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9 of the best Bonfire Night events in England

Remember, remember the 5th of November; once famous for the failed Gunpowder Plot of Guy Fawkes and his associates, but now a more modern association would be with sparklers, fireworks and hotdogs.

With most English towns and cities hosting their own Bonfire Night celebrations, we have selected some of the best annual firework displays across the country.

 

1

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival

Alexandra Palace, London

Fireworks display at Alexandra Palace in London

Every November, for over 150 years, the skies above Alexandra Palace in north London have come to life with one of the city's most impressive firework displays. This year's Fireworks Festival takes place across two days with a host of supporting attractions, including a German bier festival; cinema screenings of family-friendly movies like Harry Potter and Toy Story 4; and the best street food from kitchens across London.

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2

Lewes Bonfire Celebrations (5 Nov)

Lewes, Sussex

Parade of skull faces carrying fire lanterns at Lewes Bonfire Celebrations

Probably the most famous of all bonfire night events in England, the Lewes Bonfire Night has an electric atmosphere (perhaps even borderline pagan), notable for its burning of religious and cultural effigies.

Previous years’ bonfires have included effigies of Luftwaffe bombers and Viking longboats, as well as a number of politicians and popes. There is also the striking image of the 17 burning crosses to represent the burning of martyrs of Lewes back in the 16th Century.

While the Lewes Bonfire Celebrations provide plenty of entertainment for the whole family, the event regularly attracts thousands of visitors and can get extremely busy, so please make sure you book accommodation and check travel arrangements well in advance. 

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3

Kenilworth Castle Fireworks Gala

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle has a past dotted with royal connections, strategic fortifications and religious links. It's now a top attraction for history buffs, but every November, it also hosts one of the biggest Bonfire Night celebrations in the Midlands.

Run by the Kenilworth Round Table, the Kenilworth Castle Bonfire & Fireworks Gala is a key item on the town's calendar and sees visitors surround the castle for an amazing aerial display of colour. Plus, all the money raised goes to local good causes - added bonus!

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4

Legoland Fireworks Spectacular

Legoland Windsor

For the ultimate family fireworks treat, head to Legoland in October for a show you'll never forget!

Hosted on four different days, the Legoland Fireworks Spectacular brings the theme park to life after hours. Book a stay in the Legoland Resort, and you can turn a night of celebrations into a full weekend break!

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5

Blackpool Pleasure Beach Fireworks

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Fireworks display at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Legoland isn't the only theme park that comes alive at night during fireworks season; Blackpool Pleasure Beach has its own celebration!

On Saturday 6th November, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is celebrating its 125th Anniversary with a world-class fireworks display to end the night! If you're a rollercoaster fan and looking for an extra bit of excitement, this is definitely an event that is worth checking out. With the park also opening late on selected dates throughout the year, from 1st May - 6th November visitors can enjoy extended ride times from 10 am - 10 pm.

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6

Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular

Leeds Castle, Kent

Leeds Castle under a starlit sky

Every November, Leeds Castle comes alive for two days with lights, sounds and colour. This year's display will be themed around dancing, combining fireworks and projected moving images to create an audio-visual treat unlike anything else.

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7

Fireworks at the Fort

Segedunum Roman Fort, Newcastle

Fireworks at the Fort, Segedunum Roman Fort

Found just off the banks of the River Tyne, Segedunum marks the remains of a Roman fort that dominated the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall. Nowadays, the site plays host to a spectacular fireworks display every November, with free entry to the museum and a variety of family activities on offer to those arriving before the 6:30 pm start.

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8

Skinningrove Bonfire

Skinningrove, North Yorkshire

Featuring a huge centerpiece made up of themed wooden structures (past events have featured towering gothic castles and traditional ships), Skinningrove Bonfire definitely lives up to its "Bonfire With A Difference" billing. Once the bonfire is burning bright, it is accompanied by a stunning fireworks display which lights up the dark Yorkshire night. Wrap up warm and enjoy a traditional spectacle this November.

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9

The Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary

Ottery St Mary, Devon

For something completely different, head to Ottery St Mary in Devon (about 10 miles east of Exeter) for the annual Tar Barrels event. This tradition pre-dates Guy Fawkes Night and sees local pubs and breweries offering up a barrel, which is covered in tar, set alight and carried through the streets by brave locals. It's one of England's most unique spectacles to say the least; take a trip to the south-west for a completely different Bonfire Night experience this November.

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26 Mar 2021(last updated)

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  • 1

    Alexandra Palace, London

  • 2

    Lewes, Sussex

  • 3

    Kenilworth Castle

  • 4

    Legoland Windsor

  • 5

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

  • 6

    Leeds Castle, Kent

  • 7

    Segedunum Roman Fort, Newcastle

  • 8

    Skinningrove, North Yorkshire

  • 9

    Ottery St Mary, Devon

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