The best Bonfires and Fireworks displays in Edinburgh and Glasgow
There are a number of great opportunities to admire fire and fireworks around 5 Nov. Niki Boyle removes his shellsuit jacket, locks his pets safely indoors, and investigates
FOR OUR MORE RECENT LISTINGS SEE OUR BONFIRE NIGHT GUIDE
Chances are, unless you’re not hunched over your computer creating the best ever fire-themed Spotify playlist (which we already did last year: bit.ly/firelist), you’ll want to spend it standing round a massive fire with your nearest and dearest, saying ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ as fireworks burst into colour above your head. But where oh where will you watch them?
Glasgow is proud to host one of the biggest bonfire nights in Scotland at Glasgow Green (Fri 5 Nov, 4pm; free); this year, they’re adopting a Mamma Mia theme. Expect to hear Abba’s greatest hits synched up to some explosions in the sky, then, along with lasers, live bands, a funfair and some hot food and drink stalls. The festivities begin at 4pm, with the fireworks display kicking off at 7.30pm, and the whole shebang wrapping up by 9pm. Not to be outdone, the Drumchapel and West Winterfest Firework Display (Drumchapel Park, Glasgow, Fri 5 Nov, 4.30pm; free) also has large-scale combustible fun in store. This year’s X Factor-themed event is a full-on extravaganza, with music from the TV show’s Rikki Loney and Same Difference, as well as Showaddywaddy, Maria Marciano, a Michael Jackson tribute show and the Loud’n’Proud music school. Funfair rides, a spooky ghost and Titan the Robot will also be involved in the entertainment on offer, which will culminate at 7pm with a low-level fireworks display, and finish off by 9pm.
Elsewhere in the west, the Strathclyde Park Fireworks (Strathclyde Park, Motherwell, Fri 5 Nov, 6pm; free) promises to be a spectacular affair: music from Real Radio, live guests and a funfair will lead up to a dazzling fireworks display from 8.20pm, which will be reflected across the expanse of Strathclyde Loch. Airdrie Leisure Centre (Raywards Park, Airdrie, Thu 4 Nov, 7.30pm; free), Dunbeth Park (Coatbridge, Thu 4 Nov, 7.15pm; free) and Broadwood Loch (Cumbernauld, Thu 4 Nov, 7.30pm; free) will hold similar events the day before, with hot food and refreshments available at each.
In Edinburgh, the big bonfire night celebration is at Meadowbank Sports Centre (Fri 5 Nov, 6.30pm; £5.50/£6 after Mon 1 Nov), where local radio DJ Big Al will provide entertainment prior to the fireworks display at 7.30pm. Nearby towns offer stiff competition, though: the Linlithgow Bonfire and Fireworks Display (Linlithgow Rugby Club, Fri 5 Nov, 7pm; £3/£8 family ticket) regularly attracts crowds of 3000, and offers a BBQ and refreshments along with the traditional bonfire-and-fireworks combo, while the Hopetoun Bonfire Night with Fireworks (Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, Sat 6 Nov, 3.30pm; £10/£6 kids, under threes free) has a busy programme of events including funfair rides, fire jugglers and dancers, fantastic food stalls and panto villain extraordinaire Grant Stott, until 9pm.
On the other side of the city, Musselburgh’s annual fireworks shindig (Hope Place, Musselburgh, Fri 5 Nov, 7pm; free) has been moved from its previous home inside the racecourse to just outside it, on the east end, but has been scaled up from 20 to 30 minutes at the same time. Elsewhere in East Lothian, Tranent (Elphinstone Road, Tranent, Thu 4 Nov; free), Port Seton Links (Port Seton, Fri 5 Nov; free), Pencaitland (Beeches Field, Pencaitland, Sat 6 Nov; free) and Aberlady (Aberlady Bird Centre, Sun 7 Nov; free) will be hosting their own community bonfire events across the weekend.