Before each State Opening of Parliament, a strange ritual takes place in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. The Yeoman Warders in their colourful costumes search each cellar, before announcing that all is clear. The reasons for this ritual go back over four years to the time of King James I. A group of conspirators led by Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Parliament buildings in the hope of destroying the government and King James himself. Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellars about to lit the match. It became a tradition that not only were the cellars checked before each future State Opening of Parliament, but bonfires and fireworks were held in celebration of Guy Fawkes failure. This became known as Bonfire Night and takes place on the Fifth of November every year.
There are several spectacular places to celebrate this event in London involving massive bonfire displays. These are very popular so it is worth booking tickets early. Lots of travelers are expected to stay in London during this time period, with many booking rooms at hotels in Cricklewood London.
The Alexandra Palace at Wood Green, North London runs two days of firework displays on 4th and 5th November which attract over 50,000 people. This is where you can enjoy a spectacular firework and laser show, ice skating and a funfair. That means hotels in north London are fully packed during this time of the month. You can also watch an incredible Day of the Dead parade across Alexandra Park, try seasonal food and drink from the many street vendors and have a glass of beer at the German Beer Festival.
Step out of your Best Western Palm hotel in Hendon and travel up to the Allianz Park for a fantastic super hero themed fireworks display at the home of the Saracens. With seating available within the East Stand, spectators can relax and enjoy the spectacle. It is guaranteed to be an eye-catching crowd pleaser involving dramatic, sparkling, colourful explosions that light up the night sky.
South of the River, Battersea Park is the venue for a series of colourful pyrotechnics set against a blazing bonfire. Accompanying the pyrotechnics is a soundtrack of music made by legends. It’s colourful, spectacular and stunning. A wide range of food and drink is available on site.
Further south at Wimbledon, the fireworks take on a magic theme for little ones in the early evening; followed by a later massive display set to music from around the world. Another superb display takes place at nearby Morden Park where the natural bowl of the parkland provides a perfect setting with unobstructed views.
In East London, firework extravaganzas are planned for the East Village’s Victory Park close to the former Athletes Village of the 2012 Olympics and at Clissold Park in Hackney. A free event is available at Wanstead Flats with fireworks choreographed to popular hits mid evening.
West London is served by firework displays at Ealing Cricket Ground and over at the Barnes Sports Club where there is even a home made Guy competition. Barbecue food and mulled wine make for a warming food offer to enjoy during the cold evening while after the display, you can dance the night way with to music with a live DJ.