The best bonfire night events to attend in the UK

Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night – whatever you choose to call it, the 5th of November is a marked night of celebrations in the UK. Across the country, celebrators flock to firework displays and festivities to commemorate the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Expect toffee apples, hissing explosions of colour, and consistently high spirits amongst the crowds.

However, since Bonfire Night events occur across the UK, where should you choose to celebrate? To help you to decide, I’ve curated a list of the best Bonfire Night events to attend in the UK. Enjoy!

Bonfire Night Event: Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, London

Fireworks and party scenes via Pexels.

Affectionately coined ‘Ally Pally’s’, the Alexandra Palace Firework organisers take festivities (extremely) seriously. Entertainment is guaranteed, with fairground rides and live music available on the 5th and 6th of November. And, aside from the traditional bonfires and fireworks, you can indulge in some more unique attractions.

The Festival is home to the ‘UK’s largest German bier festival’, has a Victorian movie theatre, and an ice rink for skating. If these options sound like a bit of you, the best way to guarantee your entrance is by booking tickets online through the official website.

Ally Pally’s is an amazing Bonfire Night event for those wishing to base themselves in London and have various entertainment options.

How much is entrance to Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival?

For an early bird adult ticket, entrance costs £10.50. For children aged 11-15 years, tickets cost £6.50, and for children 10 and under, tickets are £1.

Bonfire Night Event: The Lewes Bonfire Celebrations, Sussex

A Viking costume via Pexels.

Lewes Bonfire Celebrations are famed for their costumed parades, which are borderline pagan, quite hilarious, and overall very entertaining.

The costumes relate to Lewes’ seven Bonfire Night societies, who dress up as themes in the parades. Each society has its own celebration area, so you can choose one or go on a bonfire crawl through Lewes. Just remember to purchase tickets for each event that you want to visit!

Aside from Guy Fawkes-related celebrations, Lewes Bonfire Night also remembers 17 Protestant martyrs burnt by Mary I. In remembrance of them, burning crosses are carried through the town’s streets – cutting a cult-like image which the celebrations have become known for.

Lewes Bonfire Celebrations is a great Bonfire Night event for anyone looking for a unique, slightly non-traditional experience. You can expect plenty of entertainment from all the costumes!

How much is entrance to the Lewes Bonfire Celebrations?

Ticket prices are yet to be released but vary between each society. The best way to secure tickets is to book online or through a local retailer 2-3 weeks before.

Bonfire Night Event: Civic Bonfire and Fireworks, Inverness

Fireworks via Pexels.

In Bught Park, Inverness, thousands come to celebrate Bonfire Night on the 5th of November.

But before the all-famous firework display and bonfire lighting, you can expect some extra events. From 5:30pm, celebrators can enjoy access to a funfair to start the evening with squeals and rides. And, later on, at 7pm you can celebrate the event’s Scottish roots by listening to the Youth Pipe Band performance.

At the Civic Bonfire and Fireworks, you have the chance to celebrate Bonfire Night in the heart of the Highlands. Therefore, this event is perfect for those wishing to experience a Scottish Bonfire Night and base themselves in Scotland.

How much is entrance to the Civic Bonfire and Fireworks?

If you need any more persuading, Bonfire Night at the Civic Bonfire and Fireworks is free to attend.

Bonfire Night Event: Tar Barrels, Devon

Fire via Pexels.

This Bonfire Night event is concerningly self-explanatory. A set of fearless (or stupid?) participants take to the streets of Ottery St Mary carrying 17 tar-covered barrels set aflame.

The custom may seem strange, but it originated in the 17th century and has been an annually practiced tradition since, according to Visit South Devon. The website states that ‘the most widely accepted’ explanation of the custom is that ‘it began as a pagan ritual that cleanses the streets of evil spirits’.

And don’t worry, you won’t miss out on the more general traditions either. Once you’ve watched celebrators carry burning barrels through the streets, you can enjoy a funfair, bonfire, and fireworks display.

The Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary makes for a memorable Bonfire Night event. This event is perfect for those wanting an adrenaline-raising experience of Bonfire Night, with a twist on standard celebrations.

How much is entrance to the Tar Barrels?

Entrance is free! Pick a good spot and just wait for the action to happen.

Bonfire Night Event: Fireworks Spectacular, Berkshire

Fireworks via Pexels.

Located at the revered Ascot Racecourse, visitors to the Fireworks Spectacular will witness over 20,000 fireworks explode from the centre of a world-famous track.

As a bonus, the display occurs following the first meeting of the annual Jumps season – meaning you can enjoy a day at the races beforehand. Visitors are also treated to free rides before 6pm at the venue’s fairground, making the event ideal for all ages and budgets. After 6pm, rides cost £1, with all profits donated to charity.

The Firework Spectacular is great for those who’d enjoy combining a day at the races with Bonfire Night. Although, the Bonfire Night event is also suited to families who’d like to make the most of a period of free fairground rides.

How much is entrance to the Fireworks Spectacular?

All-day entrance costs £27 when booked in advance for the Queen Anne Enclosure and £37 in advance for the King Edward VII Enclosure. Entrance for the fireworks display is yet to be released for 2021.

Bonfire Night Event: Lord Mayor’s Show, London

Fireworks via Pexels.

As its website states, the Lord Mayor’s Show has been running for over 800 years. And, since the show is held right in the heart of London, visitors can watch the events unfold against the scenic cityscape.

The Bonfire Night event starts with a parade of horses, marching bands, and costume-donned participants. Then, once night falls, the Thames is illuminated impressively by a huge firework display.

The draw towards the Lord Mayor’s Show is its firework display location. Spectators can take full advantage of the iconic views by booking a seat at the event’s Grandstand or opt for a Thames cruise underneath the display for a bit of extra luxury.

The Lord Mayor’s Show is ideal for those chasing a ‘London’ experience of Bonfire Night. Also, since it is strangely never held on actual Bonfire Night, it is a great option for those unable to attend an event on the 5th.

How much is entrance to the Lord Mayor’s Show?

To attend the Lord Mayor’s Show is free! However, if you wish to sit at the Grandstand, expect to pay £40 per ticket and make sure to book in advance.

Bonfire Night Event: Fireworks at the Fort, North Tyneside

Fireworks via Pexels.

Fireworks at the Fort is a beloved Bonfire Night event in Northern England. Visitors flock annually to the Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum to experience history and fireworks combined.

Opening its doors at 4pm, the Museum offers insight into its Roman roots and allows visitors to explore the fort ruins. Once darkness sets, at around 6:30pm, spectators can then gather at the Fort to watch the fireworks explode over the River Tyne.

Fireworks at the Fort is a fantastic option for those close to Newcastle or looking for a Bonfire Night in Northern England. The Fort location and Museum admission also make it an educational night out – perfect for families or those wishing to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing.

How much is entrance to the Fireworks at the Fort?

Entrance to both the display and Museum is free, making the Firework at the Fort a cheap option for Bonfire Night events in the UK.

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