Britain's best Bonfire Night celebrations and firework displays

Remember, remember, the 5th of November...Our pick of the best Bonfire Night celebrations and firework displays in the UK to enjoy in 2019.

Bonfire and fireworks
Published: September 1st, 2019 at 9:48 am
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Celebrate Bonfire Night 2019 with our pick of the best bonfire and fireworks displays taking place across the UK, plus see our advice on keeping pets safe and calm.

When is Bonfire Night in 2019?

Remember, remember, Bonfire Night is on Tuesday 5th November in 2019.


Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night?

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, celebrations are held in the UK to mark the failure of Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in 1605. The burning of the 'Guy' on the bonfire symbolises his failed treason attempt, and acts as a reminder that treason will never be forgiven or forgotten.

Burning log fire

What is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night?

Parkin cake is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night. This rich, ginger and treacle cake is a delight and comes from Northern England. Warming baked potatoes and toffee apples are also popular to eat Bonfire Night.

Spiced toffee apple cake (Photo by: BBC Good Food)

Best Bonfire Night displays in the UK


Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations, East Sussex

On Tuesday 5th November hundreds of spectators will be joined by about thirty visiting bonfire societies and dozens of marching bands on the cobbled streets of Lewes for a grand bonfire procession. Groups in costume will parade 17 burning crosses through the streets to commemorate Lewes’s 16th century martyrs who were burnt at the stake. The evening will conclude with various firework displays and the lighting of huge bonfires on the hills around Lewes. The procession itself, which runs from 5pm, is free but the official fire sites around Lewes are ticketed events.


Civic Bonfire and Fireworks in Inverness, Highlands

On Tuesday 5th November, the banks of the River Ness, Bught Park in Inverness will attract between 10,000-15,000 spectators to the Highlands’s biggest bonfire event. Festivities commence at 5:30pm on Monday 5th November with fire twirlers and a pipe and drum band before the giant bonfire is lit at 7:30pm. The pipes and drums will be replaced by whooshes and bangs as the musical fireworks display begins, signalling the night drawing to a close.

A tranquil scene of Inverness water front. The capital city of the highland in Scotland and a popular place with tourist visiting the country. (Getty Images)


Ride the Rocket Firework Train, Denbighshire

Enjoy a wonderfully alternative firework experience aboard a steam train along the picturesque Llangollen railway line beside the River Dee on Sunday 3rd November. The evening journey takes you from Llangollen through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stopping off at Glyndyfrdwy Station on the way back for a stunning firework display and warm refreshments. The train departs at 6pm and returns at 8:30pm on Saturday 3rd November. Tickets sell out so book online at


Tutbury Castle Firework and Viking Spectacular, Staffordshire

Voted as one of the best displays in the UK, on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November Tutbury Castle is holding its annual evening of fierce Viking fighting, dazzling pyrotechnic displays, living history camp and a ‘Viking funeral’. Costumed reenactments are an enthralling enhancement to the usual bonfire night festivities and give this event a unique touch. This is all topped off with a BBQ, bar and children’s entertainment. Gates open at 5pm and are followed on both Saturday and Sunday by fireworks at 8pm.

Ruined medieval castle at Tutbury, Staffordshire,UK (Getty Images)

Sparks in the Park, Cardiff

Saturday 2rd November will see Wales’ biggest and most spectacular firework display light up the skies above Cardiff. A colossal bonfire has been promised, as well as a display lasting half an hour. There is also an earlier fireworks show at 5:45pm for children. Food stalls, fairground rides and live entertainment are a few of the various attractions offered. The main bonfire is lit at 7pm and is followed by fireworks.

See the sky above Cardiff lit up in Wales' largest display (Getty)
See the sky above Cardiff lit up in Wales' largest display (Getty)

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

This beautiful stately home in the Derbyshire Dales will host a fantastical firework display and bonfire as part of its annual commemoration of Guy Fawkes. Fabulous live entertainment will include dancing and circus performers. The bonfire is lit at 7pm, with a children's firework display at 7.30pm and a grand finale firework display at 8.15pm on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November. Tickets can be bought at


Himley Hall, Dudley

30 minutes from Birmingham, Himley Hall is marking this year's Bonfire Night celebrations with a respectful commemoration of the end of World War I, 100 years on, with a unique tribute will be paid to those soldiers who heroically battled and for those lost their lives. The fireworks display on Saturday 2nd November will be one of the largest in the country. The bonfire will be lit at 7.45pm, and the fireworks will start at 8.30pm.

Himley Hall
Himley Hall came into being in the 18th century when a medieval manor house belonging to the Earl of Dudley was demolished to make way for a Palladian mansion.(Getty)

Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary, Devon

In a daring and peculiar pyrotechnic spectacle, villagers haul flaming barrels of tar on their backs through the streets of Ottery St Mary. Each one gets bigger until the last, huge barrel is paraded around at midnight. Although it is unclear why this intriguing tradition started, it is enthusiastically embraced by the whole community.

Tar barrel
Locals run through the streets of Ottery St Mary in Devon carrying flaming tar barrels to celebrate Bonfire Night (Getty)

All the usual fireworks, fairground and a 30ft bonfire make a welcome addition to the proceedings. The event begins at 7pm on Tuesday 5th November and is completely free. Care should be taken as the event gets very crowded and young children need to be watched at at times.


Battle, East Sussex

For a Bonfire Night with a difference head to Battle in East Sussex on Saturday 2nd November. Celebrations have taken place for more than 300 years and the event starts with a spectacular procession through the town led by the Battel Bonfire Boyes at 7:30pm. Expect to see people dressed in costume - and feel free to join in! The bonfire is lit at 9pm on Abbey Green and the fireworks start at 9:30pm, followed by the Effigy.

Crowd watching a Bonfire
Bonfire celebrations have been held in Battle for more than 300 years (Getty)


Fireworks Spectacular, Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire

On Saturday 2nd November, Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire hosts one of the region's largest firework displays. This year’s ‘Festival of Lights’ theme will see LED sculptures, glow-in-the-dark art installations, light entertainers and LED graffiti walls come to life before a spectacular firework display from the centre of the racecourse’s track.

Fireworks at Ascot Racecourse Fireworks Spectacular in Berkshire

Ally Pally's Fireworks Festival, London

If you're heading to the capital this weekend, on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November, Ally Pally's Fireworks Festival returns to the Grade II Alexandra Palace in North London. Impressive firework displays will be set against panoramic views of London. Live entertainment, including circus acrobatics, music, an ice rink and a German beer festival will also feature.

Enjoy panoramic views of the capital from Alexandra Palace during the Ally Pally Fireworks Festival

How to keep your pets safe and calm on Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night and noisy and bright fireworks displays can be a frightening time for your pets and other animals. Here’s our essential guide on how to keep your pets calm and happy during Bonfire Night.

How to keep dogs and cats happy during firework displays

Walk your dog before the fireworks are due to start, and do not take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if your dog appears calm around fireworks, watch out for the quieter signs of distress, such as heavy yawning or panting.

Dog in blanket
Provide a 'safe place' for dogs and cats during fireworks displays. (Getty Images)

Always keep dogs and cats inside when you know fireworks will be let off, shutting doors & windows and locking catflaps firmly shut. Make sure a cat litter tray is available.


You can prepare a safe ‘den’ for your pet in a quiet corner, or under a bed with soft bedding or possibly some of your old clothes which will smell familiar. You can introduce them to this well in advance of and they may like to hide quietly while the fireworks are on.


Carys MatthewsGroup Digital Editor

Carys is the Group Digital Editor of and Carys can often be found trail running, bike-packing, wild swimming or hiking in the British countryside.


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