If you are anything like me then you’ll love autumn. October and November define autumn perfection and there isn’t anything better than leaves crunching beneath your feet or watching fireworks from the kitchen window in the warm. But there is also a lot of events and things to do in London this month. Here are a list of things to do in London in November.
Regent Street Christmas Lights Installation
Thursday 17th November onwards
Named ‘The Spirit of Christmas’, the scheme unites Regent Street’s world-class retailers and restaurants under a grand, sweeping canopy of light that stretches from Langham Place all the way to Waterloo Place at the southern end of Regent Street St James’s. With complementary schemes across Jermyn Street and at the newly-completed St James’s Market, this will be the largest Christmas lights scheme in Central London this Christmas, and is the largest scheme ever embarked on by Regent Street.
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
Friday 11th November onwards
The Southbank Centre Winter Festival returns for 2016 and along with its array of festive shows and performances they will also be celebrating the coldest season with a fistful of fun pop-ups and activities. NoFit State will be bringing contemporary circus to the stage with ‘Bianco’ performed above, behind and around the audience, plus Christmas will get a rock ‘n’ roll makeover thanks to the ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ musical.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The prestigious nature photography exhibition returns this October. Now in its fifty-second year, the renowned and celebrated annual wildlife photography competition and exhibition returns to the Natural History Museum with images of the most extraordinary species on the planet, captured by professional and amateur photographers.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens
Friday 18th November onwards
The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park’s massive tribute to festive fun, which is back for a tenth year in 2016. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land or through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season, as long as you’re ready to hear all those songs as you potter.
Skate at Somerset House
Thursday 17th onwards
The grand 18th-century courtyard that is home to Somerset House ice rink provides a stunning location for a skating session this winter – and no matter how unimpressive your skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will look the very definition of festive fun on Instagram. There are lots of tempting extras too: The Fortnum’s Lodge will offer champagne, afternoon tea and even private dining.
Christmas in Leicester Square
Friday 11th November onwards
Santa called. He’s added another date to an already busy schedule, you can now catch him and his trademark twinkly, goodtime atmosphere to ‘Christmas in Leicester Square’, the capital’s latest Crimbo destination. The ‘square’ in Leicester Square will be home to a grotto, traditional Christmas market and a vintage Speigeltent from the Underbelly team including Ursula Martinez, TheEnglish Gents, Hamish McCann’s pole act, and Denis Lock’s bubble act.
RHS London Urban Garden Show
Saturday 12th + Sunday 13th November
Green-fingered Londoners, rejoice: there’s now a gardening show just for you. Discover the best succulents, herb gardens, ivies, palms and ferns as well as tips from experts on how to look after your living wall. Plenty of kokedama and terrarium workshops to dig into too, and bars and street food will provide delicious snacks and lunch while you wander.
Diwali at the National Maritime Museum
Saturday 5th November
Head to Greenwich to take part in family-friendly events to mark the Hindu festival of lights. Devour a feast of stories and music, then follow the Bollywood Brass Band for an up to the Royal Observatory Greenwich in a procession of light.
Bonfire Night in London
Start the month with a bang. November begins with an abundance of bonfires to warm us all up, so wrap up snug and head to one of the capital’s many firework displays. Bonfire Night aka. Fireworks Night, aka Guy Fawkes Night, traditionally marks the anniversary of the end of the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Serious stuff. Displays take place across the whole of London so check out my guide and pick your perfect fireworks fiesta.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
23rd November onwards
The magnificent gardens get a beautiful seasonal makeover once more in 2016, as Christmas at Kew brings illuminations to light up the buildings, trails and planting. The mile-long trail will lead visitors past tow huge Christmas trees, a scented garden and all kinds of nature-inspired lights. Santa’s Snowflake Grotto returns and there’ll be a vintage carousel, Christmas gifts and traditional festive nibbles.
Saturday 5th November
This increasingly popular weekend-long blowout ‘The London Sketchfest’ is the capital’s only festival dedicated to the underrated art of sketch comedy. Each day sees rising troupes performing short sets hoping to be crowned the winner of this year’s competition.