Sparkling Bradford | Things to Do This October

Make the most of autumn and discover something different to do; we have something for everyone in our bumper October round-up. Go out on a walk see the most dazzling natural autumn displays, find things to do online, get creative and pack your day with lots of Bradford fun.

Discover the magic of reading, celebrate ‘Libraries Week’ this October with a huge programme of online events and activities.  Top authors from a range of genres will host online events along with theatre sessions, small animal workshops and under-fives interactive story times during the week long celebration from October 5-10.

Our Hotpick! Rediscover the magic of the big screen with beloved classics, musicals and restorations at the Widescreen Weekend. The popular festival which celebrates the past, present and future of cinema technology, will return between the 9 – 11 October and this year will explore the work of pioneering female film editors, restorations and rediscoveries of cult and classic films, childhood favourites, and a special look at early 3D cinema with 50s horror Creature from the Black Lagoon..

Get creative and explore ‘Castle Yard Arts Festival’ online with Ilkley Arts 10-11 October. You will be able to explore the artwork from artists shown in their own homes and studios, see demonstrations of artists at work and chat to them online.

Online Experiences

Watch the best live streams online with The Live Room, Saltaire. The show must go on, musicians from all over the world are moving their live performances online, for the whole world to see. Discover them here at TLR Online. Look out for socially distanced live shows at Caroline Street Social Club in October!

Throughout October events are taking place across the UK in celebration of Black History Month, ranging from education to entertainment and everything in between. Bradford Libraries are honoured to be part of Black History Month October 2020 and delighted to highlight the wonderful resources available within Bradford libraries that celebrate the accomplishments of Black Britons, showcase Black writers and Black History. 

Ilkley Literature Festival announces the first digital events of autumn. ‘You Don’t Know Me But…’ is a new telephone theatre play (13 – 17 October) written and performed by theatre maker Sophia Hatfield and directed by Olivier Award Winning Theatre and BBC Radio Director Gwenda Hughes. This intimate one-woman audio play is performed live over the phone, giving audience members a unique and moving theatre experience in their own homes at a time when live face-to-face theatre performance is not possible. Using live music, live foley, beautiful writing and immersive sound effects this is a unique approach to socially distanced theatre. >> Book your tickets, enter the virtual auditorium and prepare for an immersive live experience like never before.

Enjoy a digital weekend with Ilkley Literature Festival, over the weekend of 24 and 25 October. Details of the programme will be announced on Thursday 8 October. The Digital Weekend will focus on the theme of ‘In/Justice’ and audiences will be able to view free online talks and performances, featuring writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

One of the Impressions Gallery’s most popular events is back, with a twist. For the first time, the Photobook Fair (17 October) will be entirely online, offering a digital feast of international publishers, virtual stalls, talks, book launches, workshops and more. The theme for this year is PHOTO-ACTIVISM, with events tackling representation, communities, photo-collectives, and how photography can be used to make change.

Get Smart Film Festival – Bradford’s smartphone film festival, celebrating films made on mobile phones and tablets from all around the world. The 2020 Festival will run from 22nd – 24th October 2020.

#InterculturedFestival (23 – 30 October) A new festival made with Sanctuary Seekers! Engage with a series of online conversations and cultural interventions led by the local community.

Bradford Science Festival 2020 will take place during October half term, from 24 October to 1 November. To help keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing, this year’s festival will have a different format to previous years’ events. As well as shows and activities at the museum, there’ll be online resources, radio shows, and fun things you can do at home.

Join the National Science + Media Museum for an online discussion event—everyone’s welcome to explore the latest ideas in science and technology at Café Scientifique. The next event will take place on Thursday 22 October from 18.30. This discussion will be hosted on Zoom. Book your free place. Details of the speaker and topic will be announced closer to the event date.

Experience Day

Steam through the Worth Valley this October with a dining experience to remember. Diners for Brunch in the morning or Afternoon Tea will travel in the luxury of train travel of a bygone era on board the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s two Pullman Parlour Cars. You’ll be seated on board one of the beautifully restored 1930’s Pullman carriages, Ann and Mary, and will receive Yorkshire hospitality at its very best. Enjoy two round trips behind one of our historic steam engines whilst your refreshments are being served at your table, freshly prepared daily, by the Pullman liveried staff.

Leave the stresses of this year behind! Get ready to fall in love alpaca trekking, where Peru meets Bradford. Thornwood Alpacas experience lets you take alpacas on a relaxing walk through the Brontë countryside. The experience includes an alpaca talk, demonstrations, photo opportunities. As well as a steady journey through the fields up to the Haworth moorland. Bookings are only open for small groups to ensure your safety and compliance with local lock-down regulations.

Bradford City Runs #BCR2020 is going virtual! Sign up for a 5k, 10k or kids’ race at >> Take part by running your chosen distance in your own time, on your own route, during the last week of October.

DiscoveryFreedom to Explore and Treat Yourself – Brilliant things to do, and places to explore this autumn in Bradford and district #EscapeTheEveryday

Retail Scene

Discover Baildon Farmers Market at the lower Ian Clough Car Park in central Baildon on Saturday, 24 October from 9am to 1pm. Support local, buy fresh produce and enjoy something a bit different.

New for 2020 – Saltaire Inspired are delighted to announce Makers Fair Pop Up! A gallery where you can browse and buy from a rotating selection of their favourite Saltaire Makers Fair artists, in a safe and relaxed environment. Thurs – Sun from 22 October – 20 December at 1 Myrtle Place, Saltaire, BD18 4NB (formerly old bookshop + Edward St Bakery) Opening times: Thursday – Sunday, 11am-3pm.

Park up your broomsticks and get creative at Cobbles & Clay, with lots of spooky pottery for you to paint.

Know before you go! We can start to discover places to go on our doorstep, as long as we follow UK Government advice and enjoy autumn safely.

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