London in November: The Sybarite Guide to Events and Activities across the Capital
November, when Halloween is over and everyone starts preparing for seasonal festivities. With Christmas around the corner, we give you the lowdown on what to do in London in November.
Bonfire Night 5th November
Remember remember, the 5th of November. Each year, London marks the historic moment when Guy Fawkes and his motley crew attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605 – the day became known as Guy Fawkes Day, or more commonly Bonfire Night. Every November, bonfires are lit on which effigies known as “guys” are burned; while the skies are filled with colourful fireworks. It’s also a time to enjoy traditional Bonfire Night food and drink, alongside music, funfairs and family activities. From Battersea to Primrose Hill, take your pick of the best place to watch the inaugural display.
Experience a dazzling extravaganza of concerts, events and performances marking the 25th anniversary of the EFG London Jazz Festival. Bringing together new talent and world-renowned figures from the electrifying world of jazz, the festival plays host to 10 days of diverse performances across a series of impressive venues including the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Kings Place and more.
London lights up for Christmas
As the festive season falls over London, the capital begins to sparkle with magical Christmas lights and decorations. Be dazzled by the twinkling Christmas lights in London, including the world-famous displays on Oxford Street and Regent Street. Explore the glittering shopping streets of Carnaby and Seven Dials, amble around Covent Garden adorned with festive decorations or see the giant illuminated Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.
It’s time to cast your eyes away from the capital and turn your attention to our pals up North where it’s not so grim after all. Those wind-swept, moor-filled climes have inspired some truly great photography, fashion and art – all of which will be on display in Somerset House’s ‘North: Fashioning Identity’. The exhibition features contemporary photography, fashion collections and multimedia artworks alongside social documentary film and photography, highlighting how the realities of northern English life in the 20th century continue to influence new generations of photographers, artists and designers.
If you haven’t had your fill of fireworks on bonfire night, then you’re in luck! When it comes to London’s traditional events, this is one of the biggies, referenced in Pepys’s diaries and in works by Canaletto and Hogarth. The ceremony will begin with a river pageant starting at the early hour of 8.30am at QRB Gloriana at Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, floating downriver to pass through Tower Bridge for a Mayoral salute at 9.30am. Details of the 11 am procession are still being finalised, but there will be a spectacular fireworks display from 5.15pm. For the best views, try the riverside between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges.