Things to do on Bonfire Night in London
Every year on 5 November, the London sky lights up with fireworks in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot. You might struggle to choose which display you would like to go to if you’re visiting London over Bonfire weekend. We’ve listed the best fireworks displays to ensure you have a night to remember.
Does London celebrate Bonfire Night?
Nowhere else can you celebrate Bonfire Night with as much historical significance as in London, where the infamous Gunpowder Plot originated.
On November 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes concealed 33 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar of the Palace of Westminster in an attempt to assassinate King James I and destroy the Houses of Parliament. Caught in the act, Guy Fawkes was apprehended and taken to the Tower of London, where his fellow conspirators were compelled to reveal their names through torture.
Where in London is Bonfire Night?
More than four centuries later, Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes' Night or Fireworks Night, continues to be a prominent event on the British social calendar. London offers a rich array of festivities, including fireworks displays, traditional bonfires, and effigy burnings of Guy Fawkes, and we've compiled a guide to the best 2023 Bonfire Night fireworks in London.
1. Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival
With fabulous views of London, the Firework Festival hosted at Alexandra Palace (often fondly called Ally Pally), on Friday, November 3rd, and Saturday, November 4th 2023, is always a lively affair.
Take part in an unforgettable experience featuring live music, a taste of Bavaria at the UK's largest German Bier Festival, and fantastic performances. Enjoy tribute acts like Joel Coombes as Elton John and Rogue Minogue as Kylie, along with legendary DJ sets by none other than Fat Tony and DJ Spoony in the StrEATlife Village.
Be amazed by mind-bending lightning magic performed by the Lords of Lightning, take a thrilling spin on the ice disco, an ice skating rink where you can dance. And, to top it all off, witness the spectacular fireworks display that will illuminate the London skyline.
If you get a bit peckish, be sure to visit one of the many street food stalls on offer! Alexandra Palace welcomes those of all ages to the event, so purchase your ticket before it’s too late.
2. Wimbledon Park Fireworks and Morden Park Fireworks
The ever-popular musical fireworks shows return to Wimbledon Park on Saturday 4 November and Morden Park on Sunday 5 November 2023. You have the option to select from two different performances per venue: an early show designed to cater to younger children and families, featuring a magic theme with enchanting songs centred around magical themes. Alternatively, there's a later show with a 'One-hit Wonders' musical theme, showcasing the biggest tunes from past decades.
3. Battersea Park Fireworks
This year, London's biggest Fireworks Display returns to Battersea Park, situated on the south bank of the River Thames, for two consecutive nights. You can choose between the classic Saturday Night on Saturday 4th November 2023 or the Family Night on Sunday 5th November 2023, which has an earlier start.
During the classic night, you can expect a dazzling fireworks presentation and a huge bonfire, accompanied by a wide array of choices for food and drinks.
During the family night, you will be able to attend a breathtaking fireworks showcase. While the adults savour mulled wine, there are plenty of activities to keep the children entertained.
This expansive 200-acre park boasts not only a massive bonfire but also a breathtaking fireworks display. The pyrotechnics exhibition is masterminded by the same expert team responsible for orchestrating the spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations in both London and Edinburgh.
4. Beckenham Fireworks in the Park
At Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham Fireworks in the Park offers plenty of family entertainment. On Saturday 4th November 2023, you can choose between a quieter display for younger children, with less noise at 6pm, or the spectacular and noisy main display at 7.45pm. Also, there will be 18 food stalls and a funfair.
5. Richmond Family Fireworks
The Richmond Family Fireworks Display returns on Sunday 5th November 2023 for a Family Fireworks Night. This is a hugely popular event that takes place every year at the Richmond Athletic Ground on Twickenham Road. Families can enjoy live entertainment, funfair rides, candyfloss and popcorn stalls. There’s also hot food and mulled wine for the adults to enjoy too - it has all the makings of a fantastic evening!
6. Harrow Fireworks
The Harrow Fireworks event is returning to Byron Park on Saturday, November 4, 2023. This is a fantastic family-friendly event featuring early evening fireworks set to a musical theme. In addition to the captivating fireworks display, there will be pre-show entertainment, activities like face painting, glitter tattoos, and henna art, as well as a lively funfair to enjoy. You can also indulge in a diverse selection of world street food, and if past years are any indication, there might even be a celebration of Diwali as part of the festivities.
Whichever bonfire you go to, we hope you have a great night! To extend your discovery of London with your partner, discover our selection of activities to do as a couple for a romantic weekend in the capital.