The Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival is easily one of the biggest, baddest displays in town. As ever, the display will be set to music, which is usually curated by a big-name DJ, making the always impressive fireworks exploding with a glittering panoramic view of London as its backdrop even more special. There’ll also be warming street food, a light show from Lords of Lightning, and a huge German Bier Fest with sets from tribute acts Joel Coombes: Elton John and Rogue Minogue: Kylie, DJ sets from Fat Tony and DJ Spoony and a drag party with iconic drag queens Jonny Woo and John Sizzle.
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. You’ll find sparkles popping up in the night sky all over town this year. 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 Sunday in 2023. This year, a lot of the displays are happening over the weekend of November 3-5. 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.
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