Whether you’re eager to learn the history behind Guy Fawkes and his failed gunpowder plot or you just want to indulge in toffee apples while watching the sky sparkle, VisitEngland has chosen the top events around the country to guarantee your bonfire night goes off with a bang.
Pelham House, Lewes, 5 November
Every year on 5 November, the small town of Lewes in East Sussex holds the largest bonfire celebration in the country. The town lights up to commemorate the season of gunpowder, treason and plot at the place where Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators were burnt at the stake. Book the Bonfire Night Package at Pelham House to enjoy two nights’ bed and breakfast, a three-course meal on one night and a Bonfire BBQ on the terrace on 5 November. Doubles start at £350 per room for two nights.
Guy Fawkes Inn, York, 5 November
If you prefer the indoors but still want to partake in the fun, book a table at the Guy Fawkes Inn in York, built on the very spot where the notorious plotter was born. It’s got plenty of historical character, serves hearty food, offers beautifully furnished rooms, and is set within the shadow of York Minster. On 5 November doubles start from £209 including breakfast.
Leeds Castle, Kent, 9-10 November
Watch a fireworks extravaganza sparkle and bang above the turrets of ‘the loveliest castle in the world’. The spectacle is set against a soundtrack pop music and there’ll be a striking display of colourful projections on the side of the ancient castle.
Kaboom, Rawcliffe Country Park, York, 3 November
York is the birth place of the infamous Guy Fawkes and Rawcliffe Country Park will mark the failed gunpowder plot by hosting Kaboom – Yorkshire’s biggest and best firework party. This year’s fully choreographed display of fireworks, lasers and lighting will be synchronised to a specially-commissioned music soundtrack and will be viewed through special 3D glasses, which create a unique kaleidoscope effect. The dazzling new dimension has been introduced to complement the sci-fi and superheroes theme, which is inspired by the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.
Lord Mayor’s Firework Display, London, 9 November
The annual Lord Mayor’s Firework display takes place the weekend after Bonfire Night. During the day you can cheer on the Mayor’s procession as it makes its way through central London. In the evening, more than half a tonne of giant fireworks will mark the beginning of a new mayoral year.
Poole Quay Fireworks, Dorset, 5 November
Poole celebrates bonfire night with a fabulous firework display over the second largest natural harbour in the world (second only to Sydney). The whole length of Poole Quay will be packed with street performers and live music keeping the crowds entertained. Watch the waters light up in a myriad of colours at the largest free fireworks extravaganza on the south coast.
Blists Hill Victorian Town, Shropshire, 2 November
Blists Hill Victorian Town will open its doors for a spectacular family fireworks extravaganza on 2 November. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve gone back in time as you wander the eerie streets of this Victorian town, illuminated by gaslight as it would have been in the 19th century. The town’s shops, cottages and workshops will be open for visitors to chat to the ‘resident’ Victorians, dressed in the costume of the day, who will answer questions about life in the late 1800s.
Bristol Zoo, 1-3 November
For fireworks without the bang, head for Bristol Zoo. Now in its fifth year, Bristol Zoo Gardens puts on a beautiful display of low-noise fireworks, perfect for little ones and pooches. Watch the sky sparkle away at this display while sipping hot drinks and tucking into wintery treats.
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, Somerset, 2 November
This is the oldest carnival of its kind, dating to 1847, with Bridgwater squibs further adding to the olde-world spectacle. Squibbing is unique to Bridgwater. These giant fireworks tied to poles and held above the ‘squibber’s’ head create the effect of bright light being fired into the air along the road in one great long trail of fire. Around 150 squibbers are involved and this event can be seen nowhere else on the planet.
Guy Fawkes Festival, Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex, 2-3 November
The Royal Gunpowder Mills is described as the most important site in Europe for the story of the explosives industry, making it the perfect place to discover the facts behind the Gunpowder Plot. Learn the true story of Guy Fawkes through a light-hearted re-telling of the story in a special one-off theatre production, The Ghost of Guy Fawkes. After the show, enjoy a firework display along with a bonfire, fairground rides and Guy Fawkes craft lanterns.
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