Expat Life Lifestyle

Fireworks Galore!

Last Wednesday was Bonfire Night (November 5th) in England, and I went to the Crystal Palace fireworks display. Then over the weekend I saw the Lord Mayor’s Firework show. I like this new (to me) tradition of wrapping up warm an an Autumnal evening, warm drinks in hand to watch beautiful fireworks.

The Lord Mayor’s Show has existed in London in some form or another for 799 years. That’s pretty darn impressive. It celebrates the inauguration of a new Lord Mayor of the City of London, which is, confusingly, completely different from the position of Mayor of London (Boris Johnson).  It’s one of the biggest annual public events in London; half a million people attended the procession earlier in the day. The fireworks for it are launched off from a barge between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars. (I have a sneaky balcony spot to watch them from so I don’t have to squish in with the crowds on either bank. Message me and I’ll let you in on the secret next year.)

The beginning of the Crystal Palace fireworks.

IMG_8002IMG_8005 IMG_8019

The Lord Mayor’s fireworks. 

over thames fireworks
Coming from the middle of the Thames, folks.

red fireworkswith st pauls
I spy St Paul’s!

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  • The firework display is so impressive and beautiful. I have never been to any firework display. When there is firework, I often go to my balcony to watch the firework with my family.

  • Some beautiful shots of the fireworks! I love firework shows!

    • Thanks! I don’t know anything about Icelandic holidays. Are there any with fireworks? x

      • Yes, we have Culture Day in August that has a big firework show and then on New Years all of Reykjavik is lit up with fireworks, the best and craziest firework display I have ever seen!

  • Lovely pics 🙂 Not having grown up in the UK, it took me a while to get used to bonfire night, and in many ways I still don’t quite ‘get’ it, but I still think it’s a fun way to spend an autumnal evening (if a bit chilly!). I’d love to know your balcony spot!! xx

    • Thanks Miranda! Hehe it’s not very secret, but if you go out onto one of the balconies at the National you have a great view. Not many people think to do it. It still gets crowded but staff rope off the stairs if they are afraid that it’s getting too crowded. x

  • I watched soooo many fireworks displays this year because we could see a few major ones from our upstairs windows! Who needs to go out? 🙂

  • amitygardens

    English people and their fireworks. It might just be because I lived in a state where you could only do fireworks on New Years and Fourth of July so I am a bit cranky about having fireworks for days.

    • Hahaha. People in our neighbourhood have been shooting them off for over a week now. Every night. It’s like no one gets tired of it! x

  • Last year I did fireworks in Blackheath and this year I celebrated on Bonfire Night in Hampton Court. It was wonderful. It really is lovely to have a nice warm drink, get all bundled up and watch these spectacular displays! Bonfire Night is quickly becoming a favourite holiday.x

    • It sounds amazing. As you know Hampton Court is one of my favourite places to be. For the new job we went to the fireworks as an event, otherwise I’d have had you by my side. (Or at least asked you to.) xx

      • Haha no worries! We shall have many adventures when you’re feeling better and not at work…and when I’m not stressing over my dissertation. Eeek! xx

        • Done! I worked late tonight and will do through Saturday but then my schedule lightens up a lot next week. Dinner next week? xxx

  • Oooh! Aaaaah! 😀

    I miss bonfire night!

  • I love giant firework shows and love the idea of them in fall so much better than July for some reason!

  • Oh great pictures – don’t you just love bonfire night! I’m super jealous you were out of the mad crush for the Lord Mayor’s show. I was meant to make it out to the fireworks on Saturday but couldn’t face the rain – what a wimp! So it was DVDs and homemade pie instead for me! xxx

    • I think that DVDs and homemade pie is a totally fair swap. Maybe even a better Saturday night 🙂 xx

  • Gorgeous photos Amanda. It looks like you had an amazing night x

  • Olivia

    I would love to go to a bonfire night!! An experience you can’t get here in the States.

  • I love that shot with St. Paul’s in the corner! We celebrated Bonfire Night in Richmond this year – they had a big fireworks display choreographed to songs by Michael Jackson. 🙂 That definitely made me happy!

  • Ashley Angle

    Great fireworks!
    Come link up with me today!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • Valerie

    Nice pics! I was in Norwich for Bonfire Night and the fireworks weren’t bad either. I only wish they could turn off the cheesy music sometimes haha xx

  • Lovely pics of the fireworks, they look great! We didn’t go to a show this year, we had plans to on Saturday but it rained pretty much all day! x

    • I braved the rain this year. Although I’ve been feeling a bit sick lately so it probably would have been wiser to stay in! x

  • Awesome photos! I hope you didn’t get rained on too much

    • Thank you so much Charlotte! I got pretty wet but I had a huge coat with hood plus umbrella and managed to deflect the worst of it! x

  • Bloody awesome photos indeed, rain when we have fireworks sucks

  • Gorgeous photos- I love the idea of fireworks in fall- it sounds so lovely!


  • Looks like so much fun!!!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  • It’s so difficult to capture fireworks and give them justice but you have succeeded. Looks amazing x


  • If there’s one thing I miss about the UK it’s bonfire night! Give me a huge fire, some fireworks and a helping of pie and peas and I’m a happy lady!! Xx

  • Ooooohhh…these fireworks look great!

    • Thanks! What did you do for Bonfire Night? xx

      • I can’t remember what I did on the actual night, but I did go to a Bonfire Night event the weekend before the official day. I saw some pretty good fireworks that night!

  • Beautiful! And keep me in mind for that wee balcony hint 😀

  • Aaaah check you and your cheeky spot! I was there too!!! (At Blackfriars ;)) Did you get completely SOAKED too?! The rain was ridiculous! It magically managed to stop just for the fireworks, but the whole bridge + road towards the station turned into a static, sea of people for at least 20 minutes after the ending (like, utter standstill). And everyone was just kinda stood there getting rained on. So wet, but so worth it. x

    • Totally agree! But then as the fireworks ended it started pouring even worse then before so the walk back to the tube wasn’t an entirely pleasant one. Ha oh well! Like you said: worth it! x

  • Messaging you so I’m all set to come and get a sneak peak next year! How amazing you have such a cozy comfy viewing place to see this !

  • Nice! The fireworks that I went to were only medium size and no bonfire! Got to do better research next year!

  • Gorgeous fireworks! I loved attending my first guy fawkes night last week – seeing the coast of Edinburgh light up in fireworks was amazing! 😀

  • how do you take such good fireworks photos? real camera, I assume. I tried to find sparklers for Jon but all the shops I went to were like… um, it’s November. come back before NYE. lame Americans!

    • All these are with my camera. Sam somehow manages to snap great ones with his iPhone (samroberttaylor on instagram) but his skills are beyond me! My iPhone snaps are just not nearly as good as his! x

  • Amy @ the tide that left

    Bonfire night is one of the dates I really miss. I love getting friends round for hotdogs and baked potatoes and mulled cider.
    Your photos are awesome!

    • It’s the morning but I now am craving baked potatoes. And mulled cider. I predict it will be a looonnnnngggg morning till lunch time! 🙂 x