Our Top 10 | Brilliant Bonfire Night Celebrations in Yorkshire
As proud Yorkshire-folk, we (rightly) like to think that Yorkshire is the home of all things wonderful – Yorkshire puddings, Yorkshire tea, Tetley Bitter, the Bronte’s, Wensleydale Cheese, Morrison’s and Mason’s gin…
But I think we can legitimately claim that Yorkshire is also home to Bonfire Night. Old Guy Fawkes was born and raised in York. Maybe this double-crossing plotter isn’t the best thing to have come out of God’s Own County… But without his treacherous ways we wouldn’t get to celebrate the 5th November each year with some fancy fireworks, a roaring fire, pie and peas in a plastic bowl, teeth-shattering plot toffee and of course, granny’s Yorkshire Parkin. Many still revel in the tradition of stuffing a few pillow cases with straw in a bid to create a Guy Fawkes effigy for the top of the fire.
TOP TIP: if you are hell-bent of making your own Guy Fawkes, don’t use a plastic football for a head. This did not end well last year.
We asked our Girl About Blog Squad to compile a list of their favourite places to go across Yorkshire to celebrate Bonfire night.
Charlotte – Girl About York
Where better to do Bonfire night with a bang than in York, birthplace of the infamous Mr G. Fawkes himself. This year we’re heading to Dunnington Bonfire which takes place on Saturday 3rd November at Eastfield Showfield in York.
It promises to be an explosive night of family-friendly fun, kicking off from 3.30pm with fire artists to start the sparks flying before the bonfire is lit. There will be a 5 minute ‘quiet fireworks’ display at 5.30pm which I think is a great idea, perfect for little ears who like the sparkle but not so much the loud noise. The main firework display is at 6.30pm and then there is live music after that.
Bonfire night wouldn’t be complete without some hearty food to feast on and this bonfire promises to offer a lot more than the usual shrivelled jacket potato. There’s going to a whole load of local street food stalls serving tasty treats including a hog roast, Yorkshire pudding pies (where have these been all my life?), churros and hot chestnuts which all sound pretty spectacular. Definitely what’s needed to take the edge off from spending the night stood in a freezing cold field!
For more information, click here. http://dunningtoncommunityevents.org.uk/dunnington-bonfire/ It is recommended that tickets are bought in advance.
Vicky – Girl About Sheffield
Illuminate the Gardens
If you are looking for something a little more than a bonfire and toffee apple, then I would definitely recommend Illuminate the Gardens. The Botanical Gardens is already a place of beauty, but Illuminate the Gardens transforms the park into a magical night-time adventure filled with activities to keep all ages entertained for the evening.
Weaving through the stunningly lit paths, you will find a vintage fairground, sound sculpture, shadow puppet installation and the bear pit transformed into a deep-sea adventure. Add in the fire performers and pop-up entertainers dotted around the park, even small children will be provided a sensory experience that will keep them amused in the build-up to the ‘low bang’ fireworks display.
But it’s not just for kids. With plenty of street food stalls and drinks on offer, you can sample some of the best local food and drinks Sheffield has to offer whilst watching the main fireworks display later in the evening. I’m a sucker for a good lighting scheme, so last year I needed nothing more than the stunning pavilion lit in all its glory, and the fountains and paths twinkling away on a crisp evening to keep me happy.
Watching Emily’s imagination run wild as she tottered through the gardens looking for next colourful display of light is something I won’t forget in a hurry. Even with three nights to visit (2nd, 3rd and 4th November) it will be a popular bonfire destination, so definitely book your tickets in advance (£10 adult, £5 child) and arrive on time if with little ones, so you can enjoy the park at dusk and before it gets too busy.
Find out more here: https://www.illuminatethegardens.co.uk/
Sarah – Girl About Harrogate
The Harrogate Stray Charity Bonfire
Each year, we flock (along with half of Harrogate) to the Harrogate Stray Charity Bonfire organised by the Harrogate Round Table. It’s now in its 48th year which is bloody impressive! I love anything older than me. Makes me feel young. The atmosphere on the Stray is always fab and there’s definitely a relaxed, family-friendly feel.
Best of all? It’s free! Though donations are always encouraged – this year’s charities are the Harrogate Easy Living Project and Henshaws.
The event takes place on Saturday 3rd November. There’s Stray FM build up from 6pm. The bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm with the fireworks kicking off at 7.15pm.
Find out more here: http://www.harrogateroundtable.co.uk/harrogate-bonfire/
Emma – Girl About Halifax
The Lamplighters Parade in Todmorden
If you are in and around Halifax, there is no better way to welcome hat and scarf season than with the Lamplighters parade in Todmorden. The illuminated street festival and giant lantern parade is back again this year by popular demand on Saturday 17th November and boasts an array of fire performers, street bands, light installations, tasty food and most importantly, the parade which casts a beautiful glow across the Calder valley.
If you’re feeling creative then up until 14th November (see dates and time on their website) you can drop into one of the public workshops to make a lantern yourself. And if you really want to get involved then you can join in with the festival dancing ensemble – learn a routine and bust some moves with the Handmade Samba Band which will be making its way through the streets on the night.
But, if like me you just want to take in the sights and sounds with your loved ones whilst knee-deep in delicious street food and drink then just turn at 5:30pm in time to watch the light installations and ready for the parade to kick off at 6:15pm.
Find out more here: http://handmadeparade.co.uk/lamplighter-festival/
Kirsty – Girl About Leeds
‘Bonfire without Bangs’ – the Hall and Gardens of St John’s church in Farsley
For most, the sights and sounds are what makes Bonfire Night an exciting night to brighten up the winter months. But for some, it can be a real minefield. The noises in particular can be far too loud for tiny ears, or too challenging to process for others. And fluffy friends and their owners certainly don’t relish the night!
The St. John’s Social Committee dreamed up the ‘Bonfire without Bangs’ event geared towards with the many young families of toddlers, autistic and disabled children in the area. The event, which is now in its third year, is held in the Hall and Gardens of St John’s church in Farsley (to the West of Leeds), making it perfectly placed for people coming from both Leeds and Bradford, who would like to give their families a more gentle introduction to Bonfire Night.
The hall is opened at a pre-bedtime friendly 5pm and a pay-what-you-want bonfire buffet is served. A contained fire pit is outside and the organisers will also distribute and supervise sparklers. Although there are no fireworks at this event, I’m certain many families, carers and dog owners would appreciate the opportunity to introduce their little ones, loved ones and pets to the festivities in a safe and quiet environment. Thoughtful and inclusive events like this are what really make me love Leeds and the communities spirit that help bring people together – and isn’t that what it’s really all about?
Bonfire Without Bangs will be taking place on Sunday 4th November at St John’s church, Farsley. All donations received are contributed to St John’s who are currently fundraising for a new heating system in the church.
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/stjohnsfarsley/
Helen – Girl About North York Moors
Middleton Lodge, situated on the outskirts of Richmond is a fairly new kid on the block but has quickly established itself as one of the most popular wedding venues in North Yorkshire. And it’s certainly understandable why; a 18th Century Georgian country estate which still maintains a cool and quirky feel. But what makes me love it even more is that they aren’t shy of branching out into other events. They’ve held workshops, pilates classes and showcased a cracking line up of films each week over the summer from an open-air cinema.
When I saw they were having a Bonfire event I knew it would be my first choice for something a bit more special than the local village green. The event will be held in the Kitchen Garden; a previously neglected walled garden in the estate which has been fabulously restored. Doors open from 5pm and there will be various food stalls situated within the Fig House (once the greenhouse and now a super chic orangery full of original features). I would bet my bottom dollar that all food will be nothing short of amazing. The bonfire will be lit at 6pm with fireworks at 6.30pm. I am basically imagining the secret garden meets bonfire night. I’m not sure it’s something I would take three toddlers to but for older children or adults only I think it would be a perfect way to spend the evening.
Find out more here: https://events.middletonlodge.co.uk/event/bonfire-night
And the best of the rest…
Bolton Abbey’s annual bonfire and firework display is always spectacular. Situated on the banks of the River Wharfe in the shadows of the Priory Ruins, the atmosphere is fantastic.With fire eaters and traditional fairground rides kicking off the show at 5pm, Bolton Abbey provides great family entertainment in a magical setting. This year the bonfire will be taking place on Saturday 3rd November. Tickets cost £12.50 per adult and £8.00 per child – under 3s go free. Gates open at 4:00pm allowing you time to explore the Estate. The fire will be lit at 6:00pm and fireworks start at 7:00pm.
Visit https://boltonabbey.com/whats-on/bonfire-night/ for more information.
Roundhay Park, Leeds
Every year around 70,000 people turn up to Roundhay Park’s incredible bonfire and firework display. Best of all? It’s absolutely free and no tickets are required. Leed’s biggest bonfire will be taking place on Monday 5th November. The bonfire will be lit at 7.30pm and the firework display will start at 8pm. Gates open at 6.30pm.
Find out more here: http://www.roundhaypark.org.uk/roundhay-park-bonfire.html
Sewerby Hall & Gardens, Bridlington
If loud firework displays in the freezing cold aren’t your thing, but you still want to get into the spirit then Sewerby Hall & Gardens offers a great kid-friendly alternative. Running from the 2nd – 11th November, there is a variety of bonfire themed activities including a Guy Fawkes trail and firework crafts as well as all the usual goings on.
For more information see https://www.sewerbyhall.co.uk/
Wrap up warm and keep safe folks! Don’t forget the mint sauce on those peas…. The Girl About Blog Squad x
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I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
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