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Most accessible places in the UK to enjoy Bonfire Night

4th October 2019

There aren’t many better things than watching the sky light up with fireworks, playing with sparklers and keeping warm next to large bonfires.

These activities are just some of the things you can look forward to on Bonfire Night. This annual celebration will once again be taking place on 5 November and will remember Guy Fawkes and his partners failed attempt to kill King James I and blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Many people think that Bonfire Night isn’t accessible to older people due to the event requiring an outdoor venue and the British weather in November being very hit and miss. This isn’t the case as people with mobility problems that need to use stairlifts at home and wheelchair users can enjoy many events across the UK.

This article takes a look at the best and most accessible Bonfire Night and fireworks displays.

Ally Pally's Fireworks Festival

Location: London

Date: 1-2 November

Image credit: Lloyd Winters

The Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival is London’s biggest and best bonfire night celebration with over 100,000 people expected to attend.

Fireworks light up the skyline with the display set to a soundtrack created by former Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank. Visitors will also be able to take in Ally Pally’s stunning panoramic views of London during the event.

On top of the display, there will a pagan-inspired, fire-lighting ritual, music, cabaret, a funfair, a huge bonfire, the UK’s largest German Bier Festival and the chance to catch a film at the Luna Cinema. The cinema will be located in the palace’s newly renovated Victorian theatre and will show a selection of much-loved family favourites such as Ghostbusters and Toy Story 4.

A spokesperson from Alexandra Park & Palace Charitable Trust said the festival is very accessible to all visitors.

“We aim to make the festival as accessible as possible. We have a dedicated accessible area on both nights, a dedicated blue badge parking area, access to the display viewing platform and tickets for PAs. There is step-free access across the site and the performances in our ice rink and theatre have access provisions (e.g. lifts, accessible areas etc).”

Chatsworth Bonfire and Fireworks

Location: Derbyshire

Date: 2-3 November

The stunning stately home in the Derbyshire Dales puts on one of the best Bonfire events in the UK as there will be two fantastic firework displays and a bonfire as part of the annual celebrations.

There will be live entertainment including dancing and performers at the Chatsworth Bonfire and Fireworks event. Visitors can enjoy a selection of great food including hog roasts, churros and lots of sweet treats.

The event is fully accessible as there are ground guards across the lawn and gravel for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. There’s an accessible viewing area for visitors with mobility problems and Chatsworth has a Mobiloo for the event too.

Liz from Chatsworth explains why the event is worth attending: “In 2019 we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with ‘an extraordinary voyage into space,’ including two spectacular firework displays, including an early display for little ones, as well as our ever-popular bonfire.

“Wrap up warm and join us for a range of family fun entertainment plus a selection of delicious food from hog roasts and jacket potatoes to churros and sweet treats. Treat yourself with a glass of mulled wine or cider - the ultimate winter warmers.”

Himley Bonfire and Fireworks

Location: Dudley, West Midlands

Date: 2 November

The Himley Bonfire and Fireworks in association with Wates Living Space will again be lighting up the night sky with music set to the theme of this year’s event ‘To the Moon and Back’.

The pyrotechnic display will take you back to the historic moment when Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon on July 20 1969.

There will be a giant funfair open until 10pm, a special night market, seasonal refreshments on sale and live entertainment such as street entertainers throughout the event.

Himley Hall is accessible by car or free buses which run across the borough from 5pm on the evening of the Bonfire event. All buses have disabled facilities and disabled car parking is available within the grounds. Families with mobility aids are invited to watch the fireworks from the terrace area of the Hall, which is hard standing and provides an elevated view of the display. There is a ramp to access the terraced area and disabled toilets are available within the park and inside the Hall.

Cllr Ian Kettle, a cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “We are thrilled to be sharing the details of this year’s exciting Himley Bonfire, which will mark a huge moment in the history of mankind. People can take advantage of a considerable discount by booking their tickets online now.

“Our premium viewing area near the hall was hugely successful last year, offering an elevated view of the fireworks, a private bar, street entertainers, seating and luxury toilet facilities, and is back by popular demanded. As this limited number of tickets, we are encouraging people to order online now before they sell out.”

The gates will be open at 4:30pm, the bonfire lit at 7:45pm and fireworks at 8:30pm.

Lewes Bonfire Celebrations

Location: East Sussex

Date: 5 November

Lewes is seen by many as the capital for Bonfire night and it is the biggest celebrated event of its kind in the world.

The town transforms on 5 November with six different societies all hosting different celebrations. The festival harks back to not only the earliest traditions but also the religious element that factored into the time of unrest after 1605.

During the Lewes Bonfire Celebrations, there will be more than 30 processions, multiple bonfires and lots of people wearing costumes.

Mick Symes from Lewes Borough Bonfire Society says: “Top tips for wheelchair users. The lower part of Town, the pedestrian precinct or the forecourt of Lewes Bus station affords ease of access and ease of going over Phoenix causeway to Waterloo BS Bonfire & fireworks the processions will pass you. Upper part of town,  grab a space on the wide pavements along the high street, or further up St Ann’s hill, easy then to follow on to the fire site, watch for the "follow me" banner and safely use the road,  remember to keep out the way of the processions as they pass. Earplugs or a woolly hat to cover the ears can make life a bit quieter, and most of all let the processions come to you, there are many of them, it is easiest to stop at a vantage point.”

“TOP TIP: If you can make it early, no later than 4.30pm grab a place on the pavement outside Barclays Bank next to the Town Hall.  All the societies will visit the war memorial where they conduct their acts of remembrance. The full ranks of each society will march past (without tableaux) Lewes Borough BS approach the war memorial in darkness with Chopin's funeral march eerily being played, after the last post is played however the entire society led by its colourful Zulus light up the town for the start of their evening of celebration.”

Llangollen Railway's Ride The Rocket Firework Train

Location: Llangollen, Wales

Date: 3 November

Do you fancy watching fireworks whilst riding on a train? You can at the Llangollen Railway's Ride The Rocket Firework Train.

This alternative Bonfire Night event is now hugely popular as you journey through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Visitors will go on an evening steam train journey to Carrog and will stop off at Glyndyfrdwy station to enjoy a large fireworks display. On-board you can enjoy hot drinks, soft drinks and alcohol.

The stations along Llangollen Railway all boast good access for disabled passengers and station staff will be able to help wheelchair passengers get aboard the trains via ramps. There are also accessible toilets at all stations.

Tickets for the event are £18 for adults and £12 for children, while under-threes go for free.

Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display

Location: Inverness, Scotland

Date: 5 November


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The Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display is one of Scotland’s finest Bonfire Night celebrations and it regularly attracts over 10,000 spectators.

The giant bonfire will be lit, and the entertainment will begin with the Fly Agaric Fire Twirlers and the City of Inverness Senior and Junior Pipe Bands again performing at the event.

The 20-minute firework display will be presented by Fireworx Scotland and will again be free to attend.

Visitors with mobility issues can attend the event with disabled parking available in the Bught Area on the night of the display. There are plenty of flat areas where wheelchair users can watch the fireworks from.

There are lots of accessible Bonfire Night events taking place across the UK and here are the ones that are highly recommended:

  • Ally Pally's Fireworks Festival
  • Chatsworth Bonfire and Fireworks
  • Himley Bonfire and Fireworks
  • Lewes Bonfire Celebrations
  • Llangollen Railway's Ride the Rocket Firework Train
  • Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.