Discover the best of London in October
London comes alive with food and drink festivals and new exhibition openings during October's crisp temperatures and glorious sunsets. It's also a great time to snuggle up in cozy pubs and crunch leaves on a leisurely stroll through London's parks and gardens.
Get an eyeful of autumn's foliage in all its red and gold glory at Kew Gardens' Shades of Nature Autumn Festival. The botanical gardens are marking the arrival of autumn with 16 bespoke installations and organic works of art dotted across the Arboretum. Highlights include British artist Rebecca Louise Law's giant hanging installation of flower garlands.
The capital becomes a foodie paradise with the month-long London Restaurant Festival, a city-wide homage to great food including exclusive menus and restaurant-hopping tours. London Cocktail Week, featuring a Cocktail Village and special offers at more than 200 bars, restaurants and pop-ups across the city, also takes place this month. Make sure you taste the new, autumn-inspired cocktail.
Many cultural festivals also take place in October. The 61st BFI London Film Festival will be treating movie buffs to star-studded red carpet premieres, gala events and public screenings of feature films, shorts and documentaries in movie cinemas across the city.
Meanwhile, Frieze Week will invite art fans to view and buy art from more than 1,000 of today's emerging and leading artists. Don't miss the free-to-enter Frieze Sculpture park in Regent Park's English Gardens, where you can admire sculptures by 23 world-famous artists. London's international dance festival Dance Umbrella brings spine-tingling performances to iconic and unusual London spaces, from shipping containers to town halls.
A wealth of blockbuster exhibitions open this month in London, including Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library, where visitors can discover the origins of J. K. Rowling's wizarding world. Go on a journey through nearly 400 years of opera at The Victoria and Albert Museum's immersive audiovisual exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics. The landmark exhibition tells a vivid story of opera from its origins in late-Renaissance Italy to the present day.
Satisfy your passion for art at the National Gallery's exhibition Reflection: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites, which explores how the Victorian artists were inspired by the 15th-century Flemish artist Eyck's masterpiece The Arnolfini Portrait. Also worth a look is Cézanne Portraitsézanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, where you can view intimate paintings of the Post-Impressionist's wife, uncle and himself.
Autumn is also packed with exciting sporting events. This year, London hosts more games than ever before as four NFL teams travel across the pond for their international fixtures at the NFL London Games in the iconic Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums. The first matchup will see the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Baltimore Ravens; while the tension is on for the Miami Dolphins versus the New Orleans Saints. The Los Angeles Rams will seek to win against the Arizona Cardinals and on the last game the Minnesota Vikings will face the Cleveland Browns.
As the nights draw in, it's the perfect time to cozy up for the evening to watch a play under the flickering candlelight of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Part of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, this magical den opens its winter season with Romantics Anonymous, set in a singing chocolate factory in France. For more culture after dark, check out Museums at Night, a three-day biannual festival which sees museums and galleries all around the city throw open their doors for spooky events, immersive workshops and torch-lit tours.
Autumn in London is open. Book your London adventure by visiting united.com or through the United app. And while you're there, share your experience on social media with the hashtag #LondonIsOpen and #AutumnSeason.