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New Year’s Eve 2016 – the top 5 cities to visit

Top cities for new years eve

If you fancy celebrating New Year’s Eve 2016 in style, rather than on the sofa, now’s the time to start planning. Head to one of these UK towns and cities on 31 December and you can expect things like amazing fireworks displays, big-name musicians, parades, fairground rides and plenty more.

Some of the New Year’s Eve parties on our list are world-famous, like New Year’s in London and Hogmanay in Edinburgh. And some are a little more undiscovered – perfect if you fancy something a little more low-key as you see in the start of 2017.

1. Edinburgh

In at number one, it’s got to be Edinburgh. The Scottish city’s take on New Year’s Eve is so special it has its own name – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay – which means the last day of the year. It actually runs over three days, with live music, DJs and fairground rides filling the city streets, and fireworks lighting up the sky around Edinburgh Castle.

The Street Party on the 31st is the main event, and tickets get you access to various music stages as well as the best view of the four fireworks displays that happen on the hour from 9pm. Paolo Nutini is 2016’s headline act at the Concert In The Gardens, which costs extra. It’s sold out, but you can still see him in action at the Night Afore concert on the 30th. It’s the same night as the Torchlight Procession, which starts at 19:00 in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Pre-book a ticket, pick up a torch, and join thousands of people to create a line of fire through the city that ends in – yes, you guessed it – a huge fireworks display.

2. London

The UK capital city is known the world over for its NYE celebrations, and it’s easy to see why. The fireworks that light up the banks of the Thames have become so popular they’re now ticketed. And if you’re lucky enough to have bagged a £10 ticket to the London event you’ll have access to the best viewing area on the South Bank, which takes in the London Eye and Big Ben.

If you haven’t got tickets this year, don’t worry – you can still see the fireworks from the various bridges that aren’t part of the ticketed zones. Or, pack some fizz and head for popular spots that are a bit further out, like Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill. And if you’d rather go to an organised indoor do, try The Vintage New Year’s Eve Party at the Royal Festival Hall. As well as five floors of nostalgic entertainment, you’ll get a great view of the fireworks from the terrace when the clock strikes midnight.

3. Newquay

OK, so technically it’s a town rather than a city, but Newquay deserves a special mention when it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations. Pack your superhero outfit and your biggest smile, because fancy dress is the order of the day in this Cornish seaside resort. Every year on 31 December, the locals dress up and head down to Central Square for the countdown to midnight and a hearty round of Auld Lang Syne. It’s all rounded off with fireworks at Newquay Harbour.

Plus, if you book a Twixmas break between Boxing Day and 31 December, you can spend a few days in Newquay beforehand recovering from the craziness of Christmas, before the party kicks off on New Year’s Eve. A bracing coastal walk and some fresh sea air is guaranteed to help you recover the next morning.

4. Newcastle

If you’re looking for a family-friendly event, Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival will be right up your street. It’s completely free and unticketed, so it’s great if you’re looking for something last-minute. It also starts pre-bedtime, which means the whole family can get involved.

Crowds start to gather in the city from about 16:30 and a torchlit carnival procession begins at 17:15 and travels via Monument and Northumberland Street. It all wraps up at the Newcastle Civic Centre around 17:45, when there’s music, dancing and a big fireworks display. From here you’ve still got time to head back and get the kids to bed, or stay out and party until the next round of fireworks. They kick off at midnight over at the Quayside.

5. Cardiff

If you’re desperate to squeeze every last second out of Christmas 2016, head to Winter Wonderland in Cardiff. As well as an Alpine village and funfair, it’s home to a huge skating rink with a fairy-lit, clear roof that lets you skate under the night sky without worrying about the weather. There are skate sessions throughout the day on New Year’s Eve, but if you book on to the 23:30 slot you’ll still be skating as one year moves into the next.

While you’re in the city, pay a visit to see The Hoff in panto – he’s performing as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the New Theatre Cardiff. If you book tickets for the 13:00 performance you’ve still got plenty of time to fit in shopping and dinner before 2016 officially comes to an end.


Whichever destination you choose, book your megabus tickets in advance and get there with no fuss.