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What to do in November: Best events across the UK this month

What’s on in the UK this November? James McLachlan, UK Editor for Culture Trip, recommends festivals and events in Lancaster, Cornwall, London and more.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend (22-25 November)

Comedy, candlelit storytelling and the cosmos arrive at Hay-on-Wye this November for the Hay Festival Winter Weekend.

With appearances from literary heavyweights Jeanette Winterson and Rose Tremain, music from Mid Wales Opera and a vintage fair in the market square, there’s no better time to visit the ‘town of books’.

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Lewes Bonfire Night Celebration (5 November)

5 November sees a tranquil town in the East Sussex countryside transform into a spectacle of fireworks, costumes and flaming torches as the UK’s biggest and most famous Bonfire Night celebration takes hold of its streets.

With burning crosses, flaming tar barrels and effigies of well-known contemporary figures (last year’s models included Kim Jong-un and Harvey Weinstein) burned alongside Guy Fawkes, it’s the ultimate way to celebrate 5 November.

Kendal Mountain Festival (15-18 November)

The biggest adventure-sports festival in the UK, Kendal Mountain Festival is a global gathering of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts that takes place on the periphery of the Lake District every year.

This year’s programme includes everything from inspirational talks and art exhibitions to kayaking sessions and ceilidhs, but the festival’s biggest draw is its film competition, attracting a roster of international filmmakers and dubbed the Oscars of outdoor filmmaking.

best things to do november 2018 fireworks night

November events: Culture Trip have revealed the best things to do this month across the UK (Image: Getty Images)

Light Up Lancaster (2-3 November)

Take in the North’s biggest fireworks display at the annual Light Up Lancaster celebration. A magical festival of arts and light, the free event will see thousands of visitors take to the streets after dark for a city-wide art trail.

Expect massive projections, artworks and installations illuminating the city’s historic skyline, squares, parks and monuments, concluding with bonanza of fireworks launched from Lancaster Castle.

The New Forest Food & Drink Week (29 October-4 November)

Kick off November with an exploration of the New Forest’s culinary heritage at its annual Food & Drink Festival. Running from 29 October to 4 November, the week-long event series offers the chance to sample traditional New Forest foods including local pork and game, award-winning cheese and charcuterie and fish and seafood from the forest’s 40 miles of coastline, alongside the best of locally produced beer, wine, cider and juices. Highlights include a free sausage-making demonstration at Hockney’s Farm Shop.

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lewes bonfire night fireworks

November events: Lewes Bonfire Night is one of the most spectacular in the UK (Image: Getty Images)

yayoi kasama

November events: Japanese artist Yayoi Kasama’s exhibition in London is sure to be a sell out (Image: Getty Images)

Ice skating at Hampton Court Palace (23 November)

November marks the opening of many a festive ice rink but London’s Hampton Court Palace hosts one of the best and it’s scheduled to open on the 23rd of the month.

This season, the rink is larger than ever before, positioned in front of the famous architectural backdrop which will be uplit with a colourful display. Sessions are 45 minutes long and there’s a cafe on site for pre- and post-skate refreshments.

Yayoi Kusama at London’s Victoria Miro gallery (3 October-21 December)

Few artists have captured the public’s imagination in recent years like Yayoi Kusama. Known for adorning her work with characteristic dots, eyes and faces, the Japanese artist returns for her 12th exhibition at London’s Victoria Miro gallery space from 3 October to 21 December.

The Moving Moment When I Went to the Universe features paintings, sculptures, the ongoing ‘My Eternal Soul’ series and a new Infinity Mirror Room, the latest example of Kusama’s famous immersive environments.

Cornwall Film Festival (9-11 November)

Cornwall Film Festival celebrates the best in local and international film. Three days of screenings, workshops and lectures will take place at The Poly in Falmouth.

Highlights this year include Japanese Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters and Keira Knightley’s brilliant turn as a French literary icon in Colette. Festival patron Mike Leigh will also be in attendance to show his new film Peterloo.

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