Where to see the best firework displays this Bonfire Night

Have fun, stay safe and see the skies light up on November 5th with our pick of the UK’s FREE firework events.

Just days after the clocks have gone back, bonfire night is one of the bright highlights in the autumn calendar.

From hand-held sparklers to banging, popping and whizzing extravaganzas, there’s something truly magical about a great fireworks night. These days most people prefer to go to firework displays rather than setting off rockets, fountains and Catherine wheels in their own back gardens.

Here, we round up 10 of the top free displays in the UK. Get ready to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’…

10 FREE Firework displays for November 2016

Check your local council’s website to find events near you, or try one of these events with plenty of whizz-bang action for free!

Blackheath Common, London
Saturday November 5
With a funfair from noon and food and drink stalls from 5pm, this event on the common is a local annual highlight. The display is at 8pm.

Lewes, Sussex
Saturday November 5
This huge celebration takes over the streets of the usually quiet medieval town of Lewes, with six separate bonfire societies holding processions with costumes, marching bands and burning torches. It’s free to watch the parades and just look up for the various fireworks that will be lighting the sky – but you will need tickets if you want to go to a fire site or even enter a pub. Kicks off at 5.10pm and goes on until about midnight. Warning: do not drive there – get the train or bus.

Poole Quay, Dorset
Saturday November 5
There’s a free party from 5pm with live music and street entertainers before the display goes off over the water at 8pm.

Big Boom! Norwich Castle, Norfolk
Friday November 4

This spectacular free firework display is coordinated to music, bringing a whole new meaning to surround sound. It’s set to light up the skies above Norwich Castle from 7.30pm.

Shaldon Beach, Teignmouth, Devon
Saturday November 5

Previous years have seen a street market, lantern procession and samba band, so expect more of the same this year. There’s a Guy competition too and the lighting of the bonfire is at 6.30pm. The main display happens from The Point at 7.15pm. The date may vary as it is determined by the tides, so keep an eye on the website for updates.

Llandudno Pier, Wales
Saturday November 5

This free event is an annual gem and is so well organised that there’s even a standby alternative date (Tuesday November 8) if the weather’s bad on Saturday.

Welshpool, Wales
Saturday November 5

One of the best-rated displays in the country, this event, held in the Maes Y Dre Playing Fields, has lots of other fun attractions like a bouncy castle, stalls and a hog roast.

Paisley, Scotland
Saturday November 5

This free event in the town centre is held from noon to 7pm, with the display following an afternoon of street entertainment and family-friendly fun.

Aberdeen Beach, Scotland
Saturday November 5

Last year, Aberdonians went a few steps further – literally – on fireworks night with charity firewalking as well as fire jugglers, so watch your feet this year! The best views are from the Beach Boulevard and along the Beach Esplanade, with the display at 7.30pm.

Lord Mayor’s fireworks, London
Saturday November 12

Although this isn’t technically a Firework Night display, it still makes our list because it’s seriously spectacular – and free. London welcomes its new Mayor with a river pageant, procession through the streets of the capital, guided walks and a huge fireworks display over the Thames at 5.15pm, visible from both the north and south banks of the river.

If you’d rather avoid the crowds you can host your own fireworks night at home with our Bonfire party tips and recipes

Family safety at firework displays

Keep everyone safe and sound so they can enjoy the fireworks fun…

• There’s going to be a lot of standing around in the cold so dress everyone warmly and be prepared for wet weather. Make sure children wear gloves if they are holding a sparkler and don’t let them near any fireworks.

• Make sure your children stay with you at all times – in a dark field it’s easy to lose each other. Give them something distinctive to wear – like a toy fireman’s hat or a pair of rabbit ears – so you can spot them in a crowd.

• Tell older children where you will meet them if you get separated and also point out the stewards (in their bright jackets) in case they need to ask for help.

• Leave pets at home.

• If you’re not sure how your children will react to the loud fireworks, position yourselves to the back of the crowd so you can leave easily if you need to.

• If you’re going to set off fireworks in your own garden it’s vital you understand what you are doing. Check out our tips on Firework safety and how to keep pets safe.

• For more helpful safety advice, see the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.

What firework displays do you recommend? Please let us know in the comments section below.