11 Excellent Things To Do In London In November 2020

By Londonist Staff Last edited 7 months ago

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11 Excellent Things To Do In London In November 2020
No Lockdown in the Imagination goes on display at Southbank Centre. Image courtesy of Koestler Arts

Obviously, London is still far from any sense of normality. But events have started returning, so we bring you our guide to things to do in the capital in November — the situation is ever-changing, so keep an eye on venues for the latest information and regulations.

K-MUSIC 2020: A celebration of Korean sounds, K-Music 2020 takes a two-pronged approach, offering both live and digital events. The opening concert on 30 October features pop-rock cabaret courtesy of ADG7, and is followed by a fortnight of online performances, both live-streamed and on-demand. It finishes with a live concert performance by one of Korea’s leading experimental drummers, Soojin Suh. 30 October-16 November

TALOS IV SCI-FI FESTIVAL: Coming to the ever-brilliant Cockpit and also a laptop near you, sci-fi theatre festival Talos is back with their fourth programme. The line-up's a blend of on-site and virtual performances, drawing together deep mythology and dystopian futures, post-human meditation and multi-sensory installation. All the good stuff. 2-8 November.

UK JEWISH FILM FEST: The 24th edition of UK Jewish Film Festival takes place entirely online, instead of at venues across London. Full details TBC, but past incarnations featured screenings of almost 100 films, plus Q&As and discussions. 5-19 November

K-Music 2020 features both live and digital events.

OUTDOOR ART: Southbank Centre's doors remain closed for the foreseeable future, but its windows are being put to good use, displaying works in new free exhibition, No Lockdown in the Imagination. It features audio, visual and written works by UK prisoners, many of whom were in lockdown in their cells for 23 hours a day at the height of the pandemic. Works are also available to view online. 12 November-13 December

EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL: This year's EFG London Jazz Festival has a theme of Living In Two Worlds, a nod to its programme featuring events which are both live and digital. Some events, including the prestigious BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020 Final, are open to live audiences, while others are solely streamed online. There's plenty to see for free too. 13-22 November

PAPA L'S KITCHEN: Last chance to catch this Gambian-influenced popup from Lawrence Gomez at its Earl's Court venue. The menu's a beautiful thing of plantain and chilli and coco bread and stews — a good way to ease yourself into winter. Start of October - 14 November

DIWALI IN LONDON: For obvious reasons, the huge Diwali celebration in Trafalgar Square won't be taking place this year. Fear not though, the organisers of Diwali in London are pulling together an online alternative — watch this space. 14 November

See Hogwarts in the Snow

HOGWARTS IN THE SNOW: The Warner Bros Studio Tour gets a magical makeover every festive season, when Hogwarts in the Snow is unveiled. See the Harry Potter film set dressed for Christmas, including the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and learn how the film makers created the festive effects. 14 November-17 January

CHRISTMAS AT KEW: Among all the trouble that 2020 has thrown our way, we're pleased to announce that there's light at the end of the tunnel... or more accurately, there's a light tunnel at the end of the year. Christmas at Kew, one of our favourite annual events in London, is going ahead at time of writing, offering an illuminated trail through Kew Gardens. This year, there's an addition to the route, taking visitors through the Rose Garden, along with the Tunnel of Light, illuminated treetop waterfall and Temperate House laser show which have dazzled visitors in previous years. If you do one festive thing in London, make it this. 18 November-3 January

Christmas at Kew returns. Photo: Londonist

HAMPTON COURT PALACE ICE RINK:  Hampton Court Palace unveils its festive ice rink in November. Ogle the Tudor palace as you pirouette under the stars, with extra space this year to allow for social distancing. There's a heated spectator space alongside the ice for those who just want to watch, and a cafe and bar serving refreshments. 20 November-3 January

RIDE THE LIGHT RAILWAY: Opening in November, the Epping Ongar Railway journey chugs through a series of colourful illuminated trails. The train looks, broadly, like Christmas threw up on it — and we mean that in the most magical way possible. It's hauled by either a steam or diesel locomotive, ensuring the train geek box is firmly ticked too. This isn't going to be for everybody — but for fans of festive light trails, trains, or both, it's a big one. Selling out fast. 20 November - 2021.

If you're looking for details of the Lord Mayor's Show 202o, which usually takes place in November, it has been cancelled this year — as has Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which normally begins in November. Bonfire Night firework displays are also among the usual events not going ahead this year.

Last Updated 27 October 2020