bonfire night lewes festival

Lewes Bonfire Festival

Traditional bonfire nights in London typically involve a park or outdoor space, street food, a fireworks display and booze. The truth is that things have really calmed down over the last few years- but not for everyone!


The Lewes Bonfire Festival
Ed Webster on Flickr

The Lewes Bonfire Festival in East Sussex brings drama and performance to bonfire night. Expect a lot more fire and a lot more heat! Lewes Bonfire Festival consists of a procession in which burning crosses are carried through the streets in their masses while visitors watch on from nearby pubs and pavements.




The Lewes Bonfire Festival
Alex Farran on Flickr

Aside from crosses, you might catch a glimpse of figures being burned! From the pope and religious leaders to politicians, lifelike models are carefully crafted before the event when they go up in dramatic flames. You will see different figures depending on which procession you see so be sure to check the website’s bonfire societies before choosing where to go!



The Lewes Bonfire Festival
Lee Haywood on Flickr

As with all bonfire night celebrations, there is a fireworks display as well. Lewes bonfire celebrations themselves recommend some locations over others, for example, Cliffe and Commercial Square. They also recommend calmer processions to first-timers, children and those more suited to a quieter display. Borough and Waterloo, in particular, are said to be better in these circumstances!



The Lewes Bonfire Festival
C B on Flickr

For tickets, however, you will have to be committed and head down to the participating areas of Sussex soon to scour the pubs and local shops and cafes for the last remaining tickets! This exciting evening is not available to book online and requires a bit of dedication to find tickets! With varying societies, we are sure there are some and we are sure that it is worth the effort!

To see our top three places to go on bonfire night within London, see our article here.


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Header image credit: Dan Taylor-Watt on Flickr