Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night in London?
Each year, London marks the historic moment when Guy Fawkes and his motley crew attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605.
It is still customary today for the cellars in the Houses of Parliament to be searched by the Yeoman of the Guard before each State Opening of Parliament.
The day became known as Guy Fawkes Day or Guy Fawkes Night, but it's now more commonly called Bonfire Night.
When is Bonfire Night?
As follows the tradition, Bonfire Night is celebrated every year on or around 5 November. Bonfires are usually lit on which effigies known as “guys” are burned, while the skies are filled with colourful fireworks. It’s also a time to enjoy traditional Bonfire Night food and drink, alongside music, funfairs and family activities.
Top tips for Fireworks Night in London
Follow these top tips to make sure your Bonfire Night goes off with a bang:
- Book your tickets ahead to guarantee entry: many London fireworks events are usually ticketed and can be bought in advance.
- Take cash, as some vendors at London Guy Fawkes Night fireworks displays are cash-only.
- Enjoy more than just the fireworks! There are plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy, plus seasonal food and drink at most events.
- Wrap up warm to enjoy a whole evening of fun.
Find what's on offer during London Bonfire Night below, from east to west, north to south.
1. Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival
Head to one of north London's best vantage points for a night of fun at the Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival. One of the top Bonfire Night events in London. 2023 activities at Ally Pally's fireworks include a German beer festival, DJ sets from Fat Tony and DJ Spoony, an ice disco and a dazzling light show. 3-4 Nov
2. Wimbledon Park fireworks
Witness one of two breath-taking displays of pyrotechnics at the Wimbledon Park fireworks, where music and fireworks combine to create a dramatic show. In 2022, a spectacular fire and light show replaced the usual bonfire at a climate-conscious event. Along with rides and a variety of food stalls for snacks. 4 Nov
3. Bonfire Night fireworks Morden Park
A similar event to the Wimbledon fireworks, this musical-themed fireworks in Morden Park takes place each year. Enjoy music and funfair rides, and tuck into warming food and drink from the street food village. 5 Nov
4. Chiswick Park Fireworks Extravaganza
5. Battersea Park Fireworks
Join thousands of revellers as this pretty park is illuminated with a huge bonfire and a spectacular fireworks display every year. Tuck into food and drink from the restaurants and bars at nearby Battersea Power Station, before enjoying the Battersea fireworks display on the banks of the river Thames. 3-4 Nov
6. Beckenham Fireworks in the Park
Take the kids to Beckenham Fireworks in the Park at Croydon Road Recreation Ground each year, which has plenty of family entertainment. Choose between a quiet firework show, or the big bangs of the main display later in the evening. Be sure to arrive early to enjoy Bonfire Night food and the funfair. 4 Nov
7. Barnes Sports Club fireworks
Head to leafy Barnes in south-west London for the annual Bonfire Night display at Barnes Sports Club. Alongside a traditional bonfire and fireworks display, there's usually a "Best Guy" competition, BBQ, bar and music from a DJ. Last year visitors could purchase glow in the dark toys and sparklers for a fun bonfire night with the family. TBC
8. Ealing Cricket Club fireworks display
9. Brent and Harrow fireworks display
10. Kempton Park Racecourse fireworks
Experience one of the biggest firework displays in west London at Kempton Park Racecourse. You’ll find thrilling rides, DJ sets, warming food and a themed firework display set to top tunes, which are sure to impress! 4 Nov
If you're looking for a "Bonfire Night near me" and local firework displays, download the Visit London app.
NYE fireworks in London
Bonfire Night in London is not the only large-scale London fireworks event. At the end of the year, London’s largest annual fireworks display usually takes place: London New Year’s Eve Fireworks.