How to Enjoy New Years for Free in London

fire works in the sky above big ben

t’s that time of year again. With the mad rush to make and maybe even organise new year’s plans in the city, it can sometimes feel rather stressful coordinating with friends and family in London, especially if it’s your first visit. Before you even decide on who you’re spending it with, you must think about your price range. Despite great deals at hotels in the West End, New Years Eve can really stretch the bank if you’re not careful, especially with the high-end clubs and jaw dropping drinks prices in the city! That being said, there’s plenty to do on New Year’s which will cost you next to nothing. It’s about who you spend it with after all, not the money you’re spending.

Find the perfect spot in a park

Whether it be Greenwich Park or Telegraph Hill in Nunhead, there are a wide range of parks with great views of the cityscape, perfect for a spot of celebration come the central London midnight fireworks. Whether you’re looking for a quick stop over to see the fireworks or a few hours of late-night boogying, there are plenty of parks around the city with both official and unofficial New Years Eve festivities.

Hole up in a classic London pub

people in pub

When it comes to boozing, London is the undefeated winner. With a wide range of pubs, both modern and traditional on almost every street in the city, you’ll find a jaw dropping range of places to hole up and out of the cold during New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s just a trip down to the area in which you are staying, or one of the larger pubs in the city centre, there’s plenty to enjoy during your stay in the city when it comes to traditional pub outings. For a great party atmosphere, the best places to look would be Shoreditch and Soho, a wide range of traditionally furnished pubs opening their doors for good old-fashioned fun.

Head to Embankment or the Southbank for the best fireworks spots

The central London fireworks are usually launched from just behind the London Eye, meaning that many will flock across the South Bank from quite early on to get a good view. If you’re looking to secure a spot for the big bang, then it’s best to get down early. The area is closed off from 10.30 pm and can fill up rather quickly. The best places to see the fireworks in the area is usually across the road near Embankment, or from the wide range of spots along the Southbank. Keep in mind that public transport can get very congested during these hours, and that you are not allowed any glass bottles into the cordoned off firework viewing areas.

Cure that hangover with the New Year’s Day parade

Whatever your plans for New Year’s Day, make sure you get down to central London for the annual New Year’s Day Parade. What better way to cleanse your bleary eyes than with a cheerful, vibrant parade, mad up of some of London’s best musicians and dancers. This year you can expect to find 10,000 performers, acrobats and musicians take to the street. There will be London icons blown up into giant floats, multicultural celebrations and A LOT of confetti. With over 600,000 spectators making it into the city centre to see the spectacle, this is the best way to start the new year with a bang.