25 fantastic free events to attend in November 2023

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From indoor music festivals to the first of this year’s Christmas festivities, we round up 25 brilliant free events to attend in November 2023

The daylight hours might be limited, but there’s no shortage of exciting things happening around the country, including a historic car run, a humanities festival and a centuries-old celebration in the capital.

The shorter days aren’t all bad news, with many events – including stargazing, illuminations and floodlit swan feeds – using the darker evenings to their advantage. If you’d rather stay indoors, we’ve got you covered with plenty of intriguing talks, focusing on everything from true crime to The Beatles. There are even online talks you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Oh, and look out for the first festive event of the season – it's sure to ignite your Christmas spirit.  

You can also get great discounts on days out, short breaks and so much more when you join Boundless. For further information, visit our membership page.   


Understand what it means to be human

Being Human Festival, 9–18 November

Collage of faces

This annual humanities festival returns with hundreds of talks, exhibitions and hands-on activities delving into the fascinating facets of our existence. This year’s theme, ‘Rhyme or Reason’, offers the chance to see an ultrasound image of your tongue as you speak, sing along to 16th and 17th-century songs at pop-up catch clubs, take part in Shakespeare workshops, and lots more. With events happening in over 50 towns and cities, you’re bound to find something happening not too far away.

London & South East

Watch fireworks light up London's skyline 

Bonfire Night, London, 5 November

Fireworks display

While there are plenty of ticketed Bonfire Night events happening across the capital, you can catch a spectacular fireworks display without dipping your hand in your pocket. Head to the top of Primrose Hill for fantastic panoramic vistas of London, and watch as spectacular bursts of colour light up the city skyline. This popular viewpoint tends to get crowded, so it’s wise to arrive early to secure a spot. Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath offers fantastic views across the city, too.  

Cheer on a historic car run

Veteran Car Run, London to Brighton, 5 November

London to Brighton car run

Hundreds of antique cars – many dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries – embark on a historic journey from London to Brighton in this thrilling motoring spectacle. Help to give them a good send-off from the starting line at Hyde Park, cheer them along the seaside home stretch, or wave as they pass through various towns and villages on their 60-mile run. For the best viewing spots and estimated timings, check the online spectator route guide.

Listen to toe-tapping jazz 

EFG London Jazz Festival, London, 10–19 November


London’s annual jazz festival boasts a whole host of free events, featuring talent from across the capital and beyond. Try your hand at drumming and dancing at the Southbank Centre's world music workshops, and check out the acts taking over the Barbican FreeStage (including a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s flagship jazz show, J to Z). Over in Barking, catch pop-up performances from Leeds ensemble Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band (various venues), and an interactive kids' show by Tots Tunes Family Band (Rivergate Centre), which will feature original tunes along with popular songs from around the globe.

Be part of a joyous, ancient celebration 

The Lord Mayor’s Show, London, 11 November

Lord Mayors Show

Dating back to the 13th century, this spectacular parade sees a lively procession of floats, marching bands and elaborate pageantry parading three miles through the heart of the city in celebration of the newly elected Lord Mayor of London taking office. Want to find out how you could bag this esteemed job yourself? This light-hearted talk details the path to the title.

Pay your respects

National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, London, 12 November

Remembrance Sunday poppies

Services will be held across the country in memory of all those who have served and sacrificed, but the biggest Remembrance Sunday event will be held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Each year, veterans take part in the March Past parade, before the Royal Family and other members of the state pay their respects. You'll need to arrive early to get a close-up view of the commemorations, but there will be video screens north of the Cenotaph, near the green outside the main Ministry of Defence building, and outside the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland. 

Help solve a decades-long murder case

Guilty or Not Guilty, Waltham Cross, 14 November

Court hammer

The 1931 killing of Julia Wallace in her own home remains Liverpool’s longest-running unsolved murder mystery, puzzling detectives and fascinating writers for over 90 years. To unravel this mind-boggling murder, head to the Beaufort Suite in Cheshunt for a riveting interactive talk by Phil McKinder, hosted by the North East Boundless Group. For one night, you’ll become a member of the jury as this immersive evening unfolds as a trial, culminating in the big decision… guilty or not?

Interested in this talk but not yet a Boundless member? Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Learn about fascinating flying boats

Incredible Flying Boats – From Luxury Travel to Warplanes, Farnborough, 16 November

Flying boat

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a flying boat! Learn more about these intriguing seaplanes in this member-exclusive talk, held at St Mark’s Church Hall in Farnborough. Retired pilot Lorimer Burns will explore their history, from their exotic routes – such as England to Australia in the 1930s – to their crucial use as warplanes in both world wars. Hosted by the Farnborough and Guildford Boundless Group.

Interested in this talk but not yet a Boundless member? Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Find one-of-a-kind gifts

Brighton Maker’s Fair, Hove, 25 & 26 November


For some unique Christmas gift ideas, head to Hove for this upcoming edition of The Maker's Fair at The Old Market. The theatre will be beautifully lit to create a magical winter wonderland, with around 40 creatives displaying everything from textiles and jewellery to ceramics and artwork. It’ll be the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping, find some creative inspiration – or treat yourself! 

South West & Wales

Watch a dazzling carnival

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, 4 November

Carnival floats

Every November, Bonfire Night sees Bridgwater turn into a prime destination as the UK’s oldest carnival lights up this Somerset town. There’ll be an array of lively street entertainment running all day long, building up to the main event: the spectacular illuminated procession. Pick a spot along the 1.7-mile-long route and watch the dazzling floats and marching bands pass you by. This event draws tens of thousands of visitors, so arrive early – and don’t forget to wrap up warm.

Kick off the festive season

Llandudno Christmas Extravaganza, 16–19 November

Llandudno at night

For four days every year, Llandudno comes alive with yuletide fun as the Welsh seaside town hosts its annual Christmas Extravaganza. You can expect all the usual festive food, drink and gift stalls, but this isn’t just another Christmas market. A programme of entertainment is scheduled, with live music taking the merriment well into the evening. Last year saw a German-themed party, and a funk and soul night, and we expect this year’s line-up to be just as eclectic. You’re bound to leave brimming with festive cheer!

Meet the birds arriving for winter

Walk with a warden: migrant birds, Llanelli, 18 November

Teal swimming

Migration season is in full swing at WWT Llanelli, with huge flocks of birds arriving here to spend the winter. Join this month’s Walk with a Warden to meet these winged visitors and learn how to tell what's what among the lively crowds; look out for waders such as greenshanks and redshanks, and wildfowl such as wigeons and teals. Boundless members enjoy free entry.

Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings – including unlimited access to all 10 WWT sites throughout the UK. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Midlands & East

Reflect on Peterborough’s history

Presentation by David Lowndes, Milton, Cambridgeshire, 1 November 

Man carrying camera

If you live in Cambridgeshire, you won’t want to miss out on this night of nostalgia. Photographer David Lowndes has dedicated 50 years of his life to the Peterborough Telegraph, snapping the city’s most important events. In this member-exclusive presentation, he’ll share the stories behind some of the photos he’s captured over his long career, from the serious and sombre to the joyful and amusing. Hosted by the Peterborough Boundless Group at the Peterborough Milton Golf Club.   

Interested in this talk but not yet a Boundless member? Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Watch a feathered feeding frenzy

Swan feeds, Welney, Norfolk, from 1 November

Swans from above

You know how excited pets can get about feeding time – well, the swans and ducks at WWT Welney can outdo that! Watch the chaos unfold as a tranquil lagoon bursts into a hive of activity during these daily swan feeds, offering close-up views of whooper and mute swans, along with pochards and mallards. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, you can even watch the swans being fed by the mesmerising glow of floodlights. And you won’t need to worry about getting chilly, as it’s all from the comfort of a centrally heated hide. 

Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings – including unlimited access to all 10 WWT sites throughout the UK. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Embark on an enchanting musical journey

The Curious Curiosity Shop, Liverpool, 1 November

The Curious Curiosity Shop

Something is stirring within the peculiar store rooms of the Curious Curiosity Shop… In this whimsical promenade production by the Tangled Dance Company, the Keeper of the Keys at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery will lead you on a magical and immersive journey fuelled by music, dance and art. Four performances are scheduled throughout the afternoon.

Look to the skies

Stargazing at Erewash Museum, Ilkeston, 11 November

Full moon

The darker evenings are good for one thing… stargazing! Join the Ilkeston and District Astronomical Society for an evening of celestial discovery as they explore the wonders of the night sky from the gardens at Erewash Museum. There will also be a host of activities indoors.

North of England

See Durham all lit-up

Lumiere, Durham, 16–19 November

Llandudno at night

This immersive event celebrates Durham's art, culture and architectural beauty under the enchanting cloak of night. Held over four days, it sees renowned artists create mesmerising light installations, illuminating familiar buildings and public spaces to transform this historic city into a dazzling wonderland. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth

The History of Chocolate, Leeds, 22 November

Chocolate selection

Delight in an evening dedicated to all things chocolate with this mouthwatering talk, hosted by the Boundless Leeds Group. Chocolatier Andrew Thwaite – proud owner of the Yorkshire Academy of Chocolate and Patisserie – will showcase his expert chocolate-making skills, and even offer delectable samples to tease your taste buds. Held in the York Suite of the Holiday Inn, the talk is open to members and their guests. 

Interested in this talk but not yet a Boundless member? Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join

Get into the Christmas spirit

Manchester Festive Sundays, 26 November – 17 December

Town hall Manchester

Embark on a magical journey through Manchester as the city gears up for Christmas with its series of Festive Sundays. The first instalment will see giant roaming puppets and street performers take to the city's central shopping district, accompanied by live music from the Fat Cat Brass Band and Bloco Band. You’ll meet a cast of delightful characters as they amble through the crowds, including larger-than-life robins, talking Christmas trees and a dynamic duo of elves. 

Buff up on The Beatles

The Long and Winding Road, York, 29 November 

Beatles statues Liverpool

Come Together with the York Boundless Group for this engaging evening with Alun Pugh as he explores the early years of The Beatles. Recounting events up until 1962, he’ll unravel the childhoods of each member and how this beloved band came to be. Hosted at the Mercure York Fairfield Manor Hotel.

Interested in this talk but not yet a Boundless member? Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Scotland & Northern Ireland

Attend a music festival

Atlantic Sessions, Portstewart & Portrush, 16–19 November


Head to Northern Ireland's breathtaking Atlantic coast for this vibrant music festival, held at various venues in Portstewart and Portrush. The event showcases a diverse line-up of talent, covering everything from traditional and contemporary folk to indie and electronic. 

Explore our relationship with the natural world

Deep Rooted, Edinburgh, 18 November – 25 February


This exhibition at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre showcases the collective work of eight contemporary artists, exploring the intricate relationship between humanity and the natural world. Touching on ecological issues and our delicate harmony with nature, the exhibition focuses on trees – vital to our own existence, yet threatened by climate change and rampant deforestation.

Online events

Get the inside story

Inside Job – The Prison Doctor, 9 November

Dr Amanda Brown

After almost two decades in general practice, Dr Amanda Brown had grown dissatisfied with her role as a GP – but she was totally unprepared for what came next. In this member-exclusive online event, Amanda will explain how quitting her career led to the chance offer of a job in the prison service, an opportunity that led to what she calls her "wonderful new life". She’ll reveal what life is really like as a medic behind bars, and give you the inside scoop on her time at various prisons, including the notorious Wormwood Scrubs.

Get inside the mind of an author

Becoming a writer with James Bancroft, 16 November

Person typing on keyboard

In his four-decade writing career, James Bancroft has penned over 100 books on a surprising diversity of subjects, from the Titanic sinking to the Battle of Rorke’s Drift and the history of Association Football. Join this member-exclusive online event, where James will share what it’s like to be a writer, the challenges he faced in the early days of his career, and how he handles criticism of his work.

Unleash your inner birder

Have a go at birdwatching with WWT, 21 November


As flocks of winter migrants settle down for their seasonal stay in the UK, why not explore the world of birdwatching? If you’re unsure where to begin, join this member-exclusive online event led by Scott Petrek, Reserve Warden at WWT Slimbridge. He’ll reveal the country’s best birding spots, highlight species to watch out for, and give tips on using birdwatching hides. Then, put your newfound knowledge into practice by visiting a WWT site across the country, where you can spot wintering waders and waterfowl. Boundless members enjoy free unlimited access to all 10 Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust sites.

Interested in these free online events but not yet a Boundless member? Boundless membership includes free entry to top attractions, exclusive events, and savings. Find out more about Boundless membership and how to join.

Do more with Boundless

Boundless members get free entry to top attractions, discounts on restaurants and savings on high-street brands, along with dozens of other deals on holidays, experiences and more! If you're working or retired from the public sector or civil service, and you're not yet a member, discover more about Boundless membership here.

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