The best Bonfire Night events for 2021

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With a number of this year’s events still cancelled, we rounded up some of the best option

England is not short of Bonfire Night celebrations, but if you’re looking for a change from your local display, Visit England have compiled a list of their best events for 2021.

We’ve also added a few of our own favourites to give you even more options.

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival

Haringey, London (pictured)

Set against panoramic views over London, the skies have come to life every November for over 150 years with Alexandra Palace’s impressive firework displays. This year’s offerings including the Light Show, StrEATlife with Soul, Garage and RnB legend Trevor Nelson, the Bonfire, and a German Bier Fest with Oompah Band and Spice Girls Tribute Act.

It takes place this year on November 6, with all the details here.

Lewes Bonfire Celebrations

Lewes, Sussex

Perhaps the most famous bonfire event in England, the Lewes Bonfire Night is the biggest celebrated Fifth November Event in the world, held every year. The Lewes Bonfire is also famous for its burning of religious and cultural effigies.

Previous years’ bonfires have included effigies of Luftwaffe bombers and Viking longboats, as well as a number of politicians and popes. There is also the striking image of the 17 burning crosses to represent the burning of martyrs of Lewes back in the 16th Century.

You can read all the details on their spectacular website.

The event regularly attracts thousands of visitors and can get extremely busy, so make sure you book accommodation and check travel arrangements well in advance.

Legoland Fireworks Spectacular

Windsor, Berkshire

The Legoland Windsor Resort Fireworks Spectacular lets you enjoy all your favourite rides, live shows, and attractions, followed by an incredible fireworks display. Plus, you can transform their display into exploding Lego bricks with their magic ‘Brick glasses’.

This year, the Fireworks Spectacular gives guests the chance to stay and play from dawn ‘til dusk, 10am – 7pm, and is hosted across three days, with tickets here.

Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular

Maidstone, Kent

Dubbed the south east’s biggest and best fireworks display, Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular brings together a space-themed fireworks display, paired with a complementing full production of projections onto the castle, ending with a mesmerising lighting finale.

Visitors can enjoy use of the castle’s grounds, including the maze, play areas, adventure golf, falconry displays, and scenic strolls around the Mediterranean gardens and along the great water’s edge, all before gathering for the display.

With accompanying live music played to space-themed songs, including ‘Rocketman’ by Elton John, ‘Starlight’ by Muse, and ‘Rewrite The Stars’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’, there will also be lots of different street food pop-ups, serving British and internationally themed food and drink, with something for all tastes.

You can even send in personal messages for the chance to feature on the castle exterior ahead of the display, by following Leeds Castle on Facebook and staying tuned for alerts closer to the event.

The Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary

Ottery Saint Mary, Devon

With the exact origins unknown, the Tar Barrel tradition is hundreds of years old. Ottery is the only town in the country carrying full sized lighted tar barrels through the streets. The tradition sees local pubs and breweries offering up a barrel, which is covered in tar, set alight and carried through the streets by brave locals.

Ottery’s giant bonfire is also an integral part of the annual Carnival and has had many sites throughout its history. The present site on St Saviours Meadow has been home for the bonfire in more recent times.

This year, it takes place on Bonfire Night on November 5.

Three weeks before the carnival, all manner of material is collected from the community to build the bonfire. On the week before the carnival the bonfire is finalised and usually stands about 35ft high with a girth of around 50ft. They even have a Guy competition for the children in the community, where a winner is selected for placing on the bonfire.

Alton Towers

Alton, Stoke-on-Trent

Every year the theme park welcomes families and thrill seekers of all ages to their display of ‘spectacular sights’ and ‘incredible sounds’. Popular with locals and people coming from afar, the night is becoming known as one of the best fireworks displays in the UK.

Their Bonfire Night fireworks events span three whole days, and because they’re open late for the fireworks, you can ride their coasters in the dark for extra scares, screams and shrieks.

This year it runs from November 5-7.

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