The sun may have vanished and the kids are heading back to school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out in September. With autumn looming just over our shoulders, take advantage of this time to explore a broad range of activities. From food festivals, to cycling, exhibitions and even book fairs, there is plenty to do this month. Here are our top picks!
Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War
After extensive work took place throughout the year, the Imperial War Museum reopened its doors in the summer to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War is the museum’s fine collection of artworks that define the war. An honest exhibition exploring the brutality of the war, this retrospective is a faithful gateway into this incredibly deadly conflict. Running until March 2015, this free event is ideal for war buffs and art critics alike, combining the two subjects into a compelling and touching exhibition. Presenting everything from the battlefields, life at the front, propaganda posters and the industrial effort behind the war, it’s a global understanding of how the war affected all aspects of life. Find more information here.
Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival
A twice-yearly celebration of everything food and drink, the Brighton & hove Food & Drink Festival is not to be missed. Running for two weeks, it’s a fantastic event that celebrates a diverse range of food and drink from the French Markets, the Fish Festival, Champagne & Oyster Festival and a Bitter & Twister beer and cider tasting night. Whilst some of the events are paid-for, such as the masterclasses, the majority of the events are free, as they believe that good local food and drinks should be accessible to all. There are also a number of events going on outside the festival including the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Awards, Sussex Gourmet Bus Tours and the Great Vegan Maki Challenge. Find more information here.
If you’ve got what it takes to take on some of the most challenging hills on the Isle of Wight, then the Hills Killer is just for you. Part of the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, the course is designed to test participants’ strength, determination and endurance. Made up of a series of checkpoints around the island, there are three courses to choose from such as 3 hill, 7 hill and 14 hill, with each challenge going up in difficulty. At the start of the race, you’ll be handed a timing chip which let’s you know how well you are doing and can even measure your time against others. More of an orientation than a race, checkpoints cannot be missed otherwise it will result in disqualification. Find more information here.
Agatha Christie Festival
A must for any detective fiction fan, the annual Agatha Christie Festival is gradually becoming one of the UK’s most popular literary festivals. Set in her home town of Torquay, Christie set many of her novels in the English Riviera, there will be a multitude of bus tours taking place exploring the locations that appear in her books and even her own holiday home, Greenway. With so much going throughout this festival, expect such activities as talks and readings from crime writers, murder mystery dinners and a number of exhibitions. There’s even a production of ‘Black Coffee’ from the official Agatha Christie Theatre Company to experience. Expect to also see plenty of Poirots and Miss Marples walking around the premises. Find more information here.
Ming: 50 Years That Changed China
Between 1400 and 1450, China was the world’s only superpower thanks to one family, the Ming Dynasty. Having established Beijing as the capital city and built the legendary Forbidden City, the period has gone down as one of the most important eras in their history. The British Museum’s latest exhibition Ming: 50 Years That Changed China demonstrates the brilliance of this era. Boasting extraordinary exhibits such as exquisite porcelain, gold, jewellery, paintings and sculptures. Many of the objects have never been seen before outside of China so this is a truly one of a kind opportunity for visitors. A great day out for the all of the family, this exhibition really cannot be missed. Find more information here.
Open House London
Celebrate and enjoy a truly unique event with the Open House London weekend throughout the capital. Throwing open doors to hundreds of buildings and spaces in London, you’ll get to witness some of the finest architectural achievements the capital has to offer. There are even 800 free guided tours, themed walks, cycle rides, debates and activities available across the weekend. Popular attractions include 10 Downing Street, EDF Energy London Eye and the Antony Gormley Room at the Beaumont Hotel, however, entry for these areas requires a ticket via a ballot open until September 7. The weekend is also running in conjunction with the month-long Totally Thames, meaning there will be a number of riverside events such as the tour of Billingsgate Roman Bath House. Find more information here.
The London Art Book Fair
Returning for another successful year, the London Art Book Fair is the UK’s biggest art book event for a reason. Hosted once again at the Whitechapel Gallery, you’ll get the chance to check out plenty of the latest art publications such as zines, posters and limited edition artworks from publishers, galleries and rare book dealers. If that’s not enough, there will also be several talks, lectures, readings and book signings. Running over a whole weekend, expect unique displays such as ‘Unbinding The Book’, a showcase exploring the possibilities for book design of the future. An exciting and must-see opportunity, it’s always a great addition to the area’s vibrant artistic scene. Find more information here.