7 things to do in West Essex in October

PUBLISHED: 14:46 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:57 25 September 2020

Green / Blue by Krijn de Koning at Gibberd Garden (photo: Rob Harris)

Green / Blue by Krijn de Koning at Gibberd Garden (photo: Rob Harris)


From outdoor immersive theatre in Dagenham to cool ghouls in Waltham Abbey and autumn gardens in Epping, here’s 7 cool ways to get autumn off to the right start in West Essex

*Note* For all events, booking or advance notice is recommended. Please be aware that if Covid-19 restrictions are re-imposed there may be cancellations or alterations to these activities or the way an event is delivered.

1. Green / Blue by Krijn de Koning at Gibberd Garden, Harlow (till 25 Oct)

Looking for a day out with a difference that’s practically on the doorstep? Then head to Gibberd Garden in Harlow. Designed by leading post-war archiect Sir Frederick Gibberd, it’s widely regarded as one of the most important 20th century gardens in the UK. But a visit will reward you with more than just sweeping lawns and unusual plantings, with acclaimed artist Krijn de Koning’s latest work, Green / Blue, now gracing the grounds. But be quick, as the sculpture is only there until October 25.

Marsh Lane, Harlow CM17 0NA; thegibberdgarden.co.uk

Squad Goals by Caspa Productions (photo: Zac Cooke Photography)Squad Goals by Caspa Productions (photo: Zac Cooke Photography)

2. Squad Goals, Dagenham & Redbridge Football Ground (till 10 Oct)

Squad Goals is a brand-new alfresco immersive show from Caspa Productions. Taking place at Dagenham & Redbridge Football Ground, the lively and inspiring play tells of the lives, ambitions and relationships among a diverse group of young female school leavers who are inspired by the success of England’s lionesses and form a five-a-side squad in their home town, Dagenham. Filled with dance and drama, the show features a cast of local Essex-based actors and runs until 10 October 2020 as a socially-distanced, outdoor experience. Act one is a full immersive experience, where you pick a side and meet your squad. Act two consists of a five-a-side football match. Tickets for Squad Goals are £10.68-£26.69.

Victoria Road, Dagenham RM10 7XL. To book see ticketsignite.com

READ MORE Squad Goals: New alfresco immersive show opens at Dagenham & Redbridge Football Ground

3. Cool Ghouls at the Gardens of Hanbury, Waltham Abbey (30 & 31 Oct)

A stroll around the Gardens of Hanbury in Waltham Abbey will take on a strange twist this Halloween, with Cool Ghouls taking over the grounds for two spine-tingling events, each featuring a spooky range of Gothic models. On October 30, from 6pm-9pm, there’s a special family walk where you’ll get to meet the likes of Nightmare Sally and Jack Skeleton, as well as a 7ft animated clown! Tickets start at £7 with refreshments available to purchase. Meanwhile on All Hallow’s Eve itself, a terrifying treasure hunt kicks off at 7.30pm, spread over six blood-curdling locations. Entry is £40 (16+ only), and includes prizes, free drink and food available to purchase. Guests are encouraged to get into the spirit by donning their most fear-inducing attire!

Pynest Green Lane, High Beach, Waltham Abbey EN9 3QL; coolghouls.yolasite.com

Cool Ghouls are hosting spooktacular events at the Gardens of Hanbury (photo: Cool Ghouls)Cool Ghouls are hosting spooktacular events at the Gardens of Hanbury (photo: Cool Ghouls)

4. Listen with LADS, a radio play (29-31 October)

The curtain remains down on the Lopping Hall stage, but that hasn’t stopped the Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS) from forging ahead with two new productions. This time, however, they are of the radio variety and can be listened to free via YouTube over October 29-31. First up is The Memory of Snow, a moving account of the last days of the Romanov sisters, while the second, called Alone/Together, is a collaborative effort drawing on the experience of lockdown. Register in advance at lads.boxoffice@gmail.com and you’ll be emailed a link to watch.


Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society is broadcasting two radio plays this month (photo: LADS)Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society is broadcasting two radio plays this month (photo: LADS)

5. Grandparents Day at Old MacDonald’s Farm & Fun Park, Brentwood (4 Oct)

Don’t let the grandparents miss out on this special day as they definitely deserve some recognition for all their love. Come and join the farm and treat your nana and grandad to meet the loveable farm animals and embrace all the fun Old MacDonald’s Farm and Fun Park has to offer. But that is not all, the entry is free for them.

Weald Road, Brentwood CM14 5A; 01277 375177; omdfarm.co.uk

6. Autumn Garden Day at Copped Hall Trust, Epping (11 Oct)

Due to the latest Coronavirus restrictions, Apple Day has unfortunately been cancelled. However, Copped Hall is hosting an Autumn Garden Day instead, which will be the last opportunity to visit the gardens this year. The Site of Earlier Houses and Walled Garden will be open, although the mansion is currently closed. There will be a book stall outside the mansion and plants, fruit and vegetables will be available for sale from the Walled Garden and refreshments, light lunches and a licensed bar will be available. 12noon-5pm (last entry 4pm). Tickets are £6 and must be booked in advance.

Stables Courtyard, Epping CM16 5HS; 07749 397932; coppedhalltrust.org.uk

7. Cycle for Health at Lee Valley White Water Centre (11 Oct)

Organised by Epping Forest District Council Community, join in this scenic bike ride through Lee Valley Regional Park and Epping Forest. This programme of weekly rides gives you, family and friends the opportunity to learn more about the park and discover new open spaces right on your doorstep. Rides last approximately two hours and will cover distances between 10km and 15km. 9am to 11pm. Admission: Ride £4.50, hire and ride £9.

Waltham Cross EN9 1AB; 01992 564226; visitleevalley.org.uk


Looking ahead...

Remembrance Sunday Lunch at Kings Oak, Loughton (8 Nov)

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day proving rather difficult to celebrate this year, and having had to cancel planned events to mark both occasions, the Kings Oak has decided to throw a belated double celebration in the form of a special Remembrance Sunday Lunch on November 8. You’ll be able to raise a glass (a peach Bellini will be served upon arrival), before settling down to a delicious three-course dinner, accompanied by a live performance by the legendary crooner Fil Straughan. Tickets cost £45 adult, £20 child, with a 12 noon and a 4pm sitting.

10 High Beech, Waltham Abbey, Loughton IG10 4AE; kingsoakhotel.com

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