This blog post was updated on May 15, 2020.
Remember remember the fifth of November! It’s the day when Britain commemorates the events of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Guy Fawkes (yes, the guy those V for Vendetta masks are supposedly modelled after) tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. Today, the date is known as Guy Fawkes Night as well as Bonfire Night, with the context of its political and historic largely lost. The day is “celebrated” with fireworks and bonfires.
Here’s a list of four of the best Bonfire Night happenings in London
(some taking place on the weekend just after the 5th).
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival
Saturday November 7, gates open at 3pm, fireworks display at 8pm.
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
The nearest London Underground station is at Wood Green (but you’ll still need to take W3 bus up the hill from there).
Possibly the biggest and better attended Guy Fawkes Night in London, this festival is held at North London’s beautiful Alexandra Palace, perched on a hill with commanding views fo the city. You’ll have to pay to get into the palace grounds, but folks from miles around will be able to admire the fireworks from below.
Chestnuts Fields Fireworks
Thursday November 5 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Waltham Forest Town Hall Complex, Forest Road, E17 4JF
The closest London Underground Station is at Walthamstow Central.
One of East London’s bigger fireworks displays, the Chestnut Fields event falls on the actual date of the 5th and features a festival type setting with street food vendors.
Find out more at walthamforest.gov.uk.
Coram’s Fields Fireworks Display
Friday November 6 from 5:15pm
93 Guilford Street WC1N 1DN
The closest London Underground Station is at Russell Square.
Coram’s Fields in Bloomsbury is a historic Victorian era children’s park where adults must be accompanied by a child in order to get in. The small, family friendly fireworks display here starts early so the celebraties won’t cut into the little ones’ bedtime.
Hackney Firework Pyromusical
Saturday November 7, gates open at 6pm, fireworks display at 7:30pm
Green Lanes, Stoke Newington, London N16 9HJ
Returning for a second year after the success of the 2014 Pyromusical is family friendly and promises a “Superheroes” theme this year.
For ticketing info go to hackneyempire.co.uk.