Ottery St Mary, Devon
So here’s a weird one for you: a night where fearless folk run through the streets carrying flaming barrels of tar on their shoulders. Not some Atwood-esque dystopian fiction, but an actual thing that happens every year in this tiny Devon town. Ottery St Mary gets crowded and it’s a genuinely perilous activity; you get close to the evening’s runners at your own risk. While it takes place on Bonfire Night, some people think it’s a tradition that predates the Gunpowder plot and is instead based on a pagan ritual which cleanses the town of evil spirits. (You do you, hun.)
Get there: Two hours 30 minutes by train from London Paddington to Exeter St Davids, then a bus; around four hours by car.