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Things to do in October

My favourite month of the year is right here, right now. Leaves are crinkling, there's a bright urgency to the sunshine. Check out this lot of happening stuff.

Author and TV presenter Richard Osman opens the Guildford Book Festival at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on Sun 4 Oct. Photo courtesy of Penguin Books

EXHIBITION: Heathland Artworks
■ Farnham Heath ■ Thurs 1 Oct to Fri 30 Oct

Discover artwork created by emerging local artists stying Craft, Fine Art and Textiles at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. They’ve taken inspiration for the natural beauty of Farnham Heath. Downloads this trail map to find where the artworks are located.


EXHIBITION: Watts Ceramics
■ Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, Compton ■ Thurs 1 Oct – 1 Nov

Watts Ceramics will be returning to Watts Contemporary Gallery, in a celebration of pottery’s long tradition at the Artists’ Village. The show will feature nine leading ceramicists and will include terracotta, stoneware, earthenware and porcelain.


WINE TASTING: Fizz Friday Prosecco
■ Online via Zoom ■ Fri 2 Oct

If you fancy learning a bit more about Prosecco – or just want an excuse to indulge in the fizzy stuff – Red White and Rosé is hosting an informal Fizz Friday you’ll taste and learn about three different types of Prosecco. Wine expert Neil Phillips will talk you through the styles and tastes. And the best bit? It’s via Zoom, so you needn’t even change out of your PJs if you don’t want to.


SUPPER CLUB: Pop-up supper club
■ The Grape Variety, Chipstead ■ Fri 2 and Sat 3 Oct

Cool wine bar The Grape Variety has joined forces with Surrey chef Luke Spier, along with our top wine expert Matthieu Aravantinos, to stage an evening of delicious food and opulent wines. There’s a seven-course menu, with an optional cheese board as well, which will be paired with five carefully selected wines. Tickets are £77.70 per person.


ART FAIR: Contemporary Arts Fair
■ Now online ■ Fri 2 – Sun 11 Oct

The Contemporary Arts Fair brings together over 160 emerging and established contemporary artists and galleries, all of whom will share their impressive work online. Artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, and ceramicists from across Europe will take part!


MARKET: Walton-on-Thames Market
■ New Zealand Avenue, Walton-on-Thames ■ Sat 3 Oct

A bustling market that attracts traders from all over Surrey – you’ll find tasty street food along with seasonal fruit and veg and locally-sourced food from pies to speciality cheeses. There are also gifts and crafts. It’s on from 9.30am-2pm.


EXHIBITION: Raphael – Prince Albert’s Passion
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ Sat 3 Oct to 31 Jan 2021

The only gallery in the UK to mount an exhibition about Raphael in 2020 – the year which marks the 500th anniversary of his death – this exhibition relays the fascinating story of Prince Albert’s passion for Raphael and his creation of the Raphael Collection at Windsor Castle.


FESTIVAL: Guildford Book Festival
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Sun 4 to Sat 10 Oct

TV producer and presenter of Pointless and House of Games, Richard Osman, will open the festival on Sun 4 Oct, talking about his love of crime fiction and his debut novel The Thursday Murder Club.  Writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth is closing the festival at an evening of theatrical anecdotes taken from his new anthology. Other authors to host events include Susie Dent, Alison Weir, Charlotte Philby, Adele Parks, James Naughtie and Jonathon Porritt.


MARKET: Epsom Farmers’ Market
■ Market Square, Epsom ■ Sun 4 Oct

The Market Square in a traditional market town seems the perfect place for a farmer’s market. Expect to find fresh produce, unique hand crafted gifts, award winning local honey and other tasty goodies. It’s on from 9.30am-1.30pm.


EVENT: Forest Listening – Liz K Miller
■ Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village ■ ends Sun 4 Oct

Wander through Limnerslease woodland and experience the hidden sounds of a rainstorm recorded from beneath the forest floor. Then find the display of blueprints, hanging from the trees, each one a visualisation of the forest rainstorm sounds.


Ethan Hawke and Nina, Graphite and Watercolour on Paper, 101 X 152cm © David Remfry, 2019.jpg
Ethan Hawke and Nina, Graphite and Watercolour on Paper © David Remfry, 2019

GUILDFORD BOOK FESTIVAL: Susie Dent – Word Perfect
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Mon 5 Oct

The resident word expert on Channel 4’s Countdown for more than 20 years, and is the author of several books including Dent’s Modern Tribes and her latest title, Word Perfect: Curious Coinages and Etymological First Aid for Every Day of the Year is in conversation with Paul Blezard.


CHILDREN: Mini Treks and Trails
■ Godstone Farm, Godstone ■ Mon 5, 12 and 19 Oct

A free interactive story session with crafts and activities for pre-schoolers. Books include The Wonky Donkey (5 Oct), Room on the Broom (12 Oct) and Funny Bones (19 Oct). It’s at 11am, outside the Gift Shop. You must pre-book your visit online.


CHILDREN: Parent and Child Forest School: Wonderful Wildlife
■ Painshill, Cobham ■ Tues 6 Oct

Throughout Autumn, Painshill is running one-off Forest School activity sessions for parents and children. Wonderful wildlife will take you on safari in the woods to track badgers, rabbits and deer, listen to birds’ songs and take a peek under the logs and leaves for beetles and bugs. Cost is £15 per child (parents go free). It’s for 1hr 30mins at 10am or 1pm.


EXHIBITION: The Dorking Group of Artists Autumn Exhibition
■ The Art Gallery, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking ■ Tues 6 – Sun 11 Oct

An exhibition of more than 100 original pieces of artwork by artists – both professional and amateur – from the Dorking Group of Artists. All artwork is for sale at the exhibition and online.


GUILDFORD BOOK FESTIVAL: James Naughtie – On the Road
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Wed 7 Oct

From the fall of President Nixon in 1974 to the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, James Naughtie, the author and BBC broadcaster, brings his unique and inquisitive eye to the country that has fascinated him for half a century. Having been witness to every presidential campaign since the 1970s, Naughtie’s account is particularly relevant in this election year.


DRIVE-IN CINEMA: Luna Halloween Drive-in
■ Thorpe Park, near Chertsey  ■ Thurs 8 Oct – 1 Nov

The drive-in hits a spooky note this month with a range of films shown on the big screen at Thorpe Park. The line up includes classics like Ghostbusters, Silence of the Lambs and Shining as well as Jurassic Park, Scream, Goosebumps and Beetlejuice. Showings vary. Click here for films and times.


CHILDREN: Tiny Trek and Trails
■ Godstone Farm, Godstone ■ Fri 9, 16 & 23 Oct

Free interactive story time for babies and pre-toddlers. Included as part of your entry into Godstone Farm. On Fri 9 it’s The Three Little Pigs, Fri 16 it’s Where’s Spot and on o Fri 23 it’s We’re Going on A Pumpkin Hunt. It’s at 11am, outside the Gift Shop – and you’ll need too pre-book your visit online.


WORKSHOP: Autumn Photography
■ Painshill, Cobham ■ Sat 10 Oct

A one-day workshop with Ashley Gardner from Imber Court Photo Training who will guide you through the landscape with your digital camera and help you capture the beautiful autumnal scenes. Cost is £60 for non-members, £52 for members. It’s from 9.30am-4.30pm, and you’ll need to bring your own digital camera.


GUILDFORD BOOK FESTIVAL: Ariana Neumann – When Time Stopped
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Sat 10 Oct

Ariana Neumann in talks about her book: When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remained. As a child in Venezuela, Ariana was fascinated by the enigma of her father. He appeared to be the epitome of success and strength, but woke at night screaming in a language she didn’t recognise. Only after his death did she uncover his true identity, and the story of his escape from Nazi-occupied Prague.


EXHIBITION: We Think The World of You – People and Dogs Drawn Together by David Remfry
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ Sat 10 Oct to 3 Jan 2021

David Remfry has long been fascinated by the relationships that develop between dogs and their owners. The series started 15 years ago in New York when Remfry, a resident of the infamous Chelsea Hotel, began to explore the relationships between friends and their dogs through evocative pencil and watercolour portraits. Among the sitters are well-known faces including Alan Cumming, Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke.


MARKET: Staines-upon-Thames Farmers’ Market
■ High Street, Staines ■ Sun 11 Sept

You can’t beat fresh local produce and homemade delights – and this is the place to find them. The Farmers’ Market is on in Staines High Street, and you’ll also find seasonal delicacies and tasty street foods. Parking shouldn’t be a problem – there is plenty of around Staines-upon-Thames (the closest car parks to the High Street are Elmsleigh Road or Two Rivers). It’s on from 10am-3pm.


Ruby Wax talks about her new book How To Be Human

EXHIBITION: Surrey Hills Artists Autumn Exhibition
■ The Art Gallery, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking ■ Mon 12 – Sun 25 Oct

The Surrey Hills Artists collective present more than 120 original artworks in various styles and media at their Autumn Exhibition.


CHILDREN: Parent and Child Forest School: Storytelling round the Campfire
■ Painshill, Cobham ■ Tues 13 Oct

Painshill’s autumn Forest School activity sessions for parents and children continue with storytelling around the campfire. There will be games, dressing up and joining in with a special happy-ever-after ending round the campfire. Cost is £15 per child (parents go free). It’s for 1hr 30mins at 10am or 1pm.


LIVE STREAMED EVENT: Ruby Wax – How To Be Human
■ Live streamed via private YouTube link ■ Tues 13 Oct

Based on her bestselling book, Ruby’s show How to be Human answers every question you’ve ever had about evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, sex, kids, the future and compassion.


ANTIQUES FAIR: Sunbury Antiques Market
■ Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury-on-Thames ■ Tues 13 and Tues 27 Oct

The brilliant antiques market at Kempton Park is back on again, with all outside stalls. In addition to the huge range of collectables (vintage books, kitchenwares, etc), this is a good place to pick up unusual furniture, rustic lighting, original paintings and quirky accessories. There’s also plenty of industrial and garden architectural salvage. Admission and parking are both free and it’s best to get there early. It starts at 6.30am and the good stuff goes quick.


WINE TASTING: Lidl Wine Tour
■ Online ■  Thurs 15 Oct

It’s well-known to wine lovers, that Lidl offer some cracking wine bargains – and this tasting comes from their most recent wine tour. It’s hosted by Love Wine’s Richard Bamford (also the lead taster for Lidl in the UK) alongside Laura Clay and Surrey wine expert Heather Dougherty. Tickets are £10 per household.


KIDS: Brick or Treat
■ Legoland, Windsor ■  Thurs 15 Oct – Sun 8 Nov

I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Lots of spooky(ish) additions to the park, plus new for 2020, there’s a brand new dance extravaganza The Haunted Lighthouse Halloween Show and a new scary character, Scarecrow.


COMEDY: Al Murray – Landlord of Hope and Glory
■ Dorking Halls, Dorking ■ Fri 16 Oct

The year is 2020. The world stands on the brink. Turmoil is the norm.
Questions have been asked and none answered.
What we need is one man, to step forward, one man with all the answers.
Well you’re in luck, ladies and gentlemen – he’s here and he’s coming to Dorking!


ONLINE MARKET: Brown Paper Festival
■ Online ■ Sat 17 Oct

A virtual craft market bringing together local crafters and makers from across Surrey. Brown Paper Festival is the place to find an inclusive range of incredible handmade businesses, creative inspiration and community spirit.


EVENT CINEMA: Michael Ball and Alfie Boe: Back Together
■ The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill ■ Sat 17 & Sun 18 Oct

The pair take on their favourite musical theatre, pop and rock tracks, including songs from The Lion King, The Greatest Showman and The Phantom of the Opera as well as a brilliantly arranged ‘Queen Medley’. Showcasing their phenomenal voices and undeniable on-stage chemistry, Ball and Boe’s irresistible charm light up the big screen.


MARKET: Camberley Farmers’ and Artisan Market
■ Park Street, Camberley ■ Sat 17 Oct

A vibrant artisan market offering up local produce and artisan goods, and handmade gifts. The market is on from 10am to 3pm and is free to attend.


FESTIVAL: Festival of Crafts
■ Farnham Maltings ■ Sat 17 & Sun 18 Oct

Now in its 24th year, this annual two-day festival features a curated selection of makers from across the UK who bring their handcrafted goodies including homewares, jewellery, ceramics, stationery, accessories, furniture, lighting, textiles and print. The festival champions great design and the process of making, both traditional and modern techniques and skills. As well as the marketplace, there are a series of workshops.


Magician Ben Hart performs his show Two Metre Magic at Camberley Theatre.

CHILDREN: Parent and Child Forest School: Little Houses
■ Painshill, Cobham ■ Tues 20 Oct

Painshill’s autumn Forest School activity sessions are for parents and children – you’ll will work together to find sticks and build a den out of leaves, sticks and natural materials. Decorate your den with beautiful autumn leaves and woven willow. This is a great activity for children aged 3 years and up. Cost is £15 per child (parents go free). It’s for 1hr 30mins at 10am or 1pm.


MAGIC: Ben Hart – Two Metre Magic
■ Camberley Theatre ■ Wed 21 Oct

Magician and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ben Hart performs his most intimate magic show yet in an evening of “close-up magic”. In an era when social distancing is paramount, Ben presents a magical and skilful show which transcends the 2 metre gap and provides a connection through magic and wonder.


EVENT CINEMA: Bolshoi Ballet Encore – Romeo and Juliet
■ Dorking Halls, Dorking ■ Wed 21 Oct

The world renowned company performs the passionate ballet in three acts based on Shakespeare’s tragedy of star-crossed lovers, which was recorded live at the historic Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 2018.


LIVE STREAMED EVENT: CT at Home – A Night with Tim Harford
■ Streamed from Camberley Theatre ■ Thurs 22 Oct

Tim Harford is The Undercover Economist. His BBC Radio 4 broadcasts have helped to make sense of Covid-19 for millions. The economist, journalist and broadcaster is the author of eight books, including the million-selling The Undercover Economist. He’ll be talking about his latest book is The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy and answering questions.


CHILDREN: Halloween at Godstone Farm
■ Godstone Farm, Godstone ■ Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov

Halloween will be a spooky affair at Godstone Farm this year. Grab a pumpkin and carve your own creepy creation, then follow the mysterious clues around the farm to be in with a chance of winning some magical prizes. And, don’t forget to visit the animals along with the way.


WORKSHOP: Watts Academy Clay Club
■ Online ■ Sat 24 Oct to Sun 1 Nov

Play with clay and learn new skills, techniques and processes inspired by the work of Mary Watts through this series of online artist videos. Collect your clay and all the materials you need in advance from the Artists’ Village, before setting up your own studio at home. Open to all ages – particularly suited to 11-17 year olds.


CHILDREN: Witches and Wizards Week
■ Bocketts Farm Park, near Leatherhead ■ Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov

Half-term activities at Bocketts include a Reptile Roadshow, Science and Slime Shows, a Spooktacularly Fun Trail and a visit to the Pumpkin Village. There are also tractor and trailer rides and a chance to meet the guinea pigs and rabbits. It’s from 10am-5.30pm every day. Pre-booking tickets are a must.


CHILDREN: Pumpkin Week
■ Secretts of Milford ■ Sat 24 Oct – Sat 31 Oct

Pick your own pumpkins at Secretts in Milford and take part in children’s activities. Entry is £2 per person (to be booked in advance) and includes a tractor ride to the field. Pumpkins are priced according to size.


CHILDREN: Watts at Home – Enchanted Woodland
■ Online ■ Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov

Free printable activity sheets and online tutorials are released each day with art and crafts activities.


MARKET: Cobham Market
■ Hollyhedge Road, Cobham ■ Sat 24 Oct

A lovely market in the centre of this lovely town. You’ll find local produce aplenty as well as artisan goods, handmade gifts, crafts and plants. The market is on from 9.30am to 2pm and, happily, is free which leaves you more to spend on goodies.


The National Theatre’s performance of Frankenstein will show at the Harlequin Theatre on Fri 31 Oct.

ANTIQUES FAIR: Sunbury Antiques Market
■ Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury-on-Thames ■ Tues 27 Oct

If you love antiques and all things vintage, you’ll love the Sunbury Antiques Market. But the early bird catches the best bits, so rise with the larks – it pens at 6.30am. As well as vintage books and kitchenwares there’s unusual furniture, rustic lighting, original paintings and quirky accessories, plus plenty of industrial and garden architectural salvage. Admission and parking are free.


THEATRE: Educating Rita
■ Rose Theatre, Kingston ■ Wed 28 Oct – Sat 14 Nov

Educating Rita is the feel-good tale of the unlikely friendship between a married hairdresser, Rita, and her hard-drinking tutor, Frank. Starring Stephen Tomkinson and Jessica Johnson, this is one to make you smile, laugh and possibly cry.

CHILDREN: Horrific Halloween
■ Haslemere Museum ■ Thurs 29 Oct

Join in this Halloween themed arts and craft session. BYO pumpkin to carve in the garden It’s on between 11am and 4pm and session times must be booked in advance.


FOOD & WINE: A Taste of Denbies: Tapas and Wine Tasting
■ The Gallery Restaurant, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking ■ Fri 30 Oct

An informal wine and food tasting featuring a selection of tapas, local charcuterie and cheese, plus sweet and savoury platters paired with Denbies’ award winning wine. Cost is £45 per person.


EVENT CINEMA: NT Live Encore – Frankenstein
■ The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill ■ Fri 30 Oct

Captured live on stage in 2011, this thrilling, sold out production became an international sensation, experienced by almost half a million people in cinemas around the world. Directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle, it stars Benedict Cumberbatchand Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein and his creation.



Ramster Gardens in Chiddingfold is a riot of colour at this time of year. It’s open Wed-Sun until 1 Nov.

GARDENS: Autumn colour at Ramster Gardens
■ Ramster Gardens, Chiddingfold ■ Until 1 Nov

The private Ramster Gardens open each year for only a short time and they’re well worth a wander. With more than 25 acres of gardens that includes woodlands, lakes and more formal gardens, the display is stunning at this time of year. The garden and tea house are open now from Wed to Sun (10am to 4pm) – there’s no need to book. Entry is £8 for adults, children under 16 free.


EXHIBITION: Art in the Garden
■ The Savill Garden, Egham ■ ends 3 Nov

Explore the gardens and you will also discover 66 sculptures exhibits by the Surrey Scuplture Society of varying styles, subjects and materials; all inspired by the natural world and carefully chose to inspire and complement their beautiful surroundings.


FOOD & WINE: A Taste of Denbies: Wine Tasting & Gallery Restaurant Dinner
■ Denbies Wines Estate, Dorking ■ Saturdays in Oct, Nov & Dec

Enjoy a wine tasting of Denbies premium award-winning wine range served with a selection of canapés in the Denbies Cellar, hosted by Denbies WSET wine expert for an hour, then head to the Gallery Restaurant for a three-course dinner. Cost is £59 per person.



Hey Queenie, nice nose ring! It’s part of the START Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery

■ Saatchi Gallery ■ 21 – 25 Oct

This cool, contemporary art fair, which takes pieces from London’s top galleries, will go ahead this year with social distancing measures and an exceptional line up of artists including  Lincoln Townley,  Erika Navas and Nat Bowen. In addition to START Art Fair, Korean Eye’s 2020 exhibition Creativity and Daydream will be on show having travelled from The State Hermitage in St Petersburg after a six-month stay, featuring a wealth of emerging and established talent from South Korea. 


EXHIBITION: Kimono to Catwalk
■ V&A Museum, London ■ until 25 Oct

‘Kimono to Catwalk’ charts the journey of the traditional Japanese garment as an evolving fashion icon, from its origins in the 1660s to its modern-day iteration.


EXHIBITION: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers
■ The Design Museum, London ■ ends 14 Feb 2021

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 


EXHIBITION: Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs
■ Imperial War Museum, London ■ ends 24 May 2021

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.   


EXHIBITION: Among The Trees
■ The Hayward Gallery, Southbank ■ until 31 Oct

From Colombian rainforests and remote Japanese islands to olive orchards in Israel and a 9,550-year-old spruce in Sweden, this mixed media exhibition explores trees relationship to humans, featuring work from 37 international artists. You’re right on the Southbank so plenty of foodie options to head to after your culture fix.

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