Celebrate Bonfire Night in Britain

November means big bangs, blazing bonfires and fizzing fireworks across Britain, as towns and cities remember, remember, the fifth of November! Wrap up and embark on a fiery journey into history at these flaming events that commemorate Guy Fawkes Night – the failed Gunpowder Plot and the conspirators’ attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Expect fireworks, light shows and an abundance of other entertainment all over the country.

Alexandra Palace, London

Offering spectacular views across London in addition to a breathtaking fireworks showpiece, the annual fireworks and bonfire show at Alexandra Palace is fun for all the family. From a stunning laser show and huge bonfire to live music, a German beer festival, funfair and an abundance of street food, it’s best to arrive early to see all the action. Tickets are £9.50 for adults, £7.50 for children and £2.50 for those aged 10 and below. Access to the beer festival or ice skating is at an additional cost.

When? 1-2 November

Crystal Palace Park, London

The green space of Crystal Palace Park is illuminated for Guy Fawkes Night, with two shows across the evening. Expect more colour and less bangs during the earlier children’s show, before the main event rounds off the evening, with all proceeds going to charity. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

When? 5 November (7pm children’s show, 8.30pm main family show)

Battersea Park, London

Expect a bang at the annual firework display in Battersea Park to mark Guy Fawkes Night, which attracts mammoth crowds year after year. Arrive early to grab a great viewing spot as the park fills up quickly. An exclusive after party in Battersea Evolution follows the show for those aged over 18. Earlybird tickets from £7 plus booking fee. Afterparty tickets must be purchased alongside a regular ticket.

When? 2 November

LEGOLAND Fireworks Spectacular, Berkshire

Watch as the sky over LEGOLAND Windsor comes alive with colour as the theme park’s Fireworks Spectacular returns for another year. LEGOLAND also gets a makeover for Halloween as part of Brick or Treat, promising plenty of child-friendly thrills and frights! Tickets start from £36 and include access to numerous spooktacular activities, as well as to more than 55 rides, live shows and attractions.

When? 19-20, 25-26 October and 1-2 November (Brick or Treat from 17 October - 2 November)

The Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary, Devon

The town of Ottery St Mary marks Guy Fawkes Night like no other, as its townspeople lug flaming barrels of tar through the streets, a tradition dating back hundreds of years. Although the origins of this annual pastime are unknown, many link it back to historical events including the gunpowder plot in 1605 and as a warning for the approach of the Spanish Armada less than 20 years earlier. The locals remain fiercely proud of the tradition and a 30-foot bonfire, fireworks and a fairground add to the fun. Just remember to stand well back from the evening tar barrel procession!

When? 5 November

Sparks in the Park, Berkshire

The grounds of the Grade II-listed stately home at Swallowfield Park in Berkshire are illuminated for Bonfire Night with a spellbinding firework display. A huge bonfire adds to the Sparks in the Park celebrations, with visitors able to sample a dazzling array of live music, food and drink in addition to the bright lights and loud bangs at this family-friendly event! Tickets are sold online from early September.

When? 2 November

Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular, Kent

Celebrate the 900th anniversary of one of Kent’s showpiece castles at the Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular. The castle has promised to take visitors ‘around the world’ on a themed evening featuring stunning pyrotechnics and the ‘biggest firework display in the south east of England’ featuring an incredible 25,000 starbursts! Explore the castle’s maze and falconry displays during the afternoon against a backdrop of live music and performers, before tucking into a variety of delicious food options as the fireworks get underway!

When? 2-3 November

Fantastic fireworks at Longleat, Wiltshire

The night sky is filled with bold autumnal colours as the grounds of Longleat are illuminated on the weekends leading up to Bonfire Night. Come face-to-face with lions in the safari park, see England’s only koalas in Koala Creek and tackle the newly renovated Adventure Castle before exploring the stately house and gardens. The fireworks coincide with the Great British Autumn, a set of family-friendly events to mark the October school holidays that includes pumpkin carving for Halloween, owl displays and ride-on tractors. Entry to the fireworks is included with a day ticket or annual pass.

When? 25-26 October, 1-2 November (Great British Autumn, 26 October – 3 November)

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Wrap up warm and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings – as well as Bonfire Night – in the glorious surroundings of Chatsworth House. With two dazzling firework displays, including one specifically for children, and an array of entertainment and delicious food, the family-friendly show has something for visitors of all ages. Tuck into a delectable hog roast or indulge in sweet treats before the fireworks take visitors on ‘an extraordinary voyage into space’. Tickets cost £16 for adults and £11 for children aged 4-16.

When? 2-3 November

Penrhos Beach, Holyhead, Anglesey

Rockets and fireworks explode over Holyhead Bay as the Welsh island of Anglesey celebrates Bonfire Night with a bang! Crowds flock to Penrhos Beach for the show, where there’s also a funfair, local music and seaside rides to keep children entertained before the fireworks begin! Watch as the bonfire roars into life and the lights from the pyrotechnics glisten across the sand – it’s a sight to behold!

When? 5 November

Wynyard Hall, County Durham

Celebrate Bonfire Night in 150 acres of stunning historical landscape at the Wynyard Estate in the picturesque Tess Valley. Dating back to 1230, the estate on the outskirts of Durham was transformed into a striking four-star hotel in 2008 and is all set to mark the occasion in style. As well as the bright lights and fireworks, there’ll be plenty of entertainment and fairground rides to keep all of the family amused.

When? 3 November

Winchester charity bonfire and fireworks, Hampshire

Winchester’s largest annual charity event returns with a bang in 2019 to mark its 61st year! Alongside roaring fireworks and a gigantic crackling bonfire, there’ll be ample opportunity to take in the city’s magnificent architecture as a huge procession weaves its way through the city’s historical core. Tickets go on sale from early September.

When? 9 November

Dotty for Downton - discover the filming locations of the Downton Abbey movie

The feature length Downton Abbey movie hits the screens in September, with the new trailer providing plenty of reasons for fans of the period drama to get excited.

Director Brian Percival’s feature length production will welcome back the stars of the hit ITV series, last seen on screens in 2015. And there are ample opportunities to visit the real Downton Abbey, both before and after the movie lands in UK cinemas on 13 September.

What to expect from the movie?

Set around a year after the finale of the TV series, in 1927, the Downton Abbey movie will revolve around a royal visit from His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary.

It will once again follow the aristocratic Crawley family and their dedicated staff on the fictional Yorkshire estate. Starring old favourites including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Lesley Nicole and Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter will also return as Carson the butler in a bid to restore Downton to its former glory.

See the real Downton Abbey!

The picturesque star of the movie, and of the past television series, Highclere Castle near the Hampshire/Berkshire border doubles up as the famous setting for Downton Abbey. The home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the stunning period property and 5,000-acre estate features Jacobean Revival architecture from Sir Charles Barry which dates back to the 1820s. In addition to the country house are its pristine grounds, landscaped by renowned gardener Capability Brown in 1770, and designated a Sight of Special Scientific Interest since 1991.

Events at Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle opens for a limited period during the summer, and on selected other dates for special events throughout the year, giving Downton Abbey fans a chance to experience the impressive building first-hand.

When? The Castle and Gardens, as well as an onsite Egyptian Exhibition, will be open to the public from 7 July 2019 to 2 September 2019, although the Castle is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Downton Abbey Live Open Air Concert

Fans can prepare for the forthcoming movie release by taking in the TV show’s magical soundtrack this June. Set in the grounds of Highclere Castle, the Chamber Orchestra of London will join forces with the TV show’s composer John Lunn on piano for an exclusive open air concert. Hosted by Jim Carter, renowned for his portrayal of Mr Carson, the Downton Abbey Live open air concert aims to bring the TV phenomenon to life on 22 June.

When? 22 June, from 4pm

Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours

Just in time for the Downton Abbey movie release, Highclere Castle is hosting Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours on the weekend before it hits cinemas. Visitors can tour the castle, walking in the footsteps of the stars, while taking in a spectacular collection of costumes from the 1920s era. Highclere’s own cocktail van, ‘Josephine Vanessa’ will also be on site serving up a delicious array of refreshing drinks.

When? 7-8 September 2019. Grounds open from 10am to 6pm, with access on the Castle limited to the type of ticket. Morning ticket access from 10.30am to 12.30 pm. Afternoon ticket access from 12.20pm to 2.30pm.

Real Lives and Film Sets – Special guided tours

Once the film is released, fans of Downton Abbey will be able to set foot in many of the locations were the scenes were shot as part of exclusive special guided tours. Real Lives and Film Sets will enable visitors to explore the beauty of the State Rooms, climb the Great Oak Staircase and be immersed by the extensive Egyptian Exhibition – which details the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by the fifth Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter – while discovering more about the rich and varied history of the site. Tours also include a seasonal buffet at the estate’s Coach House Tea Rooms.

When? Tours on selected dates in September (14, 17, 20, 25, 28, 29) and October (16, 17, 23, 24) with morning sessions starting at 10.30am and afternoon sessions starting at 2.30pm for entry to the Castle.

Beamish Open Air Museum

Used as a backdrop for the upcoming Downton Abbey film, the renowned Beamish open air museum in County Durham explores life in North East England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1900s Town allows visitors to discover how families lived and worked in the build-up to the First World War, supported by highly engaging and thought-provoking Pit Village and Colliery experiences. A recreated tramway, a 1940s farm, an Edwardian style railway station and 1820s Pockerley are among the other star attractions.

When? Open daily from 10am to 5pm until 3 November 2019, with reduced opening hours of 10am to 4pm during the winter. Beamish is closed on selected days during the winter.