VisitEngland – 5 Unmissable Things to do in November

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Diwali Celebrations, LeicesterDiwali Celebrations, Leicester

Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness in both the Hindu and Sikh faiths all over the world. It is an intensely vivid and bright festival which involves adorning houses and shops with a kaleidoscopic shimmering lights and colours and shooting dazzling fireworks way up into the night sky. Gifts are exchanged and people dress in a staggering variety of colours and patterns. The biggest of all Diwali celebrations outside India takes place in Leicester with as many as 35,000 attendees coming to witness the grand switching on of the lights on Belgrave Road. A fantastically warm party atmosphere envelops this multi-cultural city as people of all faiths and backgrounds gather together to celebrate. (4 November.)

The Somerset CarnivalsThe Somerset Carnivals

The Somerset Carnivals are regarded as the largest illuminated procession in the world. Throughout November, they shine their way through Bridgwater (which regularly attracts in excess of 150,000 spectators), Weston-Super-Mare, North Petherton, Burham-on-Sea and Highbridge, Shepton Mallet, Midsomer Norton, Wells and Glastonbury. A carnival atmosphere pervades as people in imaginative costumes dance their way through the streets accompanying a cavalcade of brightly lit floats, some as long as 100ft. (Various dates throughout November.)

The Annual Bonfire Night Fireworks Extravaganza, Lake Windermere The Annual Bonfire Night Fireworks Extravaganza, Lake Windermere

This event in the Lake District draws in the crowds each year. With clear skies above and the glistening lakes below, there aren’t many better places to watch a glittering display of fireworks – blazing colour reflecting in the waters below, the pyrotechnic ballet booming and ricocheting across the enormous mountains lying silent in the darkness. The awesome display over Lake Windermere is accompanied by an enormous bonfire and delicious autumnal fare. You can even take a cruise out into the lake and float your way through the cornucopia of colours in the midst of an explosive atmosphere. There will be free parking at Bowness Bay with a free park-and-ride service courtesy of Windermere Lake Cruises and Mountain Goat. (5 November)

Lord Mayor’s Show, LondonLord Mayor’s Show, London

At 3.5 miles long and featuring over 6000 people, 25 marching bands, 21 carriages, 18 vintage cars, an original American stagecoach and a Japanese Taiko drum band, the famous Lord Mayor’s Show is a party and a half. Now in its 685th year, the event celebrates London’s bubbling diversity and thriving cultures, as a circus-like show of wildly varied entertainment winds its way through the heart of London. Samba bands and military marching bands boom and dance their way through the streets for what has been a year to remember for the capital. (10 November.)

The Liverpool Biennial

Talks, events, family presentations and exhibitions across Liverpool form an imaginative and lively programme of events. With 27 locations and 242 artists in galleries, museums and various other sites across the city, this is the largest international contemporary art festival in the UK. Unexpected locations as well as established cultural venues host a range of artworks from established and emerging artists in the ever-energetic city of Liverpool. (Until 25 November.)

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