Updated November 19, 2012
October - The Golden HarvestOctober, like most of the year in the UK, is changeable and unpredictable. It's noticeably cooler and wetter with the first real chance of frost in the air. If you are lucky and the weather is dry (a big "if"), you can expect lovely, crisp days, occasionally heated up by a surprisingly warm sun. Nights and mornings are chilly so bring layers to wear. Leaves turn golden - with the most spectacular autumn color in Scotland and it's the time of year for apple harvests, harvest festivals and ghosts.
October Weather AveragesEngland:
- High - 56°F (13.6°C)
- Low - 44°F (6.6°C)
- Average daily hours of sunshine - 3.27
- Average monthly rainfall - 3.3" (83.7mm)
- High - 51°F (10.8°C)
- Low - 41°F (4.9°C)
- Average daily hours of sunshine - 2.4
- Average monthly rainfall - 6.4" (162.8mm)
- High - 55°F (12.8°C)
- Low - 44°F (6.5°C)
- Average daily hours of sunshine - 2.91
- Average monthly rainfall - 6" (153.2mm)
October DaylightThe extremes of daylight hours between summer and winter are very marked this far north and during October, the plunge toward winter darkness begins to accelerate. Across the country, there is a span of about 11.5 hours between sunrise and sunset on the first of the month and that shrinks to about 9.5 hours by the end. Sunset occurs at about 6:50 p.m. at the start of the month and by the end, the sun is setting at about 4:30 p.m.
- Ghost Walks and Scary Places for Halloween
- Oxford Castle Ghost Fest
- The Horse of the Year Show Britain's largest indoor equestrian event. A must for horse and horseshow lovers.
- Fall Foliage Let's be frank here. Autumn leaves in the UK are a rather mild pleasure. No place puts on the kind of spectacular foliage show that you can expect in New England and Eastern Canada. But the National Forestry Commission has some good ideas about where to find more subtle signs of the changing seasons. Check out their Autumn Woods website.
Music and Performing Arts
- The Canterbury Festival
- In the City, Manchester's major New Music event.
- Reading Comedy Festival
- Stratford upon Avon Music Festival
- Glasgay, Glasgow's 20 year old celebration of queer culture.
- The BFI London Film Festival
- The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival
- Ilkley Literature Festival
- Scottish International Storytelling Festival
- The Dylan Thomas Festival
- The Wigtown Book Festival
- The Royal National Mod Scotland's annual Gaelic culture competition and festival.
- Lowender Peran Celtic Festival in Cornwall
- October Plenty and Apple day at Borough Market An Autumn harvest festival on Bankside, in London, near Shakespeare's Globe. A mixture of ancient seasonal customs and theatre with contemporary festivity, joining with Apple Day celebrations at nearby Borough Market.
- Hastings Bonfire Celebration
- Nottingham Goose Fair
- Chesterfield Market Festival
Food and Drink
- Falmouth Oyster Festival
- Manchester Food and Drink Festival
- Herefordshire Food Festival
- Beer Festivals The harvest time of October is a wonderful season to try fruity, flavorsome beers and hoppy brews. Ciders and perries (made of pears) come into their own this time of year as well and UK beer festivals abound. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale lists 13 different beer and ale festivals throughout the month, including one in Falmouth, right after the town's wonderful Oyster Festival.
Find a beer festival along your route.
- Chelteham Races
- Loch Ness Marathon
- Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
- Champions day at Newmarket
- Cowalfest Scotland's biggest walking festival, with evening entertainment.