Guide to what’s on in London in November 2018
The clocks have gone back, the trees are nearly bare and it now feels like we’re on a countdown to Christmas. However, there’s plenty of reasons to live in the moment and enjoy the main attractions November has to offer. With the festive season fast approaching, expect many themed events around London. Foodies and booze fans will be well catered for with events such as Taste of London, Proseccoville, Metro Mayhem and the Eat & Drink Festival taking place.
Check out the guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs.
For a guide to London’s outdoor ice rinks this festive and winter season, click here.
Here’s a guide to the best events on in London in November 2018.
- 1 – 28 November : Richmond Literature Festival
A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough. Featuring workshops, talks and Q&As from authors, including Angela Saini, Roma Agrawal, Stuart Hobday, Frances Welch, Terry Waite, Lynne Truss, Stephen Fay, David Kynaston, Claire Harman, Peter Fiennes, Dan Snow and more. 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.
- 1 November – summer 2019 : Room To Breathe @ Migration Museum
Interactive exhibition of a migrant’s experiences when they arrive in the UK and what it means to live as migrant. Open Thu 12pm-8pm, Fri-Sun 12pm-6pm. Free admission. At the Migration Museum @ The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7AG. Nearest station: Vauxhall, Westminster or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Migration Museum website. For Metro Girl’s review on the exhibition, click here.
- 2 November : Day Of The Dead Festival @ V&A
Celebrate the Día de Muertos Festival at a late-night opening of the V&A. Featuring live mariachi music, traditional Mexican dancers, giant skeleton puppets, special activities, costume competition and visit an ofrenda dedicated to Frida Kahlo. Fancy dress encouraged. 5pm-10pm. Free entry. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website.
- Now until 3 November : London Horror Festival
Festival of live horror performance including cabaret, film screenings, Zombie weekends, midnight performances and a short horror play competition. Ticket prices vary. Most events take place at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, Islington, EC1V 4NJ. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.
- 3 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.
- 3 November : Proseccoville
Celebrate the best of prosecco with tastings, street food and music. 3pm-6pm. Tickets £22. Brixton Jamm, Brixton Road, SW9 6LH. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit Brixton Jamm’s website.
- Now until 4 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 from £25. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- Now until 4 November : Winter Art & Antique Fair
Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art. Opening times vary. Tickets start from £15 (cheaper in advance). Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympia Antiques website.
- 4 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
Watch the beginning of 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7.04-8/8.45am. 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.
- 4 November : Light Up The Night
A celebration of Guy Fawkes and Diwali at Wembley Park. Featuring fireworks show, three stages with live performances, fire installations, fire and light parade, food market and more. 4pm-7pm. Free entry. Wembley Park (inc Arena Square, Olympic Way, Market Square), HA9 0NP. Nearest station: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website.
- 6 November – 24 December : The Winter Forest
Seasonal pop-up returns to Broadgate Circle in the City of London. Featuring 300 snow-covered pine trees, twinkling lights, cosy wood cabins, live music, festive quiz nights (Mons), craft classes, Father Christmas, art exhibition and plenty of hot food and drink. Free. Broadgate Circle, Broadgate, EC2. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit The Broadgate website.
- 7 November : Devonshire Square’s Diwali Festival
Free festival featuring India’s most traditional visual arts, Rangoli, and a dance show performed by some of the UK’s top Indian folk and classical dancers. 5pm-7pm. Free. Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.
- 7 – 11 November : Dulwich Literary Festival
Talks, readings, discussions and storytelling, with authors and speakers including Louis de Bernières, Kamal Ahmed, Jo Brand, Oliver Bullough, Stephanie Cross, Dharshini David, Isabel Hardman, Simon Heffer, Nick Hewer, Michael Hughes, John Suchet 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. For more information, visit the Dulwich Literary Festival website.
- 8 November : Carnaby Christmas Shopping Party
Shopping party at over 90 shops and boutiques of the Carnaby district. Including on-street entertainment and various store activities. Enjoy a 20% discount by signing up for your free ticket on the Carnaby website. 5pm-9pm. Carnaby London, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.
- 9 – 11 November : Stylist Live
Festival featuring the best of Stylist magazine, featuring fashion shows, learning labs, pop-up boutiques, farmers’ market, culture lounge, comedy, debates, street food, cocktails and talks and interviews from the likes of Clara Amfo, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Matilda Egere-Cooper, Clementine Ford, Bryony Gordon, Nadiya Hussein, Annie Mac, Clio Wood and many more. Open: Fri-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets start from £15. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Stylist Live website.
- 9 – 25 November : 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, entry times every 20 minutes from 5pm-7.40pm. Tickets: Adults £10 (Fri), £12 (Sat-Sun), Children £5. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website.
- 9 November – 5 January 2019 : Christmas In Leicester Square
The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto. A Spiegeltent will play host shows including Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, Briefs: Close Encounters and Club Briefs. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Santa’s Grotto and the Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Christmas In Leicester Square website.
- 10 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. Flotilla 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.
- 10 November : Metro Mayhem
Craft beer festival from Brewdog, featuring live music, food and more. Over 17 breweries are taking part from across the UK and internationally. 2pm-11pm. Tickets: £17.50. Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E20 3HB. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the Brewdog website.
- Now until 11 November : Remembrance Art Trail
Artist Mark Humphrey has created 11 pieces of art to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I, which will be dotted around Canary Wharf. Free. Canary Wharf estate, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 14 November : A Merry Marylebone Christmas launch
Marylebone’s annual Christmas Lights charity switch-on, food and drink, gift stalls, tombola and live music performances. From 3-7pm (lights switch on at 6pm). Free. North end of Marylebone High Street, Paddington Street and Devonshire Street, Marylebone, W1G. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Baker Street. For more information, visit the Marylebone Village website.
- 15 November : Christmas 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 music from a live orchestra and switching on the Christmas lights. The boutiques and eateries will be offering 20% discount. 5pm-9pm. 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.
- 15 – 17 November : Veuve Clicquot Widow Series – Rebels
Veuve Clicquot present their annual creative event, which will celebrate radical moments in British culture. Expect music, art, fashion and film installations across six rooms. Tickets: £22 (inc glass of Veuve Clicquot yellow label). Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo. For more information, visit the Veuve Clicquot website.
- 15 – 18 November : Taste Of London Winter
Four day festival at Tobacco Dock in Wapping offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre. Participating restaurants include Barbecoa, Rigo, Club Mexicana, Bar Douro, Bao, Tom’s Kitchen, Farang and more. Tickets start from £15. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For more information, visit the Taste of London website.
- 15 November – 23 December : Winterville
An alternative festive wonderland in south London, featuring Christmas markets, ice rink, street feast, Backyard Cinema, roller disco, plonk golf, kids’ activities, Bus King Theatre, Chivaree Circus, fairground, spiegeltent, over 18 puppet show, solo craft fair and truck stop. Open Tues-Thu 3pm-10pm, Fri 3pm-10.30pm, Sat 10am-10.30pm, Sun 10am-10pm. Entry ranges from free to £5 depending on peak time (free entry if you have an event or attraction ticket). Clapham Common, SW4 9DE. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For more information, visit the Winterville website.
- 15 November – 30 December : After Dark @ Chiswick House
A brand new night walk and light display will illuminate Chiswick House and its historic gardens. 5.30pm-10pm every Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun. Tickets: £8.50-£14. Chiswick House, Chiswick, W4. Nearest station: Chiswick or Chiswick Park. For booking, visit the After Dark website.
- 16 – 18 November : The WriteIdea Festival
East London’s free reading festival returns featuring readings, Q&As, workshops, history and more. Including Michael Rosen, Viv Albertine, Chris Difford, Suresh Singh and The Gentle Author. 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.
- 16 – 18 November : Hyper Japan Christmas
A Christmas edition of the popular summer celebration of Japanese culture and products. Includes cuisine, shopping, mix of pop and traditional culture. Open Fri 12-8pm, Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 9am-5pm. Tickets: £18.33-£31.59. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and advance tickets, visit the Hyper Japan website.
- 16 – 25 November : EFG London Jazz Festival
This 10 day festival sees international jazz stars coming together at venues all over the capital, including Southbank Centre, British Library, Live At Zedel, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Ronnie Scotts, Two Temple Place and Wigmore Hall. Gigs range from free to ticketed. For booking, visit the EFG London Jazz Festival website.
- 17 November – 27 January 2019 : 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 £43, Children £35. 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.
- Now until 18 November : Poppies – Weeping Window
The Weeping Window from artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper’s famous 2014 poppy installation at the Tower of London has been touring the UK and returns to the capital. Free. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Imperial War Museum website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the original installation, click here.
- Now until 18 November : Frida Kahlo – Making Her Self Up
Exhibition featuring clothing and personal artefacts of late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Open 10am-5.45pm. Tickets: £15. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets, visit the V&A website.
- 21 November : Rum Off Final @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum in the final of the Rum Off 2018. Leading rum brands will compete for the title, with cocktail making, with you getting to vote for your favourite. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £8 (inc entry and 2 cocktails). Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 21 – 25 November : Ideal Home Show @ Christmas
A Christmas edition of the popular homewares and interiors show. Featuring appearances from experts Kunle Barker, Rosemary Shrager, Olly Smith, Hayley Sparkes, Arona Khan, David Domoney, Lynne Lambourne, Max McMurdo, Lee Baldry, The Skinny Jean Gardener and more. Tickets: Adults start from £13-£15, Children free (inc entry to Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 21 – 25 November : Eat & Drink Festival Christmas
The best of the UK’s food and drink under one roof, featuring talks, masterclasses, demonstrations, artisan producers’ market, and plenty of opportunities to try and buy food and drink. Tickets: Adults start from £13-£15, Children free (inc entry to Ideal Home Show). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Eat & Drink Festival website.
- 22 – 23 November : The Spirit Show
Fans of gin, vodka and the like will enjoy this boozy festival, featuring masterclasses, tastings, street food, interactive lounge, VIP speakeasy and more. Open Thu 6pm-9pm, Fri 3pm-9pm. Tickets from £35 (standard tickets inc unlimited tastings, showguide and 6 bottle jute). Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit The Spirit Show website.
- 22 November – 5 January 2019 : 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 £19.50, Children £12, Under 4 free. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 22 November – 6 January 2019 : 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, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show, The Magical Ice Kingdom and more. Open 10am-10pm daily. Free to enter. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.
- 26 November : Gin Off Final
Help find the world’s best gin in one of the final of this year’s Gin Off. From 6pm-9pm. Tickets: £10 (include 4 gin cocktails). Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For booking, visit the Graphic Bar website. For more information, check out Metro Girl’s blog on the Gin Off.
- 30 November – 2 December : London Illustration Fair
Three-day event celebrating illustration, featuring artist-led stands, talks, workshops, music, DJs, live signings. Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entry: £10 advance. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo. For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.
- Now until 4 December : Foodflix @ Bluebird Chelsea
Weekly film night comes to Bluebird Chelsea in their new cosy orangery. Expect Cointreau cocktails, gourmet fast food, popcorn and modern classic films. Tickets: £25 (includes film, welcome Cointreau cocktail and a Bluebird hotdog or vegan burger). Bluebird Chelsea, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Bluebird Chelsea website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the Foodflix.
- Now until 9 December : Strange Days – Memories Of the Future
Video and films by 21 radical film-makers, presented as large-scale, multi-screen video installations. Tues-Sat 12pm-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Free entry. The Store X, 180 The Strand, WC2R 1EA. Nearest station: Temple or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the website.
- Now until Christmas : Casa Bonita pop-up
Latin American-themed pop-up bar featuring classic cocktails, Mexican street food and DJ spinning Latin beats. Open Mon-Sat 2pm-1am, Sun 2pm-11pm. Free entry. Casa Bonita, 5 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PF. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. Visit Casa Bonita’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- Now until 5 January 2019 : Moonshine Saloon
A new immersive cocktail experience from the same team behind Alcotraz. Bring your own liquor to the Wild West and learn about the dark world of moonshining. Dress in cowboy gear and Stetsons and let experienced mixologists whip up some cocktails using your spirit of choice. Open Wed-Fri 6.15pm-10.15pm, Sat 12.15pm-11pm. Booking fee: £33.99 (includes 4 cocktails from brought drink of choice and 1hr 45m inside the saloon). 535 Kings Road, Fulham, SW10 0SZ. Nearest station: Fulham Broadway. Bookings can be made on the Moonshine Saloon website or DesignMyNight. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- Now until 6 January 2019 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink
A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.80. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.
- Now until 6 January 2019 : Skyline Skating @ John Lewis
Skate on the roof of the John Lewis department store. Along with Sipsmith ice rink, there is also Mypies fresh pies and hot gin being served. Sun-Wed 12pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 12pm-11pm. Tickets: £8pp. John Lewis rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- Now until 12 January 2019 : Divine Proportions
A heavenly new immersive dining experience for Gods and Goddesses in the Vaults below Waterloo station. Shotgun Carousel’s new production reimagines the story of the God of Wine, hedonism and ritual ecstasy. Except a five-course meal accompanied by entertainment. Shows Tues-Sun, doors open 6.30pm. Tickets: £35-£55 (includes dinner and entertainment). The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For tickets, visit The Vaults website.
- Now until May 2019 : Last Nights Of Havana
Nightlife pop-up in Tobacco Dock brings a slice of Cuba to London. Featuring live music, DJs, dance, drinking and street food. Open 5pm-12am. Tickets: £20 in 2018, £25 in 2019 (inc complimentary arrival cocktail). Masterclass: £60pp (include rum flight, special cocktail and discount towards evening event). Last Nights Of Havana, Quayside Bar, Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane (Gate Entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and tickets, visit lastnightsofhavana.com. See Metro Girl’s blog for more information.
- Now until early June 2019 : Sculpture In The City 2018/2019
Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the City Of London’s official website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2017/2018 exhibition.