Every year the British Film Institute (BFI) spreads its love for cinema across the city by screening a variety of projects in city-wide locations for the BFI London Film Festival. It opens with the European premiere of "The Personal History of David Copperfield", starring Dev Patel and Tilda Swinton and directed by Armando Iannucci ("The Death of Stalin"). In addition to the big names and red carpet gala openings, look out for free events including talks, short film screenings and DJ nights.
London is pulling out all the stops for Oktoberfest, celebrated at two locations this year: Millwall Park (3-6 & 10-14 Oct) and Olympia London (24-26 Oct). The German celebration includes lots of beer drinking, but of course it’s equally fun to simply sit back and watch the festivities, too. Giant tents are filled with singing and swaying partygoers, as well as servers dressed in traditional Bavarian dirndls and lederhosen.
The British super spy James Bond is celebrated at the Royal Albert Hall with Skyfall in Concert, where the film Skyfall is screened for the first time accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, performing in sync with the movie. The 2012 classic thriller features Adele’s Oscar-winning theme song and stars Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem.
For a shaken and stirred experience, head to London Cocktail Week. This is the 10th anniversary of the festival, which sees more than 300 bars across the capital taking part. Drink your way around town, take a cocktail masterclass or visit Brick Lane’s pop-up cocktail village, which has numerous brands alongside new creations, street food and DJs.
6 October–3 November
Watch American football at the new £1bn Tottenham Hotspur Stadium—a state-of-the-art, 62,062-capacity ground that’s been dubbed the world’s best sports venue. The club has struck a 10-year deal with the NFL to be its official London headquarters wit several NFL series games each year. Watch London Series games Chicago Bears vs Oakland Raiders (6 Oct) and Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 Oct). Wembley Stadium, one of the world’s most famous grounds, hosts Cincinnati Bengals vs LA Rams (27 Oct) and Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars (3 Nov). www.nfl.com
Celebrate contemporary dance at Dance Umbrella, an annual festival taking place across the capital. Among the highlights are a pink-themed ball at Shoreditch Town Hall, a rave at Sadler’s Wells and Hard to be Soft at the Southbank Centre, with music by electronic DJ David Holmes who wrote the soundtrack for the TV drama Killing Eve.
On your marks, get set, go! The Royal Parks Half Marathon sees thousands of participants racing through the glorious autumn colours of Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. Cheer on the runners as they tackle the 21km course to raise money for charity.
Bookworms should head to the Southbank Centre for the London Literature Festival. This gathering of writers and poets includes "Tales of the City" author Armistead Maupin, the young adult-fiction writer Louise O’Neill and The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain. This year’s theme, Once Upon Our Times, looks at our love for fairy tales retold with a modern voice.