The best Bonfire Night celebrations 2023

    Remember, remember, the 5th of November with our pick of this year’s best firework displays across the UK

    The historical origins of Bonfire Night are nothing short of fascinating. Catholic dissident Fawkes spent months with his 12 co-conspirators planning to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605.

    But they were caught red-handed, allegedly lighting their 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar below the House of Lords, and their assassination attempt was foiled. Londoners immediately began lighting bonfires in celebration of the plot having failed, and a few months later Parliament declared 5 November a public day of thanksgiving.

    Guy Fawkes and his surviving co-conspirators were all found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death in January 1606 via the gruesome means of hanging, drawing, and quartering. Though originally anti-Catholic in tone, Guy Fawkes Day, aka Bonfire Night, has since morphed into something somewhat merrier, becoming a highlight on any Briton’s festive calendar.

    The best bonfire night celebrations in Britain in 2023

    Staffordshire Fireworks Extravaganza, Sunday 5 November

    Head to the biggest firework display in Stafford, now hosted at the Staffordshire County showground. Organised by Stafford and District Round Table, every penny raised is donated to local charities and good causes.

    Read more here.

    Fireworks Festival, Alexandra Palace, London, Friday 3 November & Saturday 4 November 2023

    The huge – and hugely popular – display over north London also features a funfair, ice skating and German beer festival. As well as impressive firework displays with a glittering panoramic view of London as its backdrop tickets include entrance to a family zone with funfair rides and entertainment, an adult funfair and a street food and craft beer village.

    Find out more here.

    bonfire night
    Fireworks, Bath, Saturday 4 November

    Often known as one of the most beautiful cities in Britain, Bath provides the perfect idyllic backdrop to see fireworks illuminate the night sky this bonfire night The Bath Rotary Club holds its annual firework display at the cricket pavilion, situated right in the city centre. The display will start at 7pm and tickets are £5 in advance with options of seated or standing seats.

    Find out more here.

    bonfire night
    Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular, 4-5 November

    Leed’s Castle’s Fireworks Spectacular is the biggest fireworks display in the South East of England. Set to a soundtrack of ‘music from the movies’ this is an all singing all dancing spectacular that will leave you wanting more.

    Find out more here.

    Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations: The Glorious Fifth, Saturday 4 November
    bonfire night in Lewes
    The Bonfire Night celebrations in Lewes are the most famous in Britain.

    The Lewes Bonfire Night is the biggest 5th of November celebration in the world. Around 30 different visiting bonfire societies from all over Sussex will be spread around the town, and there is will be over 30 processions through the town, each with their own costumes, burning effigies and traditions.

    Find out more here.

    Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary, 4 November 2023

    The intriguing bonfire night Tar Barrel carrying tradition at the sleepy Devonshire town of Ottery St Mary dates back to the 17th century. Barrels are soaked with tar in the weeks before the event and on the night they are lit in the town centre and hoisted onto local’s backs and carried through the streets.

    Find out more here.

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