50+ Fantastic Things To Do In London This Month: November 2022

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50+ Fantastic Things To Do In London This Month: November 2022
A former Lord Mayor leans out of the golden State Coach and waves at crowds, in front of St Paul's Cathedral
The Lord Mayor's Show is on 12 November this year. Image: City of London

ICE RINKS: London's winter ice rinks open at venues across the capital, including Somerset House, Battersea Power Station and Queen's House Greenwich this month — with one already open from mid-October. Here's our guide to ice skating in London this Christmas.

ART AND ANTIQUES: Everything from diamonds to dining tables is covered at The Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia. Over 20,000 pieces are on show, with specialist dealers from all over the world selling their wares and offering expertise. 1-6 November

IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST: Head to the Rose Theatre Kingston for a production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, blending Wilde's renowned wit with contemporary culture. 1-12 November 2022

Ice skaters on the Somerset House rink in daylight
Skate at Somerset House is among the ice rinks opening this month. Image: Owen Harvey

LONDONERS UNDERGROUND: Barbican Library opens a free exhibition, Londoners Underground: Private Worlds in Public Places, compiled of photos of Londoners taking the tube. The images were taken over a five-year period and captures the experience of negotiating a city of eight million strangers. FREE, 1-23 November

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: London's Christmas lights are switched on this month — it begins with Oxford Street on 2 November. Then Regent Street, Covent Garden, Carnaby, Bond Street and other festive illuminations follow over the coming weeks. Here's when exactly each of London's Christmas light displays are switched on. FREE, from 2 November

BALLET TRIPLE BILL: The Birmingham Royal Ballet’s autumn triple bill Into the Music takes place at Sadler's Wells, featuring UK and World premieres and rarely seen work. Each piece is set to an orchestral score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia 2-5 November

A LETTER IN MIND: Head to Gallery Different for A Letter In Mind, an exhibition and art sale in aid of the National Brain Appeal. A selection of artists have created artworks on envelopes, which are sold off to raise funds. 2-6 November

4 rows of ballerinas in white costumes performing on stage, with their right legs raised towards the sky
There's a Birmingham Royal Ballet triple bill at Sadler's Wells. © Zenna

IMPERMANENCE: Wildlife and environmental artist Sophie Green opens an exhibition of her work at gallery@oxo. Impermanence features 14 hyper-realistic paintings of various endangered species from all over the globe, and raises money for conservation projects. FREE, 2-13 November

TEDDINGTON BEER FESTIVAL: If you've just about recovered from London's Oktoberfest celebrations, head to the Landmark Arts Centre for Teddington Beer Festival. Sample more than 60 real ales and 15 ciders, with live music thrown in. 3-5 November

WOOLWICH PRINT FAIR: Apparently Europe's largest fair dedicated to contemporary print, the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair is back for a seventh edition, giving you the chance to buy collectible print works directly from independent artists. Head to Woolwich Works to browse art from all over the world, including a few big names (hello, David Shrigley). 3-6 November

Artist Sophie Green poses next to her hyper-realistic painting of a tiger
Wildlife art by Sophie Green goes on display

LUXURY TRAVEL FAIR: If you're lucky enough to be planning a getaway in the next few months, you might find the inspiration you're looking for at the Luxury Travel Fair at London Olympia. Hear from celebrity travellers and expert speakers including editor Karen Edwards, author Nick Hunt, and Aleem Raheem, co-founder of Earth Trip. You can also chat to reps from travel and expedition companies.  3-6 November

KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL: Cinemas across the capital host more than 35 screenings as part of the London Korean Film Festival, which includes critically acclaimed films, new talent, Korean box office hits, the latest K-Horror films, powerful female filmmakers and bold documentaries. 3-17 November

TURNER ON TOUR: Two works by painter JMW Turner — known collectively as the 'Frick works' after the American industrialist who acquired them — go on display side by side at The National Gallery, their first time back in the UK in over a century. Turner on Tour sees 'Harbour of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile' and 'Cologne, the Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening' on show to the public. FREE, 3 November 2022-19 February 2023

TECHNICIANS: Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery is a new, free gallery at Science Museum, offering interactive exhibits and activities to show young people what it's like to work as a technician in various sectors. Marvel Studios, the NHS and the National Grid have all collaborated on the new gallery. FREE, from 3 November

A man standing in front of a wall of artworks at the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair
Browse and buy art at the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair. Image: Lucy J Toms

WRITE IDEA FESTIVAL: Celebrate 100 years of Bethnal Green Library with WriteIdea reading festival, a weekend of 25 free events covering topics including mudlarking, The Rolling Stones, Yiddish tales, breakup stories, and much more. Special guests include historian Dr Matthew Green, and authors Ben Aaronovitch, Siobhan MacGowan and Jean Fullerton. FREE, 4-6 November

FIREWORKS NIGHT:  Remember, remember, the fifth of November — it's fireworks night or Bonfire Night, the anniversary of the foiled Gunpowder Plot. Take a look at the firework displays going on at parks and sports grounds around London this year, and get booking those tickets. Around 5 November

TREASON: Aptly opening on 5 November is The National Archives' new exhibition, Treason: People, Power and Plot. It contains important historical documents, including the Monteagle Letter, which alerted those in power to the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, in 1605. It's not all Guy Fawkes though — the exhibition covers 700 years of history including the charges brought against Anne Boleyn in 1536, and the trial and execution of Charles I in 1649. FREE, From 5 November

VETERAN CAR RUN: The Veteran Car Run sees more than 100 pre-1905 vehicles setting off from London to Brighton. You'll have to be up early to cheer them on — they begin leaving Hyde Park around 7am, heading through Lambeth towards Croydon, and on to the coast. 6 November

Dozens of star-shaped lights hang from blue strings above Oxford Street in the dark
Those stars are back for 2022. Photo: Oxford Street

LA VOIX: For one night only, Shaftesbury Avenue's Lyric Theatre hosts TV personality and drag queen La Voix, for an evening of comedy and music, diva-style. Expect show stopping tunes to get you to your feet, and glittering outfits. 7 November

WRAP UP LONDON: Annual charity coat collection WrapUp London is back at London stations, so dig out your old winter coat from the back of your wardrobe. The organisation redistributes the coats they collect to those who need them most, to help keep them warm as the winter weather bites. 2022 collection dates are 7-27 November

CATHEDRAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Every so often, Southwark Cathedral stays open late and invites photographers inside for an evening of candlelit photography. 9 November is one of those nights — open to amateur and professional photographers, who can roam the building at their leisure, capturing it as it would have been lit in centuries gone by. 9 November

BLACK-OWNED HACKNEY NIGHT MARKET: Back for the final night market of 2022, Black Eats London are curating another mind-blowingly good line-up of street food traders, artisan gift stalls, and music. This month's is a collab with Black Women Talk Tech, so you can catch their panel before settling into snacks, cocktails, and a set from Girls Can't DJ. 10 November

REMEMBRANCE: There are always special events in London around 11 November, to mark Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day. This year's details will be announced in due course, but include the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

CHRISTMAS WINE FEST: Thinking about your festive tipple already? The Big Christmas Wine Fest has vino experts Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Olly Smith on hand to help you pick the perfect wine to pair with your turkey. Over 600 wines from all around the world (plus a few gins) are available for tasting, and ready to buy when you find one that floats your boat. 11-12 November

EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL: Get down with the trumpets as the EFG London Jazz Festival returns — and celebrates its 30th year. It takes place at venues including Barbican and Royal Festival Hall, and the programme features poet, saxophonist, and composer Alabaster DePlume, Afro-Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdés, and Malian singer-songwriter and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara. 11-20 November 2022

ENCHANTED WOODLAND: Looking for a festive event for younger kids? Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland is a safe bet. Open on selected evenings throughout November, the mile-long route winds past the lake, with all manner of illuminations in the trees — and the occasional fairy garden or enchanted installation to look out for on the ground too. 11-27 November

Poet Dean Atta looking at the camera and smiling, with a wall of street art behind him
Poet Dean Atta is one of the guests at Tottenham Literature Festival

LORD MAYOR'S SHOW: If you're a sucker for pomp and pageantry, don't miss the Lord Mayor's Show. The event marks the outgoing Lord Mayor being replaced by the new Lord Mayor, and takes the form of a procession through the City of London. FREE, 12 November 2022

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: London's awash with different versions of A Christmas Carol as the festive season approaches, and the Old Vic's production is a stalwart each year. See Charles Dickens' tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge brought to life on stage in front of you, with Game of Thrones' Owen Teale in the lead role. 12 November 2022-7 January 2023

TOTTENHAM LITERATURE FESTIVAL: Celebrating diverse stories by Black authors, poets, and artists from Tottenham and beyond, Tottenham Literature Festival is a mixture of in-person and online events. Talks, workshops and panel discussions with special guests including Anthony Joseph, Bridget Minamore, Dean Atta and Dzifa Benson. 14-23 November

ELF THE MUSICAL: Santa! I know him! If you can identify that quote, you need to get yourself to the Dominion Theatre to see Elf! The Musical. For those not familiar (what!?), it's the story of Buddy, who was mistakenly raised as one of Santa's elves, despite being significantly taller than his colleagues. We've got a feeling this one will be as popular with adults as kids. 14 November 2022-7 January 2023

A tunnel of golden-white fairy lights at Kew
We do love Christmas at Kew. Photo: Londonist

CHRISTMAS AT KEW: We know we shouldn't have favourites, but we have a real soft spot for Christmas at Kew, the spectacular light and illuminations festival that takes over the gardens each winter. Over a million lights and thousands of laser beams go into the event, which also features a fire garden, light tunnel and illuminated trees. 16 November 2022-8 January 2023

LIGHTOPIA CRYSTAL PALACE: Another day, another light festival opens. This time it's Lightopia at Crystal Palace, a trail of large-scale illuminated installations, including a dragon who dramatically breathes 'fire', a magical forest display filled with mythical winged creatures, and an illuminated water show over the lower lake. 17 November 2022-2 January 2023

MAGDALENA ABAKANOWICZ: Tate Modern opens an exhibition dedicated to Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. Wander through a forest-like display of her large-scale woven fibre sculptures inside the gallery's Blavatnik Building. 17 November 2022-1 May 2023

A CINEMATIC SPECTACLE: Bourbon kings Woodford Reserve are bringing a one-night-only food-and-film pairing to Hoxton, where 2022 comedy-horror hit The Menu (young couple visits a remote island for a lavish tasting menu, only to be met with sinister surprises) will be paired with an IRL (but hopefully less horrific) tasting menu and cocktails. Food from Rita's Soho, so that's reason enough to snap up a ticket. 17 November

HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND: London's giant festive funfair returns to Hyde Park, with all the usual attractions; ice rink, giant wheel, funfair rides, ice kingdom, circus, Christmas market and food and drink stalls. Note that like last year, you'll need to book your entry slot in advance, and prices vary depending on peak and off-peak timings. 18 November 2022-2 January 2023

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland by night - crowds walking past wooden huts illuminated by fairy lights, selling food and drink, with a tall Christmas tree towering over them
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is back

ILLUMINATURE: The London Wetlands Centre in Barnes is home to Illuminature, a trail of nature themed sculptures aglow after dark. Follow the route past twinkling lights and giant illuminated sculptures of some of the creatures that call the wetlands home. 18 November 2022-8 January 2023

LIGHT FANTASTIC: Choo choo! All aboard the Epping-Ongar Railway for Light Fantastic, a special ride on a train that's illuminated with countless fairy lights. Once on board, watch the world whizz by the window, with other illuminations to be enjoyed from within the train. 18 November 2022-15 January 2023

2022 WORLD CUP: It's not often you can watch a World Cup match beneath twinkling Christmas lights, but that's the situation this year. Plenty of pubs, bars and other venues are screening matches here in the capital — take a look at our guide to where to watch the World Cup in London, and get booking, as many venues are selling out already. Here's hoping it's coming ho-ho-home. 20 November-18 December

GARY BARLOW: Singer-songwriter Gary Barlow brings his one man show, A Different Stage, to the Savoy Theatre for just two nights, after touring the country. In it, he tells the story of his life in his own words. 21 and 28 November

A young girl in a pink coat poses in front of an illuminated pair of angel wings.  Above her head, a pink neon sign says 'Help save wetlands'
Illuminature is back in Barnes from 18 November

TRELLICK TOWER: Kensal Green's Trellick Tower celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and it's the subject of a Design Museum talk about contemporary urban living. The panel consists of architects James Dunnett and Thomas Aquilina, Spatial Justice campaigner Eve Wedderburn, and the museum's Head of Curatorial Priya Khanchandani. 22 November

EVER AFTER GARDEN: Once again, Mayfair's Grosvenor Square glows with the light of more than 20,000 illuminated roses as the Ever After Garden returns. Anyone can visit, and though there's no admission fee, the installation raises money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, so do consider donating if you can. Alternatively, dedicate a rose to a loved one (minimum donation £10). From 23 November

EAT & DRINK FESTIVAL: Head to Olympia London for the Eat & Drink Festival Christmas special. Pick up tips on preparing your festive feasts, with special demos from celebrity chefs; discover beers, wines and spirits to pair with your meal; and go home armed with goodies from the artisan food market. 23-27 November

THANKSGIVING: Thanksgiving falls on the last Thursday in November with plenty of London restaurants serving up traditional feasts for American expats, and anyone else who fancies getting in on the action. 24 November

A close-up shot of rows and rows of white-blue illuminated roses at the Ever After Garden
Support the Royal Marsden at the Ever After Garden. Photo: David Parry

WIND IN THE WILTON'S: Nope, that's not a typo; Wilton's Music Hall has its own twist on The Wind in the Willows, running throughout the festive period. It's an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's children's book, set in modern-day London, with Ratty, Mole, Badger and co travelling through Hyde Park and along the Thames. Age 5+. 24 November-31 December

ORLANDO: Fresh from playing Diana in The Crown, Emma Corrin takes to the stage at the Garrick Theatre, starring in an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando. It's the tale of eponymous Orlando, born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and going on to live through a few more centuries, switching gender in their quest of self-identity. 26 November 2022-5 February 2023

INVENTED DEPARTMENT STORES: London's fake, fictional and wholly invented shops are the subject of a talk, by Tessa Boase, author of new book London's Lost Department Stores (which you can read more about here). FREE, 29 November

LONDONERS OF NOTE: Londonist's editor-at-large Matt Brown is MC at London Historians' History in the Pub event, open to all. This month's theme is Londoners of Note, with eight experts giving a short talk about exceptional Londoners from the past, over a pint or two. Pay attention, as Matt will throw in a speed quiz at some point in the evening — and from our experience, he's a fiendish quizmaster. 30 November

Crowds of football fans, some wrapped in England fans, looking up towards a large screen where a match is being shown
BoxPark is one of the venues screening the World Cup matches

INJECTING HOPE: The race to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 almost feels like a distant memory, but Science Museum opens a new exhibition detailing the process. Injecting Hope looks at the worldwide effort to develop vaccines during a pandemic, and the work done by scientists and researchers in a bid to keep us all safe. Artworks, interactive exhibits and personal objects all feature. FREE, 30 November 2022-January 2024

AUTUMN WALKS: London's parks and open spaces look fantastic as the leaves change. We've picked some of our favourite places to walk in autumn, to catch the trees in their orange, red and gold finery — you might catch the tail end of it if you're quick!

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: London's festive fairs and Christmas markets start opening this month, including the Country Living Christmas Fair, the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, and Southbank Centre's Winter Market.

LAST CHANCE: A few things are closing in November too. It's your last chance to see:

Last Updated 29 November 2022

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