Best Festivals in London this Autumn 2021

The Best Festivals in London This Autumn

London's event calendar is one of the finest and most exciting in the UK. Chock full of performances, galas, fashion weeks, sporting occasions, the list of things you can see, do and experience is unparalleled.

Some of the biggest fixtures in that calendar are the festivals, and when the summer heat starts to cool down, the leaves on the trees turn golden and the big coats and scarfs start to come out, festival events continue to crop up right across the city.

In this guide, we've picked out some of our favourite urban festivals from all parts of the creative, artistic and entertainment sectors to give you something to look forward to in the coming months.

Bloomsbury Festival - 15th to 24th of October

Looking for an injection of creativity in your autumn calendar? Look no further than the Bloomsbury Festival, a celebration of the creative arts that have played such a big role in this part of London.

From literature to science, art to philosophy there's a whole lot of educational and creative goodness to embrace in the various events going on in Bloomsbury when this festival rolls around. Running from the 15th to the 24th of October, performances and exhibitions will take place across the parks, museums and other buildings in Bloomsbury and this year's festival opener features spectacular sculptures, light shows and model tiger parades to suck you in.

Beyond that, keep an eye out for the 50th-anniversary celebrations of Bangladeshi independence at the British Library, the Bloomsbury Festival Art Competition Exhibition and the Neon Light Sculptures over at Cromer Street. Find out more on the Bloomsbury Festival website.

Chelsea History Festival - 17th to 23rd of September

As far as London boroughs go, there aren't many that can beat the class of Chelsea. Famed for its grandiose buildings and its rich heritage, Chelsea has its very own festival, the Chelsea History Festival, that uncovers the fascinating history and intriguing people of this unique part of London.

From the 17th to the 23rd of September, a series of talks, re-enactments and immersive historical tours take you back through the centuries to discover what Chelsea and the wider parts of London were like in the past. From finding out about the Romans and Celts who called this part of the world home to step into the shoes of soldiers in the First and Second World Wars, there's an awful lot to be learned from the experienced tour guides and history academics over the course of the festival.

Find out more about the event and what to look out for on the Chelsea History Festival website.

The BFI Film Festival - 6th to the 17th of October

The BFI is the UK's leading authority on all things cinematic, and their film festival from the 6th to the 17th of October is an absolute joy for film enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

With a mouth-watering line-up of film screenings taking place in theatres and cinemas across the city, the BFI festival features indie films, short films, arthouse films, blockbusters and more, celebrating not just the film culture of the UK but also those cinematics hubs around the world. A number of films get the premieres at this festival, so there's a lot of opportunities to see the red carpet unfurled with some recognisable stars making the walk from theatre to theatre.

Beyond that, there's still loads to discover including ground-breaking film technology at the LFF Awards, the magic of immersive art and augmented reality, and talks and presentations from the movie world's leading creatives.

Totally Thames - Up to the 30th of September

The Old Father himself, the Thames has rolled through London since long, long before the first buildings were built, and today it is one of the most iconic sights in the city.

Totally Thames is a festival that pays the grand old river its dues, featuring dazzling light displays across several bridges that cross the water. The festival's programme includes art exhibitions, history talks about the river and the inhabitants on its banks as well as a special event focused on the ancient art of mudlarking. These events are all set on helping the people of London get closer to the famous river that twines between the iconic landmarks of the city.

Learn more about what's on for you and your family by paying a visit to the Thames Festival Trust website here.

Diwali - 23rd of October

Bring the kaleidoscopic colours and art of the Hindu, Sikh and Jain religions as Trafalgar Square erupts into music, light shows and more in celebration of the festival of lights Diwali.

A festival to usher in new beginnings and to herald good conquering evil, this is one event not to be missed as people from across London flock to the square to celebrate together. A variety of stalls sell arts and crafts goods, while others take visitors on an odyssey of Asian gastronomy. There are also a huge number of musical performances and dance fixtures to enjoy as you dive into the wonderful cultural displays on offer.

Taking place on October the 23rd, the programme has yet to be fully established, but you can stay up to date with what's going on by visiting the Diwali in London website here.

Those are just some examples of the wonderful festivals that bring London to life in autumn. There are many more stretched across the year with residents of the city guaranteed to find something to enjoy in the British capital's festival calendar.

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