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As the nights draw in and we reach for our favourite winter woolies, it’s time to start enjoying the autumnal treats October has in store. From food and drink aplenty in the Forest of Dean to live music in Lancaster, we’ve rounded up our top choices for where to go and what to do in October…
Since its launch in 2013, the Cambridge Arts Fair has become one of the most popular and prestigious in the UK. The fair brings some of the world’s most respected galleries and dealers to the Guildhall in the city centre. There’s a huge range of art on show, from large sculptures to modern art prints.
If you manage to take yourself away from the amazing art for a while, why not spend some of the day exploring Cambridge? Take a picnic and sit by the river or admire the historic university buildings before heading back to the festival to purchase your favourite piece of art.
This tasty festival taking place in Newport’s city centre is packed full of culinary delights. Take part in the treasure hunt and track down the clues at Newport Market, High Street, Friars Walk and the Kingsway Centre to win prizes. Other events include cookery demonstrations, tasting sessions, competitions and workshops.
There’s a fantastic atmosphere in the city on the day of the festival, so be sure to come along with an empty stomach and a comfy pair of walking shoes as you’ll want to make a day of it!
Vegan food is all the rage right now and where better to experience it than the Scottish Vegan Festival? Head down to The Corn Exchange in Edinburgh, where for just £3 (with under 16s going free) you can experience the best vegan fare in Scotland and beyond! Stroll around and you’ll discover bustling stalls, live music, informative talks and plenty of tastings. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the benefits of a vegan diet, as well as picking up some recipes to try at home.
Craft cider, fresh barbecue, artisan cheese, sugar-sprinkled churros… if your tastebuds are tingling at the prospect, get yourself down to the Polesden Lacey Food Festival. Set in the grounds of a beautiful National Trust property in Surrey’s rolling hills, it’s an unbeatable family and foodie event.
Stroll past the stalls and try their handcrafted wares before relaxing on a straw bale in the stunning house gardens. With so much to see (and sample), it’s a good job the event runs over two days!
With lashings of fun on offer, the Forest Showcase is a stand-out event for families who love their food. Not only can you expect to sample the wares of local suppliers and fill your cupboards with the finest produce, but the array of other activities to enjoy is just incredible: parent and child cookery lessons, chef demos to learn new skills and recipes, live music and much more. The stunning Gloucestershire countryside is the perfect location, too.
Photo: Roberto Cubeddu
17 hours a day of the finest equestrian talent sound good? Then head to the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Events include the National Showjumping Championships, a dressage masterclass by Olympian rider Carl Hester and a spectacular stunt riding display by Gilles Fortier. In between these exciting events, be sure to visit the retail village where you’ll find all manner of show souvenirs and tasty treats (for yourself and the horses!).
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Starting at 7.50pm from the bonfire field, the procession marching through this beautiful Sussex village kicks off an evening of fun,fire and food. The bonfire itself gets lit at around 8.30pm and attractions include a bar and food stalls. The celebration aims to raise money for local good causes, so you’ll be partying the night away and helping others at the same time. It’s a win win!
Copyright: ianwool / 123RF Stock Photo
Now in its fifth year, this celebration of all things literary is sure to entertain and inspire in equal measure. The festival is held at the historic Northwood House in Cowes and the diverse programme of literary events looks to be the best yet.
There will be talks on everything from American poetry to the life and times of Captain Cook. Plus, events including a pub quiz and a hilarious take on Shakespeare from Dylan Emery and Sean McCann. Guest speakers include Michael Portillo and Kamal Ahmed.
Photo: Nick Dagger
Taking place in over 40 venues, this fantastic festival showcases Lancaster’s musical abundance. There will be performances from hundreds of musicians covering a range of styles and bringing together the local community. You’ll be hopping from one venue to the next – which is all part of the fun – to see acts perform a range of genres such as funk, jazz, indie and rock. Venues include a quirky bookshop, a burrito bar, Lancaster Castle, traditional pubs and many more.
The streets of Cambridge will be thundering under the feet of thousands of runners this October in the 10k charity Town and Gown run. Organised by Muscular Dystrophy UK, the race raises money to find cures and treatments for muscle-wasting conditions. Whether you’re taking part or offering moral support, the stunning sight of Cambridge’s sandstone buildings in the autumn is not to be missed.
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As autumn gets into its stride, firework season is on the horizon. And if you’re looking for a family-friendly firework display, then head to Hop Farm Country Park in Kent, the glorious garden of England. Watch the rockets soar into the sky against the unique backdrop of the world’s largest collection of Victorian oast houses.
But there’s so much more to this event than a spectacular fireworks display. As well as the park’s permanent child-friendly attractions like the adventure playground and animal farm, there will be a funfair, Hallowe’en-themed disco, and pumpkin carving. It’s the perfect autumnal treat.
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‘Music from the Movies’ is the theme for this year’s Beaulieu Fireworks Spectacular. This family-friendly firework event is set in the stunning landscape of the New Forest. Get into the spirit with the fancy dress competition, before enjoying the explosion of light and sound that is the firework display itself.
Traditional fairground attractions add even more fun: try out the carousel, test your aim on the coconut shy or take a ride on the big wheel.
Photo: Raini Scott
From 9pm on Hallowe’en, the streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town will light up with the flames and fireworks of the Samhuinn Fire Festival. The story describes a battle between the Summer and Winter Kings, with dancers and musicians performing in spectacular displays.
Follow the procession down the city’s famous Royal Mile and then stay for the main stage performance in West Parliament Square. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated and help the arts charity continue support the community.