From illuminated skies lit up in dazzling colours to Christmassy events popping up every which way as the end of the year zooms into sight, London has a pretty busy November. It may be getting chilly but with a jam-packed events calendar in the capital, there’s no excuse to stay indoors – so wrap up warm and circle these dates in your diary!
Various dates and locations
A roaring bonfire, choruses of oohs and aahs as the sky is filled with colour and a spirited atmosphere warm enough to melt the winter chill in the air – November gets off to a banging start with a number of firework displays across the capital.
Battersea Park kicks off the Bonfire Night celebrations early on 2 November, with mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and music to accompany the fireworks. Tickets must be purchased in advance from Ticketmaster. Crystal Palace Park Fireworks take place on the day itself (5 November) and offer a children’s display and a family funfair in addition to the main event.
Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks
November 9, River Thames
The fireworks don’t end with Guy Fawkes Night – the procession welcoming the new Lord Mayor of the City of London into office ends with a spectacular display from a barge moored between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.
Representing a tradition dating back to 1215, the beginning of the event is marked by an aircraft fly-past, after which a three-mile-long procession meanders its way from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice. With marching bands, glittering gold carriages and half a million spectators, this is certainly one for the diary.
London Jazz Festival
November 15 – November 24, various locations
This internationally renowned festival – and one of the best of its kind, according to The Guardian – is still going strong since it began in 1992. Excitement is already in the air with a number of jazz legends announced to help mark the festival’s 21st year, including guitar icon John McLaughlin who will take to the stage with Zakir Hussain to treat audiences to a creative fusion of Eastern and Western music.
Pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Mark Guiliana’s duo project Mehliana are among the promised appearances, and with tickets starting from as little as £10 everyone can enjoy a delightful evening of jazz.
Hogwarts in the Snow
November 15 – January 6 2014, Warners Bros Studio Tour London
With its awe-inspiring Hogwarts castle model, self-stirring cauldrons and every prop from the Mirror of Erised to the Knight Bus, it’s almost impossible to imagine the Warner Bros studio tour being any better. However, this November Warner Bros will wave their magic wand over its Leavesden studio to make the Harry Potter tour even more spellbinding than usual.
The festive twist will see the Great Hall lined with Christmas trees and the unbelievably intricate Hogwarts castle model covered in a blanket of snow. Now is your chance to see the Invisibility Cloak in person – Harry’s first Christmas present – and find out how salt can be transformed into snow on set.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
November 22 – January 5 2014, Hyde Park
Once again London’s favourite park will be getting people into the festive spirit with mulled wine and Christmassy attractions galore. Book well in advance if you want to skate on the biggest outdoor rink in the UK and take some spare change along for the rides and array of stalls offering warming food and drink to keep the winter chill at bay.
Entry to the Winter Wonderland is free but the majority of activities including the two family-friendly circuses and Magical Ice Kingdom are ticketed. With an ice village waiting to be explored and an ice slide to tempt kids and grown-ups alike, there’s plenty to keep you busy however many times you decide to visit.
November 27 – December 1, Clapham Common
If you thought snow-capped mountains didn’t feature in the London skyline, think again. As host of the Freeze Festival this year, Clapham Common will be transformed into a snowy mountain resort where spectators can watch the new ski and snowboard competition, Hail the Rail.
Don’t fancy being part of the action? Not to worry as there’s lots going on at ground level too, including themed films, a funfair and live music and DJs. Warming mulled wine and delicious alpine food stalls ensure the festival doesn’t literally live up to its name, while the shopping village is a great place to pick up skiwear and browse chalet holidays.
This November 2013 events calendar is courtesy of London serviced apartments specialist Supercity Aparthotels.