10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this October

Whether you’re looking to fall in love with autumn colours, fork out on a foodie experience or find the fright of your life, SoGlos has you covered with 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this October 2022.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
From seeing Westonbirt Arboretum's inspiring display of autumn colour to celebrating Halloween in style, pack your diary with SoGlos’s 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this October 2022.
From seeing Westonbirt Arboretum's inspiring display of autumn colour to celebrating Halloween in style, pack your diary with SoGlos’s 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this October 2022. © Johnny Hathaway
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Crisp autumn walks, dazzling displays of colour and pumpkin patches galore make October a strong contender for our favourite month of the year. And Gloucestershire’s calendar is packed with seasonal and spooky events to welcome in the new season.

This month also sees the return of some iconic events, from the world-famous Cheltenham Literature Festival to Frightmare as you've never seen it before – with SoGlos sharing 10 unmissable things to do in the county this October 2022.

See the stars at Cheltenham Literature Festival

Attracting visitors from all over Gloucestershire and beyond, Cheltenham Literature Festival is back for 2022 with a packed programme of events featuring some of the world’s best writers, performers and big name stars.

From Friday 7 to Sunday 16 October 2022, there’s the chance to hear from Hollywood heartthrob Stanley Tucci about his colourful life and passion for food; TV royalty Davina McCall​ in conversation about the menopause; foodie superstars like Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry and Heston Blumenthal; and literary greats, including bestselling author Stephen King and former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman.

Plus, there’s a whole programme of free activities for literature lovers little and large, taking place across the 10-day festival — including the ever-popular Lit Crawl and VOICEBOX zone.

Place your bets at The Showcase at Cheltenham Racecourse

Horseracing followers will have trouble reigning in their excitement as jump racing returns to Cheltenham Racecourse for a brand-new season — with The Showcase bringing racing fans together for more world-class equestrian action.

Taking place on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October 2022, the highly-anticipated fixture will see world-class horses gallop to the finish line as leading trainers and owners showcase their promising stars of the season.

Scare yourself silly at Frightmare

It's time to face your biggest fears as Gloucester's infamous scare-fest returns — and this year, it's bringing its scare mazes to the city centre, taking over an abandoned building on selected dates from Saturday 8 October to Saturday 5 November 2022.

Only the bravest of souls will be able to hold their nerve as they explore the spine-tingling attractions, encountering everything from gory clowns to checking into the horrifying hotel and touring a suspicious state-controlled wellness facility. Be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted...

Go pumpkin picking in Gloucestershire

For a Halloween experience that isn’t going to scare you out of your wits, carve out some time for a wholesome day out at one of Gloucestershire’s gourd-geous pumpkin patches. There’s plenty to pick from at Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power and Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley; while Over Farm is keeping its patch open for pickers after dark.

For more fang-tastic fun that’s suitable for the whole family, check out SoGlos’s spooktacular Halloween guide.

See dazzling displays of autumn colour in Gloucestershire

There’s nothing quite like a crisp autumn stroll through the countryside – and as Gloucestershire blazes with reds, oranges and golds, October is the best time to see vibrant displays of autumn colour across the county.

From the magical maple trees of Westonbirt Arboretum to the changing colours of the ancient Forest of Dean, see SoGlos’s top 10 spots to see stunning autumn colour in Gloucestershire for all the inspiration. 

Try arm knitting in Cheltenham

With the cold weather creeping in, The Chunky Needle has the perfect solution for keeping you cosy — teaching crafty folk how to knit their very own woollen blankets with their arms!

This unique workshop is taking place at Cheltenham's John Lewis store on Thursday 27 October 2022, with each participant creating their own 30 by 50 inch blanket from colourful merino or acrylic wool to take home. Ideal for snuggling up on chilly autumn evenings!

Meet the gladiators at Corinium Museum

Paying homage to Cirencester's Roman past, a new exhibition is launching at the town's Corinium Museum on Saturday 22 October 2022, giving history buffs the chance to explore the ancient remains of people who may have been gladiators.

With six skeletons on display, alongside insightful audio-visual material and replica Roman artefacts, visitors can get up close to the fascinating archaeological discoveries and uncover more about who these people were. For families, there's a themed Roman marketplace area to explore and Roman trail spanning the museum galleries, too.

Enjoy a cultured day out at Stroud Arts Festival

Celebrating and supporting the arts throughout the Stroud district, Stroud Arts Festival is hosting a varied programme of events throughout October 2022.

Music lovers can mark the 150th anniversary of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams with a special performance from Le Page Ensemble and catch this year's Jazz and Poetry Superjam; while Hewletts Opera's world-premiere performance of ​Peter Pan – A New Musical promises to be one of this year's biggest highlights.

Hike through Cheltenham under the stars

Pull on your walking boots and raise money for an important cause, hiking the streets of Cheltenham after dark for Sue Ryder's 10k Starlight Hike challenge — taking place on the evening of Saturday 15 October 2022.

As well as supporting the county's only hospice in-patient unit, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, the event gives friends and family members a special opportunity to get together and remember loved ones who have passed. With upbeat live music and a fun clubbercise warm-up to keep spirits high.

Enjoy theatrical fine dining at Cheltenham's newest restaurant

Combining food theatre and a fusion of global flavours, Restaurant Journey is bringing a brand-new foodie experience to Cheltenham.

On track to open in late October 2022, the restaurant will serve a tasting menu inspired by culinary practices from all over the world, painstakingly curated by a Michelin-trained chef. With only one sitting per evening, it's set to be an exclusive experience that hardcore foodies won't want to miss.

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