It’s a uniquely British tradition – and a slightly odd one at that. But Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night and Fireworks’ Night, is held every year on the fifth of November to commemorate the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
We all know the rhyme: “remember, remember, the fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot”, which originates from the foiled attempts by Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes and his associates to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I.
Now, it’s celebrated annually with large bonfires, spectacular fireworks displays, fancy dress parties, toffee apples, toasted marshmallows, sparklers, soup, hot chocolate, warm rum and cider, hot dogs and a range of other delicious treats and events.
What, though, has all this got to do with property? Well, a number of locations across the UK are famous for their Bonfire Night traditions. So, to put a property spin on this very British occasion, we have taken a look at the property markets of five of the places with the most spectacular Guy Fawkes Night celebrations.
The town in East Sussex holds the biggest (and arguably the best) Bonfire Night event in the whole of Britain. The celebrations include marching bands, traditions, costumes, food, drink, parades, huge bonfires on hills and epic fireworks displays. Lewes has a history of martyrs being burned at the stake and class-based clashes, and these are commemorated in the busy and chaotic surrounds of the town’s cobbled medieval streets.
Lewes, with an enviable location right at the heart of the majestic South Downs, is a fairly expensive place to live. According to Rightmove, its current average asking price is £440,348, with terraced properties most popular. Promisingly for sellers, prices have risen by 15% in the last year and are up by 21% on the levels seen in 2013. As a key commuter hub with some lovely countryside on its doorstep, demand for homes in Lewes is, as you might expect, pretty high.
As for the rental market, the current average rent in the town is £1,363 pcm, with two-bedroom properties generally snapped up the quickest.
For most of the year, Edenbridge is a pleasant and unremarkable town in Kent. However, it receives national attention every November for its famous bonfire night celebrations and its burning of an effigy of a popular hate figure. In previous years Lance Armstrong, Katie Hopkins, Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Wayne Rooney and Sepp Blatter have been handed the effigy treatment, this year it will be one Donald Trump – holding the head of Hillary Clinton!
The giant, 36ft steel-framed effigy – which is stuffed with newspapers and fireworks – will be set alight a few days before the results of the American election are announced.
While Edenbridge is best-known for its spectacular Bonfire Night celebrations, it is also a popular place to live. With journey times of just 43 minutes to London Bridge and 51 minutes to London Victoria, it’s an ideal location for commuters and is also a good place for families to bring up their kids. This is reflected in an average asking price of £316,985, with terraced properties once again ruling the roost.
Since 2011 property prices in the town have grown by around 17%; five years ago the average house price was just £270,438.
The oil-rich Scottish city kicks off its Winter Festival – which includes Christmas lights switch-on, carol concerts, a Christmas Tree Maze and a Christmas Village – with a Fireworks Spectacular. The free event, which takes place on Aberdeen’s sandy beaches, is a wonderful display of fire and light, with fire jugglers, a charity firewalk and a 20-minute firework extravaganza set to music making it one of the most memorable in the whole of the UK.
Thanks to its booming oil industry, Aberdeen is home to a truly international population. It’s also home to two universities, which ensures it has a significant and lively student community. Buyers will be pleased by how affordable property here is, with a current average asking price of £204,376.
Rents, meanwhile, average out at around £806pcm. One-bed and two-bed properties are by far the most popular, while single rooms tend to go very quickly – remaining on the market for just 15 days on average!
East Sussex is clearly a popular place for unforgettable Bonfire Night celebrations – every year the Battel Bonfire Boyes sees thirty local bonfire societies parade through the town centre in fancy dress. It’s a tradition that’s been going for more than 350 years, with the first Bonfire celebration organised back in 1646. The free event includes a memorable fireworks display, torchlight procession and the spectacular burning of the 'Guy' effigy to round off the evening in style.
Of course, Battle is much better known for another major historical event – it was the location for the Battle of Hastings in 1066, where William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II to take the English crown.
Aside from this, though, Battle is a small town with a spectacular Abbey and a charming high street. From a property point of view, it’s a place that will please both buyers and sellers. An average asking price of £336,480 means sellers will get a good deal on their property, while buyers would probably still count this as towards the more affordable end of the market. Transport links are strong and the town is close to good local schools, making it ideal for families and commuters.
And finally, last but by no means least, Tamworth Castle’s family-friendly Fireworks Extravaganza is the best in the wider Birmingham area. A large market town in Staffordshire, Tamworth’s fireworks play out with its historic castle as a backdrop. Family activities, sparkler zones, food stalls, fire performers and face painting will keep people entertained until the fireworks display set to music kicks into gear.
Sitting in a location close to a number of major Midlands towns and cities, Tamworth is a key commuter hub and has an average asking price of £182,305, which will please buyers looking for affordable homes. Sellers, though, shouldn’t be downhearted – prices in Tamworth have risen by 9% since last year and 16% since 2007.