Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bonfire Night in the West Country

A West Country bonfire night can be unlike any other you will have seen…with lots of traditional events to choose from, too.

Visitors to Devon can head to Ottery St Mary for the spectacle of flaming tar barrels. This tradition, its exact origin unknown, dates back hundreds of years and could have begun as a warning of the approach of the Spanish Armada. The barrels would once have been rolled through the streets but are now carried by those authorised to take part in the procession.

The Guy Fawkes Fireworks Party at The Big Sheep in North Devon may sound like a much more traditional way to mark the November 5th but the Catherine wheels and rockets are not the only highlight. Families can bring their own Guy Fawkes to be judged in the annual competition and the indoor play area will be open until 9.30pm.

Polperro Harbour is a great place to see fireworks pop over the water. A smaller affair than many, the bonfire is built and burnt on the beach, with the firework display planned for 7.30pm.

The annual Bodmin Bonfire and Grand Fireworks Display includes a Guy Fawkes competition. Taking place on the football field at Priory Park, the organisers ask that no sparklers are used.

Further west, Heartlands in Redruth holds a free bonfire event, with plenty of fairground rides, hot dogs and attractions for younger visitors to spend their holiday money on.

For ideas on where to stay, visit

Image credit: Dan Taylor