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What’s On October

Did someone say F.U.N? Step right this way for fabulous festivals, cheeky masquerade balls, Halloween hijinks, SUP yoga and BIG Autumn shows. Find all the fun in Glos and Worcs this month right here.

Let’s go …

Cheltenham Literary Festival, Cheltenham, 8 – 17 October

The world’s best writers, thinkers and performers are at the fabulous Cheltenham Literary Festival this month. The line up reads like a stellar who’s who, here’s just a taster. Catch Sophie Ellis-Bexter chatting about her new book Spinning Plates And Kitchen Discos. Joan Collins, Robert Webb, Mel Giedroyc, Dawn French and Marian Keyes. Multi-million selling author of The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins will be talking about her new novel A Slow Fire Burning. And bringing the laughs will be Jack Dee, Katherine Ryan, Josh Widdicombe, Julian Clary and Michael and Hilary Whitehall.

Masquerade Ball at Haunted Haus, Imperial Haus, Cheltenham, Sat 30 and Sun 31st October

Get all dressed up at this super-sexy Masquerade party going down from 4pm till late. The Eyes Wide Shut action (well cocktails at least!) is happening at Cheltenham’s ‘enchanted boutiques bar’ Imperial Haus which opened its doors in May. You’ll get spooky complimentary bubbles on arrival, there’s a special Halloween cocktail and shot menu, a magician and face art from 7pm to 10pm. Tickets cost £25 and are on sale now.

Dog Swim, Sandford Park Lido, 9 – 10 October

Never been to the annual Sandford Park Lido dog swim? It’s an experience not to be missed. Jump into the water with your best buddy at this super fun event which marks the end of the lido season. Tickets cost £14 and you’ll get an hour having a brilliant time in the pool with your pooch. Book ahead it’s a popular one.

Tetbury Music Festival, South Cotswolds, 30 Sept – 03 October

Enjoy some world-class live classical music in Tetbury and Minchinhampton. A line up of some of the finest musicians is coming to the South Cotswolds in this annual series of stunning concerts and insightful lectures. Catch Heath and Eusebius Quartets, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, following his acclaimed festival debut in 2019; and Elizabeth Kenny and her Theatre of the Ayre, presenting a compelling evening of English and Italian baroque music plus outstanding singers Carolyn Sampson and Tim Mead perform some of Handel’s finest duets in a special Gala concert. 

Oktoberfest, The Sheep, Stow on the Wold, 15 October

Time for beer! It’s Oktoberfest at the Sheep in Stow this month, From 7pm until 10pm there will be live music by @frazerlepford, German beer on draught served in steins and some tasty traditional treats added to the menu.

Spirit Hole; Simon Amstell, Everyman Theatre, 17 October

Simon Amstell is back with his tour Spirit Hole. A blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame, mushrooms and more. If you yearn for a night of unprecedented joy and laughter book now and avoid regret. 

Young Wildlife Photography Workshop, Slimbridge Wildlife Centre, 27 October

Come out of half term with a whole new skill at this brilliant workshop for budding young wildlife photographers (aged 8 or above) at Slimbridge Wildlife Centre. Tickets for an adult and a child cost just £32, and together you’ll learn how to get great shots of wildlife followed by a practical session outside. This event is suitable for all skill levels and beginners, plus there will be plenty of time for 1-2-1 tuition. Takes place between 10am and 1pm. Or why not book a Canoe Safari around the waterways until 31 October. Book your place here,. the winner of Muddy Stilettos Best Family Destination 2021 is a great day out.

SUP yoga, Lake 32, near Cirencester, Saturday mornings throughout October.

Get into SUP yoga (it’s the coolest hobby!) at the beautiful Lake 32 in the Cotswold Water Park. Sparkle Girl Yoga holds classes for everyone, from beginners to advanced out on the lake, all equipment is provided, you just turn up and try to keep your balance! Class costs £20.

Stroud Arts Festival, various venues, Stroud, 20 September – 11 December

Stroud Arts Festival is celebrating 75 years of supporting the arts in the Stroud district, with a packed schedule of events this Autumn 2021. Curated by composer and musician, Dave Ayre, expect exhilarating classical music and live theatre from Grammy-nominated orchestra, Sinfonia Viva to Flutter & Fly interactive concerts for children and two spectacular performances of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro by Hewletts Opera on Saturday 11 December 2021 – with a free relaxed performance at 2pm! (this performance must be pre-booked).

Blenheim Palace Autumn Show, Blenheim Palace, 1 – 3 October

New for this year celebrate Harvest with at Blenheim with a food market, dragon maze trail, live music, family games, entertainment and more. There’ll be market stalls showcasing locally produced food, crafts and gifts. Tastings, demonstrations and workshops, foraging and walks to explore the grounds before feasting at the Michaelmas Food Market. A great family-fun packed visit.

The Hooley, Giffords Circus, Glos, 1 – 8 October, Stroud

Grab your last chance to see the remarkable Hooley, Giffords Circus 21st anniversary show (along with fabulous restaurant Circus Sauce) This acclaimed heart-warming production is making an appearance at Fennels Farm in Stroud. Book your tickets today.

David Copperfield, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, 30 Sept – 30 October


See this terrific theatrical roller-coaster of a show at the award-winning Barn Theatre. This Dickens classic is a rite-of-passage story of a young man full of hope, learning about life from an eccentric cast of characters on his journey into adulthood. This new dramatisation by Simon Reade (Private Peaceful) is a must-see.

Kingfisher Auction, Pump Room, 21 October, Cheltenham

As the famous Cotswold Kingfisher Trail comes to an end, the glorious kingfishers will need to find new, permanent homes. For a limited period, the kingfishers are available to buy now at their current value before they go to auction. Details of all the kingfishers can be found here. The funds raised will go towards the work the Cotswolds National Landscape does engaging young people with nature, rural skills, and the great outdoors across the Cotswolds.

Tweedy’s Lost Property, Everyman Theatre, 27 – 30 October

If you need some guaranteed giggles to cheer up October (and get through half term) book tickets for the comedy and slapstick legend that is Tweedy the Clown. In this brilliantly laugh-a-minute show watch as Tweedy gives into pressure to get a ‘real job. A one man, family show, that will have all of you in stitches. Tickets from just £14.

And a few Halloween ideas – stay tuned for the full rundown in our Screamingly Good Half Term guide coming soon!


The Cotswold Farm Park is the place to go for pumpkins galore for ghoulish carvings and pie-making. Open between Sat 3 Oct and Sat 31 Oct (and throughout half term), head down to PYO this Halloween. Entry to the Park gives you one pumpkin per token. Make sure to book ahead. Explore the pumpkin trail and choose a spooky face paint design before grabbing yourself a plump pumpkin to take home for crafts and pies. Or head to Cattle Country Park in Berkeley to pick a giant pumpkin from 9 October, as well as take part in freaky face painting, pumpkin carving, and decorating. Over in Worcs? Head for Bells’s Farm PYO and Bennetts Willow Barn near Malvern for some great carving sessions.


Is it scary? Um, yeah! Frightmare at Over Farm in Gloucester looks set to be a scare-a-minute jamboree this year with spine-tingling sets and (spoiler alert) more than the odd pop-up creature. It’s on from 9 – 31 October. There’ll be drinks and snacks to calm your nerves and a large, ventilated barn plays host to a bar, food outlets and live music. Tickets start at £35, book early for one of the best Halloween events in the south west. Teens will love this one.

Spooky Woodland Walk, Witley Court, Worcs

As the days shorten and the evenings grow darker, join the ghost-hunting storytellers at Witley on a family-friendly walk through the shadows of Witley Court. With tales full of spooky and strange goings-on, this Halloween walk is sure to get you into the spirit of the season. This is an outdoor early evening tour lasting around 45 minutes. Please wear suitable clothes and shoes. Suitable for children aged 5 upwards.

Halloween Treats workshop, Cotswold Baking Workshop, 24, 27, 30, 31 October

No tricks here — only treats! Book in for a Halloween version of the Marvellous Macarons class with a spooky and creative spin on filling and decoration, cost £50. Or how about an afternoon of creative spooky-themed baking including pumpkin spiced latte macarons decorated for Halloween, churros with chocolate dipping sauce, and chocolate bark studded with Halloween sweets. The class is three hours long and contains all the equipment you need for £75.

Family Halloween Cookery session, 28 October, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Gloucestershire

Join the team at Harts Barn Cookery School for a fun day of cooking. This class is suitable beginners and they’ll learn how to make a two course feast. Once you have eaten your lunch in the Apple Barn, you will then start the afternoon baking and decorating cupcakes to take home with you – all with a wickedly Halloween twist. The class costs £45 and lasts from 10am till 3pm.

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