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Ideas / Events / November
Things to do in the UK in November 2014


The weather is becoming colder: think about how to keep yourself warm, and make sure that you have registered with a doctor (see: Personal/Health). You may hear fireworks in the evening, because people celebrate Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes) and other festivals at this time of year. Fireworks are dangerous and should never be kept in your room: it is best simply to go to an organised display with some friends. If you are in London, you may like to go and watch the ceremonies for the Lord Mayor's Show or Remembrance Day. From the start of the month people start to wear red poppies in memory of people who have died in wars. You may be asked to keep silent for a minute on 11th November (the anniversary of the end of the First World War). Don't be surprised if you see yellow bears walking around collecting money: they are raising funds for children's charities (Children In Need). St Andrew's Day is a national day celebrated by Scottish people. The Christmas lights will be turned on in the main shopping streets in the middle of the month: this is the start of the busiest time of the year for shops.

Sat 1 Nov -
Sun 9 Nov 2014
Bonfire Night fireworks, across the UK
Celebration of the failure of a plan by a group of Catholics to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605. The king at that time (James the First) was unpopular with Catholics because he passed laws which made them pay extra taxes unless they went to Anglican churches. A Catholic man called Guy Fawkes was found in a cellar underneath the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. He was executed, and other leaders of the plot were rounded up and killed. The failure of this plan is celebrated each year by lighting a big fire (called a bonfire) usually with a "guy" on top (this is a model of a man, representing Guy Fawkes). In recent years displays of fireworks the bonfire is combined with (or is often replaced by) displays of fireworks.

Fireworks are dangerous: if you buy your own, make sure that you always follow the Fireworks Safety Code. Never throw fireworks, and do not return to a firework which has been lit but has not exploded. Do not keep fireworks in your room, in case there is a fire. For the rules about fireworks, see:

Some of the places in or near London with fireworks displays are shown below. If you are planning to go to one of these please check the website for full details (occasionally events may be cancelled in bad weather conditions, eg high winds or heavy rain, so check again on the day). Some of the events are free, but many require a small payment of about £4-£8 for adults and less for children (for some events you can avoid queuing by buying tickets online in advance). Usually you are not allowed to take your own sparklers or fireworks to public fireworks events.

These are some of the fireworks displays in the London area: [event dates for 2013 are shown for information]

North London
- Byron Park (Harrow, HA3) (Tube/train: Harrow & Wealdstone) website [Sat 9 Nov 2013]
- Enfield Town Park (Enfield, EN1) (Train: Enfield Town) website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Fortismere School Playing Fields (Muswell Hill, N2) (Tube: East Finchley) [Tue 5 Nov 2013]
- Roundwood Park (Brent, NW10) (Tube: Dollis Hill, then bus 226): website [Tue 5 Nov 2013]
- The Walker Ground (Enfield, N14) (Tube: Southgate): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Totteridge Green (Barnet, N20) (Tube: Totteridge & Whetstone): website [Fri 8 Nov 2013]

East London
- Barking Park (Barking & Dagenham, IG11) (Tube: Barking/Upney): website [Sat 9 Nov 2013]
- Harley Grove (Tower Hamlets, E3) (Tube: Bow Road): website [Sun 3 Nov 2013]
- Wanstead Flats (Newham, E7) (London Overground: Wanstead Park): website [Sun 3 Nov 2013]

West London
- Bishops Park (Hammersmith & Fulham, SW6) (Tube: Putney Bridge): website [Fri 1 Nov 2013]
- Ealing Cricket Club (Ealing, W5) (Tube: Ealing Broadway/North Ealing): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Ravenscourt Park (Hammersmith & Fulham, W6) (Tube: Ravenscourt Park): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]

South-East London
- Blackheath Common, Shooters Hill (Lewisham, SE3) (Train: Blackheath): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Crystal Palace Park (SE19) (Train: Crystal Palace): website [Tue 5 Nov 2013]
- Southwark Park (SE16) (Tube: Bermondsey/Canada Water): website [Tue 5 Nov 2013]

South-West London
- Barnes Sports Club (Richmond upon Thames, SW13) (Train: Barnes Bridge): website [Sat 9 Nov 2013]
- Battersea Park (Wandsworth, SW4) (Tube: Sloane Square, or train: Battersea Park): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Brockwell Park (Lambeth, SE24) (Train: Herne Hill/Tulse Hill): website [Tue 5 Nov 2013]
- Morden Park (Merton, SM4) (Tube: Morden, or train: Morden South): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Richmond Athletic Ground (Richmond upon Thames, TW9) (Tube: Richmond): website [Sun 3 Nov 2013]
- Wimbledon Park (Merton, SW19) (Tube: Southfields/Wimbledon Park): website [Tue 5 Nov 2013]

- Chislehurst Recreation Ground (BR7) (Train: Chislehurst/Elmstead) website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Croydon Road Recreation Ground (Beckenham, BR3) (Train: Beckenham Junction): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Danson Park (Bexley, DA16) (Train: Bexleyheath/Welling): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Leeds Castle (Maidstone, ME17): website [Sat 9 Nov 2012 and Sun 10 Nov 2013]
- Norman Park (Bromley, BR2) (Train: Bromley South): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]

- Beacon Hill (Hindhead, GU26) (Train: Haslemere): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Carshalton Park (Surrey, SM5) (Train: Carshalton Beeches/Wallington): website [Sat 2 Nov 2013]
- Dene Field (Surrey, CR3) (Train: Caterham): website [Sat 3 Nov 2013]

There are other organised events in parks and other open spaces across the UK - see local newspapers or council websites for details.



Fireworks at Leeds Castle

Sun 2 Nov 2014 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, London/Crawley/Brighton
Old cars (built before 1905) travel from London to Brighton. This traditional event celebrates the removal in 1896 of the law which forced drivers to have a man walking in front of the car holding a red flag (at the same time the speed limit was increased from 4 miles per hour to 14 miles per hour). The official website for the event is (there is also information on the website of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain: The event starts at 7:00am at the Serpentine Road in Hyde Park (near Hyde Park Corner). About 400 cars take part - the last of these leaves Hyde Park at about 8:30am. Cars start to arrive at the finish at Madeira Drive in Brighton from about 10:00am - cars continue to arrive and often remain on display until about 4:30pm. You can also watch the event at Croydon or in front of the George Hotel in Crawley, or anywhere along the route.
* Photos from this event: Ideas/Album/VeteranCarRun

Veteran car in Hyde Park

Veteran car driver

Wed 5 Nov 2014 Lewes Bonfire Night, Lewes (East Sussex)
The Bonfire Night celebrations at Lewes remember not only the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, but also the burning on the stake of 17 Protestants in the town in 1555, and the restoration of a Protestant king (William of Orange) in 1688. There will be torchlit processions through the town, followed by bonfires and firework displays on the surrounding hills, organised by the various local bonfire societies. For more about this tradition, see:
* Visitor guide to Lewes: Travel/Tours/England/Lewes

Thu 6 Nov 2014 Oxford Street Christmas Lights, London
Following entertainment on stage, Oxford Street's Christmas Lights are switched on. Details are confirmed in early November
For further details, see:
* Pictures from this event: Ideas/Album/OxfordStreetLights

Sat 8 Nov -
Sun 9 Nov 2014
Leeds Castle Firework Spectacular, Kent
Spectacular fireworks display set to music, in the grounds of Leeds Castle in Kent. For details, see:
* Leeds Castle: Travel/Tours/England/LeedsCastle

Sat 8 Nov -
Sun 9 Nov 2014
Discover Dogs, London
A dog show in London organised by the Kennel Club. The event is at Earl's Court (nearest Tube: Earl's Court; map). For details and to buy tickets, see:
* Photos of this event: Ideas/Album/Crufts

Sat 8 Nov 2014 The Lord Mayor's Show, London
Since 1189 (during the rule of King John) there has been a Lord Mayor of London elected each year who represents the City of London, the traditional business centre of London (do not confuse the Lord Mayor with the Mayor of London, the role currently taken by Ken Livingstone). Each year a new mayor is elected and by tradition must travel from the City to Westminster to promise to serve the king or queen (on the second Saturday in November). There is a street parade which starts at the Guildhall (map) at about 10:55am; this is watched by the new Lord Mayor from outside of Mansion House. The parade includes many horses, floats (displays on top of a vehicle), motor vehicles, marching bands and carriages. It takes about one hour to pass. The Lord Mayor follows at the end of this procession in his golden coach (built in 1757). The procession travels past St Paul's Cathedral (map) and ends at the Royal Courts of Justice in Aldwych (map). At 1.00pm the procession returns, starting near Temple tube station (map), and following Victoria Embankment and Queen Victoria Street back to the Guildhall, finishing at about 2:30pm. If you cannot go to the parade yourself, you can watch it on television on BBC1 between 10.45am and noon.
There is a fireworks display at 5pm on the River Thames, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
For more details and the timetable of events during the day, see:
* Photos of this event: Ideas/Album/LordMayorsShow

The coach which takes the Lord Mayor to Aldwych

Sun 9 Nov 2014 Remembrance events, UK
Wild poppies grew in the fields of France and Belgium where many people died during the First World War. Paper poppies are sold and worn from the start of November to raise money for the Royal British Legion (, a charity which supports the families of people who have been killed or injured in wars.
The Queen and representatives of Parliament, the Armed Forces and the Commonwealth lay wreathes (rings) of poppies at the Cenotaph. The Cenotaph is a memorial for those who died in the First and Second World Wars (it is located in London in the middle of the road called Whitehall to the north and called Parliament Street to the south, near Westminster tube station; see map). 10,000 veterans (former soldiers) march past the memorial. There is a 2 minutes silence: a gun is fired in Green Park at the start at 11.00am and at the end at 11.02am. The ceremony can be seen on television (on BBC, starting at about 10:30am). If you go to Whitehall to watch, you will get a better view if you arrive before 9:30am.
* Photos of this event: Ideas/Album/RemembranceSunday

Poppies are sold and worn
in early November

The Cenotaph,
Whitehall, London


Poppy wreathes are laid
on war memorials

Sun 9 Nov 2014 NFL International Series Game (American Football), Wembley Stadium, London
American Football game: Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys, played at Wembley Stadium. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Sun 9 Nov -
Sun 16 Nov 2014
ATP World Tour Finals (Tennis), The O2, London
Tennis competition played at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London.

Wed 12 Nov -
Sun 16 Nov 2014
Country Living Fair (Christmas), London
British crafts and small businesses display their products. A good place to find unusual Christmas presents. There is an entrance charge. The event is held at the Business Design Centre in London (; near Angel underground station; map). For details, or to buy tickets in advance, see:

Fri 14 Nov -
Sun 16 Nov 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Games, Europe
The fourth games are played between pairs of national teams from the 9 qualifying groups for the Euro 2016 football competition.
* Information about football in the UK: Life/Sport/Football

Fri 14 Nov 2014 The Prince of Wales's birthday: gun salute, London
Gun salute to mark the birthday of Prince Charles (he was born on 14 November 1948). Cannons will be fired in the following locations:
- A 41-gun salute at 12 noon fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park, London (opposite the Dorchester Hotel: map; nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch)
- A 62-gun salute at 1pm fired by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London (from the gunpark at the western end of London Wharf: map; nearest Tube: Tower Hill)
For background information about the gun salutes, see: or
* Royal traditions: Britain/Countries/Royalty.

Fri 14 Nov 2014 BBC Children In Need, across the UK
An annual event to raise money for British children's charities. You can get involved in one of many fundraising events in the UK, or you can help by donating money to the charities. There is a special programme on television on BBC1 throughout Friday evening. An injured bear called Pudsey is the symbol for this charity appeal. For details of events and how to make a donation, see:

Sat 15 Nov 2014 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Games
England play Slovenia. Kick-off is at 5:00pm (UK time)

Sun 16 Nov 2014 Regent Street Christmas Lights, London
Following entertainment on stage, Regent Street's Christmas Lights are switched on. Details are confirmed in early November
For further details, see:
* Pictures from this event: Ideas/Album/RegentStreetLights

Thu 27 Nov 2014 Thanksgiving Day
Americans celebrate the harvest season (on the fourth Thursday of November), often eating a family meal including turkey and pumpkin pie.
Although this day is not widely celebrated in the UK, some restaurants offer the traditional meal.
* Useful links for Americans in the UK: Links/USA

Fri 28 Nov 2014 Black Friday
Some shops (both online and on high streets) offer special discounts today. This annual event originated in the US, but since 2010 it has started to become widespread in the UK as well.

Sun 30 Nov 2014 St Andrew's Day, Scotland
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. He and his brother - Saint Peter - were fishermen who became Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was crucified (killed on a cross) on November 30th in Greece. The cross of Saint Andrew is on the Scottish flag (the Saltire). Scottish celebrations often include traditional food, music, songs, poetry and dance. For information about St Andrew's Day events in Scotland, see:
* Photos of Scotland: Travel/Tours/Scotland

Events for which dates have not been confirmed (or which may not be taking place this year) - check the links for the latest details:

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Events in December: Ideas/Events/December
Print a free calendar: Ideas/Calendar
Christmas Lights ceremonies: Ideas/Album/ChristmasLights
Entertainment: Life/Entertainment

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