Well, winter is almost here. It’s getting darker earlier and there’s a distinctly frosty nip in the air. What better way to liven up the dark nights than by going along to one of the Bonfire Night firework parties that take place the length and breadth of the country around the 5th of November?
LEGOLAND Windsor Firework Fun
LEGOLAND Windsor is the perfect place to go with the family for fireworks and child-friendly activities. The park is holding a LEGO DC Universe Superheroes themed fireworks extravaganza this year, including a storyline starring iconic movie soundtracks. Sounds pretty cool? Well, it’s even better than you think. If you purchase a pair of 3D glasses the fireworks will transform into exploding 3D LEGO bricks – great fun for kids both little and large.
And if the fireworks aren’t exciting enough, you can also try out all the park’s rides under cover of darkness, adding a new dimension to the iconic theme park for returning visitors. LEGOLAND is also a great choice if you are hiring a car to get to the show, as it is located close to London and has dedicated parking.
Flaming Tar Barrels in Ottery St Mary
Flaming Nora, it’s the famous flaming tar barrels of Ottery St Mary! That’s right, if you think watching coloured fireworks popping in the sky is a little tame then head to Ottery St Mary in Devon for some extreme Bonfire Night action. Ottery is the only town in the UK where residents willingly enter into an event where tar covered barrels are set alight and carried through the streets. And yes, that may all sound a little mad, but there’s no denying it makes a great spectacle.
There are 17 barrels in total in the procession ranging in size from small for the kids up to medium for women and teens and up to the “gert big unz” for the blokes. The final ‘mega barrel’ is carried into the main square around midnight.
The carnival procession is on Sunday 27th October with the Flaming Tar Barrels event happening on Tuesday 5th November. If you are travelling by car the car parks are open from 5pm when the roads are closed for the procession. It costs £10 to park but the money goes towards the cost of running the event, the car park and the local carnival.
Vikings and Fireworks at Tutbury Castle near Derby
Tutbury Castle is a spectacular setting for not only a firework display but also a Viking battle, so what better than to combine the two? The Yorvik Vikings are rumoured to be sharpening their swords and polishing their horn-clad helmets in readiness for a mighty battle. Their moonlit combat trials will be followed by a fiery Viking funeral. Well who wants to burn a pile of logs when you can burn a whole Viking longboat instead?
There will also be fairground rides, a circus and fire performers from the aptly named Flambé Circus Theatre to enjoy. During the weekend family day, kids can also experience a slice of Viking life at the history camp, with the whole Viking battle and fireworks show kicking off again at 5.30pm. This is a great option if you have younger children. Parking is located on-site and in the nearby Richard Wakefield School, so hire a car from nearby Derby and enjoy a Bonfire Night with a difference.
Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations
We couldn’t write a list of the best firework shows in Britain without mentioning Lewes – the Bonfire Capital of the World. Each year on November 5th, the sleepy little town of Lewes is taken over with not one but six separate Bonfire Societies each competing with processions, costumes, fire performers and fireworks.
Over 30 processions wind their way through the narrow streets of Lewes near Brighton from 5pm to 1am. The celebrations date all the way back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the burning of the 17 martyrs at the stake during 1555-1557, hence the 17 flaming crosses carried as part of the processions.
This is an intense event with around 3,000 people taking part and up to 80,000 onlookers, all in a town with a population of under 16,000. Hire a car from Brighton and get there early – if you love fireworks and have an interest in the history of Guy Fawkes, then this is the one and only place you should plan on going this November 5th.
Where are you going for a fantastic fireworks display this autumn?