by Harley Nott
November in London sees Christmas lights beginning to twinkle, cosy scarves and jumpers re-emerging from the wardrobe and the capital’s skies lit by spectacular fireworks displays for Britain’s Bonfire Night.
Bonfires are lit and there are fireworks displays all over London (and the UK) to commemorate the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up James I and his Parliament on 1605. The plot’s most famous conspirator, Guy Fawkes, (“The Guy”) is burned as an effigy. Although the official anniversary is on the 5th, bonfires and firework displays start up to 2 weeks before and go on for a week after the actual date. More details and history. In central London one of the biggest event is the bonfire and fireworks in Battersea Park. It’s an all ticket event – available here.
The Regent Street Motor Show. Two days earlier, on November 3, the Regent Street Motor Show returns to the capital, for the largest free motor show in the UK. Head down to Regent Street between 10.30am and 4.00pm as hundreds of vehicles, showcasing 125 years of motoring history, go on display in the famous shopping street – free of normal traffic for the day. Be wowed by a huge collection of impressive cars, motorbikes and classic automobiles dating from pre 1905 to the present day and beyond. Find out about the latest low-emission technologies, and enjoy exciting music and dance performances during the show.
The Lord Mayor’s Show. Saturday November 10. The Lord Mayor’s Show has floated, rolled, trotted, marched and occasionally fought its way through 798 years of London history, surviving the black death and the blitz to arrive in the 21st century as one of the world’s best-loved pageants. Over the centuries the Mayor’s journey became one of London’s favourite rituals. It moved from river barges to horseback and then into the magnificent State Coach, and around it grew a splendidly rowdy and joyful mediaeval festival known as the Lord Mayor’s Show.
The London Jazz Festival, November 16 – 25, is the capital’s biggest pan-city music festival, taking place annually in November. Widely acknowledged for delivering world-class artists and emerging stars, the festival continues to take jazz to a massive audience. Presenting 2,500 artists across 60 venues, more than 250 shows take place in London’s best concert halls and arts centres, including the Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre, Ronnie Scott’s and more.
London Christmas Lights, November 6 – January 6 2019. You know that Christmas really is on its way when Oxford Street is transformed by glittering lights and enchanted shoppers. This year, a competition was launched for new design ideas from designers and architects from all over the world to ensure that the 2018 display is the most spectacular to date. With 40 million visitors expected to come and see the vibrant display, we can’t wait to see how they look.