Bonfire Night - the UK's biggest and best fireworks displays
Remember, remember, the 5th of November - Bonfire Night is back once more, and across the country, the skies will be lit with fabulous fireworks displays. If you're wondering where to go this year, here are some of the biggest and best on offer.
Lord Mayor's Show, London
Originally the day the new Lord Mayor of London swore an oath of loyalty to King John, the Lord Mayor's Show includes a flamboyant procession through the streets of London. Hundreds of horses, marching bands, floats, and of course the magnificent State Coach will transport this year's ambassador for the City of London from Mansion House, past St Paul's Cathedral, and back along the Embankment. And this age-old tradition ends with a spectacular fireworks display over the River Thames. This year the event takes place on 8 November, with the procession starting at 11.45am. Tickets can bought for the grandstands but they're not cheap at £37.50 each. However, to watch the fireworks, try to grab a spot between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.
Ottery St Mary, Devon
A bonfire night that's not for the faint hearted, every year on 5 November, the townsfolk of Ottery St Mary gather to see flaming tar barrels carried through the streets. The custom is said to date back to the 17th century, and it is down to the good people of the town's public houses to undertake the terrifying task of transporting the barrels through the streets, with 17 men, women and boys taking on the challenge. The action kicks off in the early evening, and continues throughout the night, ending with a gigantic bonfire, funfair and firework display. It's free to see, but definitely not one for small children.
Glasgow Green, Scotland
A spectacular fireworks display is the highlight of Glasgow's 5 November celebrations, but there is plenty to keep you entertained before the whizzbangs take place at 7.30pm. The family friendly event kicks off at 4pm with food and drink, and merchandise stalls for you to browse and indulge, while the funfair, which starts at 5.30pm will keep the kids entertained. As always, the event is completely free and open to all.
Sparks in the Park, Cardiff
The largest annual firework event in Wales, Sparks in the Park takes place on Saturday 1 November at Cardiff's Cooper's Field. Besides the amazing display of pyrotechnics at 7pm, there's a fairground with funfair rides, live entertainment courtesy of Capital FM, food stalls, a beer tent and a beast of a bonfire. Tickets are limited so it's advisable to book in advance, and a family ticket costs £18.75, or it's £7.50 for adults and £3.75 for children (prices on the day are more expensive). The fun begins at 4.30pm with a fireworks display especially for the little ones at 5.45pm, and the proceeds are donated to charity.
Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire
Much more than just a fireworks display, Tutbury Castle is bringing back its Vikings & Fireworks Spectacular this year due to the previous success of the event. Visitors from across the country travel to Tutbury over the course of three nights of fireworks, fairground rides, and Vikings fighting it out under the moonlight. On Saturday 1 November and Wednesday 5 November, the gates open at 6pm, with the Vikings on show at 7.30pm and fireworks to follow, while on Sunday 2 November, families are invited to learn about the Norsemen in a living history camp, and gates open at 3pm. A barbecue and bar are open each evening providing both hot and cold food. Admission is £7.50 for adults, £7 for concessions (ages five to 12 and OAPs), and children under 5 get in free. Do book early though - the event sells out every year.
Bangless Bonfire Night, Bristol Zoo
Ear-splitting bangs aren't everyone's cup of tea, so if you have little ones who aren't too keen, Bristol Zoo is the place to go. Every year the venue holds its bangless bonfire night, where the fireworks are quiet but nonetheless dazzling, so there's no chance the children or the animals will get a fright. As well as the fireworks lighting up the night sky, there's entertainment, with fun and games for the kids, and hot drinks and wintery treats on offer to keep the whole family warm. This year the Zoo's display takes place on 4, 5 and 6 of November, with gates opening at 5pm ahead of the display at 5.45pm. Tickets cost £6.75 for adults, £5.25 for children and under-2s get in free, but they are limited so book in advance.
Lewes, East Sussex
Renowned throughout the land as one of, if not the best Guy Fawkes celebration in the country, Bonfire Night in the usually peaceful town of Lewes is a spectacular evening. No less than six separate Lewes Bonfire Societies celebrate in various parts of the town, and there are processions, costumes, a number of bonfires, and of course, an impressive display of fireworks. The evening kicks off at 5pm and continues right through to around 1am, but it does get extremely busy and the roads are closed so it's best to arrive early and park well away from the centre of the town. Be aware too that the centre of town may not be the ideal place for very young children due to the very large crowds.
Have you got any fabulous fireworks displays going on near you? Leave your comments below...