Big, smoking bonfires, magnificent firework displays and steaming mulled wine are just a few of the things you can expect to enjoy on Guy Fawkes Night in London. But first, let’s take a trip back in time to see how it came about and why it’s still celebrated across the country every year.
In 1605, a man named Guy Fawkes joined forces with a group of radical English Catholics and tried to blow up the House of Lords with gunpowder to assassinate King James I. But an anonymous letter sent to a member of parliament, potentially by a spy, gave them a heads up of Guy Fawkes’ brutal plan, and it was stopped before it could cause any harm. Thanks to this, the King, his family and Protestant ministers were all spared a gruesome murder. You probably aren’t surprised that Guy Fawkes and the rest of his conspirators went on to be executed.
Soon after, the country started celebrating Guy Fawke’s failed assassination attempt by burning giant effigies of him on a blazing bonfire and setting off fireworks made of gunpowder. Today, these festivities still take place, and there are plenty of spots where you can celebrate and get your fireworks fix in the city. Here’s how to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in London.
(WA= Wheelchair Accessible)
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival
There’s a reason the Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival is dubbed the “Glastonbury of Fireworks”. This wild extravaganza is back for another year of Bonfire Night celebrations. You can expect DJ sets by national treasure Gok Wan, street food and craft beers, an indoor German Bier Fest with a live Oompah Band and an Elvis Presley tribute act, and a blazing bonfire to keep warm around. There will also be a family funfair with screenings of The Lego Movie and Shaun of the Dead, fire jugglers, an ice disco and a huge fireworks show to remember with London’s epic skyline as the backdrop.
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival | Alexandra Palace | WA | 5th of November
Image Courtesy of Battersea Park
Battersea Park Fireworks
Battersea Park Fireworks is South London’s biggest fireworks display and is one of the best places to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in London. It’s spread over two days, and on Saturday, you can expect a classic Bonfire Night with a magnificent fireworks display and a roaring bonfire, with plenty of warming, Autumnal food and comforting drinks to enjoy. On Sunday, it’s all about the family; there will be an earlier start with another stunning fireworks display, a 7-metre tall visual light installation, and Sweetieland, the ultimate spot for sweet tooths where the kids can stock up on Bonfire Night treats.
Battersea Park Fireworks | Battersea Park | WA | 5 – 6th of November
Image Courtesy of Battersea Park
Wimbledon Park and Morden Park Fireworks
Wimbledon Park Fireworks is back for two magnificent musical fireworks displays, one at Wimbledon Park on Saturday and one at Morden Park on Sunday. Both venues are hosting two shows each; a family-friendly earlier show that features pop music and a later show that features Kings and Queens music. When you’re not busy watching the fireworks, head to the on-site funfair before stopping by the street food village to feast on mouthwatering food and drinks.
Wimbledon Park and Morden Park Fireworks | Wimbledon | 4 – 5th of November
Richmond Fireworks at Athletic Ground
Another spot where you can celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in London is in the beautiful borough of Richmond. Every year at Athletic Ground, The Richmond Family Fireworks puts on a spectacular family-friendly evening with the multi-award-winning Phoenix Fireworks. Alongside the show, they also host live entertainment, including a DJ, a neon-lit funfair with plenty of rides, various food stalls, hot mulled wine and a buzzing after-party in the Members Bar.
Harrow Fireworks at Byron Park
Another one putting on a firework show to remember is Harrow Fireworks. With this one, you can expect a full day of celebrations featuring a 20-minute musical fireworks display in the evening. There will also be entertainment for the kids pre-show, a choreographed dance show, a full-size fun fair, face painting, glitter tattoos, Indian Henna hand art and a lively bar marquee popping off well into the evening.
Harrow Fireworks | Harrow | 5th of November
Dulwich Fireworks at Dulwich Sports Club
Last on our list of places to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in London is in the borough of Dulwich. Dulwich Fireworks Show is one for the whole family, you can even take the kids along for only £1. It kicks off at 5 pm, and you can expect a dazzling fireworks display, a tasty barbecue and pizza, mulled wine and real ale, and even a kids’ bar to keep the little ones entertained. Make sure you secure your tickets for this one well in advance; it’s known for selling out.
Dulwich Fireworks | Dulwich | WA | 5th of November