Wondering where to go to find the best bonfire nights in the UK? Let us take you on a tour of the fieriest!
Nothing beats the excitement of a burning bonfire. The warmth of the flickering flames, the crackling orange glow against the black of the night sky and the squeals of delight from children as their stuffed guys get thrown onto the fire. And let’s not forget the delicious sticky toffee apples!
Take a CrossCountry train to all the best bonfire nights in the UK outside of the capital. Plus, we’ve put together an interactive timeline above for you to learn all about the dark history of the famous Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot.
Fawkes Fact 1: Guido ‘Guy’ Fawkes was born in 1570 in the shadows of York Minster in Guy Fawkes Inn, where you can dine, sleep and learn all about the illustrious history of Fawkes!
Coombe Abbey, Coventry
Getting There: Take a 20-minute taxi journey from Coventry Station to the abbey. Alternatively, you can take a 40-minute bus ride from the bus stop directly outside the station.
Wrap up in your snug woolly hats, pull on your scarf and wriggle into your toasty gloves before heading to Coombe Abbey. You can see in our interactive timeline above that the abbey played a part in the 1605 Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot and this makes it one of the best places to enjoy Bonfire Night in the UK. Immerse yourself in the history of the abbey and imagine yourself in the centre of a tumultuous time, while your children fascinate themselves with the magic of a twinkling sparkler.
Bonfire Night Highlights: Adults can enjoy a Gunpowder Gala Banquet at Coombe Abbey. Indeed, no ordinary hotel, you can enjoy an evening filled with theatrical treason, dinner, and fireworks over the lake. Here’s a rundown:
- A four-course spread
- Welcome cocktails
- Goblets filled with ale and wine
- A theatrical performance of the Gunpowder Treason
- A post-feast party
Fawks Fact 2: On the night of the plot, some of the conspirators planned to kidnap Princess Elizabeth who lived at Coombe Abbey but as the plot failed, the kidnapping plan was also scuppered!
Heaton Park, Manchester
Getting There: From Manchester Train Station, the park is a 20-minute taxi ride away. There are also regular bus services that take 25 minutes and if you want to stretch your legs after the train journey, it’s only a 1.5 hour walk.
Want your Bonfire Night to go with a bang?
Watch the skies of Manchester light up with flashes of colour, as the Heaton Park fireworks display goes off with a huge bang. Tens of thousands of people attend this huge display and gates open at 17:00, and the bonfire itself will be lit at 19:30. Sparklers are widely available to purchase once inside the gates and this is the biggest fireworks display in the city, so be prepared to be wowed by all the sizzling whooshes of the fireworks.
Bonfire Highlights: There will be plenty of warm treats to enjoy, from hotdogs and burgers to candy floss and toffee apples.
Fawkes Fact 3: During the Gunpowder Plot, Fawkes went by the alias John Johnson and this was the name he gave when he was arrested.
Getting There: Take a *train from Birmingham to Berkswell or Lapworth Train Station followed by a 15-minute taxi ride to Baddesley Clinton.
* Don’t forget, you can buy tickets on the CrossCountry website and app to travel on other networks.
Baddesley Clinton welcomes families with a bang around Bonfire Night! Found just outside Warwick, this historic manor house comes complete with a moat and has famous ties to the Gunpowder Plot. The mastermind behind the plot, Robert Catesby, famously waited for news of the explosion that never happened with the Vaux sisters – the family who owned Baddesley Clinton.
While this historical house doesn’t host a firework display for November the 5th, it is a great location to explore as a family in the autumn. It has a ghost walk for Halloween, Christmas tours in December and there’s plenty for kids to do in the woodland play area.
Fawkes Fact 4: One of the islands in the Galapagos archipelago is known as Isla Guy Fawkes and rumour has it, this is where he planned to escape to.
Roundhay Park, Leeds
Getting There: From Leeds Train Station, head north east on the A58 on a 15-minute taxi ride. Alternatively, there are regular bus services outside the station that take less than 30 minutes to reach the park.
Seeing Roundhay Park lit up by a stunning fireworks display attracts around 70,000 spectators every year and for good reason! The bonfire will be set alight at 19:30 and the fireworks will be set off with a bang at 20:00. There are plenty of spaces to watch the fireworks go off from and the great thing about this display is that it’s completely free to get in! So, it would be rude not to go!
Bonfire Highlights: As well as the colourful fireworks, there is also a children’s funfair, hot food and drinks, and you can even head to a choice of nearby pubs to warm up after the display.
Book an Advance ticket to Leeds via our website or our CrossCountry app and enjoy zero booking fees.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November and head out on one of our trains and enjoy a blazing bonfire night. You can enjoy all the fireworks, the sparklers, the freshly barbecued burgers and even a few beers without worrying about the hassle of driving or parking.
Fawkes Fact 5: Despite being part of a terrorist plot, Guy Fawkes is often highly respected and, in a poll conducted by the BBC, he was even named as the 30th Greatest Briton of all time!
Written by Julia