October brings with it the midst of Autumn. It’s traditionally a month where we’ve gotten over the summer hedonism and just about to think about the stresses of Christmas and all that brings. Therefore, we need to savour every last drop of “normality” that this “best friend” of a month brings us. This is a month to be yourself – and do what your heart tells you to.
If you’re looking for activities to get you out of your comfort zone, to help you recharge your batteries or to help you get to know yourself better, let us help you out and give you some ideas on where you could be going and seeing this October, be it for a weekend or for longer.
A Weekend Away
Oktoberfest – Various Locations In UK
October wouldn’t be October without the extremely popular folk festival that is Oktoberfest. The original festival is celebrated in Germany at the end of September and beginning of October and it’s where fun-loving crowds cram into a beerhall tent to partake in all manner of merriments including dancing, singing, playing games and of course, ingesting traditional German food and drink. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Germany to enjoy the festivities! Oktoberfest has descended into tents in our cities to give us a taste of how the Germans like to enjoy themselves.
There’s Oktoberfest events in cities including London, Manchester, Bristol, Portsmouth and Brighton – to name but a few. However, these events do get very busy and buying advanced tickets is advisable.
You can also buy different tiers of tickets, too. For example, tickets to the Manchester Oktoberfest range from £5 for student admission to £800 for corporate tables, but if we assume there’s four of you going and you’d like to book the Oktoberfest Package from £31 per person (dependent upon the day and time you select), then this would include a guaranteed reserved seat and admission with 2 Mass (1.5 pint) of FestBeer and a German Bratwurst with potato salad. Plus, you’ll get a digestive Underberg shot and a brezel snack. And this price includes entertainment for the evening, too.
Ghost-Hunting In Warwickshire
Let’s not forget that October is the time for all things ghostly and scary and if you’re feeling really brave, dare to go on a ghost-hunt trail…whether you believe in ghosts or not, you’re sure to have a fabulous time.
Guys Cliffe House In Warwickshire is notoriously haunted with “strange smells, footsteps and apparitions, along with eerie voices which are often heard in the Wine Cellar” amongst the ghostly goings on. You’ll have a guided tour around the house and you can also explore alone if you so wish (or are brave enough!)
Refreshments are provided and it is advisable to take cameras and camcorders to record any extraordinary occurrences and to wear warm clothing as there are no heating facilities.
The price is £59 and to book a place on this eerie tour, go to the Dusk Till Dawn website and have a Halloween night to remember. To note, the event involves staying up all night (there are no sleeping facilities at the house) but why not book a nearby hotel such as The Warwickshire and enjoy a long, relaxing and well-deserved weekend after all that blood-pumping action?
Creepy In Copenhagen
Copenhagen is undoubtedly a wonderful place to visit any time of the year, however, there is something extra special about a visit in Autumn. Perhaps a combination of the crisp, cool and fresh air, the soft autumnal hues of beautiful leaves adorning parks and pavements and the laid-back atmosphere owing to the low tourist season offers a unique tranquility in which to explore this welcoming city.
Continuing with the Halloween theme, if you’re going to visit Copenhagen in October, you just HAVE to take a trip to Tivoli Gardens as these stunning gardens transform into a Halloween wonderland. You’ve got a flamboyant zombie dance show, a spookily eerie haunted hotel and if you’re bringing little ones, a suitable pantomime theatrical production. There’s even a Halloween-themed funfair, fab restaurants and even shops for those that would like to buy a few ghostly souvenirs. Serene Tivoli Gardens truly converts into a wild and exuberant playground for all ages.
You’ll want to make the most of your weekend so book into AirBnB accommodation and explore what this truly magical city has to offer.
A Week or More
Paranormal In Phuket
As the long nights draw in and the temperatures drop, you might just be in need of some sun so look no further than Phuket – the largest of Thailand’s islands nestled in the Andaman Sea just off Thailand’s stunning Indian Ocean coastline.
Prices and tourist numbers are typically low, which along with improving weather conditions as the rainy season approaches its end, October is a great month to visit Phuket.
Your main objective on this holiday may be to relax in the sun, but if you fancy a little exploration and culture immersion in this superbly pretty island, then why not attend the Vegetarian Festival which rejoices in the Chinese community’s belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them achieve good health and peace of mind.
However, this festival is not for the faint-hearted. Here, you’ll see people fire-walking and having parts of their body pierced; acting as mediums of the gods in the belief they will be protected from harm. Aside from the many visual wonderments of this festival, you can try some of the exquisite vegetarian cuisine at street stalls and markets on the island during this time.
Or, if witnessing acts of self-mortification physical isn’t your thing, then you could opt for some divine relaxation time on Phuket’s Patong Beach which is usually super-crowded in the high seasons of December, January and February but you’ll be blessed with a paradise of gorgeous white, sandy beaches and some peace and quiet in October.
Now this is a trip with a difference… How do you fancy seeing some extreme lightning, something you’re not likely to see anywhere else? Although Venezuela in October is rainy season, this offers the best chance to observe a phenomenon called Catatumbo lightning which is where lightning flashes on average 28 times over several hours in a small area over a Venezuelan lake. The scene is dramatic and explosive and offers an insight into nature at its visual best.
Book a Venezuela Encompassed Tour with Wild Frontiers (prices from £2595 for an 18 day tour) and not only will you visit the most electric place on earth, but you’ll also hike in the Merida mountains, view some spectacular wildlife in the wetlands of Los Llanos, travel the Orinoco delta and meet the indigenous Warao people, and last but not least, take a trip to the breathtakingly beautiful Angel Falls – the highest waterfalls on the planet. All meals, transportation (not flights from home to Venezuela and return), accommodation, guides and entrance fees are included in the price.
A genuine trip to remember.
October is a fantastic time to visit this gorgeous island. Situated just off the south coast of Turkey and north of Egypt, you’ll be treated to high temperatures, minimal rain and the Mediterranean Sea will cool you down with its clear and calm waters and breezes.
You can time this break with the October half-term holidays (or you may want to avoid this time) and explore the enchanting Cypriot architecture, laze on the island’s many gorgeous beaches and eat the delicious Cypriot food.
Base yourself in the bustling town of Paphos and ensure you visit the utopian beach nearby that is the Blue Lagoon. The bay is luxuriously sandy and not too deep and is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Or, just laze on the heavenly sandy beach and recharge your batteries.
Cyprus is brimming with history so make sure you visit at least one of its sacred and historical sites such as Ayios Neophytos Monastery which is six miles north of Paphos. Here you’ll view beautiful 12th & 15th Century paintings, the former tomb of st Neophytos, and a museum showcasing an amazing colllection of icons and artefacts.
Cyprus offers a superb mix of leisure and discovery so it is your choice how you want to spend your time there.
So there’s your lot for our recommendations on how to spend your leisure time in October. Whatever you do, make sure you plan to have a fantastic month to remember and revitalise your mind and body.
About the Author
My name is Natalie Blackburn and I’m a busy 36 year-old mum of two under five. I am from, and still live, in the vibrant city of Manchester. Since entering into my thirties and becoming a parent, I developed an interest in good financial planning, and coupled with my passion for writing, I have lovingly created the blog that you read on Sophisticated Savers.
Other interests of mine include reading (autobiographies are a particular favourite) and running (but only if I am pushed to, so I wouldn’t really call it an interest, but just wanted to sound as though I was quite fit!) and yoga (that is a real interest!). Wine and chocolate are also my real interests, and the occasional travel when I have the time.