Ah Bonfire Night, the evening when Brits gather together in the November cold to watch fireworks and a flaming pile of wood, all in celebration of a guy who tried to blow up Parliament 400 years ago.
Anyone from out of town may think Guy Fawkes Night is all a bit strange (and they’d probably be right). But, we’re fiercely proud of our Catherine Wheel whizzing, sparkler crackling tradition.
While there are many epic bonfires across the UK, you’ll be hard-pressed to find as many concentrated in the same place as in London. And after the wet squib that Bonfire Night’s been after the past two years, we’re ready for it to come back with a bang in 2022. You’ll find sparkles popping up in the night sky all over town this year, albeit minus a few notable exceptions. Totems of the London firework scene Victoria Park and Blackheath firework displays (both of which were much-loved and free) won’t be going ahead this year and neither will the usual extravaganzas in Crystal Palace Park, Southwark Park and Ravenscourt Park.
But, wherever you live in London, there’ll still be some sparkles to tempt you out into the winter cold. Here’s our pick of the best ones in town.
When is Bonfire Night in London?
As the adage goes: remember, remember the fifth of November. Bonfire Night is officially on November 5 every year, and luckily that falls on a Saturday in 2022. This year, a lot of the displays are happening over the weekend of November 4-6. As has become the norm, lots of displays get going in the afternoon with funfairs, food stalls and more, making it a proper fun family day out.
Top tips for Bonfire Night in London
- Book in advance: Nearly all of London’s free bonfire celebrations aren’t taking place this year, which means tickets are essential if you want to get a close-up view of the bangs and sparks. So get organised!
- Wrap up: The unpredictable great British weather rarely ever plays ball. So, make sure you bring plenty of layers, including one that’s preferably waterproof, to avoid a soggy, miserable evening.
- Cash up: Yes, most places take card now, but you never know and you definitely don’t want to be stranded in a cold field with no way of buying a hot jacket potato. So, visit a cash machine before you go.
- Leave the sparklers at home: As much as we love those hot, firey sticks, lots of organised bonfires won’t allow them or will only let you buy them on site. So, save them for the garden at home.
NOTE we’re keeping this page as up-to-date as possible as more details of displays are released but for God’s sake double-check with the local organisers before you traipse along to your local recreation ground with kids/mates/dates in the freezing November twilight.
RECOMMENDED: The best things do in London this November.