Bonfire Night Fireworks Displays In London
The British tradition of Bonfire Night falls on a Saturday this year, which means most firework displays stretch into an all-day family affair.
The tradition dates back to 1605, when a Catholic conspirator, Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up King James I and the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder – and was caught red-handed. His failed plot has been celebrated across the country on 5th November ever since.
This year, Alexandra Palace is going all-out with its display (3-4 Nov). In a world first, this year DJ Yoda will curate a soundtrack to accompany its firework and laser show, and there will be a March of the Phoenix parade of magical characters telling the story of the Phoenix’s rebirth from the flames – so expect motorised animatronics, aerialists and fire breathers, giant puppets, drummers and dancers.
A family zone will have a bonfire, kid’s funfair and roaming performers. You can also ice skate indoors and listen to DJs and live music headlined by Jazzie B from Soul II Soul in a festival tent.
Sample burgers, burritos and mulled wine at StrEATlife, the palace’s regular street food and craft beer market. You can also pay extra to access an indoor German beer festival, where Bavarian waitresses will serve 10,000 revellers. On the Friday, the event kicks off at 5pm, with a laser show at 8pm and fireworks at 8.30pm. The Saturday event begins at 4pm, with the laser show at 7.30pm and fireworks at 8pm. Ticketed event – check the website for prices. Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. www.alexandrapalace.com.
Bonfires are a rarity these days, so the bonfire at Battersea Park (4 Nov) makes it special. Gates open at 6pm, after which you can enjoy live entertainment, food stalls, mulled wine and the bonfire, which will be lit at 7.30pm. The fireworks, which will be set to music, start at 8pm. Sparklers are not allowed. Access via Albert Gate, Sun Gate, Rosery Gate, Chelsea Gate and Alexandra Gate (disabled access). Adult £10; child free. SW11 4NJ. www.enablelc.org/fireworks.
Lambeth Fireworks in Brockwell Park (4 Nov) returns for the first time since 2014 – and it’s back with a bang (and band). As this year’s theme is Night at the Movies, a 20-minute mix of tracks from family-friendly blockbusters will accompany the display, and up and coming London-based talent will perform on a stage before and after the fireworks. More than 20,000 people are expected to visit its 25 food stalls, five bars and funfair. Rumour has it there might be a laser show, too. No sparklers allowed, and there’s no bonfire. Bah humbug! The gates open at 5pm, with the fireworks starting at 8pm. Aim for Brixton Gate (off Brixton Water Lane) or Herne Hill Gate (off Dulwich Road). Adult £10; child £5. Brockwell Park, Lambeth, SE24 9BJ. www.lambeth.gov.uk.
Victoria Park’s fireworks (5 Nov) will start at 7pm and will be accompanied by a lively soundtrack. There won’t be a bonfire and sparklers aren’t allowed, but there will be food and drink stalls. Just turn up. Free. Victoria Park, Grove Rd, Bow, E3 5SN. www.towerhamlets.gov.uk.
Meanwhile, Blackheath’s festivities (4 Nov) near Greenwich attract 80,000 – making it one London’s biggest free displays. A funfair opens from noon, followed by 20 food and drink stalls at 5pm and fireworks at 8pm. Sparklers aren’t allowed, but you can’t miss people sellers glow-in-the-dark light sabres. Free. Blackheath, SE3. www.lewisham.gov.uk.