The best of Bonfire Night in the South East

REMEMBER, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot… this verse from a traditional English folk poem is something that many of us will remember from our childhood.

I have many happy memories of 5th November firework displays; the fun of holding a brightly lit sparkler, creating pictures in the darkness on a cold Autumnal night; drinking mugs of hot, tasty tomato soup which kept my hands and body warm; and enjoying amongst family and friends the multi-coloured spectacle of a firework display, the greens, reds, blues, yellows and whites illuminating the sky using pyrotechnics of every description.

Leeds Castle - fireworks

Bonfire Night originates of course from the infamous Gunpowder plot 450 years ago when Guy Fawkes and his associates were found guilty of attempting to destroy the Houses of Parliament using explosives stored within the building. Today the 5th November continues to be commemorated with many firework events taking place throughout the South East; if you would like to take the family along to a Bonfire Night spectacular please go to our Events Calendar for more information and find the one which is closest to you.

One of the largest firework displays in the region is the Brighton Lions Firework Display which will be held on Friday 6th November at Brighton Racecourse. The event is being held at this new location and the organisers are promising even more, bigger and better fireworks with the display commencing at 7.30pm. There is plenty of car parking together with refreshments and a licensed bar.

If you are seeking something different from a traditional fireworks display, why not think about a visit to Windsor? On Saturday 7th November at the Royal Windsor Racecourse there will be a War of the Worlds themed firework display set to Jeff Wayne’s hugely successful musical version of the famous H G Wells novel. The possibility of life on Mars continues to be a subject of huge interest, so if you are prepared to risk making contact with alien lifeforms, this could be the event for you!

i360 Fireworks on beach (jpg)

Carnivals are generally held during the Summer, but in Sandown on the Isle of Wight Sunday 7th November is the date of the town’s annual carnival and lantern parade, beach show and fireworks. An illuminated parade with brightly-lit floats and costumes will be evident throughout the town and to me this sounds like great fun for all – with plenty of people dressed in Halloween outfits to create a truly spooky atmosphere.

Talking of Halloween, there are a number of events happening in the South East to keep the children amused during half-term – and maybe getting you in the mood for Bonfire Night the following week. Here’s my selection of ghoulish goings-on….

Beaulieu in the New Forest is reputed to be one of Britain’s most haunted places with ghosts often seen in the Abbey and at Palace House. During half-term week 24th October – 1st November there is a Ghosts & Ghouls Half-term Hauntings themed week including an opportunity to follow a Halloween quiz trail and many other attractions.

Last month I visited the beautifully impressive surroundings and interiors of the 18th century Claydon House in Buckinghamshire which has been the home of the Verney family for more than 500 years. This historic National Trust building will be hosting a Halloween Creepy Claydon event on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th October at 6.30pm and 7.30pm, when you can find out more about this interesting property.  The organisers also promise that you will have the chance to meet a few other characters who only appear after the sun has set…. Bring a torch, and maybe someone that you can hug tightly if it all gets a bit scary….

Have a great half-term.

Blog written by Simon Frost of Hibou Communication


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