Say hello to 2020: a guide to New Year’s Eve in Britain
Dazzling 1920s themed parties, unforgettable dinners and a Latin carnival in an 18th century mansion – 2020 is almost upon us and Britain is preparing to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style. With so many great destinations offering all types of parties and celebrations, when it comes to welcoming in 2020, visitors to Britain will be spoilt for choice!
Televised world-wide, London’s New Year firework display’s reputation precedes it. Crowds gather all along the South Bank to enjoy the rainbow of colours lighting up the sky and the London Eye as they welcome in another year. Tickets for this event are available to buy online.
If visitors would rather enjoy the countdown while dining in style, they can also book a table at one of London’s top restaurants with views overlooking the display, including Galvin at Windows or the Aqua Shard.
Alternatively, why not head out onto the water on board one of City Cruises New Year’s Eve cruises of the River Thames. Visitors can expect a four-course dinner, dancing and a glass of champagne ready to toast on the stroke of midnight, before heading to the outside deck for an unrivalled view of London’s firework show.
Price: various packages from £199
Iconic riverside building the Southbank Centre is hosting a New Year’s Eve party full of music, merriment and a front row seat to the famous countdown and firework show. Explore five-floors, including two rooms with brand new themes for 2019, multiple bars, live music DJs and dance classes, for a fun-packed way to welcome in the New Year.
Price: various tickets available, ranging from £95-£295
Unexpected places can make for great parties, and the Natural History Museum’s New Year’s Eve party, Creatures of the Night, illustrates this perfectly. Dance the night away at a silent disco under a giant moon installation, get creative with UV body paint, create an animal mask and try Musical Bingo, all in one of London’s most magical historic buildings.
Price: early bird tickets are £90, with a complimentary drink upon arrival
Battersea Evolution will host a 2019 London’s New Year’s Ball to celebrate the start of 2020, with an opulent New York theme. Visitors can walk through snow-dusted trees and sip sparkling wine as they enter, watch a dazzling live performance and drink at a speakeasy bar. Enjoy an extravagant four-course dinner, unlimited drinks, a buzzing dance floor, and even nostalgic dodgems.
Price: from £190
Welcome in 2020 like it’s 1920 at the Candlelight Club’s New Year’s Eve party. Expect a night filled with swinging jazz, cabaret, live music and Charleston dance routines in the buzzing capital.
Price: early bird tickets start from £45, rising to £55
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations, and 2019’s party will be no exception. 31 December will see internationally famous producer Mark Ronson host Edinburgh’s biggest celebration with Hogmanay in the Gardens. The live music extravaganza will be followed by a jaw-dropping firework display over Edinburgh Castle and access to the city’s famous Street Party.
Possibly the funkiest New Year’s Eve party going, Sage Gatehead are presenting a 70s evening taking visitors to a disco-loving boogie wonderland in the heart of Newcastle. Promising the ultimate disco soundtrack, guilty pleasures and a live band, party-goers will be on their feet until the small hours – 70s themed fancy dress is encouraged.
Price: £60 for the evening, £100 with the addition of a four-course dinner
Offering an evening to make both grown-ups and their little ones dance ‘til they drop, the New Year's Eve at Newcastle’s Gosforth Civic Theatre is tailored for families wanting to have fun this New Year’s Eve. They also offer activities including a craft room to keep little ones busy.
Price: £6 for adults and £4 for children under 14
Seeing the year off in decadent style, Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel will be bringing a slice of Gatsby-inspired glamour to the city centre at the 2019 New Year’s Eve Gala Ball. An evening of rich food, jazz, blues and plenty of toasting champagne flutes, the spirit of the roaring twenties is sure to be in full swing.
Tatton Park, Cheshire’s 18th-century mansion, is hosting a New Year’s Eve Party unlike any other. Taking inspiration from vibrant Mardi Gras and carnival culture in Latin America, it will be a hub of calypso and samba dancing until the countdown of the year and beyond.
Price: from £59.50 per person
Celebrate the start of 2020 – on ice! Cardiff Winter Wonderland’s ice rink is open for a special New Year’s Eve 11.30pm-midnight slot, where visitors can glide their way into the New Year. Other attractions include a fun fair and the new Alpine Trail through Gorsedd Gardens.
Restaurant James Sommerin, one of the Top 50 Restaurants in 2019’s Good Food Guide, is offering a rich seven-course taster menu to celebrate 2020. Located close to the picturesque Cardiff Bay, this waterside eatery offers a romantic, intimate New Year’s Eve setting.
Price: £150 per person
AND FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT…
Britain is well-known for its quirky traditions, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Here are a just a few free festivities that might tempt visitors to enjoy a New Year’s Eve experiencing Britain’s eccentric side…
The Fireball Ceremony at Stonehaven sees local parade through the High Street swinging flaming balls above their heads, accompanied by bagpipers. As the clocks strike midnight on 31 December, the fireballs are then thrown into the harbour waters, culminating with a fireworks display.
Scotland is well known for its impressive New Year’s Eve parties and the small village of Comrie in Perthshire, around 90 minutes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, celebrates with the Comrie Flambeaux Procession. This ancient fire festival – originally believed to cleanse the village at the start of each year – sees people bearing torches parade through the village before poles are lit and bagpipes are played at midnight. Before this all happens there’s a children’s fancy dress parade and a firework display earlier in the evening.
A local tradition for over 160 years, The Allendale Tar Bar’L is a festival in Allendale in northeast England, around a 45-minute drive from Newcastle. More than 40 local men, all in costume, form a procession through the town carrying whisky barrels containing burning hot tar. The music-led procession ends at a ceremonial bonfire at midnight and the party begins.
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