From festive igloos and cosy pop-ups, to daring cabaret and the long-awaited return of our favourite winter events, these November happenings are set to give Londoners the ole’ razzle-dazzle. There are some sparkling happenings you simply won’t want to miss, so without further ado, here’s what’s on in London in November 2021.
The best things to do in London in November 2021
Taste of London is back this winter with their festive edition, and it’s just what we need to kick off the best time of the year! Join in on four food-fuelled days of festive fun at Tobacco Dock from November 18 – 21, where top London restaurants like Hoppers, Juici Jerk, and Cin Cin will cook up amazing food and get you in the holiday mood. Get cosy with a hot drink under fairy lights, warm up around the fire pit, learn something new at the masterclasses, and eat your way through 60+ dishes as flaming theatrics and live music set the scene. Get your tickets here.
One of London’s all-time favourite holiday events returns this winter for six weeks of festive fun! From November 19, Hyde Park will once again be transformed into a giant Christmas village, inviting visitors to glide around the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, browse for gifts at the market stalls, take in the glistening view from the ferris wheel, and fill up on festive food and hot drinks. After a sad year without Winter Wonderland, it’s a Christmas miracle to welcome it back in 2021! Weekend entry tickets are selling out fast, so book now to visit this magical winter experience.
Christmas came early this year! FriendsFestive is returning to London with a whole lot of holiday spirit, setting up at Truman Brewery from November 25 – December 19. Offering plenty of prime photo opportunities, the installation gives fans a chance to hang out on familiar TV sets, act out their favourite festive moments from Friends, visit the Holiday Armadillo’s Grotto, catch up on the sitcom’s best seasonal moments, and munch on delicious Friends-themed food. The experience is the perfect Xmas gift for Friends enthusiasts, and you can even grab some exclusive merch to put under the Christmas tree… Tickets are here!
If you’re looking to escape the city this November, we strongly suggest you take a trip up North! Manchester is not only home to beautiful Christmas markets, but you’ll also find a giant winter island filled with live shows, comedy and karaoke evenings, holiday movie screenings, amazing food and market stalls, and even a Christmas tree forest. Escape to Freight Island will be transformed into a real-life winter wonderland, and it’s the best way to welcome the festive season! Find more info and book a spot here.
Looking for something to spice up your festive season? The multi-award-winning cabaret extravaganza La Clique is back to dazzle and delight Londoners this Christmas! The sensational show is a heady concoction of cabaret, music, comedy, circus acts, and contemporary vaudeville that has won over critics and earned them a wealth of fans around the world. They will be high-kicking and hula-hooping into Leicester Square on November 13 and sticking around until January 8, so hurry up and book your tickets now!
An immersive experience based on Netflix’s hit show, Money Heist, is taking London by storm. The infamous masked bandits are looking for new recruits for their latest mission and they think you could be the one for the job. Expect high-stakes action, special effects, interaction with actors, and plenty of unexpected surprises. The challenge will put your heist skills to the test, but if all goes well you’ll be sipping tasty cocktails at a glamorous Havana Club bar with your pockets full of bills! Get tickets here.
London’s finest ice skating rinks are back in business this month, so you can cautiously inch your way alongside the handrails at the best of them!
⛸️ Natural History Museum, open now for a final season
❄️ Canary Wharf, open now
⛸️ Alexandra Palace, open now
❄️ Somerset House, from Nov 17
⛸️ Queen’s House, from Nov 18
❄️ Hampton Court Palace, from Nov 19
⛸️ Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, from Nov 19
15. Embrace the Christmas cheer at the South Bank’s charming winter market (from November 4)
From November 4, the South Bank will once again be lined with cosy wooden chalets, warming street food, and hot toddies during its annual winter market, and you can read all about it here.
The South Bank’s winter market is just the beginning! Starting this month, you can wander around Christmas markets in search of the best mulled wine and festive treats, and here are some of London’s best:
🎅 Selfridges, from Nov 5
🎄 Leicester Square, from Nov 12
🎅 Christmas by the River from Nov 16
🎄 Kingston Christmas Market, from Nov 18
🎅 Winter Wonderland, from Nov 19
22-26. See Christmas lights switching on over London (from November 4)
In November, things start to get real festive out on London’s streets! You can expect most Christmas lights displays to be shining bright by the end of November or beginning of December, but here are some early switch-on dates to add to your calendar:
✨ Carnaby Street (Nov 4)
✨ Covent Garden (Nov 9)
✨ Marylebone Village (Nov 10)
✨ Regent Street (Nov 13)
27. Watch the firework displays over the city (November 4-7)
It’s Bonfire Night on Friday, November 5, but you’ll find dozens of firework displays all over London during the first week of November. See our guide to London’s best Bonfire Night firework displays here.
28. Celebrate Diwali in London (November 4)
Diwali – also known as the Festival of Light – is a five-day Hindu festival celebrated each year. Here in the capital, there are many celebrations that people of all faiths (or none at all) can get involved with. We’ve rounded some of the best ones up here!
From Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November, The Seven Dials Winter Festival brings you three full days of shopping, dining and festive merriment. Ticket holders can enjoy on-street entertainment, workshops, shopping and exclusive in-store discounts. The festival lineup will feature everything from spoken word to traditional brass bands and gospel choirs. And you can even enjoy festive glitter makeovers, wreath making, and a pop-up pantomime. Mulled wine carts, spiced rum hot chocolate and delicious festive food will line the streets, all complemented by a sparkling light installation. Register for your free ticket.
Explore the stunning details of Michelangelo’s iconic work without having to travel to Italy, as LA-based SEE Global Entertainment (SEE™) use digital technology to bring one of mankind’s greatest artistic feats to life. Visitors will be able to experience Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel from never-before-seen perspectives, making for a stunning spectacle. Grab your tickets here.
Inspired by Disney’s Mulan and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, The Vaults has been transformed into “Mulan Rouge“, where comedy, drag and burlesque shows will entice and entertain guests across two rooms. Enjoy a delicious dinner and cocktails and don’t be afraid to dress to impress! Tickets are available here.
32-37. Dine in a cosy winter igloo
Who would have thought that, when choosing an igloo to dine in, you’d actually have a choice? And a big choice at that. Here are just a few of London’s best:
✨ Coppa Club’s Thames-side igloos, open now
❄️ Aviary’s rooftop igloos, open now
✨ Kensington’s Secret Garden domes, open now
❄️ Coppa Club’s new Putney riverside igloos, open now
✨ Jimmy’s Winter Lodge South Bank snow globes, open from Nov 5
The nights are dark, the days… are pretty dark too, TBH. Happily, Secret London’s own coffee aficionado Georgie has her eyes on the greatest coffee shops in the 32 boroughs, and she’s sharing her wisdom with the world. Get the full story here.
39. Get tipsy inside a rooftop winter forest (from November 11)
Paddington isn’t renowned for its forests, but that’s set to change with the launch of Pergola Paddington‘s winter season. The festive makeover will see the rooftop hangout become a cosy winter forest filled with street food, seasonal cocktails, and toasty welcomes. More here.
Embark on a night of boozy fun at some of the West End’s best venues. Begin the evening by skipping the queue at Zebranos in Soho, then head to two more exclusive bars where you’ll find free shots and discount drink deals along the way. End the crawl at one of central London’s biggest nightclubs and dance until the break of dawn. The Barhopping London Party runs every Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 3am, and you can book the whole gang in here.
41. Hit up London’s insanely Christmassy cocktail bar for festive tipples (from November 15)
Charming festive cocktail bar Miracle at Henrietta will return to the capital for a fourth year of cocktail-fuelled revelry. Aiming to transport you back to Christmases past, an army of throwback Christmas ornaments, colourful lights, and an oversized fireplace complement whimsically-named cocktails at this magnificently OTT spot. Find out more here.
Soft candlelight, London’s best musicians, and history’s greatest composers – now that’s a recipe for a wonderful night out! Here are our picks of the best candlelight concerts this month:
🕯️ The Best of Bond @ Butcher’s Hall (Nov 4)
🕯️ A Tribute to Ludovico Einaudi @ Central Hall Westminster (Nov 5)
🕯️ The Best of House & Techno @ The Lindley Hall (Nov 6)
🕯️ Vivaldi’s Four Seasons @ Freemasons’ Hall (Nov 6)
🕯️ Moonlight Sonata Concert @ St. James’ Church (Nov 6)
🕯️ Film Soundtracks Under A Plane @ Royal Air Force Museum (Nov 13)
🕯️ John Williams’ Best Works @ Butchers’ Hall (Nov 19)
🕯️ The Best of Anime @ Butchers’ Hall (Nov 20)
🕯️ A Tribute to Daft Punk with Kaleidoscope Orchestra @ The Lindley Hall (Nov 26)
🕯️ Best of Magical Movie Soundtracks @ Butchers’ Hall (Nov 27)
🕯️ The Black Swan & More ft. Ballet @ Central Hall Westminster (Nov 27)
55. Dine at this ultra-swanky new restaurant and bar in King’s Cross (from November 16)
A stylish new drinking and dining spot is opening at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel this November, and boy does it look fancy! Booking Office 1869 is a reimagining of the original nineteenth century St Pancras ticket hall that pays homage with bold new fixtures, abundant plant life, and a bevy of brilliant cocktails and small plates. Check it out here.
56. Mosey through Kew Gardens’ mesmerising festive light trail (from November 17)
Back for a ninth year, Kew are continuing their new route from last year through the trees with their new installations. Yep, that means more lights, more colours, and more Christmas! You’ll find one million lights twinkling in the branches and boughs at Christmas at Kew – get a sneak peek here!
57. Wander through colourful glasshouses at this twinkling light trail (November 19)
Down in Surrey, RHS Wisley will bring their lavish Glow trail back to town later in November, showing off an enviable collection of illuminations. Sparkling cherry trees and a gorgeous Wisteria Walk are just two must-see spots. Read all about it here.
58-60. More mesmerising winter light trails to discover this November:
✨ Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland, from Nov 12
✨ Christmas at Kenwood, Hampstead Heath, from Nov 26
61. Down a few pints at Brick Lane’s Christmas Beer Market (November 19 & 20)
From November 19–20, Truman Brewery will be giving Christmas shopping a brilliantly boozy upgrade with the launch of London Christmas Beer Market. The event – brainchild of the team behind the London Craft Beer Festival – will see the market area come alive with stalls from more than 50 of the UK’s finest breweries, serving beer, wine, cider and spirits, plus live music and a host of activities across the Friday and Saturday. Get your tickets here.
Transforming our childhood dreams into reality, The Chocolate Factory will immerse you in a world of sweets, where sight, smell, and taste all combine to bring a candy-themed adventure to life. As you walk through the experience, you’ll eat your way from Chocolate Town to the Cupcake Room, and from the Ball Pit to Cloudland — a literal dream for anyone with a sweet tooth! Get your tickets here to ensure you don’t miss out.
In commemoration of what would be the late singer’s 75th birthday next January, an immersive David Bowie pop-up store has recently opened in London. Paying homage to the Starman himself, it’s the beginning of a year-long celebration of his life, and it’s here until January 2022. Check it out here.
A thrilling, action-packed Army of the Dead VR experience has arrived in London! ‘Viva Las Vengeance’ will immerse you in a zombie-infested world in which you have to fight the dead to save the living… are you brave enough to enter? Find your tickets here.
65. Hop aboard a steam train covered in Christmas lights (November 20)
Back for 2021, Epping Ongar Light Fantastic will see the Epping Ongar Railway heritage trains bedecked in a plentiful array of Christmas lights, turning the classic engines into brightly-coloured blurs speeding through the night. Seriously, if the North Pole had a steam line, I reckon it would look a lot like this. See more here.
66. Gaze at London’s tallest LED Christmas tree (November 25)
Returning to Wembley Park after a year’s hiatus, Winterfest will make use of artworks that combine lights, sound and touch to create an incredible, multi-sensory experience. With a new theme of ‘Reunited in Light’, the display aims to celebrate togetherness – a worthy message in 2021. Best of all, it’s entirely free to visit. More info here.
67. Dine on a pair of floating restaurants in Canary Wharf (from November 25)
Our city gets new restaurants virtually every week, but not many of them have to be towed into town up the River Thames… And yet, that’s exactly what happened with London’s newest restaurants, which have docked up in Canary Wharf. The first of the pair, steak restaurant Hawksmoor, opens on November 25, and the Dubai-based The London Project should hopefully follow shortly thereafter! Read more here.
A few years ago, Insta-famous Amsterdam restaurant The Avocado Show brought a pop-up restaurant to London. Now, they’ve come back to the capital, having secured a permanent site just off Oxford Circus from which to dispense their litany of dam good avo dishes. Here’s the full story.
69. Hop back on the Night Tube (from November 27)
After what feels like forever, the Night Tube is finally making a return! It has remained shut since March 2020, much to the dismay of Londoners needing a simple route home during the early hours of Fridays and Saturdays. Now, the Mayor has revealed that two Night Tube routes will be back in service from late November: the Central and Victoria Lines. Get the full scoop here.
70-76. Discover London’s best new bars and restaurants
October brought some new arrivals, and so will November — here are some incredible new restaurants and bars we wrote about last month, which are well worth adding to your November bucket list for a good meal and drink!
Here are our top picks for November, but check out our guide to the biggest art exhibitions in London for more inspiration.
Art exhibitions opening in November:
🖼️ Hogarth and Europe, Tate Britain (Nov 3): insightful peek at the innovation and materialism of the 18th century
🗺️ The Credit Suisse Exhibition – Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist, National Gallery (Nov 20): Albrecht Dürer’s travels across Europe during the Renaissance
🥚 Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, V&A Museum (Nov 20): a collection of Carl Fabergé’s famed eggs
🎨 Lubaina Himid, Tate Modern (Nov 25): social commentary through art by Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid
Art exhibitions closing in November:
🗿 The EY Exhibition: Rodin, Tate Modern (until Nov 21): masterpieces by French sculptor Auguste Rodin
83-85. More things to do inspiration…
Some features in this article have been paid for by Secret London’s friendly brand partners.
Also published on Medium.