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Gunpowder, Treason and Plot: The 5 Best Firework Displays in the UK

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November’s upon us, and that means big bangs, sausages on a stick and writing your name in the air with a sparkler. Yep, it’s Bonfire Night – and’s had a look at the most spectacular firework displays on offer this year. Pack your earplugs, charge up your smart phone and pick your favourite!

Flaming Tar Barrels – Ottery St Mary

Big men running through the streets with flaming tar barrels strapped to their back? Devon’s always been a bit weird… Venture to the land that Health and Safety forgot with an early booking discount courtesy of, and revel in one of the last true bouts of anarchy in the UK. Endearingly enough, no-one can recall the origin of the Ottery tar barrel celebration. All we can say is we’re glad it still happens. If you’ve never seen it, you’re missing out.

The Parade to End All Parades – Battle

Battle in East Sussex has been holding an annual Bonfire Night party for more than 300 years. The good news for fancy dress lovers: there are more Guy Fawkes’ societies in Battle than you can shake a sparkler at, all of which vie to outdo the others on the costume front. Expect everything from Pierrot to the last Pharaoh: and expect to get involved.

The Lord Mayor’s Show – London

Bozzer Johnson’s biggest gift to the capital this year is a fireworks display of epic proportions – the endnote to the annual Lord Mayor’s Show, a day-long bonanza of music, dancing, proceeding and general merriment that has livened up the streets of London for 798 years. The half ton of fireworks take two days to put in place, and light up the Thames for miles around. It’s a popular sight, and you’ll need to get there early if you’re going to get a decent view. Try the Embankment if you want to get right in on the action – or head to Primrose Hill to see the effect from further afield.

Bangless Fireworks – Bristol Zoo

Pets and small children will welcome the Brizzle alternative to a Bonfire Night display: specially designed bangless fireworks, which give all of the spectacle with none of the fright. The organisers wait until dusk to get the best from their fireworks, but they start early enough to make it a viable option for young families. Head up to Bristol Zoo (top of the Clifton area) in time for 5pm to catch the action.

Beach Fireworks, Penrhos, Holyhead

Double your money with the sight of Holyhead’s most elaborate display – glorious whizzbangs reflected back at you from the seas of Holyhead Bay. Fireworks aren’t the only thing on the menu, either. There’s a full complement of music and fun courtesy of fairground rides and the best local musicians. Kids get in for free, and the event kicks off at half five. Beautiful.

Remember, remember: book your train tickets to any of these firework displays early through, and you’ll get a discount worth shouting about. We book trains to destinations all over the UK. Send us your pics of all the firework fun!

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Bonfire Night | Days Out

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