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Bonfire Night: It’s smokin down In Devon

There's a lot going on in Devon on Guy Fawkes Night. So whether you fancy joining in with the crowds in Exeter or enjoying a more sophisticated evening in the grounds of a manor house, with high quality food to match, Devon will certainly not let you down!
There is never any shortage of events to attend in Devon on November 5th, Bonfire Night, with many of them free to enter. Let’s have a look at what is on offer and which ones you might want to attend if you are in Devon in early November.

Fairground and fireworks on Plymouth Hoe

Let’s start with the official South Devon celebration which is put on every year on Plymouth Hoe. This event which has been put on by Plymouth Council and they must be congratulated on doing such a fantastic job. If you haven’t been to Plymouth Hoe before it is only a short walk from both the Barbican and the city centre.

There’s not much parking actually on the Hoe, so you might want to use the park and ride from Coypool Park and Ride at Plympton; the Milehouse Park and Ride from Plymouth Argyle Football Club car park or the Park and Ride from the George Hotel (Toby Carvery) on Tavistock Road.

The evening starts around 6pm with music, fairground rides, food stalls, decorative lights and live entertainment on the promenade. The huge bonfire is lit at 7:30pm and the excellent 18-minute fireworks show over Plymouth Sound and Drake’s Island starts at 8pm.

It does get cold up there so wrap up warm and enjoy this family-friendly event which has a typical fairground feeling about it. There is plenty of space for everyone and thousands flock to the event – it’s not difficult to see why.

Ottery St Mary’s famous Flaming Tar Barrels

The Flaming Tar Barrels in Ottery St Mary would have to be the number one choice for a Bonfire night with a difference as there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the UK. Flaming barrels are carried through the streets of this Devon town on November 5th every year.

There is also a huge bonfire and fireworks so you will also get your quota of more traditional Bonfire night entertainment as well as all of the excitement that goes with the ancient tradition of tar barrel rolling. Attendance is free but everyone is asked to donate £1 to ensure this historic event continues. It’s a unique night that you won’t forget in a hurry.

Big bangs at the Big Sheep!

in North Devon is renowned for holding a fantastic bonfire night event. If you have not visited the place before it is worth doing so, especially if you have children because it is literally nonstop fun once you walk through the gates.

The Bonfire celebrations start at 5pm when the doors open. Junior fireworks are at 6pm, the giant bonfire is lit at 7pm and the main fireworks is around 7:45pm. You can hang around enjoying the attraction until 9:30pm when the indoor playground finally closes.

As you would expect from this excellent attraction, there is far more than fireworks to look forward to. Toasted marshmallows, a Guy Fawkes competition and plenty of traditional goodies to eat means that The Big Sheep would be a great family choice for 5th November.

A touch of class at Sidbury Manor

The fireworks display at Sidbury Manor is a longstanding favourite of both locals and visitors. It usually takes place the Saturday before November 5th, so check the Sidbury village website for the exact date. The organisers do a great job with this event and the backdrop of the manor and the lakes really gives this display an added touch of class. Volunteers help organize the novelty bonfire and the professional aerial fireworks display is first class.

The local butcher, Drew and Son, is in charge of the food on offer and the mulled wine is prepared from a local recipe which always goes down well with those in attendance. Sidbury is only a few miles from in North Devon and visitors travel from all over the area to enjoy these Bonfire Night celebrations. All profits go to local charities including Sidmouth RNLI, Sidbury School and St Johns Ambulance.

Westpoint Fireworks in Exeter

The biggest firework display in the Exeter area is held by the Exeter Round Table at Westpoint Arena just outside the city. This event takes place on 5th November and does get very busy so it’s advisable to arrive early. Gates open at 5.30pm and the fireworks display starts at 7:30pm. Note that if you don’t arrive by 7:15pm the chances are that entry will be refused due to safety reasons.

Westpoint is a massive place so as well as the fireworks there is a fair and all sorts of other attractions but it must be said that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. When you add up the cost of getting in, a bite to eat and a few rides on the fair for the children it will certainly not be a cheap night out, and it is also very busy.

Whichever event you choose, wrap up warm and be aware of the dangers involved with fireworks and you will have a fantastic Bonfire night in Devon.

When it comes to gunpowder, treason and plot, do you have a favourite event which you attend every year? We’d love you to share any you have been to in the past which really sticks out in your memory.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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