“Remember, remember the 5th of November.”
Steeped in both myth and history, Guy Fawkes Day (or Bonfire night) has been celebrated in one form or the other since a fateful attempt at treason in 1605. Whether burning straw men or setting giant bonfires alight, the English have long held traditions of fire and mayhem on this day, and 21st century London is no different.
Regardless of the true origins of this magical night, it has now become synonymous with theatrics, thrills and celebration. With rooftop parties, Batman laser shows and fireworks galore, the city is the place to be this November. For an experience you will truly remember, here’s Clink’s Insider Guide to Bonfire Night in London.
Fireworks & Festivals
Alexandra Palace Fireworks
Imagine combining Oktoberfest, Winter Wonderland AND Pyrotechnics – that’s basically the Alexandra Palace Fireworks in a nutshell. Projecting out over North London, the Ally Pally display is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. This year offers an eclectic selection of entertainment, including all the above, as well as a fun fair, craft beer village and post-apocaplytic, kick ass street parade! Throw in a laser show and affordable tickets – what else could you want?
It WILL be crowded, however, so don’t attend if you suffer from claustrophobia or battle with a fear of sudden loud noises and flashing lights…
When: Sat 7 Nov, Gates Open 3pm
Price: £9 Entrance to Fireworks Viewing
Hackney Firework Pyromusical
We can thank the residents of Hackney Borough for the theme of this years Hackney Firework Pyromusical, and who wouldn’t be excited about a Superhero themed theatrical extravaganza? With fantastic yet family friendly displays set to the theme songs of your favourite superhero movies and cartoons, this event promises to bring a night of childlike amusement and pyrotechnic glory.
You can’t buy tickets on the day, so to avoid disappointment get them in advance here.
When: Sat 7 Nov, Gates Open 6pm
Price: £8.50 Entrance
Southwark Fireworks Night
Two fantastic things about Southwark Firework Night? It’s one of the few London based displays that actually takes place on Bonfire Night itself, and it’s entirely, 100%, and completely free! Just over 30 000 people attended this spectacular event in 2014, and this year promises to bring in even larger crowds. As usual you can expect delicious food and crafty booze on offer.
Tickets are free, but you need to book in advance… don’t miss out! Another tip – this event will be heaving, so arrive early to secure a good spot and avoid the cues.
When: Thurs 5 Nov; Gates Open 5pm, Last Entry 6:30pm
Price: Free – Book in Advance Here
Something a Little Different
Guy Fawkes Rooftop Party
Head on over to London’s original rooftop bar and experience a Guy Fawkes Party beyond compare at The Rooftop Gardens. This Kensington venue is something special, even if it is filled with the kind of Londoners you wouldn’t normally meet on the high street (ie. they are ACTUALLY from London). But don’t let this put you off – The Rooftop Bar is known for throwing fantastic parties, and if the BBQ, live DJ and Sax player combo isn’t enough there will be a late night firework display as a final touch.
The Rooftop Bar Guy Fawkes Party is a stylish, cocktail laden and very “London” way to celebrate the night. Note – over 21’s only.
When: Fri 6 Nov; Opens 7pm, last entry at 10pm
Price: £15 (includes welcome cocktail before 8:30pm)
If nothing here suits your timetable or location, check out Visit London’s Full Firework Schedule.
Regardless of what you choose, don’t miss the chance to see the city by firelight this Bonfire Night.