November 2018: Top Cheapo Events in London

Lily Crossley-Baxter

November is officially here, and whether you’re on the countdown to Christmas or are in absolute denial that 2019 is just around the corner, there’s plenty to do to keep you distracted. Whether you like fireworks, car shows or world-class photography—London has it all (no surprises there) and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny!

Bonfire Night Weekend  |  Nov 2nd – 5th

london events november
Photo by Aurelien Guichard used under CC

Now, there are plenty of grand displays and local spots to check out, depending on the vibe you want for you Guy Fawkes Night this year. We have all your best options, so be sure to have a look for all things free, family-orientated and laser-based. The festival of fire and light is a combination of bonfire night and Diwali—and it’s free, so this could be a good place to start!

 Festival of Fire and Light

Dates:Early Nov, 2019

The Regent Street Motor Show

Regent Street Motor Show
Photo by Garry Knight used under CC

A great chance to see over 125 veteran, vintage, classic and modern cars as well as learn about the electric future of transport too. Every year Regent Street is pedetrianised for this family-friendly day out which includes costumes, performances and plenty of hands-on opportunities.

 The Regent Street Motor Show

Dates:Early Nov, 2019

The Lord Mayor’s Show

Lord Mayor's Procession
Photo by Aurelien Guicharde used under CC

This is an ancient tradition filled with British pomp and grandeur, taking place every year since 1215. Created to celebrate the city’s right to elect it’s own mayor by King John, the new Lord Mayor must travel from London City and travel to Westminster. Today, this means a huge 3 mi procession with flotillas, marching bands and performers galore, as well as the mayor in a 250-year-old stage coach.

 The Lord Mayor's Show

Dates:Early Nov, 2019

Hyper Japan Winter

Hyper Japan Winter
Photo by Andy L used under CC

A chance to explore all corners of Japanese culture (especially the cosplay bits), this huge event is a wintery version of the summer staple. There will be showcases and workshops, food stalls and performances including Mutant Monster and Banzai Japan. Cosplay is encouraged, but remember to stick to the usual rules as it’s a family-friendly event.

 Hyper Japan Winter

Dates:Mid Nov, 2019
Entry:£17.00 – £50.00

Christmas markets, skating rinks and winter wonderlands

Get your big coat and head out to sip on mulled wine the top Christmas fairs in London, with markets, plenty of shows and performances and illuminations too.

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Christmas lights on Oxford Street in London
Photo by Kyle Taylor used under CC

While big names are yet to be announced, the lights will be switched on Tuesday the 6th November this year. Part of their big Christmas shopping night, the switch-on will no doubt feature a big household name and there will be plenty of festive treats and temptations to be had.

 Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Dates:6th Nov–7th Jan, 2019

South Bank Winter Festival

southbank centre covered in lights
Photo by Hans Dinkelberg used under CC

A whole range of events including a food-based Christmas market and plenty of entertainement, this is a seasonal staple. Enjoy a festive feminist panto from Glittery Clittery, watch the puppet-animals of Circus 1903 and enjoy the live music nights. There’s plenty for after-work drinks and entertainment as well as family-fun, all with a creative seasonal twist.

 Winter Festival at South Bank Centre

Dates:9th Nov–6th Jan, 2019

Ice Skating at Somerset House

Ice Skating Somerset House
Photo by Pedro Figueiredo used under CC

Get your skates on and roll up your sleeves—Somerset House is back with a rink, blades and even DJ nights too. There are chances to snaffle cheaper tickets, but be prepared to pay a little more for event nights like Skate Lates. You can also spend your hard-saved coins on some Fortnum & Mason treats like a chocolate fondue, or cheese and wine platters for two.

 Ice Skating at Somerset House

Dates:14th Nov–13th Jan, 2019
Entry:£11.00 – £17.00

Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park

Enchanted Syon Park
Photo by Mike Fleming used under CC

An extremely popular winter event, the illuminations at Syon Park are truly magical. Held on the last three weekends of November, the garden is filled with trails and interactive displays celebrating the amazing diversity of the garden’s trees. The popularity means there are specific entry times and tickets sell out fast, so be sure to book soon.

 Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park

Late Nov, 2019
Advance sales: £10.00
Advance sales: £5.00

Scandinavian Christmas Market

Photo by Scandi Market used under CC

Start your festive preparations with a touch of the old Scandinavian ‘hygge’ by getting warm and cosy with some tasty treats while you browse the stalls. This Christmas market has a great selection of independent retailers with handmade textiles, calendars and greetings cards and even vintage clothes.

 Scandinavian Christmas Market

Dates:Late Nov, 2019

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew
Photo by Mary Shattock used under CC

Another increasingly popular garden illumination, the grounds of Kew become a world of festive illuminations and delights. Following a carefully designed trail, visitors can see carefully designed installations, arches and displays.

This year will have a new Moonlit Woods area and a Laser Garden as well as the sculptural fire garden and flotilla of glowing boats glimmering on the lake’s surface. There will be plenty of mulled wines and spiced ciders for the big ones as well as old-fashioned fairground rides for the little ones.

 Christmas at Kew

Dates:22nd Nov–5th Jan, 2019
Entry:£16.00 – £18.50

Christmas by the River

A Christmas tree with Tower Bridge in the background
Photo by Sheep "R" Us used under CC

One of the most pictureqsue markets in the city, this parade of festive stalls offers views of the bridge and tower while you shop. Warm up with mulled wine and spiced hot chocolate and wander through the handmade gifts and foodie treats.

 Christmas By the River - London Bridge Market

Dates:29th Nov–2nd Jan, 2019

Last-chance events

brochures for photomonth 2016
Photo by Photomonth

East London Photography Festival | Until Dec 30th | Various

Ongoing events

Deptford Market Yard  |  Until December 22nd  |  Deptford

Votes for Women Centenary Exhibition | Until Jan 9th 2019 | Barbican

Poster Women: A Century of Art and Design  |  Until Jan 2019  |  Covent Garden 

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Filed under: Things to Do
Tags: Activities, Cars, Events, Family Friendly, Featured, Free Events, Free London Events, Guy Fawkes Night, Markets, November, Things To Do
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