Top 10 fireworks displays FEATURE

Every year from mid-October the supermarket foyers are filled with the colourful display of rockets, sparklers, roman candles and catherine wheels, which means just one thing - fireworks night is almost upon us once again.

Top 10 fireworks displays

Every year in Britain since 1605, the 5th of November has been the date for revellers to celebrate the infamous Gunpowder Plot, the foolish attempt by Guy Falkes to overthrow the King of England by blowing up Parliament. Just as the conspirators were about to carry out their dastardly deed, they were caught, tortured and executed.

Across Britain in early November, the foiled plot is celebrated with the burning of 'Guy' and plenty of fireworks lighting up the sky.

We take a look at the top 10 fireworks displays in Britain (in no particular order). If you're close to one of them, go and check them out!

1) Mary St. Ottery Fireworks, Devon

The townspeople of Mary St. Ottery in Devon lug flaming barrels of tar on their backs in an annual ritual that goes back hundreds of years. Traditionally, these tar barrels are lit at several pubs and hotels around Mary St. Ottery, following a schedule until the last barrel has been carried up to the square, at around midnight.

The 35 foot bonfire, fireworks display and the appearance of a funfair add to the fun and excitement, at St. Saviours Meadow. The ceremonial 'guy' is placed at the top of the bonfire and lit by a flaming torch by the Carnival's Vice President.

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2) The Lord Mayor's Fireworks, London

Half a tonne of giant fireworks light up The Thames in London

Although almost 10 days after November the 5th, London's Lord Mayor's Fireworks display marks the end of the spectacular Lord Mayor's Show once night falls, and the night is lit up by half a tonne of giant fireworks which shoot up into the sky over 600 feet, taking 8 pyrotechnicians two days to set up.

This free display is probably one of Britain's most spectacular - for the best views get yourself to Victoria Embankment early to get a space. Alternatively, if that's too busy, try Blackfriars Bridge or Waterloo Bridge for fantastic views of the fireworks.

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3) Glasgow Green Fireworks

As Scotland's largest organised fireworks display, the event takes place on the 5th of November, set to live music, a fairground and a spectacular laser show in Glasgow Green.

The 2010 fireworks display was the best yet, with more than 50,000 explosions set to music - Mamma Mia the Musical, accompanied by some of the biggest shells being shot up into the night sky.

Entry to the fireworks is free, but be aware it gets very busy, so get there early for a good view of the fireworks and bonfire.

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4) Battel Bonfire Boyes

A firework tradition that goes back over 350 years, the annual Battel Bonfire Boyes features a parade through the town centre of over over thirty local bonfire societies in fancy dress. The first organised bonfire celebration in the town of Battel was back in 1646 at St Mary's Church, which was allocated money for gunpowder treason rejoicing.

For many years, Battle has traditionally ended the fireworks display with the 'set piece' of an effigy, which are packed with fireworks and exploded with deafening bangs.

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5) Sparks in the Park, Cardiff

Set to the backdrop of Cardiff Castle, Sparks in the Park is the largest in the area

Cardiff's Cooper's Field will be host to one of Britain's largest fireworks display at the appropriately named 'Sparks in the Park'.

Renowned for being one of the largest fireworks displays in Wales with the backdrop of Cardiff Castle, there will be a mammoth bonfire, funfair, catering and other family attractions.

The best fireworks display for miles, supported by Heart FM.

Lighting of the bonfire from 6.45pm and the fireworks display beginning at 8.30pm.

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6) Penrhos Beach Fireworks, Anglesea

Set on Penrhos Beach in Holyhead, Anglesea, the fireworks display is an extremely popular event taking place on the 5th November, and has previously been included in the Guardian and Telegraph's top 10 UK fireworks displays.

Local bands, children's funfair rides and refreshments always available at the Holyhead Bonfire & Fireworks display.

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7) Leeds Roundhay Park

Taking place on Friday 4th of November 2011, Leeds biggest fireworks display is attended by around 70,000 people each year who come to see the massive bonfire and spectacular community firework display.

As the event is free, the display is extremely popular, so turn up early. The bonfire is lit at 7.30pm, with the fireworks kicking off from 8pm.

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8) Blackheath Fireworks Display, London

Another of London's biggest and best fireworks displays, Blackheath bonfire is also one of the loudest! The fireworks display is 30 minutes long at literally lights up the skies of Lewisham and Greenwich.

The magnificent fireworks display is set to music and features a vast array of fireworks in a dazzling range of colour. Taking place on the 5th of November, there will also be a family funfair to entertain the whole family once the fireworks are over. Entry is free of charge, and the fireworks are set to go off at 8pm.

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9) Bristol Zoo's Bangless Bonfire Night

One for the little kiddies who tend to shy away from the loud explosions, Bristol Zoo's bangless fireworks displays is spectacular even without the explosions. More fireworks, more entertainment, more fun, less BANGS!

Now in its fourth year, the bangless bonfire night is getting more and more popular each year, and the display of enchanting 'low-noise' fireworks is a welcome change for families with smaller children. The display starts at 5pm this year.

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10) Donnington Bonfire & Firework Display, Telford

A mammoth bonfire and fireworks display that runs every year at at Broadoaks field, Donington, Telford, that attracts over 20,000 spectators every year. Also accompanied by a huge funfair for all the family, including some pretty hair-raising rides for the adventurous, so it's very popular with local families of all ages.

The Donnington bonfire will be lit around 7pm, followed later by the fireworks display.

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Fireworks safety

Please, always treat fireworks with respect - in inexperienced hands they can be dangerous. Stay within the law and get the most out of your fireworks by getting to know how to use them safely.

Visit Firework Safety webpage for advice how to handle fireworks for a safe but fun night.

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