“Always remember the 5th of November” – this is a line that most of us will remember from our childhoods and yet it has never been wholly clear why it is so important. Bonfire night celebrates the arrest of would-be Parliament arsonist, Guy Fawkes, who was involved in a failed coup d’état, the Gunpowder Plot, of the Protestant King, James I.
It also follows closely behind another slightly bizarre festival, Halloween.
The importance of the celebration ran much deeper in the years following the attack, when it was seen as a symbol of unification of the state, as well as the Protestant Church. Today, however, Bonfire night has become a great way for families to get together as the winter chill begins to descend. Fireworks, sparklers, safety gloves, woolly hats and, of course, bonfires are a proven combination for wiping away those winter blues, at least temporarily.
London has always been a fantastic place to enjoy the occasion, with many areas putting on great events. Whether you plan to go as a family or as a group of friends, there are plenty of options for you to ensure that your Bonfire night goes off with a bang. Below are 7 top London fireworks events to help you celebrate your November 5th in style.
Seven Top Bonfire Night Events in London
1. Brockwell Park, Herne Hill – November 5th
Brockwell Park will play host to an extra special free Bonfire night extravaganza on Tuesday, 5th November, with a special guest appearance from Fireman Sam. The park is to be split up into four areas, each representing a season – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. There will be a wide range of diverse food and drink stalls, as well as lots of entertainment.
The event will open at 5pm and close at 10pm, with the firework display kicking off at 8pm. There will be live music, Morris dancers, fire dancers and much more to keep you and your family entertained.
2. The Lord Mayor’s Fireworks, Central London – November 9th
The Lord Mayor’s firework display will follow the Lord Mayor’s show, where the new mayoral year will kick off after the announcement of London’s new Lord Mayor is made. The firework display will commence at 5pm and is best viewed from between the Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridge, from either side of the river. With all roads and bridges closed off, there will be plenty of room for spectators to view what is sure to be an incredible display, against a wonderful backdrop.
3. Chiswick Park, West London – November 5th
Chiswick Park hosts an annual fireworks display on the 5th November. This year, the doors will open at 6pm, with the firework display scheduled for 7pm. In addition to the display, there will also be a host of food stalls and live music. The event is completely free and is sure to be a great occasion for all the family.
4. Crystal Palace, South-East London – November 5th
Crystal Palace is a great spot for enjoying Bonfire night and this year there is even a special children’s show, at 7pm. This show kicks off early enough to ensure that the kids are tucked up in bed at a reasonable hour on a school night, as well as being specifically choreographed for children. The children’s show is followed by a big bonanza adult version at 8.30pm, which is accompanied by live music and has lots of big bangs. The gates open at 6pm and the entrance fee is £6. The evening will also host fundraising efforts for St Christopher’s Hospice.
5. The Cleveland Square & Gardens Guy Fawkes Celebration, Paddington, West London – November 5th
The Cleveland Square Guy Fawkes Celebration is a true British winter treat, with mulled wine to warm your cockles as you enjoy the incredible firework display, huge bonfire and special light display. There is even a fantastic barbeque, with all the trimmings, to satisfy your hunger throughout the evening. With great live music going on after the fireworks have gone off and a bar open until the gates close at 9.30pm, this is a great opportunity to celebrate winter in style. Adult tickets are £10, with children under 16 getting in for £5.
6. Southwark Park Fireworks, Southwark – November 5th
This year, the Southwark borough will not only host a firework display on November 5th, but also a family funfair. Such was the popularity of the free event last year, that this year they have also extended the opening hours, with visitors invited in from 5pm. The main display will commence at 7pm, and in addition to the fireworks and fun fair, there will also be a wide range of food and drink stalls. Local Councillor, Richard Livingstone, stated that – “We hope this free council-run event helps everyone celebrate firework night together in a safe environment”.
7. Wimbledon Park, South-West London – November 5th
On the 5th November, Wimbledon Park plays host to a Bonfire night spectacular, with fireworks, children’s films and a funfair. The evening is split in two, with an early event for children. The gates open at 5.15pm and the first bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm, followed by the first firework display at 6.45pm. The second bonfire and main fireworks display will then follow at 8.15pm and 8.30pm, respectively. The funfair and refreshments stalls will remain open until 10pm. Adult tickets will cost £8, with children under 16 paying £6; children under 4 enter for free and family tickets can be purchased for £25.
Don’t Forget to Stay Safe
Bonfire Night is an occasion for all of the family to get together and have a great time. With so much fire around, however, it is imperative that you remember to stay safe. This doesn’t have to put a dampener on the evening. Rather, you can use it as an extra excuse for silliness, with funny gloves and silly slogans to keep all of your family safe.
Regardless of what the celebration means, Bonfire Night is a great excuse to get together with your loved ones and enjoy spending some time outside, despite the chill. Get wrapped up warm and head out to enjoy the occasion with your London community.