406 years ago, Guy Fawkes and his merry band of Catholic compatriots attempted to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James I. The plan, also known as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, was foiled when Fawkes was discovered with 36 barrels of gunpowder after an anonymous letter found its way into the hands of the authorities. To this day, Fawkes’ capture and subsequent death are celebrated every 5th of November with massive bonfires (burning effigies of Fawkes) and fireworks displays. London is particularly enthusiastic with dozens of celebrations to choose from, so we have done the hard work and research for you and chosen our Top 5 Picks For Guy Fawkes Day.
East London: Victoria Park’s famous fireworks may have been canceled this year but the Borough of Tower Hamlets is more than making up for it by hosting three different neighbourhood events. Our top pick of the three is Weavers Field in Bethnal Green, a no frills event that focuses 100% on the good stuff, aka the pyrotechnics (meaning no food vendors, carnival rides, etc). The fireworks display is free and begins at 7:30 pm.
West London: The Ealing Cricket Club is boasting a rock and roll ‘megashow’ this year with their pyrotechnics set to music by the likes of Queen, Oasis and Kings of Leon. The fireworks begin at 7:30 pm with the bonfire starting shortly after. Entrance is £6 for adults.
South London: The Battersea Park Fireworks take place right along the edge of the Thames and have been designed by the same people who designed displays for the Thames Festival and the Disney Concert Orchestra in Dubai. The bonfire will be lit at 7:30 pm with the fireworks beginning at 8 pm. Plus! There will be food stalls selling candy floss and toffee apples. Entrance is £6 for adults who arrive before 5 pm and £10 after.
North London: If you are having trouble choosing just one fireworks display, why not head over to one of the many beautiful hills surrounding the city for a view of all of the action? We are particularly fond of the panoramic views of London from Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park and Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath.
If you prefer the night’s explosive elements to remain solely in your drink rather than the sky, we recommend The Candlelight Club, a pop-up cocktail bar located in a secret London venue. The infernally-themed event is lit by candles and boasts 1920s jazz from the Brass Volcanoes, a fire-eating vamp and a cocktail menu ‘infused with smoky, fiery flavours’. We are personally set on trying the Bonfire of the Vani-Teas, a cocktail mixed with Bourbon, Gunpowder and Lapsang Souchong teas, apricot brandy, plum bitters, lemon juice and maple syrup. Tickets are £15 and there are only a handful of them left. Book now before it’s too late.