This Month – October
Autumn Colour Trail, Hever Castle, 1 – 29 Oct
Time to embrace autumn. As the air turns crisp and a rich display of colour spreads across the countryside, pack your wellies and head to Hever Castle to enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot and spectacular autumn tints. Catch the Boston Ivy on the front of the castle when it’s turned a vivid shade of red – great for an Instagram shot!
Antiques, Collectables and Vintage Fair, Lingfield Racecourse, Sun 1 Oct
Like a little rummage? There’ll be around 100 fantastic stalls selling a wide variety of amazing antiques, collectables and vintage items – and the good news is they’re all indoors so it doesn’t matter what the weather gets up to. Swing singer, Steve Conway, will be performing throughout the day. Free parking and wi-fi. Refreshments available plus a licensed bar.
Lulu, Margate Winter Gardens, Thurs 5 Oct
I mean, how does she do it? After her hugely successful 2016 tour she’s back for more – singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, Grammy and Novello Award nominee is touring again. It’s just impossible not to be in awe of her energy and er, stamina.
Survival, Betteshanger Park, Sat 7 Oct
Betteshanger Park and MY/PT (army-style fitness sessions – don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of them either) have joined forces to launch a new extreme event for Kent this autumn. SURVIVAL, Kent’s newest obstacle course race, and it will take place at the former colliery site, near Deal. The 6km race will see competitors braving the elements as they crawl, swim, dip, dodge and dive through 40 extreme man-made and natural obstacles spread across the unpredictable terrain of the old spoil heap at Betteshanger. All finishers will be awarded SURVIVAL dog-tags. Up for it? *Gulp*.
Spider Saturdays, Drusillas Park, 7 Oct
Spider experts from the British Tarantula Society will be displaying some of their most commonly feared animals in the Discovery Centre. The aim of the day is to try and overcome visitors’ phobias, as well as being fun and informative. My 8-year-old would love this. Sadly I would not.
Apple and Cider Fayre, Kent Life, 7 – 8 Oct
It’s apple harvest time! And those folk over at Kent Life have been busy handpicking both eating or cooking apples from the orchards so that they are fresh and ready just before the festival where they will be on sale throughout the weekend. Don’t forget to visit the apple pressing demo. Why not sample some of their hand pressed apple juice or, better still, visit the cider tent?
The Girl And The Giraffe, Dreamland Margate, Sun 8 Oct
Are your children aged 3-6? Do they love to use their imagination? Take your little mudlets to enjoy ‘The Girl and The Giraffe’, the magical puppet show about friendship, told from a child’s perspective.
Oktoberfest Kent, Mote Park, 13 & 14 Oct
The world famous Oktoberfest comes to Kent for a huge weekend of traditional Bavarian entertainment, food and drink. The most important date of Germany’s cultural calendar comes to the UK and arrives in Mote Park Maidstone this year for the very first time. Taking place inside one of Europe’s Largest touring bier (yeah, that’s the German spelling obvs) tents this Bavarian style festival showcases some of the best and authentic oompah bands from around the world. Plus a large selection of traditional German foods and those all important steins!
Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival, Trinity Theatre, 13 Oct
The Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival returns this autumn and is apparently bigger and better, with a huge variety of talent showcasing world class puppetry, animation and object theatre at venues across Tunbridge Wells town centre. This year Disney’s acclaimed stage musical The Lion King is partnering with the Festival offering a series of events throughout the Festival. The biennial Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival is a celebration of puppetry dedicated to bringing the very best of this art form to new audiences. Whether you are very young or very grown-up, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
The Poetry of Forms, Turner Contemporary, Fri 13 Oct – Sun 14 Jan
Turner Contemporary is bringing the first exhibition of Jean Arp’s work in a public gallery to the UK since his death in 1966 in collaboration with the Kröller-Müller Museum in The Netherlands.This landmark exhibition comprises over 70 loans of work, the majority of which have never been on display in the UK. As well as drawings, collages, paintings, wood reliefs and sculptures, the exhibition explores Arp’s poetry too.
Ahoy! Sing for Mary Rose for The Hospice in the Weald, New Beacon School, Fri 13 Oct
On 13 Ocotber 7-8pm the combined choirs of The Hospice in the Weald, Leigh Primary School, Walthamstow Hall School, King’s Rochester School and The New Beacon School will perform Alexander L’Estrange’s cantata, ‘Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose.’ The cantata is based on Tudor melodies, folk songs and sea shanties, and the mood is upbeat, jazzy and fun! The singing will be accompanied by a band, including an accordion, double bass, drums and violinists, some of whom are former New Beacon boys. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to The Hospice in the Weald.
Apple Festival, Brogdale Collections, 14 & 15 Oct
Will it be Jazz, Discovery or Cox? Yes, we’re talking apples again! This time a display of hundreds apple varieties and ‘try before you buy’ of the seasonal fruit. Discover something new and tasty with over a hundred different varieties on offer to buy and take home. Tractor trailer and walking tours of the orchards will be running and the craft and produce village returns to offer your some unique gift ideas. Enjoy live music, local food and entertainment over the whole weekend. Take a miniature train ride to see the farm from a whole new view and children can get crafty and have their face painted in the little festival goer’s area.
Autumn Amble, Penshurst Place, 15 Oct
Take a guided stroll through the changing colours of the Penshurst parkland and enjoy the opportunity to learn more about our ancient woodland and historic estate, all followed by a delicious two-course roast lunch in the Garden Restaurant.
Weaving words – A day of inspiration for writing, Bore Place, Sun 15 Oct
Apart from the stunning surroundings, there is plenty to use as inspiration for your writing at Bore Place including ancient Wealden buildings, gardens, a working organic dairy farm, and woodland crafts. After an introductory walk around the site poet and tutor, Charlie Bell, will set tasks and supervise your writing. The workshop should supply you with enough inspiration to last you well beyond the day! So why not make the most of this chance for some quiet writing time and the opportunity to share your work with others?
Drawn to Light: The Hidden Cathedral,Canterbury Cathedral, until Sun 15 Oct
Drawn to Light brings together an inspiring series of work by Grace Ayson, a stained glass conservator and glass painter at the Cathedral Stained Glass Studios. These atmospheric drawings and contemporary paintings on glass explore the Cathedral’s hidden spaces. Inspired by her familiarity with the seldom seen aspects of this world-famous building, Grace explores the Cathedral and its Precincts.
Farrow & Ball Paint talk, Sofas & Stuff showroom, Eridge, Thurs 19 Oct
There’s been a lot written in the press recently about how paint and wallpaper company Farrow & Ball has changed its winning paint formula to make it easier to apply (they needed to improve their opacity) and it still remains the paint palate of choice for many. And what a choice there is…not just for walls… you’ve got skirting boards, dressers, ceilings… If you want to know your Clunch from your Arsenic join some chatty folk from F & B for a talk on how to transform your home with colour (between 6pm – 8pm at the Sofas & Stuff showroom just south east of Tunbridge Wells). There will be some drinks and canapés, a raffle, goody bags and free taster sessions of Reiki on offer. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01892 572309 or comment below to reserve a place for you and a friend.
Imelda May In Concert, The Marlowe, Fri 20 Oct
If you don’t know Imelda May, prepare to be blown away. If you are already a fan, get ready to hear her as you never have before. She has found a new groove, exploring blues, soul, gospel, folk, rock, sensitive acoustica, cinematic drama and explosive balladry on a set of the boldest, most personal and intimately autobiographical songs she has ever written.
Pink Ribbon Foundation, Afternoon Tea, Hever Castle, 21 & 22 Oct
Enjoy a pretty, pink-themed afternoon tea this October and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It will feature a variety of finger sandwiches including smoked salmon and cream cheese and Kentish ham and local pear chutney as well as a selection of sweet treats such as a pink macaroon, a strawberry tart, a mini Victoria sponge with raspberry frosting, mini pink meringues and a pink rose wine jelly. Wash it all down with a selection of traditional, fruit and herbal teas or coffee and guests can also add on Prosecco or Champagne to make it an extra special treat. 50% of the charge of the tea and 50% of the admission ticket will be donated to the Pink Ribbon Foundation (teas must be pre-booked and admission tickets are also required). All served in the Anne Boleyn Wing with views across the orchard to the Castle – little pinkie finger out as you sip, please.
Joel Dommett Live, The Orchard Theatre, Wed 25 Oct
Described as one of the UK’s most energetic and exciting comedians, Joe is returning to the road with his solo show, Joel Dommett: Live. Catch the star of 2016’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Sky1’s Bring The Noise as he delivers his high octane comedy to venues up and down the country.
Natural Beauty Workshop, Kingdom, Penshurst, Sat 28 Oct
Join ‘green’ makeup artist and holistic therapist Ellie Gill for an afternoon learning all about natural beauty. The event will take place at the beautiful new venue in Penshurst, Kingdom. If you haven’t been there yet you can read about it here – it’s a beautiful building with a Basil café downstairs. The natural beauty workshop will cover skincare advice and a facial massage lesson, why it’s important to use non-toxic cosmetics, which items are the most important or easiest to swap first and a makeup masterclass amongst other things. You will also receive a complimentary goodie bag upon arrival. It starts at 12 noon to 3pm.
End of Year Parade, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, 28 & 29 Oct
Rounding off the railway’s 90th anniversary year with a finale to be proud of, this parade will including a special tribute to Hercules and Samson, their Mountain Class locomotives.
Fireworks Spectacular! The Hop Farm, Sat 28 Oct
Oh yes, there’s no escaping it. Remember, remember, is nearly upon us. Kick off fireworks season at the Hop Farm where, as well as animal farm, outdoor adventure play area, and magic castle there’s a whole bunch of Halloween Half Term fun to be had. It’ll all be extra spooky including a ghostly disco, pumpkin carving and scary stories…
Canterbury Festival 2017, Sat 14 Oct – Sat 04 Nov
The 2016 Festival drew audiences of more than 65,000, of all ages, to over 200 free and ticketed events making it one of the most important cultural events in the South East. This year promises to be just as successful with three weeks of theatre, music, comedy, circus, cabaret, art, sculpture, walks and talks.
Nina Conti: In Your Face, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre, Mon 23 Oct
Bursting with fresh and astonishing spontaneity, the voice-throwing queen is back. Fully-deserving British Comedy Award Winner, Nina Conti, improvises unforgettable puppetry using live audience members in cartoonish masks, with the help if her simian sidekick Monkey. She’s stormed Live at the Apollo, Sunday Night at the Palladium and made a BAFTA nominated film all without moving her lips, but this smash hit sell-out show is something to shout about.
Songbird sessions Returns, Pizza Express Live Maidstone Music Rooms
After a Primetime feature on the first series of BBC 1’s Pitch Battle and five sold out shows at PizzaExpress under their belt, Songbird Sessions return for a harmony fueled night of pop & soul delights. The evening will feature the Pitch Battle powerhouse vocal line up that graced your TV screens this summer as these gorgeous gals deliver sterling harmony arrangements & solo reworks of pop & soul songs both old and new.
Compiled by: Natasha Mayhew