Guide to what’s on in London in November 2019
Find out what’s on in the capital in the run-up to the festive period.
Autumn is in full swing and the (commercial!) countdown to Christmas is already on. If you’re not ready for festive fun, there’s plenty of literature, art and motor festivals on in London to keep you occupied this month. However, if you’re the organised type and are gearing up for Christmas early, there’s plenty of festive-themed festivals and shopping events on in the capital.
Here’s a guide to the best events, festivals and exhibitions in London this November.
For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
For a guide to London’s outdoor ice rinks this festive season, click here.
- 1 – 24 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 Katy Brand, Roger McGough, Jack Brown, Matthew Griffiths, Peter Pomerantsev, Alison Weir, Antonia Fraser, Lee Jackson, Zeba Talkhani, St*t-Faced Shakespeare and more. Venues include Richmond Library, Strawberry Hill House, The National Archives, Duke Street Church, The Exchange (Twickenham) and more. For booking, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.
- 2 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.
- 2 November : Family History Day
Explore your family history at the Migration Museum. Learn about genealogy and archival research, ask-the-expert photo dating, talks from celebrities and experts, expert advice, interactive artworks and installations, and food and drink. 10.30am-4.30pm. Tickets: £5. Migration Museum @ The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7AG. Nearest station: Vauxhall, Westminster or Lambeth North. For more tickets, visit the Migration Museum website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- Now until 2 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; or Pleasance, Carpenters Mews, North Road, Islington, N7 9EF. Nearest station: Caledonian Road. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.
- 2 November – 3 May 2020 : Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, an exhibition features over 150 priceless treasures from the boy King. Opening hours vary. Tickets: Adult: £28.50/ £24.50. Children: £19.50/£16.50. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.
- 3 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 6.56am and 8.15am. 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.
- 3 November : Diwali on Trafalgar Square
Food and performances, lights and saris injecting colour into the square and floating candles in the fountains for the Hindu Festival of Light. 12pm-7pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 4 – 10 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.
- 5 – 10 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 £20.50/£22.50 (cheaper in advance). Gallery Level, Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympia Antiques website.
- 6 November : Rum-Off 2nd Semi-Final @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum in the 2nd semi-final of the Rum Off 2019. Sixteen leading rum brands will compete for the title, with cocktail making, with you getting to vote for your favourite. The semi-final will see Westerhall Estate vs The Real McCoy competing for a place in the grand final. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: Advance £9 (inc entry and 4 cocktails), £12 on the door. Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 6 – 13 November : Dulwich Literary Festival
Talks, readings, discussions and storytelling, with authors and speakers including June Chang, Anita Sethi, Louise Doughty, Howard Jacobsen, Natalie Haynes, Konnie Huq, Lara Maiklem, Emma Smith 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.
- 7 November : The Feast of Fall @ Cowcross Yards
The first YUM @ Cowcross Yards event celebrates the autumn season. Explore Autumnal British produce in an edible garden, enjoy sweet treats disguised as seasonal vegetables, alongside by an autumn-themed street food market by Urban Food Fest. 12pm-4pm. Free entry. Cowcross Yards, 9-13 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, EC1M 6DR. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the Cowcross Yards website.
- 7 November : Carnaby Christmas Shopping Party
An evening of shopping discounts, events and the Christmas lights switch-on (6pm). Enjoy a 20% discount in over 100 Carnaby area shops, bars and restaurants by signing up for your free ticket online. 5pm-9pm. Free, Carnaby London, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for further details.
- 7 November : An Illustrated Construction of Tower Bridge
Explore the alternative designs presents to City of London bosses before they decided on Tower Bridge. Arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets: £20pp (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months). Tower Bridge Learning Space. At Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2UP. Nearest stations: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or London Bridge. For tickets, visit the Tower Bridge website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 7 – 10 November : Luxury Travel Fair
Conde Nast Traveller presents inspiration for your next luxury travels, including Travellers’ Tales Theatre, Champagne Bar and more. Open Thu-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4.30pm. Tickets start from £20.50/£22.50. Olympia West, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Luxury Travel Fair website.
- 8 – 10 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 Deborah Francis White, Stella Creasy MP, Candice Carty-Williams, Susan Wokoma, Nikita Gill, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Elizabeth Day, Nadiya Hussein, Clemmie Hooper, Vicky McClure, Jess Phillips, Aisling Bea, Cindy Gallop, Bryong Gordon and many more. Open: Fri-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets start from £15. Magazine London, 11 Ordnance Crescent, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0JH. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Stylist Live website.
- 8 November – 5 January 2020 : 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, La Clique, the Showstoppers’ Christmas Show, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass and more. 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.
- 9 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. As well as a three-mile procession, there will also be two show zones (Paternoster Square and Bloomberg Building), and guided walks. The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11.05am, pauses at the Royal Courts, then returns to Mansion House via the Victoria Embankment. Free to spectate. For more information visit the Lord Mayor’s Show website.
- 9 – 24 November : Wimbledon International Music Festival
A host of world-class musicians gather in Wimbledon for a series of classical, opera and jazz concerts and recitals. Ticket prices vary. At various venues in Wimbledon, including St. John’s Church, Trinity United Reformed Church, Sacred Heart Church, Emmanuel Church, and King’s College School. For more information and tickets, visit the WIMF website.
- 10 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.
- 13 November : Marylebone Village Christmas Light Switch On
A festive evening to coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on with the Teenage Cancer Trust. Featuring shopping stalls, food and drink, Santa’s Grotto, fairground rides, tombola, in-store discounts and activities, with a celebrity switching on the lights (6pm). 3pm-7pm. Marylebone Village (Marylebone High Street, Paddington Street and Devonshire Street), W1. Nearest stations: Bond Street, Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Marylebone Village website.
- 13 November : Murder Mystery: A Twist of the Rope
Enjoy an immersive, murder mystery evening while raising money for KIDS charity. Experience a mix of a traditional murder mystery format and an escape room and live performance. Over 18s only. 7.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £30. Trapeze Bar , 89 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HX. Nearest station: Old Street. For tickets, visit the KIDS charity website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 14 November : Seven Dials Christmas Shopping Event
Seven Dials is hosting a special shopping evening to coincide with its Christmas lights switch-on. Featuring activities, festive live music, Christmas treats, 20% discount at participating businesses, freebies, workshops and more. 5pm-9pm (light switch-on at 6.30pm). Free. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information or to register for your 20% discount, visit the Seven Dials website.
- 14 – 17 November : Wimbledon Art Fair
Discover and buy art from over 150 of artists and makers as they open their studios to the public. Open Thu-Fri: 2-10pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-6pm. Register for a free ticket. Wimbledon Art Studios, 10 Riverside Road, SW17 0BB. Nearest station: Wimbledon. To register, visit Eventbrite.
- 14 November – 18 January 2020 : Poetic Abstration
A new solo exhibition from Shanghai-based artist Li Lei. A series of academic forums and talks in collaboration with the Royal Drawing School and Unicorn Publishing will also be taking place. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-2pm. 3812 Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6PX. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the 3812 Gallery website.
- 15 – 17 November : Writeidea Festival 2019
East London’s free reading festival returns featuring readings, Q&As, workshops, history and more. Including include Bob Gilbert, Mariam Khan, Isabella Tree, David Hepworth, Philippa Stockley, Vivi Lachs, Louise Doughty, Dan Hancox, James Lubbock, Kay Seeley, Raymond Antrobus, Jill Dawson, Jack Shenker, Hallie Rubenhold, Danny Stack and Tim Clague scrriptwriting podcast, Susannah Stapleton, Lesley Thomson, Klezmer Klub, and Deirdre Shanahan. 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.
- 15 – 24 November : EFG London Jazz Festival
International jazz stars gather at venues all over the capital, including Southbank Centre, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Live at Zedel, Cadogan Hall, Ronnie Scotts, King’s Place, Barbican and more. Artists include Hakan Basar Trio, Animal Society, Barb Jungr, The Wooten Brothers, Angel Bat Dawid, Tony Higgins, Georgia Mancio, Tessa Souter Quartet, Katriona Taylor Quintet, Tony Kofi & The Organisation and more. Gigs range from free to ticketed. For booking, visit the EFG London Jazz Festival website.
- 15 November – 1 December : Enchanted Woodland
Follow an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum of Syon Park. Lighting will transform the trees, plants and lake. Hot food and drinks available for sale. 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.
- Now until 15 November : Nicole Wassall – Precious Metal exhibition
British artist Nicole Wassall presents an exhibition of her art, using a variety of metals and objects, such as brass frames, suspended gold wires, granite, coins, wood, sound, and a silver marionette puppet. Open Tues-Fri: 12pm- 6pm, Sat: 12pm-4pm. Fiumano Clase gallery, Unit 12, 21 Wren Street, King’s Cross, WC1X 0HF. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Fiumano Clase website.
- 18 November : Soho Speaks Out for International Men’s Day
Panel discussion to mark International Men’s Day, featuring Soho tailor Mark Powell, Area Manager of cult brand Footpatrol Jimmy Horrocks, Kricket’s Head Chef and Co-founder Will Bowlby, Samaritans’ listening volunteer James Spackman, and Programme and Employment Manager for The House of St Barnabas, Brian Beaton. 6pm-8pm.free to attend, but register for a place. The Chapel, The House of St Barnabas, 1 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4NQ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the ThisIsSoho.co.uk website.
- 20 November : Rum-Off Grand Final @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum in final of the Rum Off 2019. Sixteen leading rum brands have been competing for the title for months, with cocktail making, with the public getting to vote for their favourite. The 2019 final will see two rum brands competing for the trophy. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: Advance £9 (inc entry and 4 cocktails), £12 on the door. Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 20 – 24 November : Ideal Home Show Christmas
A Christmas edition of the popular homewares and interiors show. Featuring appearances and performances from experts Rosemary Schrager, Olly Smith, Triptonic, Roger Samuels, Valentina and more. Tickets: Adults start from £13, Children free (inc entry to Eat & Drink Festival). London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 20 – 24 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, Children free (inc entry to Ideal Home Show). London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Eat & Drink Festival website.
- 20 November – 3 January 2020 : Winterfest
A new immersive light festival comes to Wembley Park. Featuring huge light and sound installations, an LED Christmas tree, live bands, community choirs, DJs, and the hit West End production of Fame coming to the new Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Free admission. At Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for further details.
- 20 November – 5 January 2020 : 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, the singing Holly Bushes, a light dance show, vintage rides, festive food and drinks. 5pm-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults from £18, Children from £11, Under 4 free. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 21 – 24 November : Taste Of London Winter
Four day festival at Tobacco Dock in Wapping offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre. Participating restaurants include Smoking Goat, Bao, Burger Lobster, Sagardi, Hoppers, Lemlem Kitchen and more. Open Thu 6pm-10.30pm, Fri & Sat 11am-4.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. 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.
- 21 November – 5 January 2020 : 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.
- 23 November : Art Assembly 2019
A one-day festival of arts and culture in Walthamstow. Expect workshops, talks, performances and displays. 12pm-6pm. At various venues in Walthamstow within walking distance of the William Morris Gallery. Nearest stations: Walthamstow Central or Walthamstow Queen’s Road. For more information, visit the Art Assembly website.
- 23 November : Rebel Bingo
The original alternative bingo Rebel Bingo makes a long-awaited return. Expect high-energy bingo, DJs, competitions, comedy and prizes. Over 18s only. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets: £10.50. EartH, 11 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 8BH. Nearest station: Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction. For more information, visit the Rebel Bingo website.
- 27 November – 31 December : A Christmas Carol – An Immersive Dining Experience
Enjoy an immersive, re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic tale along with a three-course festive feast. Times: 7.15pm-9.15pm. Tickets: £64.50-£71.50. Immersive LDN, 56 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 5HR. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight.
- 28 November : Chiltern Street Christmas
A festive evening of live performances, workshops, design project, street food market and in-store promotions to kick off your Christmas shopping. Among the workshops are make-your-own jewellery, wreaths and decorations and more. 5pm-8pm. Free. Chiltern Street, Marylebone, W1. Nearest station: Baker Street. For more information, visit the Portman Marylebone website.
- 28 November – 11 January 2020 : Chromotherapy Christmas
An interactive light and sound show, inspired by the ancient healing concept of Chromotherapy. 4pm-10pm. Free. Eccleston Yard, (off Eccleston Place), Belgravia, SW1W 9AZ. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information, visit the Mayfair & Belgravia website.
- 29 November – 1 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 in advance, £12.50 on the door, Children under 12 free. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo. For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.
- Now until 1 December : Architecture of London
Exhibition of 400 years of London architecture. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 12pm-4pm. Tickets: Adults £10, concs £7. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website.
- Now until 5 January 2020 : Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson brings his interactive installations to the Tate. Times vary. Tickets: £18 (free for members). Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest station: Blackfriars. For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition.
- Now until 12 January 2020 : Windrush – Portrait of a Generation
Photography exhibition by Jim Grover exploring the lives and history of the Windrush generation – Caribbean migrants who moved to Britain in the 1940s-1960s. Free. Arnhem Foyer, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Nearest station: East Croydon. For more information, visit the Fairfield Halls website.
- Now until 15 January 2020 : Aladdin and the Feast of Wonders
Darling & Edge return to The Vaults with an immersive, adult pantomime, dining experience. Doors open 6.30pm, Show starts 7.30pm. Tickets from £30. The Vaults (entrance via Leake Street tunnel), Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For tickets, visit The Vaults website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of Darling & Edge’s 2017 production Beauty And The Feast.
- Now until 19 January 2020 : The Immersive Wolf Of Wall Street
Enjoy a taste of ’90s high-flying Wall Street hedonism with an immersive theatre production, adapted from the hit film. Expect a restaurant, bars, supercars and more. Over 18s only. Dress code: 90s American office attire. Times vary. Tickets: £58-£100. 5-15 Sun Street, City of London, EC2M 2PT. Nearest station: Moorgate or Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Immersive Wolf website.
- Now until 31 March 2020 : Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience
A new immersive experience from DotDotLondon. Inspired by the classic story, travel back in time to Victorian London and the Martian invasion of 1898. Experience immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and other cutting-edge technology. Times vary. Tickets: £39.50-£84.50. The Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3A 2BJ. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit DotDotLondon. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the DotDotLondon’s previous experience Somnai.
- Now until June 2020 : Sculpture In The City 2019/2020
Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. Free. 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 Sculpture in the City website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2019/2020 exhibition.