London is a great place to spend Bonfire Night, but for those already in the capital, it's worth noting that there's plenty going on throughout this uniquely British holiday to tempt them away from the city for one night only. If you're tired of heading to Alexandra Palace year in and year out, or standing on Blackheath getting a chill because you can't get close enough to the bonfire, consider one of the events below. Bonfire Night comes in all shapes and sizes, and it's worth taking a separate look at this interesting British tradition.
Sussex Bonfire series
You won't find anyone in the UK more enthusiastic about Bonfire Night than the people of Sussex, who hold a special series of events based around the holiday year in and year out. Starting as early as September 1st, every town holds its very own celebration, with each trying to outdo the last in a spectacular celebration that might involve parades, fire eating and baked potatoes. One thing you can be certain of - there is always a bonfire and the fireworks are always spectacular. But more than that - these events often see entire communities coming together, resulting in a special atmosphere as neighbours line up alongside each other to watch the parades carry the Guy to the flames. Sussex bonfires last until late November, with the bulk of them taking place between October 18th and November 14th. Lewes, Hastings and Robertsbridge are known for holding particularly explosive events. People take Bonfire Night seriously in Sussex, and there are multiple societies that meet throughout the year to decide on the annual theme.
Quite frankly, you can't beat Leeds Castle for spectacle, and this incredible building looks even more amazing with fireworks illuminating its walls and reflecting off the surface of its moat. Each year, images are projected onto the castle walls to add to the spectacle, while the display itself is set to singalong music with a fiery theme (expect renditions of Burn Baby Burn and Firework by Katy Perry). Kids will no doubt be amazed by the torch juggling and fire breathing, while adults will appreciate the culinary effort made by the organisers (last year saw chilli tacos and pulled pork served up - a dramatic departure from hot dogs and candy floss). Tickets cost £18.50 for adults and £12 for children, while those under four years old enter for free.
Birmingham Fireworks Spectacular
The Birmingham Fireworks Spectacular is easily one of the best places to be for Bonfire Night - not because of the fireworks (although those are very well-done) but because of the themes. Each year, the organisers decide on something to base the celebration on - as well as the commemoration of Guy Fawkes's failed attempt to blow up Parliament, obviously - and then work themselves silly to ensure they carry it off. Last year's Disney event saw thousands of people dressed as Mulan, Pocahontas, Aladdin and Hercules. 2014 is set to be an altogether more thought-provoking affair, with the organisers planning to honour the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. It's definitely worth attending, however, especially with Remembrance Day fast approaching. The fun starts from 5pm at the Pype Hayes Park.
If you have young children and want a fireworks display especially geared towards them, consider heading straight to Legoland Windsor, which always puts on a very special event indeed for the youngsters. The organisers love to incorporate exciting - and of course, Lego-based - themes into their displays. This year, it's all based around the Chima sets and the battle between Fire and Ice Chi. No, we don't know what that means either. But you can bet the kids will. Enjoy watching conventional Bonfire Night attractions such as fire juggling displays, and raising your eyebrows at a few unexpected additions, such as ice carving. One thing is certain - Bonfire Night at Legoland Windsor is always a memorable occasion.