Remember the joy of writing your name in the sky with a sparkler, toasting marshmallows on the bonfire and watching the sky light up with fireworks – whilst trying to avoid hypothermia? Share this wonderful winter British tradition with friends and loved ones this year: we've got 10 of the UK's finest fireworks displays and Bonfire Night celebrations for you to check out this November 5th.
Know of any local Bonfire Night events or firework shows that you’d like to share with us? Leave a comment below and we may just give a shout out to your favourite one.
1. Lewes, Sussex
You won’t find any half measures here, no just rocking up and seeing what happens, this is the world’s largest November 5th celebration and it’s one hell of a spectacle. Six separate Lewes Bonfire Societies each have their own processions, costumes and bonfires, and that’s before we even get to the fireworks. You’ll need to plan in advance and be prepared for crowds, as well as the best Bonfire Night of your life. Things kick off around 5pm and run through to around 1am. Trains on the Brighton-Hastings line call at Lewes; don’t even think about driving.
2. Alexandra Palace, London
Londoners were gutted when one of the city’s biggest displays didn’t run for a couple of years, but it’s sparkler-lit smiles all round now this epic fireworks display is permanently back on the calendar. Expect laser shows, a funfair, some very hip food stalls and a German Bier Festival – plus the chance to crash every other Londoners fireworks display from your raised vantage point overlooking the city skyline. Doors open at 3pm with the disaply at 8pm. Tickets are available in advance only and cost £9 for adults and £6.50 for children. www.fireworks.london
Cambridge’s Bonfire Night takes place on Midsummer Common in the heart of the city and as it’s hosted by the local council, it’s free. Keeping it free is pretty generous, considering that it’s the largest fireworks display in eastern England and is attended by some 25,000. A community atmosphere prevails and there’s a funfair and plenty of kid-friendly sweets stalls, as well as a bonfire that gets lit after the fireworks. The funfair is open 6–9pm, with the fireworks scheduled for 7.30pm. www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk
4. Leeds Castle, Kent
No expense is spared when it comes to Leeds Castle’s fireworks spectacular, this year timed to music from the movies – there will even be giant projections of movie scenes onto the side of the castle. Gates open at 2pm for an afternoon of falconry (display at 3pm), live music and carousel and swing boat rides, with the fireworks display at 5.30pm. Tickets must be pre-booked and cost £19 for adults and £12.50 for children aged 4-15 years. www.leeds-castle.com
5. Blists Hill, Shropshire
Time stopped sometime in the Victorian era at Blists Hill, and Bonfire Night is no exception. This Victorian town will celebrate on the Village Green with a fireworks display accompanied by music at 7.30pm but the gates will open at 6pm to give visitors the chance to meet the townsfolk – everyone from maids to shopkeepers, all in costume. Tickets are only available in advance and cost £9.75 for adults and £6.50 for children aged 3-15. Parking will be available on site for £2, though it is limited and will be first come first served. www.ironbridge.org.uk
6. Fireworks at the Fort, Segedunum, Tyne and Wear
Get more than just a bang for your buck at Segedunum Roman Fort, on Hadrian’s Wall, this Bonfire Night. There will be fireworks at 6.30pm but this free display also allows free entry into the museum from 4pm, where interactive displays tell the tale of the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire. Read all about it before picking your spot for the display. There is no parking on site but Wallsend Metro Station is a five-minute walk away. Donations are welcome. segedunumromanfort.org.uk
7. Kaboom, Castle Howard, York
Combine Bonfire Night with Halloween this year at one of the north of England’s biggest and brightest celebrations. This is far more than just fireworks, you’ll find big screen movies, live music, carnival acts, and a fright night vintage funfair, with plenty of rides for all the family. Warm up with Yorkshire tea and a hog roast and look out for headless horsemen and the ghost of Guy Fawkes wandering the grounds. Coaches run from York and Malton and there is free pre-booked parking on site too. The display is planned for 8pm, entertainment starts at 4.30pm. Tickets are selling out fast; for adults it’s £13.75 if bought before October 25, for children it’s £10. The coach is £6 return from York. www.kaboomyork.com
8. Sparks in the Park, Cardiff
Wales’ biggest fireworks display has been running since 1981 and is expected to attract some 20,000 people with its sky-lighting display against an unbeatable backdrop – Cardiff Castle. Gates open at 4.30pm with a separate children’s display at 5.45pm, the bonfire lit at 6.15pm and the main display at 7pm. Organised by Cardiff Round Table, all profits go to community causes and tickets are 25 per cent cheaper when bought online in advance (adults £7.50, children aged 3–15 £3.75).
9. Glasgow Green
Ok, so there’s no bonfire, but we bet you won’t even notice once this huge pyrotechnic display gets underway. Local radio stars will provide the entertainment from 6.30pm and there will be a funfair and plenty of food and drink stalls to keep everyone entertained until the big kickoff at 7.30pm – expect around 3000 fireworks. Entry is free and 50,000 people are expected so arrive early, and via the Saltmarket or Greendyke Street entrances.
10. Hopetoun House, South Queensferry
Few fireworks displays have a backdrop as grand as the 17th-century Hopetoun House, its sweeping frontage lit up from all angles. Pre-show you’ll find a huge bonfire to keep you warm as well as plenty of live entertainment, with the fireworks the grand finale, set to music and starting at 6.30pm. Doors open at 4pm and tickets should be bought in advance. For adults tickets are £13 online or £12 from Hopetoun Farm Shop, for children they’re £6.50 online and £5.50 from the Farm Shop. hopetoun.co.uk
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