Bonfire night really is my favourite holiday of the year. For me, it is celebrating the memory of someone who wanted to change things, a could-be revolutionary, albeit that he went about things in rather the wrong way! (I personally am more of a peaceful protest kind of girl.) As well as the historic significance of the night whereby the downfall of Westminster was avoided, it has become one of the most romantic and thought-provoking nights on the calendar.
We are so busy with our day-to-day lives that we don’t often give ourselves a chance to gaze up to the skies and the wonders it beholds. Fireworks night gives us that opportunity. I find it opens my mind to the possibilities that lay beyond and gives me a big sense of calm. So where in Hampshire is the best place to spend this magical evening? Here are a few of my personal favourites.
Winchester’s Round Table have been putting on this event for almost 60 years – so they must be doing something right! The historic city provides a glorious backdrop for a night of sparklers and warm refreshments. It all kicks off with a grandiose city centre procession before the lighting of the bonfire and the awe-inspiring display that follows. In 2017, the events begin at 6pm on the 4th of November outside the Guildhall and the main event takes place on North Walls Recreation Ground with fireworks set to go off for 7.45pm. The thing I love about this event is that it consistently raises around £40,000 for charities and local causes with reasonable ticket prices of £5 (£3 if you make the early-bird offer).
New Forest Fireworks
Firstly, the Beaulieu offering. As you would expect from a place such as Beaulieu, here you are in for a really explosive display set to a beautiful piece of music. For me, when you couple the spectacle of fireworks with music you really have a magical combination that reaches your core. This is more of an ‘event’ than your traditional bonfire, fireworks, and refreshments and so is a great choice if you are after something a little more special on your holiday in the New Forest. The museum puts on an old-time fairground, roasted chestnuts (getting you in the Christmas spirit) and all are invited to attend in fancy dress up - I love an excuse to dress up! Hailed as one of the biggest and boldest in the South, enjoy Beaulieu’s display a little earlier on October 28th at 7.30pm. You can explore the museum with your tickets from 3pm onwards too so you can make a proper afternoon of it for £14 per adult.
Fawley Firework Display
For something a little more low key in the New Forest, head to Fawley. Organised by the parish council, there is still plenty for the family to enjoy at this event. There is a Guy Fawkes competition which is a great source of amusement. I love seeing all peoples’ efforts in creating the Guy to place upon the bonfire. There is also some great local live music, as well as the much needed food and refreshments to warm your bones before the show. This event is on the night itself; Sunday November 5th, 2017
The Ageas Bowl holds their annual fireworks display on Friday 3rd of November in 2017. This is hailed as more of a party, and it certainly has that atmosphere. Led by well-loved Heart Radio DJs, the music and entertainment at this event is one of a kind. There is also a funfair on sight for revellers to enjoy before the spectacle begins. There is a good selection of traditional bonfire food; burgers; hot dogs and the like. And unlike most firework displays you even get a seat for £10 a ticket.
Also in Southampton is the Mayflower Park display put on by Southampton Round Table meaning the money all goes towards local charities and causes. You can enter from 3pm to make the most of the large fun fair and live entertainment before the fireworks kick off at 7.45pm on the 4th of November.