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Remember, remember the 5th of November

Published: Friday 26th of October 2012

As the old adage goes, remember, remember the 5th of November, and with that date fast approaching what better time than to follow this advice when looking for things to do in London.

Gunpowder, treason and plot were the name of the game and to honour the legacy of this uniquely British event, people could dedicate a day of their trip to the capital to honour this exciting event.

Celebrate the history

Also known as Guy Fawkes' Night, this British tradition dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when catholic conspirator Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament as well as King James I.

To this day, the event is celebrated across the country with fireworks and bonfires, where effigies of Guy Fawkes are burnt to remember the fight for independence.

In London it remains customary for the cellars in the Houses of Parliament to be searched by the Yeoman of the Guard before each State Opening of Parliament, meaning that Fawkes' legacy still remains very much alive.

To learn more about gunpowder, tourists can visit The Royal Artillery Museum of Woolwich, which charters the history of the Gunners from the first cannons all the way to present day artillery design.

While primarily a weaponry museum, it also displays the earliest known recorded form of gunpowder, making it a unique attraction for any visitor.

The history of artillery is on view, educating visitors on its origins and rapid development over the centuries.

Families who are keen to learn more about November 5th in particular could also head to the annual Guy Fawkes Festival at the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey, Essex, which entertains the crowds with theatrical re-enactments and a firework extravaganza.

Cruise past the Houses of Parliament

A Thames river cruise is a brilliant way to see London, while also learning about some of its most famous attractions, such as the Houses of Parliament, which are nestled next to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben - some of the most iconic buildings in London.

While early November is likely to be a little chilly, these all-weather boats offer a comfortable journey with panoramic windows and expert guides, informing visitors of the history of Bonfire Night.

Park displays

After a busy day visiting the Houses of Parliament and learning more about gunpowder, visitors can spend the evening attending one of the impressive firework displays held across the capital.

Almost every borough in London has its own public display, so visitors should not have to travel far to find an exciting selection of fireworks lighting up the night sky.

One of the biggest displays is the Fireworks at Battersea Park event on November 3rd, which offers a wide selection of pyrotechnics all set to popular music.

The venue hosts a bar and food court, which open at 6pm, while the bonfire is lit at 7.30pm, followed by the full fireworks display at 8pm.

Visitors are advised to dress in outdoor, waterproof clothing to ensure that they can fully enjoy an evening under the stars.

Get free entry to over 55 top London attractions with a London Pass.

Posted by Samantha Reed

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