Any time of year is a good time to visit the UK, but autumn is particularly magical. There are many cultural, historical and seasonal sights and events centred around autumn time, to see you gently into the winter months - here are some upcoming events in the UK we've handpicked for you:
London Restaurant Festival
1st - 31st October
The London Restaurant Festival, now in its thirteenth year, is the ultimate gastronomical adventure. There are hundreds of restaurants across London taking part and over 60 unique and diverse events and foodie experiences to choose from, from 1st October until 31st of October.
Museum of London: Port City
22nd October 2021 - 8th May 2022
This intriguing exhibition will trace more than 200 years of extraordinary experiences and intense activity on a river that has always been essential to the city’s survival. Explore how the complex operations of the port have connected London to the rest of the world from the final days of the 18th century to the creation of the London Gateway ‘mega port’.
Peppered with personal stories, incidents, major operations, absorbing characters and pivotal moments, this exhibition brings the modern port and its history to life.
Festival of Lights in Leicester
From 24th October
Wrap up warm for Leicester’s spectacular Diwali lights switch-on, or join in with a wealth of activities and celebrations leading up to the epic finale on Diwali Day.
To mark the start of Diwali, the Belgrave Road area of Leicester is bathed in twinkling lights, with a Festival of Light opening party in late October. For the next two weeks, the city comes alive with theatre performances, craft activities, parades, exhibitions and, of course, mouth-watering food. All faiths join in with the festivities, with thousands coming along to see the light switch-on, and even more attending the culmination of cultural celebrations on Diwali Day.
Alongside a fire garden and Global Rainbow that will beam light across the city, Diwali Day, in early November, will see an array of Bollywood dances, music performances and dazzling fashion. It's a street party like no other.
Diwali Lights Switch-On: Sunday 24 October
Diwali Day: Thursday 4 November
You will find a Diwali celebration in most UK towns and cities around the country.
Hike the Serpent Trail in Surrey
Hiking is particularly pleasant in the mild temperatures of the UK autumn, and rural routes are buzzing with wildlife and alive with colour. The 65-mile Serpent Trail, snaking through heathland in Surrey and Hampshire, was created in 2005 but has been altered this year to follow a more picturesque route. Beginning in Haslemere, it winds through the South Downs national park and finishes in Petersfield, with sculptures dotted along the way. Here, you can see live adders, sand lizards and smooth snakes – Britain’s rarest reptiles, which, unusually, give birth to young in September. In autumn green tiger beetles and black darter dragonflies may still be around too, and the heather is in bloom, bilberries are ready to pluck and birds such as stonechats, woodlarks and Dartford warblers decorate the breeze with their song.
Halloween is a big event in the UK! Children all over the country dress up as their favourite scary monster or character and take to the streets to 'trick or treat' their neighbourhood, collecting sweets and treats.
There are many spooky events and activities in the lead up to the 31st (featuring pumpkins and ghosts!), including ghost tours of famous castles, dungeons and haunted woods.
Visit England has compiled a list of family-friendly Halloween events: take a look here.
Join the ghosts, ghouls, wizards and witches of Warwick Castle and prepare for a Halloween brimming with spooky tales and family-friendly frights. With over 1,100 years of History, we have a whole host of characters with spooky tales to share!
Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations
"Remember, remember the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."
Bonfire Night in the UK celebrates a foiled plot to blow up the houses of parliament in London, in the year 1605, by the infamous Guy Fawkes. There are local celebrations of the tradition all around the country, with fireworks and bonfires.
The Lewes Bonfire Night is the biggest celebrated Fifth of November Event in the world and is held in the usually peaceful county town of Lewes (pronounced “lu-is or loo-is”), East Sussex, every year on the 5th of November, and the festival is known as either the Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations, Lewes Bonfire Night or just simply the Fifth.
It is one of the last traditional bonfire night celebrations left of its kind in the UK.
Chester Literature Festival
6th - 20th November
Every year, this quaint Roman town comes alive with thought-provoking chatter as writers, book lovers and famous authors descend on Chester to talk about the written word. The packed programme features a series of often-heated discussions, workshops, performances, readings and book signings.
Previous guests have included Kate Mosse, Kate Adie, Mark Lawson, Douglas Hurd and Derek Jacobi, while this year's bill includes the likes of Michael Morpurgo and Nadiya Hussein, the artist in residence is Benjamin Zephaniah, and his work will be emblazoned across the Storyhouse.
Herefordshire's Cider Circuits
The new 48-mile cycling trail in Herefordshire’s Golden Valley expands the popular cider trails. The Porter’s Perfection circuit starts from the village of Dorstone, in the shadow of the neolithic monument Arthur’s Stone, and tours several west Herefordshire craft cider makers. A leisurely ride along peaceful back roads with glimpses of rolling hills takes in cider orchards, a horse-drawn mill at the 17th-century Fair Oak Cider farm, and the county’s oldest pub, Dorstone’s Pandy Inn. The route can also be tackled in smaller, bite-size sections.
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
18th - 22nd November
Listen along to amazing performances at the UK’s largest international festival of new and experimental music.
With over 60 events across 10 days in November, this popular university town comes alive with the sounds of new and experimental music. Enjoy concerts, music, theatre, dance, multi-media and films, plus talks with some of the worlds most distinguished performers. There are creative workshops to inspire musicians of all ages and abilities too.
Find a local Harvest event
Feel the leaves crunch underfoot, tuck into warming treats and hear the wind whistle through the branches of a majestic oak tree. Harvest season is here - the perfect time to discover different varieties of apples and be inspired to try one of the UK's many apple recipes.
Autumn is the perfect time to visit a National Trust orchard and join in with some harvest activities.