New Year’s Eve along the River Thames in London is a fantastic spectacle, but sometimes you’re better off avoiding the crowds and catching the televised display on BBC. Great Britain has countless other NYE celebrations because we Brits certainly know how to celebrate. Here are some of the best ways and places to ring in the new year:
Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland
Why shouldn’t new year’s celebrations last three days? Hogmanay is the Scottish celebration of the new year and, in Edinburgh, it’s a huge, passionate three-day party. Join the beautiful Torchlight Procession on December 30, as thousands of torch bearers march through Edinburgh and fireworks light up the sky. On December 31, enjoy the Hogmanay Street Party, which features live music, dancing, and outdoor bars. There are also ticketed concerts, such as Concert in the Gardens where #BritishFamous Rag’n’Bone Man will be performing. At midnight, watch fireworks over Edinburgh Castle and link arms with your neighbors as you join in the moving national sing-along of Auld Lang Syne. And there’s no better way to recover from the festivities than with The Loony Dook on January 1, which sees hundreds of people plunge into the freezing Firth of Forth waters.
Tar Bar'l in Allendale, Northumberland, England
It wouldn’t be a British celebration without fire barrels on people’s heads! On New Year’s Eve, Allendale’s streets fill with music and dancing as thousands of spectators turn out to watch a procession of local “guisers” carrying flaming barrel tops. Once the guisers have marched through the streets, they throw their barrels into a ceremonial bonfire in the middle of the town center, and welcome in the new year.
Nos Galan Road Races in Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales
If fire doesn’t get your heart racing, why not take part in a 5K (3.1 miles)? Each year, thousands of runners from across Great Britain come to Mountain Ash to take part in this race that celebrates the life and achievements of Welsh runner, Guto Nyth Brân. A famous sports person – the “mystery runner” – begins the race by bearing a torch from Guto’s grave to the starting line. The series of races culminate in the early evening so that you can still head to the pub and ring in the new year in a more traditional manner! For 2017 celebrations, the races are already filled but come along to cheer on the runners and mark the date for 2018.
Fancy Dress in Newquay, Cornwall, England
Grab your neon tights and get ready to dance through the streets! Newquay is one of the best places to enjoy a good old Cornish cider in the company of thousands of costumed party people, welcoming in the new year with a burst of color and good cheer. Residents and visitors congregate in the central square for the midnight countdown, fireworks display, and customary rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Be ready to party into the morning, as the celebrations continue long after the last firework has faded.
The Blitz Party, London, England
Don your suspenders and best swing skirts at The Blitz Party held at Village Underground. While there are countless parties held across London to celebrate New Year’s Eve, this is a special one with a definitively British theme. Held in a venue next to an old railway viaduct, the setting – decked out with blackout curtains, sandbags, and recon maps – is perfect for a party that brings back 1940s glamor and celebrates British patriotism. Book tickets well in advance.
Posted in Art & Culture
Cover Photo: Hogmanay in Edinburgh. Photo by: Chris Watt