Things to Do in London in November
London is a city that always has something going on, and November is no exception. While the weather may be chilly, the city is alive with activities and attractions that are perfect for this time of year. From festive lights to cultural events, there is something for everyone in London in November.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. From ice skating to afternoon tea, London has something to offer for every taste and interest. So, if you’re planning a trip to the city this November, here are some recommended activities to add to your itinerary.
Enjoy the Festive Lights of Oxford Street
One of the highlights of the holiday season in London is the festive lights that adorn Oxford Street. Every year, the street is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for a winter stroll. Whether you’re in the mood for some shopping or just want to take in the sights, a visit to Oxford Street is a must during November.
The lights are usually switched on in early November and remain up until early January, so there is plenty of time to enjoy them. And while you’re there, be sure to check out some of the other nearby attractions, such as Selfridges and Liberty, both of which are known for their stunning holiday displays.
Attend the Lord Mayor’s Show
If you want to experience a truly unique cultural event, then the Lord Mayor’s Show is not to be missed. This annual procession, which takes place on the second Saturday in November, celebrates the election of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London. The show features a parade of floats, marching bands, and other performers, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over the Thames.
The Lord Mayor’s Show has been a tradition since the 16th century, and it’s a great way to experience a piece of London’s history while also enjoying some festive fun. The event is free to attend, and crowds line the streets to catch a glimpse of the procession. So, if you’re in London in November, be sure to add the Lord Mayor’s Show to your itinerary.
Take a Stroll in Hyde Park
While London may not be known for its sunny weather, November can be a great time to explore some of the city’s parks and gardens. Hyde Park is one of the largest and most popular parks in London, and it’s especially beautiful during the fall season. With over 350 acres of green space, there is plenty to explore, from the Serpentine lake to the Diana Memorial Fountain.
During the winter months, Hyde Park is also home to a variety of seasonal attractions, such as the Winter Wonderland festival, which features ice skating, rides, and festive markets. So, if you’re in the mood for a peaceful stroll or some seasonal fun, Hyde Park is definitely worth a visit during your stay in London.
Visit the Tower of London
If you’re interested in history and architecture, then a visit to the Tower of London is a must during your stay in London. This iconic landmark has a rich and fascinating history, dating back over 900 years. From the Crown Jewels to the famous ravens, there is plenty to see and learn about at the Tower.
November is also a great time to visit the Tower, as the crowds tend to be smaller than during the peak summer months. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Yeoman Warders, also known as the Beefeaters, who have been guarding the Tower since the 16th century.
Catch a Show at the West End
London’s West End is known for its world-class theater productions, and November is a great time to catch a show. From classic musicals like "The Phantom of the Opera" to new productions like "Hamilton," there is something for every taste and interest.
Many theaters also offer special discounts and promotions during the winter months, so it’s a great time to score a deal on tickets. And if you’re in the mood for some seasonal entertainment, there are also plenty of holiday-themed productions to choose from, such as "A Christmas Carol" or "The Nutcracker."
Explore the South Bank Christmas Market
For a dose of holiday cheer, head to the South Bank Christmas Market. This festive market features dozens of stalls selling everything from handcrafted gifts to seasonal treats. With mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and other festive treats, the market is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit.
And while you’re there, be sure to take a spin on the South Bank’s iconic Ferris wheel, which offers stunning views of the city. The market is usually open from mid-November through early January, so there’s plenty of time to visit during your stay in London.
Experience Guy Fawkes Night
November 5th is Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, a holiday that commemorates the failed Powder Plot of 1605. To celebrate, many Londoners gather around bonfires and set off fireworks, creating a festive atmosphere throughout the city.
There are plenty of public events and displays to choose from, such as the fireworks display at Alexandra Palace or the bonfire at Battersea Park. And if you’re in the mood for some traditional British fare, be sure to try some bonfire toffee or a warm cup of mulled cider.
Indulge in Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is a quintessentially British experience, and there’s no shortage of great places to indulge in London. Whether you’re looking for a traditional spread or a more modern twist, there’s something for every taste and budget.
Some popular spots for afternoon tea include The Ritz, Claridge’s, and Fortnum & Mason, all of which offer a luxurious and elegant experience. And if you’re looking for something a bit more quirky, you can try the Alice in Wonderland-themed tea at The Sanderson or the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tea at One Aldwych.
Take a Day Trip to Greenwich
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a day trip to Greenwich is a great option. This historic neighborhood is home to some of London’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark.
Greenwich is also a great place to take in some stunning views of the city, with panoramic vistas from Greenwich Park and the top of the observatory. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a ride on the Emirates Air Line cable car, which offers breathtaking views of the Thames.
Go Ice Skating at Somerset House
Ice skating is a classic winter activity, and there’s no shortage of great rinks in London. One of the most popular is the rink at Somerset House, which offers a stunning backdrop of the neoclassical building and the Thames.
The rink is usually open from mid-November through early January, and there are plenty of sessions available throughout the day and evening. And if you’re in the mood for some post-skating refreshment, you can check out the rinkside Fortnum & Mason pop-up, which offers a selection of festive treats and beverages.
Visit the British Museum
The British Museum is one of the world’s most famous cultural institutions, and it’s a must-visit during your stay in London. With a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits from around the world, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into human history and culture.
And while the museum is always worth a visit, November is a great time to explore some of the seasonal exhibits and events. For example, the museum often hosts lectures and tours focused on holiday traditions and customs from around the world.
Conclusion: London in November is Full of Activities
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to do in London in November. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just some festive fun, there’s something for every taste and interest. So, if you’re planning a trip to the city this November, be sure to add some of these activities to your itinerary.