Remember, remember the 5th November, when fireworks are set off across the city to celebrate Guy Fawkes' night. The pinnacle of the pyrotechnics is the Lord Mayor's Show, a fantastic outdoor parade and free fireworks display. In November the countdown to Christmas begins so look out for festive lights and outdoor ice rinks popping up over the capital. There's also two ace tennis tournaments and London's official Jazz Festival.
London's Christmas LightsVarious streets across London
Early November 2010 - Early January 2011
Well before Christmas, the city's main shopping streets start to sparkle with an array of fairy lights and impressive illuminations. Last year, the lights on Regent and Oxford streets had a Narnia theme to coincide with the release of the seasonal film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Nearby Bond Street is a rather more upmarket affair with slick, understated lights while designer shops put on a show. There are also pretty displays across the city centre on streets like Marylebone High Street, Carnaby Street, Jermyn Street and in Covent Garden, all of which host their own street festivals to mark the switching on of the lights. There will be a full feature nearer the time but for now you can see our London Christmas Lights 2010 article, and many of details, except for the dates, will still apply in 2011.
2nd November 2011 - 6th November 2011
Get all your Christmas shopping done under one roof at Olympia - and get it out of the way more than a month before Santa gets here. Backed by House & Garden magazine, the Spirit of Christmas Fair is an annual fixture in the seasonal London calendar and one that thousands of shoppers have come to rely on as part of their pre-Christmas preparation. You can expect the finest seasonal products here, ranging from festive decorations and home accessories to children's toys and seasonal eats. With over 600 companies presenting their wares, you'll find something for everyone on your Christmas list and plenty you won't find in the shops. The Food Hall is bound to tempt with its Christmas-y gourmet treats to taste and stock up on. Look out for traditional sweets, specialist cheeses, fine cuts of meat and artisan produce.
5th November 2011
November is the month that likes to go with a bang - and an explosive one at that. Bonfire Night on the 5th November marks Guy Fawkes' failed plot to blow up Parliament with the kind of pyrotechnics Mr Fawkes could only dream of. Every year there's a host of elaborate fireworks displays, processions, festivals and funfairs planned across the capital. There are always huge displays in Ravenscourt Park, Clapham Common, and Victoria Park as well as various smaller local events across the capital. Also in November is the fireworks finale to the Lord Mayor's Show when the newly appointed Lord Mayor takes office. With more than half a tonne of fireworks released in half an hour sky rocketing over the Thames, it's an awe inspiring sight that can be seen for miles around. There will be a feature with full details of all the displays nearer the time but to see last year's article click here. DATES TO BE CONFIRMED
7th November 2011 - 10th November 2011
The World Travel Market is an essential event for anyone interested or involved in the travel industry, with more than 5000 exhibitors and 45,000 industry participants from around the globe gathering at the ExCel. The event brings together buyers and suppliers from across the industry and showcases destinations from across the world. There are breakout events and seminars covering everything from cruises and luxury travel to adventure trips and sports tourism, so it's the ideal place to pick up on the latest trends. Full event details will be announced in early 2011.
9th November 2011 - 13th November 2011
In preparation for Christmas, the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair brings a taste of rural England to the Business Design Centre, with all the cosy traditionalism that goes with it. With over 400 exhibitors there's everything you need for a perfect Christmas. There are handmade toys, stocking fillers, limited edition decorations, and, of course, plenty of seasonal food - from smoked salmon and tender ham to the delights of Cornish cheese, mulled wine, sloe gin, fudge, chocolate and traditional Christmas puddings. With all that tartan and tinsel, this is the perfect place to begin getting into the Christmas mood. It also gives you the chance to deal with all those traditional seasonal nightmares long before the last minute.
11th November 2011 - 20th November 2011
If jazz is dead, someone forgot to tell the thousands of performers and fans who flock to the annual London Jazz Festival. Now in its 19th year, the 10-day festival returns to the capital with a flamboyant programme which reflects the diverse roots of our great city. The many Southbank venues lead the way, but there will be shows (more than 250 of them!) throughout London, including old favourites the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre, jazz stalwarts Ronnie Scott's and 606 Club, newly established exciting enterprises such as The Forge and Artsdepot, and even some restaurants. The organisers habitually attract some top rare performers and blend them together with both newcomers and mainstays of the British jazz scene - from stars of the American jazz tradition to key players of the European scene and free musical thinkers. Given the obsessive nature of ardent jazz fans together with the small venues, tickets often sell out straight away so be sure to check www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk for a full programme and ticketing information.
12th November 2011
The Lord Mayor's Show features possibly the most dangerous and amazing of all the public fireworks shows in the capital: river barges are piled high with explosives and set adrift on the Thames with several fearless firework-ers on board. This annual event has been taking over the streets of London for nearly 800 years now with a parade which involves over 6,000 people, military marching bands, Chinese acrobats, a procession of decorated floats and a gilded State Coach that the Lord Mayor travels in. The procession starts at 11am with an RAF flypast and goes on until about 2.30pm, covering the whole area between Bank and Aldwych with the mayor departing from Mansion House for the Royal Courts of Justice where he takes an oath of allegiance to the Queen. Between the procession and the fireworks you can take part in a free guided walk which starts at 3pm departing from No 1 Poultry. It's a fun family day out but the grand finale is what really draws the crows - the day finishes with one of London's most impressive fireworks displays at 5pm, set off from a barge moored in the Thames between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges. The best vantage points to watch from tend to be around Embankment and Gabriel's Wharf.
20th November 2011 - 27th November 2011
The ATP World Tour Finals returns to The O2 Arena for eight days of tennis between the world's best eight players. Last year, Swiss legend Roger Federer was the winner of the $4.45m kitty, just edging past the World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in a gripping final - the first time in over two decades that the final had been contested by the top 2 ranked players in the world. By winning the tournament, Federer equalled Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl's record of five world titles. The build-up to the final didn't disappoint either, with the world's best players all serving up some scintillating tennis. Britain's Andy Murray looked in excellent form during the group stage before unfortunately coming unstuck against his nemesis Nadal in the semi finals. Watching tennis at The O2 is remarkably different than at Wimbledon: it's a theatrical affair, with the audience plunged in darkness and all eyes on the bright court below. Only time will tell what Murray's prospects are. Who knows, by the end of the 2011 season, maybe the Scot will have pulled off that elusive maiden Grand Slam win?
30th November 2011 - 4th December 2011
The highlight of the ATP Champions Tour is definitely the AEGON Masters Tennis event at the Royal Albert Hall as blasts from the past battle it out in London's prettiest indoor arena. To play in the tournament players must, at one time, have been the world Number One, a Grand Slam finalist or a player on a winning Davis Cup side (with exception of certain invited players) - so that means top quality. These guys might have lost a few ounces of speed and stamina over the years but they retain all the guile, poise and determination that made them champions in the first place. Last year, Croatian Goran Ivanisevic finally won his first Masters title as he battled to a 6-2, 6-4 win over former Wimbledon finalist Todd Martin on a stage usually reserved for Brahms, Beethoven and the Beatles. Expect a few days of competitive tennis with a healthy splash of fun as these past masters take to the court once again.
Late November 2011 to early January 2012
The city gets its skates on in winter with many of the capital's most attractive and monumental landmarks putting up a temporary outdoor ice rink wherever there's enough outside space. Somerset House was among the first to ice over their magnificent courtyard and remains one of the most beautiful places to glide around outdoors in the icy cold. The Natural History Museum, Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace also provide wonderfully scenic settings for a skate and usually come complete with a rink-side cafe - perfect for spectators or for defrosting with seasonal fare like mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate. Last year, the London Ice opened a rink, while Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland was yet again a popular spot. With most ice rinks opening from November to January, it's an invigorating way to get some exercise in the great outdoors during the chilly winter months. As always, there will be a comprehensive feature nearer the time but in the meantime you can see last year's Ice Skating in London article to get an idea of what's out there.
Ice Skating in London - Information
London Calendar 2011
Highlights include Cirque du Soleil's new show, Rebecca Hall's National Theatre debut in Twelfth Night and the return of Dutch mus...January 2011
Don't forget it's Valentine's Day on the 14th - but there's plenty more going on this month besides, from the muddy pitch of Six N...February 2011
With winter on the way out, March's Ideal Home Show and the Country Living Fair are great occasions for a spring clean. Elsew...March 2011
We all get an extra bank holiday this year thanks to the much-hyped Royal Wedding on Friday 29th April. Other big d...April 2011
The Chelsea Flower Show and the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park get London's summer season in full swing in a month book-ended b...May 2011
It's all fun runs, flower shows and festivals for July giving Londoners ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Highlights includ...July 2011
August is the time when London's parks fill up with sunbathers, lidos come into their own, the banks of the Thames lend themselves...August 2011
Late summer fireworks light up the river at the Mayor's Thames Festival, while Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall sing in unison ...September 2011
Ghosts and ghouls come out to play for Halloween at the end of the month but before that in October there are some of&nb...October 2011