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A quick guide to Bonfire Night in London

28 October 2021

New to London? With these top tips and recommendations from UCL student Summer Wyatt-Buchan, you will remember, remember the 5th of November!

Silhouettes of people watching a fire work display

What is Bonfire Night?

Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is the anniversary of Guy Fawkes planning to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the 5 November 1605. 

Luckily the event, known as the gunpowder plot, was discovered, and stopped before any damage could be done. 

The plotters were Catholic and did not agree with England being run as a Protestant country. 

They believed that by killing King James I and all his ministers, change could be enforced, and England could become Catholic. Once captured, they were all killed for their crimes. 

Read the full history of this event on English-Heritage.org.uk

How is it celebrated?

Bonfire Night is celebrated UK-wide, through fireworks, sparklers, bonfires, and candy. 

Bonfires are lit all over the nation, where traditionally there is a dummy man placed on top of the fire. 

This dummy represents Guy Fawkes and is often created by local primary schools.

Where to celebrate Bonfire Night in London

1. Alexandra Palace 

Their display will be held on Saturday 6 November 2021, opening at 4pm. There’s even an ice disco this year! 

Book your ticket for Alexandra Palace Fireworks

2. Chiswick Park 

A little bit earlier, this celebration will take place on Thursday 4th November with fire performers!

Book your tickets for Chiswick Park Fireworks

3. Wimbledon Park 

On Bonfire Night itself, this display is a climate conscious event held on Friday 5th November.

Book your tickets for Wimbledon Park Fireworks

4. Morden Park 

On Saturday 6th November, this event will be musical themed! 

Book your tickets for Morden Park Fireworks

5. Battersea Park 

Held on two nights, you can travel over to Southwest London to celebrate on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th November. 

Book your tickets for Battersea Park Fireworks

Top tips

1. Book your ticket in advance

Nearly all firework displays in London are ticket entry only. This means you must book a ticket in advance to guarantee a place! 

You can find tickets on the websites specific to your event, and if you are lucky there may be some left on arrival, but I wouldn’t risk it. 

2. Take cash

Some events may only accept cash, so don’t forget some change just in case!

3. Dress warm 

Cozy up warm in lots of layers, it's probably going to be a cold one!     

I promise you’ll regret not wearing some woolly socks. 

4. Enjoy more than the fireworks

Take extra cash to enjoy seasonal food, sparklers (you don’t want to miss out on these), rides and more! Make the most of the experience with your friends. 

5. Don’t want to pay?

Take a stroll to Primrose Hill for some of the best views of the city and if you’re feeling lazy, just looking out your bedroom window may mean you catch a glimpse of the fireworks. 

Photo by Arthur Chauvineau on Unsplash