Lewes Guy Fawkes Night Adventure (coach option)
Time & Location
About the event
For most people in the UK, Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night tends to be a fairly miserable affair. A few sparklers, the Catherine Wheel that won’t turn and a modest bonfire. They do things differently in Lewes. Otherwise, a fairly sleepy and well-to-do town, not far from Brighton and dominating the Ouse valley, come ‘the Fifth’ and the place changes from calm to a hive of pyromania and dressing up.
Important: Only 6 places left
Meeting point: We will meet at Clapham Junction Station at the main entrance (the one with Sainsbury's), next to the ticket offices. Look for a balloon with the group logo.
Meeting time: 2:30 pm . The minibus will leave at 14:45
Return: The driver will pick the group up at 0:30 am from
Cliffe Industrial Estate South Street, Lewes BN8 6JL
Please bring some drinks with you (we can get booze there, but there are long queues) and get your party hats on. And of course, don't forget to wrap up warm as it will be quite cold in the evening.
Of course, Guy Fawkes Night is a commemoration of the failed gunpowder plot of 1605. And that event is given added importance because of the 17 protestant martyrs burnt in Lewes during the 16th century.
And under all that is a spirit of subversiveness and independence that serves to show that the people of Lewes ‘wun’t be druv.’
It’s a serious spectacle and the people of Lewes, that make up the six Bonfire Societies, get up to some serious antics.
Burn the Pope
The celebrations of Bonfire Night have a solid anti-Catholic heritage and in Lewes they take that seriously.
Cliffe Bonfire Society still marches under the No Popery banner and they also burn the Pope. Not the current Pope though, the Pope in 1605 – Paul V.
March with flaming torches through town
It’s not a show or performance. For the Bonfire Societies, it’s an important act of remembrance that’s been going on for centuries.
The centrepiece of the evening is the procession through the town of all the Societies and the laying of wreaths at the war memorial.
Throw a burning tar barrel into the river
A burning tar barrel is dragged through town in the procession and when it arrives at the bridge crossing the River Ouse it’s pitched in with great ceremony.
Health and safety nightmare, yes. But also a pure symbol of independence and reflective of the Pagan rituals of Samhain.
As Vikings, Cavaliers, Smugglers or all sorts. The parade is a riot of elaborate costumes and clothing with many of the get-ups real works of art.
The tradition of dressing up has a serious history: in the past when the November 5th celebrations were suppressed, the Bonfire Boys continued regardless but in disguise.
More information about Lewes Bonfire Night Celebration HERE
Cancellations: Please note that unless the trip is canceled the payments are non-refundable as the costs need to be paid in advance. However, you may be able to sell your place to your friends or other group members