Halloween season has arrived, yet it has been surprisingly sunny recently. We know that won’t last long, however, and the gloomy days will start to creep in sooner rather than later. While it’s inevitably becoming darker, the possibilities are still endless when it comes to the array of things to do in Edinburgh this October. From Leith to New Town, from Pentlands to Newington, Edinburgh is a place full of wonderous activities, so here’s our take on what to do this October.
Located at Leith Arches, Leith Witchcraft Market has a unique allure that draws in ‘witchy crafters and crafty witches’. You can top up your crystal collection, get a tarot card or palm reading, buy your first tarot deck or simply join a coven. And to further get into the Halloween spirit, treat yourself to handmade magical jewellery, art in multiple forms by local artists or stock up on herbal tea and oils. This month, the Day of the Dead edition of the market will take place on October 22 & 23, giving visitors plenty of time to practice magic.
As part of Fever’s Candlelight Concert series, music and cinema fans will be able to enjoy a special Halloween edition, which will see tracks from famous movies performed within the spooky, candlelit setting. Amongst the spooky film tunes, you will hear the scores of Jaws, Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, The Shining and so much more at the unique concert, but this time, as you’ve never heard them before. You can book your tickets here.
3. Celebrate Oktoberfest with steins and your furry friends at Brewhemia
While most of Edinburgh is dog-friendly, Brewhemia is especially keen for you to dress up your four-legged child and bring them along for some Dogtoberfest feasting, which is going to be a separate event on October 23.
And for the dog-less, from October 6 The German bar will have a bunch of new beers they’ve got in store until October 23, with the Czech beer Budvar available on tap, both light and dark lager. Apparently, Radim, who is Budvar’s beer expert, will also be there teaching guests how to pour the perfect pint, the Czech way. Bavarian inspired dishes, pretzels and the usual live band action is also going to be a given throughout. Just book a table and turn up for some Oktoberfest and Dogtoberfest shenanigans.
4. Go to a sustainable fashion show
The Edinburgh Remakery is hosting a sustainable fashion show, ReFashion Edinburgh, on October 29, where 10 designers are going to be showcasing their slow fashion creations. In recent decades, the fast fashion industry has been growing substantially, causing a significant impact on the environment. The fashion show will help remind us to shop more consciously and to slow down, while celebrating the remade and repurposed creations by the talented designers. Jen Byrne, one of the designers showcasing in the show, is going to be bringing vintage fashion back to life. With remade pieces such as collars made from table cloths, coats made from duvets and trousers crafted from curtains, the designer will be bringing forgotten pieces back to life. The fashion show is free, and you can book your tickets here.
Another market on the list, because we love a good wee market here. Moonwake Beer Co. is hosting a seasonal market at its brewery in Leith between October 1 & 2, with seven other local businesses joining them for you to peruse the stalls and enjoy their precision brewed beer. The market will run from 12pm until 5pm both days, and those wanting to stay longer for some more delicious beer can do so until 10pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday. We’re talking plants, delicious baked goods, jewellery ade from seaglass, candles and art from local artists.
While not exactly Edinburgh, the coastal village of Gullane is just a 40 minutes drive away. And let’s face it: often it takes longer to get the number 16 bus from Leith Walk to Bruntsfield Links (gotta love the tram works). So why not just get away from the rage inducing driving around Edinburgh to The Bonnie Badger in Gullane. The Bonnie Badger is hosting a Fungi Forage & Feast experience on Friday, October 21 where foraging enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge on all things mushroom while exploring, followed by a three-course lunch. The restaurant with rooms is an award-winning fine dining establishment with rooms owned by Michelin Star Chef Tom Kitchin and Kitchin Group.
The UK’s biggest cocktail festival, Edinburgh Cocktail Week, is coming back to Edinburgh for another year bringing 120 signature cocktails, along with its complete 2022 programme that includes 21 pop-up bars in the Cocktail Village, an exciting new rooftop Mirror Mirror Bar, headline music acts and a schedule jam-packed with special events. While it is unlikely anyone is going to have 12 cocktails a day to try them all, it’s still a fun challenge to try as many different cocktails as you can. The 10-day festival takes place across the city from Friday, October 7 until Sunday, October 16 celebrating Edinburgh’s thriving bar scene.
8. Try out axe throwing, play crazier golf and AR darts all in one place
Boom Battle Bar has just opened its doors in Omni Centre, where Frankie & Bennie’s and Fire Station used to be. And now it’s an a place for fellow adventurers to immerse themselves into exciting activities like axe throwing, crazier golf, AR darts, American pool and shuffleboard. As the world’s first battle bar, Boom Battle Bar are leaders of boozy entertainment. The golf is crazier than just crazy, where guests have to interact with the course like paddle a bmx bike or play foosball with the golf ball. As for the axe throwing, it’s the perfect place to call to your inner viking and learn some essential survival skills. Surely, axe throwing will come in handy in real life someday, right?
Pumpkin season means Halloween, and if you’re into pumpkin picking, this one is for you. Our top pick for a pumpkin patch is Balgone Estate in North Berwick, where adults can have fun with pumpkins while there’s plenty to do for the little ones as well. They invite us to enjoy Halloween to its fullest, to invoke a little bit of mystery within us and inspire to believe in magic more. As a largest patch in Scotland, the farm a whopping 21 varieties of pumpkins within the space of eight acres. You can not only find the tastiest pumpkin for all you soup and pie needs, but also decorate your home for an autumnal feel. Pumpkins are charged by the weight and if you’re after some hearty pumpkin recipes, Balgone Estate has you covered too.
10. Take a walk around the Pentlands near Balerno
While Flotterstone and Swanston continue to be great options for hiking around the Pentlands, trails around Balerno can sometimes be overlooked for those who don’t lie in the area. Balerno boasts many stunning reservoirs and circular trails, from very short to longer. For those who don’t drive, take the number 10 bus until the last stop and walk towards Torduff Reservoir following Torduff road. The trail leads hikers around the reservoir and makes for a shot, easy walk. Another easy circular trail is around the Harlaw Reservoir. The walk takes around one hour and a half and is 5.5km: a flat, but stunning walk perfect for dog owners. And if you fancy a longer day, just combine the two walks!
The one and only Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) is coming back to Edinburgh this October with the brand new theme Keep It Lit, bringing the art of telling stories to one place. With over 240 events overall and 145 free events, the festival is bringing back the stories forgotten, with the hopes to help ease the difficult year. SISF will be opening its doors on October 14 and last until Halloween, October 31. The events will transport festival-goers to a myriad of worlds, cultures and countries, showcasing the true power of storytelling.
Drag nights can be the most memorable, most heart-warming and, not to mention, the funniest nights. In October, a competition called The Majesty is gonna be bringing 10 queens to stage to give the performance of a lifetime. It’s going to be like Edinburgh’s version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, with one queen going home every week during the eight-week-long competition. The Majesty will kick off on October 7 at 8pm at The Three Sister’s newest edition – the ‘live’ room. Expect lots of glitter, dancing, singing and an overwhelming sensation of fabulousness. We cannot wait to see what the turnout will be!
Now, chocolate can be endlessly consumed on tap at Haute Dolci in St Jame’s Quarter. On top of the chocolate on tap situation, the extensive menu offers some highlights one shouldn’t miss. Guests can order pre-set menu options, as well as create their own dessert. Go for the Strawberry Velvet french toast, a cinnamon-soaked brioche bread with scarlet strawberries and vanilla gelato. Moreover, you can also create your own crepes, pancakes or French toast. Long live chocolate on tap!