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Visitor Information Guide Tips Info Map - Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations
November 5, 1605 at 11:05 am by v
Welcome to the Lewes Bonfire Night Celebration, information, map and visitor guide page, written from an insider’s and outsider’s point of view and knowledge with loads of tips and info to help you make your trip to Lewes on the the 5th of November as boring, exciting or as pleasant as you want it to be.
Advice, Information and Map. . .
My main advice to you as a visitor would be, “Forget your wheels and travel here early by Public Transport”
“If you choose to drive in and find somewhere to park well before the massive Lewes Bonfire road closures comes into force, Just remember that you might not be able to get out until well after 2am”
“Also the road closures have now been extended to be further away from the town and will be in force for a longer period.”
Also, “Buy your chosen Lewes bonfire programnes and fire-site tickets well in advance and use the interactive map below for information and directions to wherever it is you would like to get to. Enjoy, Be safe and Lest We Forget.”
Fire Site Tickets and Programmes. . .
For your chosen fire site ticket and programme, visit any independent retailer/pub in the town or the Lewes tourist information centre or the Cliffe Precinct area in the two or three Saturdays leading up to the Fifth or from your chosen Bonfire Society Website.
Remember no ticket, No entry, Simple as that. Fire site ticket revenue by the way gets spent solely on insurance and health and safety for you. The firework display costs are met solely by the Bonfire Society by fundraising throughout the year.
If you buy a programme, you will be helping that bonfire society in its fundraising efforts for next year and you will be rewarded in the form of general information, history, procession routes and timings and if combined with the map above, you will have a great night out if you have done your homework properly.
As for the money collected by the street collectors with their buckets, That all goes to their local chosen charities.
Guide and Tips. . .
Guide and tips for the cautious/first time visitor would be, to stick to the lower end of Cliffe High Street (Beyond Bills) if you want to see all of the Cliffe Bonfire Society and South Street Bonfire Society processions (See Map)
Getting yourself onto the bridge and beyond will see all of the Lewes Bonfire Society’s at some point in the evening but it will be heaving as will the high street all the way up to the Lewes Memorial and beyond.
Another tip would be to get yourself up to the Brewers Pub and beyond, where you will see all of the Lewes Bonfire Societies at some point except the Cliffe during the night but without the oppressive crowds.
If you want less crowds but still a lively atmosphere then head towards Southover High Street, but only the Southover Bonfire Society processions will be seen.
My guide, If you like atmosphere, crowds, noise etc, would be to get yourself to the Lewes Cliffe Bridge or near the Lewes War Memorial, Lewes Town Hall (Star Inn) or the Lewes Crown Courts (County Hall)
Get yourself in the middle of the road for as long as possible, that way when you are asked to move back you will be at the front of the crowd when a procession passes.
Do not try to annoy a bonfire society member by walking across his/her path or you might find an accidentally on purpose placed boot or flaming torch impeding your way! It will hurt I promise you. Wear very over the top warm, waterproof clothes, It is better to be over dry and warm than cold and damp.
Which Firework Display?. . .
All of the Lewes Bonfire Society Firework Displays are splendid but there are three that stand out in my mind, Firstly the Cliffe as they are the most traditional with their aerials, bonfire, clergy, pope, their no popery stance and its topical tabs, but then you have Commercial Square with their near as damn it traditional procession routes, topical tabs and more noisy aerials than all of the other Lewes Bonfire Societys.
Southover Bonfire Society do a damn good job with aerials and then you have Borough, South Street and Waterloo which are just as good as well and are more suited to the cautious and younger ones. Just remember though, that all displays are now ticket only and in advance.
The easiest firework display sites to get to from within the town are South Street Bonfire Society and Waterloo Bonfire Society and both are suitable for the smaller ones, the less infirm or the cautious first timer to the town.
To be honest with you though, you need to have walked with all of the Lewes societies and have seen all of their processions and firework displays from both sides of the fence to really appreciate what Lewes Bonfire is all about.
None of the bonfire sites are suitable for mobility scooters, prams, pushchairs or wheelchairs, But having said that it is possible to view fairly closeup at Borough, Commercial and Waterloo without having to go on site. Or just simply view from where I go but that is my secret! Have fun and Lest We Forget.
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