as part of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season. Harlequinade – a comedy in which a theatre company aims to produce A Winter’s Tale and Romeo & Juliet, with hilarious consequences, is booking from 24 October 2015 to 13 January 2016.
Or get ready for adrenaline-fuelled American football action, as the NFL makes the leap across the Atlantic to London’s Wembley Arena. The trio of NFL London match-ups includes a clash between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars on 25 October.
Spend a spine-chilling evening at historic Benjamin Franklin House and discover why the skeletal remains of 10 individuals were found buried under the basement…‘Craven Street Bones’ is the perfect creepy accompaniment to Halloween, on 30 October.
Or book the Jack the Ripper Halloween Tour on 31 October, for an unforgettable evening of fright-filled fun. Your tour starts with a grisly Jack the Ripper ghost walk led by ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Dr John Watson’. Including a three-course candlelit dinner, spooky séance and more, your Halloween is sure to be spooktacular.
Before the city turns festive with pop-up ice-skating rinks and Santa's grottos, the skies light up with firework displays to commemorate Guy Fawkes, and later the Lord Mayor's Show. Remembrance Sunday brings a glorious show of red poppies, to mark those who lost their life in the line of duty.
On 1 November over 500, pre-1905 vehicles, will take part in the Bonhams London To Brighton Veteran Car Run. These vintage car enthusiasts will depart from Hyde Park between 6am and 8:30am, ready for their picturesque, 60 mile journey to the south coast. If you’re not up for the early start, waving them off – you can get an up-close-glimpse of more than 100 old cars on 31 October at The Regent Street Motor Show
From 2 to 8 November the Winter Fine Arts & Antiques Fair welcomes around 125 exhibitors and over 200,000 visitors. Celebrating its quarter of a century anniversary this year, this popular annual event invites both antique enthusiasts and window shoppers to hunt for hidden gems.
Commemorate Remembrance Sunday on 8 November at the Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall. The march past takes place along Whitehall and Parliament Street from 8am – a fitting tribute to all those who have lost their lives in conflicts.
The Lord Mayor's Show takes place on 14 November from 11am until 2:30pm. Find a space to spectate along the three and a half miles between Bank and Aldwych, and watch the huge procession of marching bands, floats and acrobats pass by. Or gather at 5pm for the Lord Mayor's Firework display.
Acclaimed as one of the best jazz festivals in the world, EFG London Jazz Festival runs all week up until 22 November. This is a great opportunity to see a variety of world-class artists and emerging stars perform in fantastic locations across London, from the Royal Festival Hall to the London Barbican.
Book tickets to attend the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, at The O2, taking place all week up until 22 November. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see the world’s greatest players compete for the last title of the season.
Get in the festive spirit with free entry to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland from the 20 November until 3 January 2016. Browse the Bavarian markets for yuletide gifts, warm up with a mulled wine and enjoy a bratwurst in the Grand Hall. Or book tickets to some of the best attractions including The Magical Ice Kingdom or Santa Land.
For a magical interpretation of the beautifully-illustrated book by Raymond Brigg’s, book tickets to see The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre from 25 November to 3 January 2016. Suitable for children aged four and over, this much-loved festive tale is told through dance, song and mesmerising lighting effects.
On 27, 28 and 29 November the Foodies Festival Christmas comes to the Old Truman Brewery. Enjoy festive-themed-foodie-fun as you shop for artisan treats, sample produce from the cheese village or sip a craft beer at a pop-up brewery. Live demos from top chefs make this an ideal event for keen cooks… but it’s not all about food, there are plenty of ways to get into the festive spirit.
From the 25 November up until 2 January 2016 Christmas at Kew transforms the already breathtaking botanic gardens into one of the most magical displays in London. The winter trail is a magical after-dark experience. Follow the one-mile winding path as it meanders around the gardens – passing illuminated fountains, glowing waterside reflections and a scented Fire Garden.
December brings the festive season, so expect parties, pantomimes and mince pies galore. But it isn’t all canapés and cocktails, there are still some brilliant art exhibitions and concerts not related to everything Christmas. Then, at the end of the month, New Year’s Eve brings in 2016 with a bang.
It's your last chance to see the wonderful Enchanted Woodland, at Syon Park in West London - historic home of the Duke of Northumberland and family. Visitors to the estate will experience the beautiful sculpted gardens lit by coloured floodlights. Enjoy an ethereal journey through the impressive grounds until 6 December.
A truly Christmassy treat for children takes place on 5 December through Battersea Park, where hundreds of Father Christmases take to their heels for the The London Santa Run. Alternatively, the Pantomime Horse Race takes place at the DeVere Davenport on 14 December, for some four-legged action.
Ai Weiwei, China’s foremost contemporary artist and a cultural phenomenon, has a fantastic exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. His works, with themes including creative freedom and censorship, take over the main galleries until 13 December. His powerful and unforgettable style will amaze both fans and newcomers alike.
Another winter warmer takes place at Spitalfield’s Winter Festival this Christmas. Taking place between 4 and 15 December and hosting a smorgasbord of choirs, orchestras and artists, this festival brings everyone into the spirit, just in time for the xmas parties.
The world-famous Sadler’s Wells plays host to Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty – a spectacular re-imagining of the classic tale. First performed in 2012, and back by popular demand for seasonal run, this is a stunning ballet. Playing 1 December to 24 January, Bourne returns again to Tchaikovsky, as his previous ballets include Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.
The International Horse Show is perfect for both equine enthusiasts and neophytes, with show jumping and dressage competitions taking place all week at London Olympia. Between 15 and 21 December professional riders will impress you with the grace and flair of these beautiful creatures, a great time for all the family.
Starting in November (exact dates TBC) until the new year, the Natural History Museum opens its Ice Rink to the public again. Skate to your heart’s delight under the twinkling of 80,000 lights and around a beautiful Christmas tree. Experience a winter haven at the iconic Kensington landmark.
Made famous by comedian Will Ferrell, the 2003 film Elf takes on a melodic twist in Elf: The Musical. This fun and funny musical tale about Buddy, a man who grew up in the North Pole, will have you laughing in the aisles. Playing at the Dominion Theatre between 21 December and 2 January, this is a perfect show for the festive season.
With a new film about to hit the big screen, this is your last chance to see Star Wars at Madame Tussauds. Visit fan favourites Yoda, Han Solo, and of course the dark lord, Darth Vader at London’s famous waxwork museum, Madame Tussauds. Open until 31 December this is the ideal way to get excited about the film’s release.
And finally for 2015, the epic Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks and party at Westminster and the London Eye will bring in the new year in style. This is one firework display you don’t want to miss on 31 December, but don’t forget to buy a ticket as it is a very popular event.
Bloomsbury has attracted writers and liberal thinkers for centuries. Home to the British Museum, British Library and the Charles Dickens’ Museum. St. Pancras is the transport hub for Eurostar, and provides fantastic transport links to London areas and Europe.
London’s shopping institutions, such as Selfridges and Liberty, mix with fantastic high street shops and premium designer brands. Take a break from the shops and visit Baker Street, home to fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
At the heart of London’s monarchy, politics and iconic landmarks. Visit Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence, and Westminster Abbey, the chosen wedding venue of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Known as the leafy neighbourhoods of London, Paddington is bordered by Hyde Park and fashionable Notting Hill is characterised by its green squares. A haven for antiques, second hand books, and the weekly, Portobello Road Market.
One of the most beautiful areas of London and great for history and the arts. Surrounded by stunning Georgian and Edwardian architecture. Visit the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum while you’re here.
Author and resident Saska Graville unearths off-the-radar places to eat, sleep and shop.