How to Spend New Year’s Eve in London
A stunning display of whizzing, fizzing fireworks will light the night skies over London once more on December 31st 2018. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already bagged your tickets to the capital’s fanciest fireworks display, the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks, you’ll be out of luck, as the ticketed event has now sold out. That’s not to say that you can’t catch all the action, though: there are plenty of other ways to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Watch from the water
Take to the river and enjoy an unparalleled view with one of City Cruises’ New Year’s Eve cruises. There are a variety of options to choose from, including traditional cruises, speedboat rides, or dinner in the R.S. Hispanioala, which is docked in a prime location across from the London Eye. Alternatively, purchase a place aboard The Monsoon Clipper and enjoy live music and a glass of champagne under the stars.
Dinner with a view
There are a host of restaurants with spectacular views across London, offering diners a lofty – and convenient – platform to watch the illuminations from. Treat yourself to a Michelin-starred feast at Galvin at Windows or tuck into a hearty Mexican banquet at Wahaca Southbank and then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
If you’re hoping to get the party started, Sky Bar’s legendary New Year’s Eve party is the place to go on December 31st. Offering 360-degree views of London, live cooking stations serving up global cuisine, sets from the West End’s best DJs, and even its own cinema, there’s plenty to indulge in before heading to one of the enormous windows to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at midnight.
Photo Credit: Natural History Museum.
If you’re hoping to have a ‘whale’ of a time on New Year’s Eve, look no further (literally). As well as enjoying the stunning surroundings of this famous building, those who attend the Natural History Museum’s New Year’s Eve bash can jive underneath Hope the blue whale (the largest creature ever to have graced this planet), listen to live music, play musical bingo, and enjoy unprecedented access to the museum’s many exhibitions. There’s even a silent disco to experience before the clock strikes midnight.
The Southbank Centre’s popular vintage-themed party returns in 2018 and promises to be bigger and better than ever. With five floors of themed club nights (including six pop-up nightclubs playing music from different decades), twelve DJs, eight dance lessons, and seven bars, revellers can lose themselves in the sounds of the past before welcoming in the new year. The midnight moment is set to be magical, too; the rooftop terraces offer unparalleled views of the stunning festive pyrotechnics.
The Rivoli’s New Year’s Eve Gala Ball offers a spectacular evening of entertainment – perfect for film buffs (the beautiful ballroom has been featured in many cinematic classics including the Age of Ultron) and families alike (on December 31st the Rivoli will relax its over-21 rule for one night only). Dress to impress and dance the night away to the sounds of pop classics and festive tracks before pulling a party popper or two at midnight.
Photo Credit: Somerset House.
The best of the rest
Skate into 2019
If you’re looking for a different kind of party this New Year’s Eve, why not grab your skates and take a spin on one of London’s many ice skating rinks? Wherever you’re based, there’s sure to be a rink near you: from Winterville in South London over to Canary Wharf in E14. Our personal favourite, though, has to be Somerset House: this year the Sink the Pink team will be in charge of a New Year’s Eve extravaganza that includes glittering drag queen divas, amazing dance routines, and excellent views of the Mayor’s fireworks at midnight.
The Barbican’s event dedicated to celebrating the music of Strauss offers an elegant, extravagant way to spend New Year’s Eve. Live music from the famous Johann Strauss Orchestra will fill the Barbican with old world glamour, bringing to life the ‘giddy romance and gilded ballrooms of old Vienna’. Enjoy a free drink from one of the Barbican bars with each ticket.
Eschew the bangs of fireworks and instead ring in the New Year to the sound of belly laughs by purchasing a ticket to one of Comedy Carnival’s New Year’s Eve shows. Attendees can choose between venues in Leicester Square and Clapham, and enjoy performances by 8 Out of 10 Cats star Bobby Mair, BBC Radio 1 favourite Tom Deacon, and more.
Whether you’re a complete newcomer or an old hand at ceilidh dancing, the Celtic equivalent of a barn dance, the New Year’s Eve ceilidh in Camden’s Cecil Sharp House is not to be missed. An expert caller will talk you through the steps whilst the live band gets your toes tapping. Come with friends or go alone: either way a wonderfully wild night of dancing awaits.
Photo Credit: LNYDP Online.
And if you’ve still got some energy…
Provided you don’t wake up with too sore a head on January 1st 2019, there is plenty to do in London to celebrate the dawning of a new year. London’s New Year’s Day parade is a must-see for anyone well enough to take to the streets; now in its 33rd year, the parade includes marching bands, dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders and more, and covers a 2.2 mile route past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Or, if you’re looking for something a little gentler, why not follow in UnderTheDoormat’s footsteps with our favourite walking tour of the city? Be sure to send us some pictures of whatever you get up to – we’d love to hear from you!