13 Autumnal Day Trips From London: October 2019

13 Autumnal Day Trips From London: October 2019
Go pumpkin picking close to London. Photo: Secretts

PUMPKIN PICKING: Embrace the Halloween spirit and go pumpkin picking in one of these fields and patches close to London. Put your wellies on and pick your gourd — some venues even offer special Halloween events and carving sessions too. Various locations and dates

LIONS OF WINDSOR: A pride of lions is scattered throughout Windsor and Maidenhead... but they (probably) won't eat you. The feline sculptures are the Lions of Windsor, a charity trail which celebrates the bicentenary of Queen Victoria's birth. The lions were decorated by artists from all over the world, including fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, a member of the Thai royal family, and a designer working at Burberry. Follow this map to see them before they're auctioned off for charity. Until 28 October (Berkshire)

Photo: Lions of Windsor

FREE GARDEN VISIT: Don't tell anyone but... you can visit RHS Garden Wisley for free for one day only. Free Tuesday is a chance to see the garden in all its autumn colours without paying the usual entry fee. The 240-acre site is split into several sections including sweeping lawns, woodland, curated gardens and a glasshouse. 1 October (Surrey)

PENSHURST FESTIVAL: The quaint Kent village of Penshurst draws several big names for Penshurst Festival. Daisy Goodwin (screenwriter for TV show Victoria), TV Chef Loyd Grossman and Churchill biographer Sonia Purnell are all on the programme. 4-6 October (Kent)

GUILDFORD BOOK FESTIVAL: There's an equally impressive line-up at Guildford Book Festival. Luke Jennings talks about his original book on which Killing Eve is based, David Suchet talks about his autobiography, and Katy Brand shares her love for Dirty Dancing. 6-13 October (Surrey)

Giants of Steam comes to the Bluebell Railway

GIANTS OF STEAM: The Bluebell Railway pulls out the big guns for its Giants of Steam autumn gala. Two special locomotives are on show, with a chance to experience the firing and driving of them first-hand. 11-13 October (East Sussex)

HARWICH SHANTY FESTIVAL: Enjoy three days of singing and music in an historic seaport for Harwich Shanty Festival. Concert, workshops and historical re-enactments are all part of the fun — full programme TBC. 11-13 October (Essex)

If anyone needs us, we'll be at Brighton Chocolate Festival

BRIGHTON CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL: Get stuck into oodles of the good stuff at Brighton Chocolate Festival. Chocolatiers from all over the country exhibit and sell their products. Vegan and gluten-free chocoholics are catered for, and a programme of talks takes place on stage, from bakers, chocolate makers and food scientists. 12-13 October (East Sussex)

HASTINGS WEEK AND BONFIRE: To mark the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings (14 October, FYI), and to celebrate the local people and culture, the seaside town of Hastings hosts Hastings Week. Events include live music, a classic car show, a beer festival, and a reenactment of that famous Battle. Also in town that week is the Hastings Bonfire (19 October), complete with torchlit procession and fireworks on the beach. 12-20 October (East Sussex)

SCREAMLAND: Margate theme park Dreamland transforms itself into Screamland for Halloween. On selected evenings, horror mazes pop up for older and braver visitors to get lost within, and the Hammer Horror activity involves escaping the curse of a woman in black who's been spotted around the park. Tamer, more family-friendly activities take place in the day throughout October half term. 18 October-1 November (Kent)

Transportfest is a transport geek's heaven

TRANSPORTFEST: The excellent London Bus Museum hosts Transportfest, a gathering of all manner of vehicles (remember, this is the museum with a real-life Concorde outside). Buses, taxis, military and emergency vehicles dating from different periods are all on display, with heritage bus trips and horse bus rides available for an extra charge. 20 October (Surrey)

TED X BRIGHTON: Over 20 speakers are on the programme at Brighton Dome's day of TEDXBrighton talks. At time of writing, teenage conservationist Bella Lack, Cephas Williams (founder of 56 Black Men) and tech entrepreneur Neil Witten are all confirmed. 25 October (East Sussex)

SPACE VOYAGE: St Albans Cathedral is transformed into a light show to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. Space Voyage transforms the longest nave in England into an ethereal galaxy as light and music fill the huge, ancient spaces. A special installation uses NASA imagery of the lunar surface allowing you to walk on the moon and take your own ‘one Small Step’. 28 October-1 November (Hertfordshire)

Last Updated 11 September 2019

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