Guide to what’s on in London in November 2014
With October and Halloween out of the way, it can be hard to enjoy November without the looming thought of Christmas hanging over your head. The dropping temperatures also make us more reluctant to go out and about during your free time because the sofa and TV can be so appealing. However, there is plenty of fun things on in the capital to lure you away from your home – many free and also in the warm indoors.
For a guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter, click here.
For a guide to Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
- 1 November : Nightmare on Camden High Street
One day festival in Camden, featuring live music and parties at venues across town including Brewdog, Dingwalls, Electric Ballroom, Jazz Café, Hawley Arms, The Barfly and Our Black Heart. Acts include King Charles, Blood Red Shoes, Inme, Howling Bells, Night Engine and dozens more. Tickets £20 for a wristband which allows you access to various events, capacity depending. Nearest tube/train: Camden Town, Chalk Farm and Camden Road. For more information and listings, visit the Nightmare Festival website.
- 1- 2 November : Regent Street Motorshow and London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
On 1 November, 300 cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow from 10.30am-4pm. On 2 November the Veteran Car Run will set off from Hyde Park Corner between 7 and 8.30am, spectators can line the 64-mile route all the way from the capital to Brighton to watch 500 classic cars show off their prowess and vintage style. Entrance rules stipulate cars must be built before 1905 and will be either of the three or four-wheel variety. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Free to spectate or visit the motorshow. Visit the Veteran Car Run website or Regent Street Motorshow website for more information.
- Now until 2 November : Day Of The Dead Festival
Embassy of Mexico has teamed up with tequila brand Jose Cuervo and Arte Mexico to bring the 3000 year old Mexican celebration, Dia de los Muertos to London’s Southbank. Featuring Day Of The Dead art displays, Jose Cuervo masterclasses, children’s art and crafts workshops, and a screening of Under the Volcano. Free, but workshops require registering in advance.11am-6pm. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest tube/train: Waterloo or Blackfriars. For more information and registration, visit the Oxo Tower website.
- 1 – 15 November : Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Screenings, premieres and Q&As during this two week long festival in South East London at various venues including Stanley Halls, St John’s Church and the Sparrowhawk. Nearest rail/overground: Crystal Palace. Check the CPIFF website for full listings and tickets.
- Now until 2 November : London International Animation Festival
Showcase of animation from around the world featuring gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmakers Q&As, workshops, audience voting and screenings. Tickets start from £10.50 (Barbican session tickets) to £95 for full pass. Venues include the Barbican, Rio Cinema (Dalston) and Horse Hospital (Bloomsbury). For more information and tickets, visit the LIAF website.
- 2 – 29 November : Richmond Literature Festival
A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough, including Marble Hill House and Strawberry Hill House. Featuring talks and Q&As from authors, including Paddy Ashdown, Emma Bridgewater, Irving Finkel, Peter Snow, Sheila Hancock, Liam Fox, Jacqueline Wilson and Simon Barnes. For more information, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.
- 4 – 9 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair
For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £18.50 (in advance) £21 on the door. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest tube/Overground: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- 4 November – 30 December : The Paddington Trail
Fifty Paddington statues hidden around London to mark the release of the film adaptation. Each statue has been customised by a different celebrity. Free. For more information and trails, check out the Visit London site.
- 7 – 26 November : World Press Photo Exhibition
The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall. Free. Open 10am-11pm. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.
- 8 November : Lord Mayor’s Show
The spectacle is known as the oldest and largest civic procession in the world. The three-mile procession includes floats, music and animals and a fly-past and normally starts at Mansion House at 11am with spectators free to line the route. In the evening, a spectacular fireworks show takes place between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges. Visit the Lord Mayor’s Show website for more information.
- 8 – 16 November : Modern Panic V
Modern Panic returns to London to showcase a collection of 40 surreal, controversial and unique artists and live art practitioners, exploring the depths of the psyche and human archetypes. Works from artists including HR Giger, Iain MacArthur, Lucy Sparrow and Sequin Kay. Admission: £3. Open 11am-7pm daily. Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, Hackney, E2 9EG. Nearest station: Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Guerrilla Zoo website.
- Now until 11 November : Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
Check out Paul Cummins’ art installation featuring 888,246 ceramic poppies in the moat surrounding the Tower Of London. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during WWI. Tower of London moat, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest tube: Tower Hill. To find out how to buy a poppy, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website. For Metro Girl’s photos of her visit to the installation, click here.
- 13 November : Carnaby Shopping Party
Special shopping event on Carnaby Street in Soho with over 100 stores, restaurants, bars and cafes giving ticketholders 20% off. There will also be exclusive trend talks, live music, complimentary food and drink, in store parties and money can’t buy experiences. 5-9pm. Shoppers can register online for a free ticket now. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby Street website.
- 13 – 15 November : Greenwich International Early Music Festival
The world’s largest early music festival, jointly promoted by The Early Music Shop, the Greenwich Foundation and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Concerts include I Fagiolini directed by Robert Hollingworth, Brecon Baroque directed by Rachel Podger Fretwork, Emma Murphy with Ibi Aziz, Philomel, Anne-Suse Enßle (Moeck/SRP Solo Recorder Competition Winners Recital), Trinity Laban Soloists and Baroque Orchestra. At various locations around Greenwich. For more information and tickets, visit the Early Shop website.
- 14 – 16 November : BBC Good Food Show
The travelling foodies fest comes to London’s Olympia for three days. Featuring appearances from Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin, John Torode, Theo Randall and Michel Roux Jnr. Tickets start from £26.50, cheaper in advance than on the door. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest tube: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the BBC Good Food Show website.
- 14 – 23 November : London Jazz Festival
This 10 day festival sees international jazz stars coming together at venues all over the capital, including Southbank Centre, Barbican, Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scotts, Pizza Express Jazz Club and many others. Gigs range from free to ticketed. For more information, visit the London Jazz Festival website.
- 14 November – 1 February 2015 : Hogwarts at Christmas
A must for all Harry Potter fans. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has been given a festive makeover with props and decorations from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Featuring Christmas-themed gifts and costumes from the film franchise. Tickets: Adults £31.00, Children £23.50. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
- 20 – 23 November : Taste Of London Winter
Sister event to the hugely popular Taste Of London event which celebrates food. Four day festival at Tobacco Dock in Wapping offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre with Michel Roux Jnr, Mark Hix, Jason Atherton, Daniel Doherty, Raymond Blanc and Theo Randall among those giving their tips. Prices start from £19. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping (Overground). For more information, visit the Taste of London Winter website.
- 20 November – 4 January 2015 : Hidden House
Take a break from shopping and enjoy an immersive fairy tale experience at Hidden House, which will transport you to another land. Tickets: Children £5, Adults 16 and over: £10. Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Stratford Westfield, City, Stratford, E20 1EJ. Nearest tube/train: Stratford. For more information, visit the Westfield Stratford website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the Hidden House for further details.
- 21 November : Late London – Sherlock’s City
After hours entry to see the Sherlock Holmes exhibition including a Memory Maze installation, Bartitsu self-defence demos, Sherlock improve, life drawing and performances. 7-10pm. Tickets £12. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest tube: Barbican or St Paul’s. For more information and tickets visit the Museum Of London website.
- 21 November – 7 December : Enchanted Woodland
Syon Park in South West London is open after hours, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open 5-9pm Friday to Sunday only, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £7, Children £3. Syon Park, London Rd, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest train station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website.
- 21 November – 4 January 2015 : Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland does exactly what is say on the tin – the south east corner of the park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and lots of mulled wine, as well as Christmas gifts. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. There is also an open air ice rink for those who fancy a twirl and Zippos Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.
- 22 – 23 November : Tequila Fest
A weekend celebration of Tequila and Mezcal, including Mexican food, live Mariachi bands, Mexican art and artisan products on sale. Tickets: £15. Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, 45 Prescot Street, E1 8GP. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway (DLR). For more information and booking, visit the Tequila Fest website.
- 23 November : Hampstead Christmas Festival
As well as stalls serving gifts, food and drink, there will also be a fairground, Santa’s Grotto, reindeer, face-painting, circus acts and performances from Babs Savage, Charlie Manning, Mad Dog Bites, The Runner Brothers and Rock Choir. A mystery celebrity will be turning on the Christmas lights. Free. 12-5pm. High Street, Hampstead, NW3. Nearest tube: Hampstead. For more information, visit the Hampstead Christmas Festival’s website.
- 26 November – 7 December : Nordic Film Festival
A celebration of the best films to come out of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at various locations across London, including Arthouse Crouch End, Hackney Picturehouse, Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Proud Archivist. For more information, visit the Nordic Film Festival website.
- 26 November – 3 January 2015 : Christmas At Kew
A new evening experience for 2014, featuring a one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be vintage rides, festive food and Santa’s Snowflake Grotto. 5-10pm. Tickets – Adults: £15 in advance £17 on the day, Children: £10 in advance, £12 on the day. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 27 November : Churchill’s Birthday – Lates at Churchill War Rooms
An after-hours opening of the Churchill War Rooms featuring music, dancing and more. 7-10pm. Tickets: £17.50 (£14 concessions). Churchill War Rooms, Clive Steps, King Charles Street, Whitehall, SW1A 2AQ. Nearest tube: Westminster. For more information, visit the Imperial War Museum website.
- 27 – 30 November : Brick 2014
A festival of Lego, featuring games, construction zones and displays. Featuring models and a huge store selling Lego. Tickets: £15 (in advance), £30 (on the door). ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the Brick website.
- 28 – 30 November : Foodies Festival Christmas
The popular food festival returns to London. Featuring food stalls, chefs theatre, whisky arena, ski bar, drinks theatre, Christmas feasting table, children’s cooking school, ceilidh dancing and live music and more. Tickets £18-£20. Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 28 – 30 November : Heathrow Beer Festival
Run with support of the West Middlesex CAMRA, the festival will feature over 35 seasonal Real Ales and Ciders. Admission: £3 for BA Clubs / CAMRA / NUS, £4 for Public Entry. Concorde Club, Crane Lodge Road, Cranford, Heathrow, Middlesex, TW5 9PQ. Free bus shuttle from Hatton Cross tube. For more information, visit the BA Clubs website.
- Now until December : Bond In Motion
An exhibition of over 50 James Bond vehicles, including the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye. Tickets – Adults: £14.50, Children: £9.50. Booking in advance highly recommended. London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BN. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Temple. For more information, visit the London Film Museum website.
- Now until 12 April 2015 : The Art Of The Brick
Nathan Sawaya’s Art Of The Brick exhibition features a range of sculptures made from millions of Lego building blocks, from recreations of iconic artwork to new contemporary pieces. Tickets – Adults: £14.50-£16.50, Children under 12: £8-£9.50. Open daily, hours vary. Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit The Art Of The Brick website. For Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition, click here.
- Now until April 2015 : Sherlock Holmes exhibition @ Museum Of London
An exhibition of the world’s favourite fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, featuring historic artefacts from Victorian London and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Tickets: £12 adults, £10 concession. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest tube: Barbican or St Paul’s. For more information and tickets, visit Museum Of London website.
- Now until 30 August 2015 : Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2014 @ Natural History Museum
An exhibition of the annual Wildlife Photographer Of The Year – the 50th year of the competition. Although entrance to the museum is free, this exhibition is ticketed. Adults: £12.60, Children & Concessions: £6.30. Open 10am-5.50pm daily. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM website.