From virtual tours to ventriloquist nights, we round up the best free events to attend during the month of November.
In terms of events, November is one of the biggest months of the year, with Guy Fawkes Night, Remembrance Sunday and the first Christmas festivities all taking place.
We've featured all of those things and more in our list of 25 free events to attend in November – there's so much to do, with everything from concerts to car shows, panel discussions to parkruns happening over the next few weeks. So, grab your calendars and let's have a look at what's going on in your area...
1. Experience the power of birdsong
Something Going On Above My Head, until 6 November – London
Love listening to the dawn chorus? Then you won't want to miss Something Going On Above My Head at London's Tate Modern gallery. Challenging the definition of sculpture as a visual art form, Oswaldo Maciá has created a unique soundscape in which multiple layers of birdsong are played through 16 speakers on the ceiling, like a kind of avian orchestra. It'll take your breath away.
2. Have a dead good time
Day Of The Dead Live Walking Tour, 1 November – online
How about this for a belated Halloween treat – the chance to experience Mexico's legendary Day of the Dead festival. OK, so it's a virtual tour as opposed to a real one, but with an experienced guide talking you through the customs, costumes and culinary delights of this iconic annual event, it'll be easy to imagine that you're there in person. Note that you'll need to register before joining.
3. Learn some Norse history
A Day In The Life Of A Viking, 2 November – Ellesmere Port
Mention Vikings and most people will imagine axe-wielding thugs causing mayhem on the shores of Britain. But what were these Norse invaders really like? Hosted by the Chester & Wirral Group at the Whitby Sports & Social Club in Ellesmere Port, this interactive talk by actress Carla Phillips will give you the chance to find out. By the end of the night, you'll be an expert on the subject!
4. Meet a biking legend
Carl Fogarty: An Iconic British Motorcycle Racer, 3 November – online
With 59 career wins, Carl Fogarty is without question one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Well, tonight, there will be questions – as the World Superbike Champion gives an exclusive online Q&A to Boundless members. Whether you want to ask him about his track exploits or his appearance on ITV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, it's sure to be a great evening.
5. Be dazzled by the lights
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, 5 November – Bridgwater
It may be best known for its spectacular evening procession, which sees thousands of people line the streets to watch a cavalcade of illuminated floats pass by, but the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival offers so much more besides. With bands, theatre groups and children's entertainers performing all day long, the Somerset town is one of the best places to be this Bonfire Night.
6. Get some green-fingered advice
Grow How, 5 November – various locations
On the first Saturday of every month, Dobbies garden centres across the UK offer free, interactive tuition for people wanting to get their outdoor space up together. Starting at 10.30am, this month's session will focus on growing a range of delicious vegetables for your Christmas dinner. With an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the talk, you'll be up to speed in no time.
7. Keep on running
Cheltenham Parkrun, 5, 12, 19 & 26 November – Cheltenham
Feeling active? Burn off some calories at the Cheltenham Parkrun, an informal 5k held every Saturday at 9am in the town's Pittville Park. It's not a race, so don't worry if you're not particularly fit – just put your trainers on and go round the course at your own pace. There's a children's 2k parkrun on Sundays at 9am in the same park, so why not get the whole family involved!
8. Buy something unique
The Maker's Fair, 5 & 26 November – Brighton
For some unique Christmas shopping ideas, head to Brighton for The Maker's Fair. Held in two venues – St George's Church (5 November) and All Saints Church (26 November) – it'll see around 60 artists displaying everything from ceramics to embroidery, giving you plenty of inspiration for those festive gifts. Of course, you could even buy something nice for yourself!
9. Attend a variety show
Ventriloquist Evening, 8 November – London
If you like a bit of voice-throwing fun, head to the Beaufort Suite in Waltham Cross, where Boundless's North East London Group is hosting a Ventriloquist Evening. Providing the entertainment will be David Tomkins, whose much-lauded show includes everything from magic to comedy. Feel free to stick around afterwards for refreshments and a chat.
10. Get a fascinating medical insight
Development of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine, 9 November – Edinburgh
The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed with the help of scientists from Oxford University, has saved countless lives and helped society get back to normal following the Covid-19 pandemic. In this evening talk at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert – who led the project – will recount the story of how this trailblazing vaccine came to be. Fascinating stuff.
11. Discover the latest scientific breakthroughs
Beating Blindness, 9 November – online
In this very special online seminar hosted by the University of Southampton, a panel of world-renowned researchers and scientists will discuss the causes of blindness and their continued efforts to find treatments for those suffering from the condition. Following the talk, there will be an opportunity for people watching at home to ask questions on the subject.
12. Sample your local history and culture
Being Human, 10-19 November – various locations
Each year, Being Human presents hundreds of free events in villages, towns and cities across the UK (and online). This year's programme features everything from cutting-edge dance technology to the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall – why not see what's happening in your local area.
13. Get lost in music
Friday Lunchtime Concerts At LSO St Luke's, 11 & 25 November – London
Why waste your lunchtime sitting in the work's canteen when you could be watching some world-class musicians in action? The London Symphony Orchestra regularly puts on free concerts in Islington's Hawksmoor Church, giving everyone the chance to hear some beautiful music. This month, enjoy the LSO Percussion Ensemble (11 November) and the Guildhall Singers (25).
14. Witness the world's oldest street procession
The Lord Mayor's Show, 12 November – London
Dating back to the 13th century, the annual Lord Mayor's Show in London is a truly unforgettable event. Unrivalled in its pomp and pageantry, it sees a procession of colourful floats, military bands and horses making their way along a three-mile route from the Guildhall to the Strand and back again, to celebrate the inauguration of the new Lord Mayor. Definitely one for the bucket list.
15. Delve into the past
Middlesex Antiques & Collectors Fair, 12 November – Teddington
Step inside Teddington's Elleray Hall on the second Saturday of any given month and you'll feel like you've travelled back in time. With up to 30 stalls, laid out with everything from antique china and glass to vintage clothes and furniture, there's plenty of bygone relics to browse. While admission is free, you might want to bring some money in case you spot something you like!
16. Make do and mend
Brillsville Market, 12 November – Exeter
With energy prices rocketing, it's worth trying to save money in other areas – and one way to do that is by rejuvenating everyday items rather than buying new ones. This monthly event in the car park of the Kings Arms in Exeter is focused on helping you, with experts on hand to show you what to do. With local foods also on offer, the Brillsville Market is a unique way to spend a Saturday.
17. Pay your respects
National Service Of Remembrance, 13 November – various locations
Services will be held across the UK today to remember those who've lost their lives in combat. The biggest one will be in London's Whitehall, where a parade of military men and women will be followed by members of the royal family laying wreaths at the Cenotaph. To get a close-up view, you'll need to arrive early – though there will be big screens for those who are further away.
18. Give yourself a lift
The Natural Wellbeing Fayre, 13 November – Fraserburgh
Re-energise your mind and body with a trip to this free fayre, held in the Ritchie Hall in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. Informal and nicely spaced out, the event will see a range of makers and businesses offering their wares. Whether you want to buy foot balms and face creams or book yourself up for a massage or meditation class, you're sure to find what you're looking for here.
19. Ogle some vintage vehicles
Classic Cars At The Carpenters, 13 November – Derbyshire
If you thought car shows were strictly a summer pastime, then think again! The Carpenters Arms in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, is inviting classic vehicle owners and enthusiasts to attend a winter meet in its car park this afternoon. Cars, bikes, trucks, tractors and military machines are all expected, and there will also be a breakfast menu available from 10.30am for anyone who happens to be peckish.
20. Reach for the stars
Have A Go At Stargazing, 17 November – online
The night sky has fascinated mankind for thousands of years, and tonight you'll get the chance to unravel some of its mysteries. In a special online webinar – exclusive to Boundless members – astronomer Will Gater will highlight the different stars and constellations to look out for, and offer some advice on how to capture images of this magical tapestry. Telescopes at the ready!
21. Enjoy a feast of festivities
Llandudno Christmas Extravaganza, 17-20 November – Llandudno
For four days in November, Llandudno comes alive with fabulous festivities as Wales's largest seaside resort puts on its annual Christmas Extravaganza. Though you'll have to pay for your hot toddies, hog roasts, etc, there's a whole programme of free entertainment, including dance performances, male voice choirs and brass bands. Yule love it.
22. Fly back in time
50 Years of the Royal Air Force Museum, 22 November – online
Take a journey back to the golden age of the RAF with this fascinating online talk – exclusive to Boundless members. Former Head of Archives Peter Elliott will provide a guided tour around the Royal Air Force Museum's two sites in London and Shropshire, focusing on everything from vintage aircraft to engines and missiles. A must for anyone interested in military aviation.
23. Prepare for the future
Electric Dreams, 24 November – online
There's been a lot of talk about electric cars over the last few years, but what does buying an EV actually entail? Hosted by Gill Nowell – head of communications at LV= General Insurance and ElectriX – this member-exclusive online talk will tell you everything you need to know, from how much it'll cost to when you should make the switch from petrol to electric.
24. Listen to a seasonal speech
Christmas Traditions, 29 November – Norwich
Get in the festive mood with this evening talk, hosted by Boundless's Norwich Group at the city's Eaton Golf Club. Speaker Simon Partridge will uncover the origins of Christmas, and explore the different ways that people have celebrated it through the centuries. With an opportunity to ask questions – and meet new friends – you're guaranteed a most wonderful time.
25. Hear a heartwarming story
Talk on the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital, 30 November – York
Back in 2005, Dan Sidley founded the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital – to this day the only dedicated full-time swan sanctuary in northern England. In tonight's talk at the Mercure York Fairfield Manor hotel, Dan will tell his story and give a fascinating insight into the hospital's amazing work. Hosted by Boundless's York Group.
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