Guide to what’s on in London in November 2016
Autumn is well and truly in full swing. The clocks have gone back, the temperatures are sadly dropping and it feels like we’re on the countdown to the festive season. However, there’s plenty of non-Christmas events on around town to keep you living in the moment. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best festivals and special events in the capital this November.
For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
Or for London’s festive ice rinks, click here.
- 2 – 4 November : Nomad Cinema @ Imperial War Museum
Roaming cinema club are setting up camp in the historic surrounds of the Imperial War Museum for three special screenings. Guests will watch films including Atonement, Casablanca and Full Metal Jacket underneath spitfires suspended above them. Cinemagoers will also have the chance to check out the Real to Reel: A Century of war Movies exhibition. Tickets £25. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle. For tickets, visit the Nomad website.
- 3 – 22 November : Nightwatchers @ Tower Of London
Enjoy special access to the Tower Of London when the visitors have gone for an immersive nighttime experience, directed by award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM. Have an induction to the world of covert investigation as you find your way around London’s most notorious prison using messages and phonecalls. For ages 16+ only, running time 45 minutes. Tickets: £18-£20. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.
- 4 – 21 November : World Press Photo Exhibition
The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Open 10am-11pm. Free. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Embankment or Waterloo. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.
- 4 – 27 November : Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival
A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough. Featuring workshops, talks and Q&As from authors, including Kate Summerscale, Diana Durke, Helena Kelly, Christopher Frayling, Sarah Moss, Simon Bradling, Andrew Lownie and more. Ticket range from free to £15. Venues include The Bingham, Marble Hill House, Old Town Hall, Strawberry Hill House, Teddington Library and more. For booking, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- Now until 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival
The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their second literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. Events range from free to £10. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.
- 5 November : Regent Street Motor Show
Three hundred cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow ahead of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day. Featuring entertainment and interactive displays. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic. 10.30am-4pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regent Street Motor Show website.
- 6 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
This year marks the 120th anniversary of the 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7.04-8/8.30am. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Route goes from Hyde Park Corner, past Buckingham Palace, over Westminster Bridge and south via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham. Free to spectate. Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.
- Now until 6 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 from over 750 independent boutiques. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £19.75. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- Now until 6 November : Winter Olympia Art & Antique Fair
Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art. Opening times vary. Tickets: £15 advance. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympian Antiques website.
- 7 November – 31 December : The Gardening Society
The rooftop of John Lewis in Oxford Street has a festive makeover with winter warmers from Mac & Wild, seasonal cocktails from Background Bars and private lodges. Opening times vary. The Gardening Society (Enter via the 5th Floor), John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, W1A 1EX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Bond Street. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- 10 November : Carnaby Christmas
Head to Carnaby Street as they turn on their Christmas lights and host a shopping party. The Sixties-themed event will feature 20% discount at over 120 brands, exclusive offers and entertainment including DJs, confetti shower and inflatable props. 5-9pm. Register for a free ticket on the website. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.
- 10 November : Eaton Square Concert
Flute soloists Katherine Bryan performs at St Peter’s Church as part of the Eaton Square Concerts. 7pm. Tickets: £18 (£12 conc) inc complimentary glass of wine. St Peter’s Church, 119 Eaton Square, Belgravia, SW1W 9AL. Nearest station: Victoria or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Eaton Square Concerts website.
- 10 – 12 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 Magdalena Consort with His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts ; Piva; Michala Petri with Lars Hannibal; Laura Schmid and European Union Baroque Orchestra. Tickets start from £10. Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, Blackheath, SE3 9RQ. Nearest station: Blackheath. For more information, visit the Early Shop website.
- 10 November – mid January 2017 : Vauxhall Winter Village
New for this festive season is a new pop-up alpine ski village in the heart of Vauxhall. Featuring pop-up Fondue Lounge, street food market, festive bandstand, winter sports on the big screen, bookable Alpine cabin booths, bars serving Egg nog, spiced drinks and the usual alcoholic favourites. 11.30am-10pm. Free entry. Vauxhall Winter Village, South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, SW8 1SP. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall Winter Village website.
- 11 – 13 November : The WriteIdea Festival
East London’s free reading festival returns featuring readings, Q&As, workshops, history and more. Including Polari’s LGBT literary salon, Dan Cruickshank, Kimberley Chambers, Simon Savidge, Ann Cleeves, Ben Aaronovich and more. All events are free, but reserve your places on the website. Idea Store, 321 Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel, E1 1BU. Nearest station: Whitechapel. For more information, visit the Write Idea Festival website.
- 11 – 13 November : BBC Good Food Show
The travelling foodies fest comes to London’s Olympia for three days. Featuring appearances from Michel Roux Jnr, Paul Hollywood, Tom Kerridge, Nadiya Hussein, Gizzi Erskine, Dan Doherty and more. Tickets start from £27. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the BBC Good Food Show website.
- 11 – 13 November : Dulwich Literary Festival
Talks, readings, discussions and storytelling, with authors and speakers including Arifa Akbar, Alex Bellos, Ken Clarke, Nick Clegg, Ian Cobain, Joey Connolly, Harriet Harman, Joanna Trollope and more. Events at Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, Dulwich, SE21 7LD and Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Road, West Dulwich, SE21 8SQ. Nearest station: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Literary Festival website.
- 11 – 20 November : London Jazz Festival
This 10 day festival sees international jazz stars coming together at venues all over the capital, including Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scotts, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Cadogan Hall and many others. Gigs range from free to ticketed. For booking, visit the EFG London Jazz Festival website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on highlights of this year’s festival.
- 11 November – 8 January 2017 : Christmas in Leicester Square
The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto. A Spiegeltent will play host to La Soiree‘s variety show, starring The English Gents, Acantha Lang, Hamish McCann, Denis Lock and Ursula Martinez. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.
- Now until 11 November : Backyard Cinema – Lost World
Roaming cinema club Backyard Cinema brings a new level of adventure to your favourite action movies. Sit inside the Lost Jungle with sound effects, tropical plants and trees and special surprises as you watch films such as Jurassic Park, Jungle Book, Hunger Games, The Goonies, Lion King, Apocalypse Now and Peter Pan. Tickets from £16.50. Lost World, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. Read Metro Girl’s review on the Lost World here.
- 11 November – 22 January 2017 : Bump Rollerdisco
Mobile rollerdisco comes to London’s Southbank for the festive season. 11am-11pm. Tickets: Adults £12, Children £9, Fri & Sat Club Nights: Adults £15, Children £11. Builders’ Yard, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 12 November : The Lord Mayor’s Show
The spectacle is known as the oldest and largest civic procession in the world and marks the new Lord Mayor of London. The three-mile procession includes river pageant, floats, music and animals and fireworks show. River pageant starts at Westminster at 8.30am and arrives at Tower Bridge at 9.25am. The street procession sets off from Mansion House at 11.05am, pauses at the Royal Courts, then returns to Mansion House via the Victoria Embankment. Finally, a fireworks show takes place at 5.15pm between Blackfriars and Waterloo. Free to spectate. For more information visit the Lord Mayor’s Show website.
- 17 November : Festive Shopping Evening @ St Martin’s Courtyard
Kick off the countdown to Christmas at St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden. Featuring a festive lights switch-on, live music from gospel choir Urban Voices Collective and jazz/soul vocalist Simone Kaye, complimentary drinks, shopping discounts, offers and in-store experiences. 5-9pm. St Martin’s Courtyard, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. Register for your free ticket at the St Martin’s Courtyard website. For further information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the event.
- 17 November : Festive Shopping Event @ Seven Dials
Get into the festive spirit with an evening of fashion, food and more as Seven Dials is closed off to traffic. Featuring live music from Old Dirty Brasstards, free wreath making and S’mores, pop-up alfresco winter bar, outdoor winter BBQ, gelato demos, free Prosecco and switching on the Christmas lights. The boutiques and eateries will be offering 20% discount. Register for a free ticket on the website for discounts and freebies. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website.
- 17 – 20 November : Taste Of London – Festive Edition
Sister event to the hugely popular Taste Of London summer event which celebrates food. Four day festival at Tobacco Dock in Wapping offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre with Angela Hartnett, Mark Hix, Sophie Michell, Tom Aikens, Tom Kerridge, Monica Galetti and Jose Pizarro among those giving their tips. Open Thur 17 6-10.30pm, Fri 18 & Sat 19 11am-10.30pm, Sun 20 11am-5pm. Tickets start from £15/£19. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping. For more information, visit the Taste of London Winter website.
- 18 November – 4 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 Fri-Sun 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £9, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website.
- 18 November – 24 December : The Flavour Rooms pop-up
The Flavour Rooms is sort of a visit to Willy Wonka’s factory for adults with a host of alcoholic sweet treats to sample and buy. Featuring a cocktail sherbet wall, pick ‘n’ mix, edible perfumes, twisted ‘salt & pepper’ shakers and alcoholic dib dabs. Free entry. Open daily 12-8pm. Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3NG. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit The Flavour Rooms website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on The Flavour Rooms.
- 18 November – 6 January 2017 : Backyard Cinema – Winter Night Garden
Step through a magical wardrobe to travel to a snow-dusted forest to watch your favourite Christmas movies. Including Home Alone, Frozen, Love Actually, It’s A Wonderful Life and Mary Poppins. Tickets from £16.50. Lost World, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website.
- 18 November – 2 January 2017 : Winter Wonderland
The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.
- 18 November – 3 September 2017 : Star Wars Identities
Star Wars fans are in for a treat as over 200 costumes, props, models and artwork from the franchise are displayed in a special exhibition. Find your own Star Wars character in an interactive quest. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £20-£25. Children £10-£15. The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Star Wars Identities website.
- Now until 19 November : Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Screenings, premieres and Q&As during this three week long festival in South East London. Venues include Phoenix Centre, St John’s Church Hall, Stanley Halls and Virgo Fedelis. Nightly screenings at 7.45pm. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction. For full listings and tickets, check the CPIFF website.
- 19 November – 29 January 2017 : Hogwarts In The Snow
A must for all Harry Potter fans. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has been given a festive makeover. Featuring Christmas-themed gifts and costumes from the film franchise. Tickets: Adults £35, Children £27. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
- 20 November : Hamleys Christmas Toy Parade
Regent Street will be closed off to vehicle traffic so children’s favourite TV and film characters, marching bands, floating blimps, street theatre, dancers and toy vehicles can parade along. 10.30am-4.30pm. Free. Regent Street, Soho/Mayfair, W1B. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Hamleys website.
- 21 November : The Gin Off Final 2016
The grand final of the gin competition sees the two finalists Audemus Spirits’ Pink Pepper Gin and Martin Millers going head-to-head for the top prize. Bartenders will create gin cocktails for guests to try and vote for their favourite. 6-9pm. Tickets: £10 (includes a cocktail from each brand). Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 21 November – 5 February 2017 : Take A View exhibition
Exhibition of the winning and shortlisted images from this year’s Landscape Photographer Of The Year are on display on the balcony at Waterloo station. Open during station hours. Free. Mezzanine level, Waterloo Station, SE1 8SW. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Take A View website.
- 23 – 27 November : Ideal Home Show @ Christmas
A Christmas edition of the popular homewares and interiors show. Featuring appearances from experts Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Katie Piper, Olly Smith, Martin Lewis, Two Lovely Gays, and more. Tickets: Adults £13-£15, Children free. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 23 November – 2 January 2017 : Christmas at Kew
A one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be Santa at the North Pole Village, a Tunnel of Light, vintage rides, festive food and drinks. 5-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults £16-£18, Children £10-£12. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 25 – 27 November : Hyper Japan Christmas Market
A Christmas edition of the popular summer celebration of Japanese culture and products. Includes cuisine, shopping, mix of pop and traditional culture. Open Fri 25 12-9pm, Sat 26 9am-9pm, Sun 27 9.30am-6pm. Tickets: £15-£17. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping. For more information and advance tickets, visit the Hyper Japan website.
- 26 November : Winter Wine Festival
One day wine festival featuring a choice of 600 wines to taste. As well as tastings, there is also a free wine walk, masterclasses and discounts on wine shopping. 12-6pm. Tickets: £25. The Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5DA. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Wine Gang website.
- 29 November – 3 December : Pigs Ear Beer And Cider Festival
Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Over 200 beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Open from noon until 11pm. Entry: £3/£5. Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.
- 30 November – 2 December : London Lift-Off Film Festival
The London branch of the international Lift-Off Film Festival, which gives a platform to independent filmmakers. Screenings taking place nightly. Charlotte Street Hotel, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RJ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Lift-Off Film Festival website.
Pantomimes and Ballets
- 17 November – 5 January 2017 : Prince Bendover In Boots (Vauxhall)
A saucy panto for adults-only. Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Tavern’s website.
- 18 November – 8 January 2017 : Peter Pan (Greenwich)
Greenwich Theatre, Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES. Nearest station: Greenwich or Cutty Sark (DLR) . For tickets, visit the Greenwich Theatre website.
- 19 November – 7 January 2017 : Aladdin (Hammersmith)
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.
- 23 November – 1 January 2017 : The Snowman
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s ballet production of The Snowman comes to the Peacock Theatre. Tickets: £15-£36. Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT. Nearest station: Temple or Holborn. For booking, visit the Sadlers Wells website.
- 23 November – 12 January 2017 : The Nutcracker
The Royal Ballet’s production of the iconic Nutcracker returns to the Royal Opera House. Tickets range from £6-£120. Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. Nearest stations: Covent Garden, Holborn, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 26 November – 8 January 2017 : Sleeping Beauty (Hackney)
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For tickets, visit the Hackney Empire website.
- 28 November – 21 January 2017 : Sinbad The Sailor (Stratford)
Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, E15 1BN. Nearest station: Stratford. For tickets, visit the Stratford East website.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016, in Activities, Christmas, Entertainment, Families, Festivals, Film, Grub and tagged ballet, pantomime, Things to do in London, What's On Guide. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
Pingback: ‘Jungle Juice’ cocktails, abandoned ruins and super comfy seating at Backyard Cinema: The Lost World | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Backyard Cinema Lost World: Watch your favourite action movie in a tropical jungle | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Indulge your bookworm with talks and workshops at the Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London 2016 | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Scat’s going on? Highlights of London Jazz Festival 2016 | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2016/2017 | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Discounts, freebies, music and more @ St Martin’s Courtyard festive shopping evening | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Life is sweet! Sample boozy sweets at the Flavour Rooms pop-up at the Sanderson | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl
Pingback: Santa’s behind you! Shopping, panto and food at Sutton House Christmas | Memoirs Of A Metro Girl