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 usually on offer during London Bonfire Night below, from east to west, north to south. Or discover more things to do in London this autumn. Check back closer to the time for confirmation of the events and full details for 2021.
Fireworks in central London
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 filling your Instagram feed with snaps of the Battersea fireworks display on the banks of the river Thames.
Southwark's Fireworks Night
Top Bonfire Nights in south London
Beckenham Fireworks in the Park
Head to Beckenham Fireworks in the Park at Croydon Road Recreation Ground each year for 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, the funfair and face painting for the kids.
Make your way to Blackheath fireworks, one of the largest free London fireworks displays on Bonfire Night. Enjoy this epic event which regularly hosts more than 80,000 people and includes a funfair, as well as food and drink stalls.
Crystal Palace Fireworks
Cool fireworks in east London
Guy Fawkes Night in Newham
Victoria Park fireworks
Drop by Fireworks Night at Victoria Park for an evening of free Bonfire Night pyrotechnics. Keep warm with snacks from the food and drink stalls, before the fireworks display lights up the skies over east London.
Bonfire Night fireworks in north London
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival
Head to one of north London's best vantage points for a weekend of fun at the annual two-day Ally Pally's Fireworks Festival. One of the top Bonfire Night events in London, the activities on offer usually include a German beer festival, a funfair, live music and a dazzling fireworks show.
Fireworks Spectacular at Waltham Forest
Guy Fawkes Festival and Fireworks at the Royal Gunpowder Mills
Discover the history of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot with a special show each year at the Royal Gunpowder Mills’ Guy Fawkes Festival and Fireworks event. The former gunpowder factory offers a line-up of daytime activities and foodie treats, before a spectacular fireworks finale.
Light Up the Night at Wembley Park
Watch fireworks shimmer over Wembley Stadium’s iconic arch at the free Light Up the Night display which usually takes over Wembley Park. Follow the pretty lantern parade before taking your spot to see the stunning fireworks display set to music. Family entertainment and delicious food stalls usually complete the lineup.
West London Bonfire Night ideas
Ealing Cricket Club fireworks display
Ravenscourt Park fireworks display
Each year you can journey to Ravenscourt Park to enjoy an impressive fireworks event on Bonfire Night weekend in London. Take a spin on the funfair rides and tuck into tasty treats from the food stalls, before enjoying the main display.
Wimbledon Park fireworks
Witness a breathtaking display of pyrotechnics at the Wimbledon Park fireworks, where music and fireworks combine to create a dramatic show. A spectacular fire and light show has replaced the usual bonfire at this climate-conscious event in recent years. Usually, there are also rides and a variety of food stalls for warming snacks.
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: watch London New Year’s Eve Fireworks.