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Bonfire Night in London

"Remember, remember  
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot..."

Itís no wonder British children can recall the rhyme; every year there are massive celebrations to commemorate the failure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. Four hundred years ago, Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes and his gang of accomplices attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and the King, James I, along with it. The group were executed for treason but they are remembered every year as children the length and breadth of the country make effigies of the infamous traitor to burn on large bonfires. This uniquely British commemoration of our past also sees thousands of fireworks being blasted into the sky in imitation of the plot's explosive failure.

 
It all sounds a bit gruesome but these days itís all in the name of fun. Across London there are scores of municipal displays as well as thousands of private parties. Residents regard their local displays as a source of pride and huge crowds gather to "ooh" and "aah" as 1000s of pounds worth of pyrotechnics are sent up in smoke. Not only is Bonfire Night a spectacular occasion - fun for kids, with a bit of community spirit - but it gives you a chance to get outside, grab a piping hot snack and a glass of mulled wine and gaze into the skies with the rest of London. 

Bonfire Night in London
 

The First Fireworks


Tooting Bec

Tooting Bec Road, SW17
Saturday 28th October 2006
Halloweenís not even been and gone but the fireworks are already shooting up into the sky in Tooting. Taking place way down south, this is one of three events planned in the borough of Wandsworth. This friendly neighbourhood with many handy pubs should expect a big turnout for this Saturday night event. Refreshments will be available, so you can grab a tasty snack and a drink and raise a toast as the Guy toasts! Once itís over, remember to reset your watch, the clocks go back at midnight.
 
 
Tooting Bec Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Tooting Bec Fireworks
 
Wandsworth Park

Putney Bridge Road, SW18
Wednesday 1st November 2006
There's another early bonfire spectacle at Wandsworth Park - a small but pleasant corner of the borough near Putney Bridge. The parkís attractive grassland, dotted with small copses, is filled with crowds, colour and Catherine Wheels on the night, and there's full access for those with disabilities. This is a free event and again refreshments will be available.
 
 

Wandsworth Park Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Wandsworth Park Fireworks
Bonfire Night in London
 

Friday Fireworks


Clapham Common

Clapham Common Road, SW4
Friday 3rd November 2006
The most dazzling of Lambeth Councilís three spectacular displays takes place on Claphamís famous green space. Food stalls serve mouth-watering snacks throughout the night and those in need of a quick pint are advised to head to the nearby Windmill pub. The display takes place at the Rookery Road end of the Common. Crowds of 40,000 are expected so get there early to ensure a good view!
 
 
Clapham Common Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Clapham Common
 
Streatham Common

Streatham Common South, SW16
Friday 3rd November 2006
Catch the south London vibe at this fantastic free fireworks event. Fun for all the family is guaranteed with fun fair rides and refreshments available. The display takes place on top of the hill on the common. It is best to approach from Streatham High Road.
 


Streatham Common - Information | Hotels near Streatham Common Fireworks 
 
Brockwell Park

Herne Hill, SE24
Friday 3rd November 2006 
 
The young and energetic residents of Brixton and Herne Hill make this attractive display into a memorable party, set against the amazing views of London from the spectators vantage point on top of the hill. 
 
 
Brockwell Park Fireworks - Information Hotels near Brockwell Park Fireworks
Bonfire Night in London
 

Friday Fireworks


Bishop's Park

Stevenage Road, SW6
Friday 3rd November 2006
This Fulham fiesta is the west London warm-up to Saturdayís huge event at Ravenscourt Park. Fireworks are provided by top supplier Paines who put the sparkle into events like the opening of the Globe Theatre and the BBC Proms in the Park. There is food, drink and also fairground rides for all ages. The finale combines fireworks and a breathtaking laser display. For those who want to enjoy Bonfire Night without the pressure of big crowds Bishop's Park is the ideal choice to make your evening go with a bang.
 
 
Bishop's Park Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Bishop's Park Fireworks
 
Wimbledon Park

Home Park Road, SW19
Friday 3rd November 2006
SW19 is an address synonymous with the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. This firework extravaganza, however, gives us another excuse to take a trip to Wimbledon. It might be right on the outskirts of the capital but this annual display packs an explosive punch. A jaunt around the side stalls and fairground will warm you up before the grand finale.
 
 
Wimbledon Park Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Wimbledon Park Fireworks 
Bonfire Night in London
 

Saturday Fireworks


Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace Way, N22
Saturday 4th November 2006
Londonís premier fireworks display takes place at this well-known landmark affectionately referred to as ďThe Peopleís Palace.Ē It first opened in 1873 as a massive Victorian entertainment centre and has hosted a fireworks spectacular for the past hundred years, illuminating the city skyline in a glorious fashion. Admission is by donation and every year the list of extra attractions grows bigger and better with an indoor funfair and an ice rink. Adults can relax with a drink at the Phoenix bar or sample the delights of the Beer and Food Festival. This year the firework countdown will be broadcast live on Capital FM. As well as the pyrotechnics right in front of you, there are marvellous views of other firework displays across east London. This event really is a north London institution.
 
 
Alexandra Palace Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Alexandra Palace Fireworks
 
Battersea Park

Battersea, SW4
Saturday 4th November 2006
Battersea Parkís beautiful riverside setting hosts the biggest and best display south of the river. This flagship event features a massive bonfire and monster fireworks including all the old favourites such as Rockets, Catherine Wheels and Roman Candles. It is a truly impressive show. Family entertainment is also provided throughout the night and crowds often reach 40,000 so get there early and remember to wrap up warm!
 
LondonTown.com tip: If you don't want to pay and don't like loud pop music with your fireworks, this display can be seen from miles around and looks particularly lovely reflected in the water from the other side of the Thames.
 
 
Battersea Park Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Battersea Park Fireworks
Bonfire Night in London
 

Saturday Firewords


Blackheath

Shooters Hill, SE3
Saturday 4th November 2006
Blackheath fireworks totally light up the Lewisham skyline. This show gets more spectacular every year, and 2006 should see some truly surprising special effects. The council are keeping the details hidden until the night but are keen to encourage a family-friendly vibe with extra entertainment and refreshment stalls. The show is preceded by other entertainments too.
 
 
Blackheath Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Blackheath Fireworks
 
Ravenscourt Park

Ravenscourt Road, W6
Saturday 4th November 2006
West Londonís favourite Bonfire Night draws a massive crowd. The park is a superb space, and there's a truly gigantic bonfire to warm the crowds before a spectacular show which is among the most extravagant in London, exploding almost a million pounds worth of fabulous pyrotechnics in a sustained, jaw-dropping display.
 
One of the most remarkable things about this event is the buzz in the crowd as you approach, walking along picturesque suburban streets. The people of west London are justifiably proud of this world-class spectacle which lights the sky for over half an hour. Ravenscourt Park is easily the best local display in London and probably the best choice for parents of young children.
 
 
Ravenscourt Park Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Ravenscourt Park Fireworks
Bonfire Night in London
 

Sunday Fireworks


Victoria Park

Approach Road, E2
Sunday 5th November 2006
This is the only place to be in the East End on November 5th. Whilst most of the rest of London will be celebrating the failure of the Gunpowder Plot on Friday and Saturday nights, the festivities at Victoria Park will fall a day later on the actual anniversary. This gorgeous green area - with two pretty lakes and an ornate pagoda - will be a fantastic place to catch all the flashes, bangs and sparkles. There's always a strong community atmosphere here. And remember, remember, this is the final Guy Fawkes-inspired display in London, so if you've been busy all weekend, this is your last chance.
 
 
Victoria Park Fireworks - Information
Bonfire Night in London
 

Out of Town Fireworks


Lewes

Lewes, Sussex
Saturday 4th November 2006
Lewes in East Sussex puts on arguably the best Bonfire Night celebrations in the UK. The festivities have a dark past, pre-dating Guy Fawkes...
 
In the 16th century, during a shocking wave of persecution, Mary I had 17 Protestants burnt at the stake in the town. Every year now, the townsfolk march in their memory. The five Bonfire Societies, which contend to produce the best processions and firework displays, were created in the 19th century to bring order to the proceedings after previous celebrations on 5th November deteriorated into flaming, drunken riots in which some houses were burnt to the ground. The Societies originally represented different areas of the town.
 
In Lewes, Bonfire Night is also an enormous fancy dress party. This tradition stems from the fact that, before the formation of the Societies, the Bonfire Boys, as they were known, had to disguise themselves from the authorities! As the streets fill with smoke, the locals, wielding burning barrels and crosses, begin to toss bangers hither and thither. The boisterousness calms down as the night wears on and everyone flocks up the hills outside town to the bonfires for fabulous views of fireworks for miles around. 
 
Only a one-hour train ride from London Victoria, thereís no excuse for missing the flames and frivolity or the excitement and explosions of this historic event.
 
      
 
Lewes Fireworks - Information
Bonfire Night in London
 

The Final Fireworks


Lord Mayor's Fireworks

River Thames
Saturday 11th November 2006
The last firework spectacular of the month has nothing to do with Guy Fawkes, it is in fact the closing event of the Lord Mayor's Show and marks the beginning of a new mayoral year.  Indeed, it is possibly the most remarkable of all the public shows in the capital. A massive river barge is piled high with half a tonne of explosives and set adrift on the Thames with several brave men on board. The fireworks are let off between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges - not far from the scene of Guy Fawkesí attempted crime. Some of the fireworks reach heights of up to 600 feet and are visible from miles around.
 
Wrap up warm and head for the river. The best vantage points are situated around the Embankment and Gabriel's Wharf. If you are really on the ball, get there early and grab the best seats in the house in the public gallery of the Oxo Tower
 
 
Lord Mayor's Fireworks - Information | Hotels near Lord Mayor's Show 

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