Lewes Bonfire Parade - Watch Englands most unique, historical Bonfire celebrations unfold.. up close and personal ! £24 (Includes transport)
This historical Bonfire celebration is one of England's 'must see' events. It is all the better for actually 'not' being a tourist attraction but rather an authentic local tradition!
*** Click to see pics from the uDare's 2012 trip here ***
Lewes Bonfire, is a series of celebrations in the town of Lewes, East Sussex which form the UK's largest and most famous Guy Fawkes Night festivities, with Lewes being called the Bonfire capital of the world.
Always held on 5 November, unless the 5th falls on a Sunday, when they are held on Saturday 4th, the event not only marks the date of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, but also commemorates the memory of the seventeen Protestant martyrs from the town burnt at the stake for their faith during the Marian Persecutions.
There are six societies putting on five separate parades and firework displays on the 5th, and this can mean 3,000 people taking part in the celebrations, and up to 80,000 spectators attending in the small market town with a permanent population of just under 16,000.
Unlike other commercial celebrations nowdays, this event is held on November 5th ONLY, so this year it will be on a TUESDAY!
Obviously many won't be able to make this with it not being on a weekend but for those of you who can get an early finish on Tuesday 5th November... it's worth it!
This is always billed as intending to be a 'local' traditional event so despite there being lots of people from outside just like us, it is not designed to be that way, so please be aware & take into account a certain amount of spontaneous changes of plan & work arounds we might have to do on the night to see what we want ;-)
Due to the massive overpopulation of the town for this one night, traffic/parking is unpredictable and can get chronic after 5pm ish, so we will leave London (Victoria Station) around 3pm to ensure we are down there in good time.
We will park the Minibus in a designated area on the outskirts and walk into town.
This evening doesn't really work to set timings so we'll hang in various places to catch the best of the parade & as much of the Bonfire/firework display as time allows with us getting back to London in time for tubes.
*********Directions to find the minibus:**********
Within London Victoria Station go to the National Car Park/Taxi Rank which is next to The Food Court, Victoria Place.
Take the escalators (next to Platorm 13 inside Victoria station) up to the Food Court, Victoria Place, keep to the left side of the shops, then turn left to exit towards NCP and Taxi Rank. You will see the SIXT Car Hire office. Minibus will be parked outside it. This is in Zone 1 (Victoria & Circle/District Lines & mainline railway station.
PLEASE arrive from 2:50pm, 3pm LATEST. There are always 1 0r 2 that are late. Please don't be for this one! Because of possible traffic issues in Central London & Lewes and parking restrictions in the town etc, the minibus will leave by 3:05pm whether you are on board or not ;-)
Once we are parked up in the town, we'll look to grab a dinner in a nearby pub (just outside the village) if possible but you can't book that night so it 'might' be that we have to grab food from stalls etc...and of course a few drinks in the towns pubs as the celebrations gear up!
What to bring:
Bring warm & waterproof clothes, hat, gloves, earplugs are recommended, energy to last, money for food and drink and maybe a flask of tea/coffee/beer/wine of your own to drink on the streets, if you like as pubs in the town can sometimes be too crowded!
Dress for cold, wet weather (i.e. fleece/coat, waterproofs and boots), that way we can all enjoy whatever weather we have. Things can be left on the Minibus if it's mild and dry outside
The whole spirit of the night is rather chaotic, so be prepared to get lost in the crowds, just relax and enjoy, it's a smallish town, hard to get lost. It is quite likely that the group will split into several smaller groups with the chaos, just ensure you know the meeting place/time for the return!
Although a great deal of effort is directed into the safety aspects of Bonfire Night, fire and fireworks remain potentially dangerous. All persons should carefully note that attendance at Lewes on Bonfire Night will constitute volenti non fit injuria, that is to say you will be deemed to have accepted any risk of injury or damage whatsoever, and no claim in respect thereof will lie against the organisers.
If there is any possibility you may become unwell, make sure you bring your appropriate medication with you. In particular, if you are asthmatic, make sure that you bring a full inhaler. There can be a lot of smoke around and the St John Ambulance regularly have problems with people suffering asthma attacks but who have not brought their inhalers. Please be warned that unexpected very loud bangs occur throughout and ear plugs/mufflers are strongly advised.Sparks may fly from the bonfires and from the torches in the street processions so wear old clothes and protection goggles.
Quotes from uDarer's after last year...
"Fabulous! It was great experience especially being a part of an old English tradition - Jon"
"What a brilliant night! I've got some cracking photos of the mayhem" - Janie
"Fantastic evening. Totally unique experience - many thanks for organising!" - Joanna
"Wow, tonight was probably one of the best Guy Fawkes nights I've been to" - Katriona
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