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New Year’s Eve 2018 – The top 5 cities to visit

If you fancy celebrating New Year’s Eve 2018 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 2019.

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. The day before you've got 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. There's nothing better than hearing Big Ben's famous bongs ring out at Midnight and then watch the amazing fireworks display over the Coa Cola London Eye. 

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. 

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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. Bristol

The countdown to the biggest midnight of the calendar is on, so celebrate with friends at The Bristol's New Year’s Eve Gala. Hosted in their stunning ballroom and with a delightful four-course dinner dance - it's one not to miss if you're willing to part with the cash! Or if you're looking for something a little more low key, many restaurants will be offering special New Year's Eve menus to whet your appetite. But whatever you're looking for, Bristol has it in spades. 

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5. Cardiff

If you’re desperate to squeeze every last second out of Christmas, 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.

And with their brand new, Sur La Piste bar which has two floors of ski-lodge cosiness, you can ring in the New Year with mouth watering dishes and a variety of tasty beverages. 

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