What to do in Oxford and across Oxfordshire in October.
Hello and welcome to your invaluable guide to what’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this October.
September has given us some spectacular sunny spells, and we hope you made the best of the Indian summer with brunch (or dinner) at one of Oxfordshire’s finest restaurants with outdoor seating. What lies ahead for October? Well, your guess is as good as ours. But we have a feeling brollies and wellies will come in handy.
What we can say for sure is that there’s plenty to do in Oxford and across shire this month. There’s a literary festival, a chamber music festival, a lieder festival, and a festival of science and ideas. Plus there’s exhibitions, displays, musicals, comedy, and more!
It’s also worth pointing out that half term will be upon us in October - culminating in Halloween on Sunday, 31 October. We’re scouring the length and breadth of Oxfordshire to put together a list of the best October half-term and Halloween activities we can find. Have a look at our suggestions and get planning.
As always, be sure to visit our “What’s on section”, where you’ll find more events in Oxford and across Oxfordshire, as well as a limited number of unmissable events beyond the county that would make for a great day out.
Got an event that should be on the list? List your event on The Oxford Magazine and reach an engaged audience of people who live, work or place in Oxfordshire.
You are warmly invited to the Oxford Chamber Music Festival 2021 that is happening this Autumn with a full programme of events running from Tuesday 28 September to Monday 04 October in atmospheric and unusual venues all around Oxford. The festival theme this year is an exploration of the theme of transcendence through the musical worlds of Arvo Pärt and Beethoven.
Critically acclaimed comedian Chris Ramsey is hitting the road for his biggest ever stand-up tour in 2021. Having filled venues across the country, including The Newcastle Metro Arena, twice, “Ramsey has the potential to be a mainstream hit, a cult favourite or almost anything in between” (Sunday Times), so don’t miss your chance to catch him live on stage at New Theatre Oxford.
This live show is the UK’s most practical self build and renovation event and has everything you need under one roof to ensure your next renovation, extension or self build project is a complete success! Experts from Build It Magazine will be on hand all weekend giving FREE impartial guidance on any part of your self build, renovation or home extension project.
Founded in 2007, the Henley Literary Festival has firmly established itself as one of the UK’s most popular literary festivals, bringing together punters and pundits from far and wide in an annual meeting-of-minds set across its stunning riverside hometown. The 2021 festival will take place from Saturday 02 to Sunday 10 October at venues across Henley-on-Thames with talks, Q&As, workshops and performances for adults and children.
Curated with the internationally celebrated artist, this unique exhibition of paintings by Anish Kapoor will explore the paintings that have been an integral part of his studio practice. This is the second time Kapoor has exhibited at Modern Art Oxford, the first being his inclusion in India: Myth and Reality in 1982, which showed his seminal sculptural works.
The 2021 Women’s Tour Grand Départ - the first or opening stage of the six-stage race over six days, will take place entirely in Oxfordshire. The 147.6-kilometre route covers a large section of the county, heading as far south to Culham and the banks of the River Thames, before visiting Abingdon and Deddington on its journey north towards a finish in Banbury.
Direct from electrifying audiences in London, Toronto, Germany and New York, Jim Steinman’s spectacular musical Bat Out of Hell hits the road on a UK tour - bringing to life the legendary anthems of Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf. Join Strat, the forever young leader of the rebellious gang ‘The Lost’, as he falls in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.
An astonishing array of artists will appear in more than 100 events, encompassing the great song cycles of Schubert and Schumann, the riches of fin-de-siècle Paris, the epic landscapes of Scandinavia, and the vibrant sphere of American song. The broad focus of the Festival is on nature: at a time when this has played an increasingly important part in many people’s lives.
IF Oxford (Oxford Science and Ideas Festival) returns in 2021 as a digital and in-real-life science and ideas Festival with events from 09 to 26 October 2021. There’s something for everyone, with activities for young children and families, or sessions for teenagers and adults to enjoy alone or as a group in venues across Oxford or from the comfort of home.
Family and dog friendly, the October Scramble is a wonderful way to while away the weekend hours in the company of some spectacular machines. Live, breathe and experience historic motoring at its best as part of the October Scramble open day. Explore the best-preserved WW2 RAF Bomber Station in the country, and visit the 45 industry-leading specialist businesses based in the restored historic buildings at Bicester Heritage.
Run, jog or walk for charity or for fun at the World Heritage site, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock in Oxfordshire, the venue for the annual Blenheim 7k Fun Run. There are three events to offer a race for all ages and abilities: a 7k that takes a scenic route around the palace trails and paths, including the lakeside, a 4-mile route suitable for wheelchairs and participants pushing buggies,and a 1-mile race for under 15s.
The Oxford Half Marathon 2021 is a flat and fast 13.1-mile route that takes runners through the pristine, winding streets of historic Oxford. The route begins at Broad Street in the city centre and passes through Old Marston village, the River Cherwell, Oxford University’s impressive Lady Margaret Hall, before finally finishing on Parks Road.
A dazzling pageant of ceremonial music premiered in London: from Purcell’s ‘My Heart is Inditing’ to Handel’s blazing ‘Zadok, taking in lesser-known gems from Jeremiah Clarke, Henry Cooke, John Blow and William Boyce’s glorious ‘The King Shall Rejoice’, gleaming with trumpets. These were the resplendent works that accompanied the crowning of Kings and Queens, from the Restoration of Charles II to the coronation of George III.
Young visitors are invited to come along dressed as witches, wizards, ghosts, ghouls, zombies and skeletons to a spellbinding Hallowsteam event. Climb aboard a working steam train for a trip to a spooky Victorian station specially decorated with cobwebs, spiders, bats and more. And although the centre doesn’t have any ghost trains - there is the chance to ride behind a diesel engine named “Phantom”!