Written by: Cally Worden
November is officially the last month of Autumn, but we all know that it really feels like the start of winter. Chilly, frosty mornings, and damp dingy days define the weather for most of the month, so finding things to do can be a challenge. Indoor activities are the obvious choice, but there are a few alternatives we can suggest that might just take your fancy too.
Bonfire Night – Everywhere – From 1-9 November
This annual 5th November celebration is in memory of a foiled 1605 plot by Catholics to blow up the Houses of Parliament. While politics may still make your blood boil, today our methods of protest have moved on a bit, but we can still enjoy the essence of Bonfire night and all it represents. From garden fireworks to vast public displays, the celebrations spread across the UK and you are sure to find something on in your area on the weekend before or after the big night this year.
Discover Dogs – Earls Court, London – 8-9 November
Every year the Kennel Club of Great Britain organises this lively and informative show. More than 3000 dogs from over 200 diverse breeds will attend the show. This vast meet-and-greet event promises to be a great fun day out for dog lovers, and the perfect place for those looking to welcome a canine member into their family.
Lord Mayor’s Show – Central London – 8 November
Not to be confused with the Mayor of London, the role of Lord Mayor is to represent the City of London (the business hub of the country). In a tradition dating back to 1189, a new Lord Mayor is elected each year, and must travel from the City to Westminster on the 2nd Saturday in November, and make a promise to serve the King or Queen. The street parade includes carriages, floats and marching bands, and takes in many of the best sights in London.
Remembrance Sunday – Everywhere – 9 November
From paper poppies to sombre ceremonies, the Remembrance events across the UK take place in the run-up to the anniversary of Armistice Day on 11th November. Remembrance Sunday is the focal point of the events. Tributes to fallen heroes, the laying of poppy wreaths on monuments, and a 2 minute silence traditionally mark the day. Lest we Forget.
Country Living Fair – Business Design Centre, London – 12-16 November
For a small entrance charge you have access to the wares on sale from small businesses and craft enterprises from across the UK. This is a great place to snag a few unusual Christmas presents with which to wow your family and friends.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – London – 21 November – 4 January
Get in early to the Hyde Park spectacular and show off your groovy moves on the stunning ice rink that surrounds the bandstand in the park. The lovely festive setting will set your Christmas radar beeping and fire you up for getting gifts, food, wine and parties sorted well in advance. Or you can just video your mates falling over. So much fun to be had either way!
Brick 2014 – Built for LEGO Fans – ExCel Centre, London – 28-30 November
Always a hit with the kids (and with many an adult I know too!) LEGO has the be one of the most versatile and enduring toys ever invented. This expo is an celebration of all things LEGO, with stunning displays, workshops and inspiration galore. And a great shop too.
At a more local level there are many things cheap or free things you can do in November:
- Go ice skating and get yourself in the mood for winter
- Forage for mini-beasts in the forest
- Don waterproofs and wellies and see how many muddy puddles you can find
- Go on a nature treasure hunt and create a collage from your booty
You are limited only by your imagination. November is a great month (although I may be a little biased on that since it contains my birthday!). Nevertheless, if you feel like stretching your limbs out from under the covers and getting out and about, you should not be short of options just because the sun has gone into hiding. November is what you make it – just like any month of the year.