If you want to kick off 2020 with a bang and celebrate the New Year in style, here are some of the coolest, quirkiest places to celebrate. Whether you’re looking for a large holiday home in the heart of the city, a base for seeing the best fireworks or a remote hideaway where celebrations can continue into New Year’s Day, here are nine unmissable places to spend New Year’s Eve!
Best for: Hogmanay celebrations.
Where to ring in the New Year: Ceilidh under the castle at Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh’s world-revered Hogmanay celebrations feature a jam-packed rostra of events, celebrations and parties for revellers to ring in the New Year. The historic city comes to life with a huge street party, a magical torchlight procession and lively concert in the gardens. The party goes on late into the night with a night walk, Ceilidh and after-party.
Nurse those hangovers on New Year’s Day by diving into the refreshing (that’s code for freezing!) waters of the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry. The Loony Dook, which translates to ‘dip’ or ‘bathe’, is a fancy dress event that takes place just West of Edinburgh.
Best for: Seafood and sea air.
Where to ring in the New Year: Watching the fireworks on the beach.
The picturesque town of St Ives, in Cornwall, comes to life on December 31st as thousands of partygoers flock to the seaside spot to countdown to midnight. The town is transformed into one huge street party with everyone donning their best, most vibrant fancy dress costumes. Live music and street stalls lead up to an impressive fireworks display on the beach.
Best for: Fireworks extravaganza.
Where to ring in the New Year: The London New Year’s Eve Ball at Battersea Evolution.
You can’t talk about New Year’s Eve in the UK without mentioning England’s cosmopolitan capital, London. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people line the River Thames to catch a glimpse of London’s world-famous midnight fireworks display. Before taking your spot on the riverbank, choose from thousands of food and drink options at South Bank. The vibrant, bustling spot offers a diverse mix of stalls, selling everything from candyfloss to cocktails.
Best for: Getting away from it all.
Where to ring in the New Year: Grill & Smokehouse at The Wild Boar in Windermere.
The Lake District is the perfect setting for those who want to get away from it all. Here you can mark the start of the New Year with a quiet, rural retreat or visit a large manor house with your nearest and dearest. The Cumbrian national park is home to stunning lakes and rugged mountains, making it the perfect destination for adventurers who enjoy hiking, cycling and getting out into nature.
Best for: Partying like it’s 1999!
Where to ring in the New Year: Cloud 23.
Manchester is a vibrant, bustling city that offers something for everyone. The city comes together to celebrate in Albert Square where a huge fireworks display kicks off 2020 in style. Across the city, numerous restaurants, bars and nightclubs host an exciting and eclectic range of New Year’s events. The Warehouse Project will host a line-up of the coolest dance DJs while the Manchester Concert Orchestra will provide a rousing soundtrack at The New Year’s Eve Gala at The Bridgewater Hall.
Best for: Festive fun and fireworks.
Where to ring in the New Year: Winter Wonderland at City Hall Lawn.
Cardiff’s magical Winter Wonderland is the perfect setting for a festive evening to mark the beginning of a New Year. Sip mulled wine in the apres ski-inspired Sur La Piste Bar, ride the rollercoasters at the funfair, glide across the ice rink or take a tour of the site on the brand new 250m-long, open-air ice trail, to enjoy the city’s fabulous fireworks show.
Best for: Stonehaven Fireballs.
Where to ring in the New Year: Stonehaven high street.
Thousands flock to the small Scottish town of Stonehaven every December 31 to mark the New Year. Hogmanay is celebrated with Stonehaven Fireballs; the town’s traditional and unique fire and light show. As midnight chimes out, 40 men and women parade along the high street accompanied by drummers and bagpipes, swinging flaming balls around their heads before casting them into the harbour.
Best for: Tradition (and whiskey!)
Where to ring in the New Year: Bar’l fire in Allendale town centre.
If tradition is what you’re after, Allendale is home to the Tar Bar’l; a traditional procession and fire festival. Visitors gather in the town to watch 45 guisers, made up of local men born in the Allen Valleys, in colourful outfits carrying whiskey barrels filled with burning hot tar. The ceremony, which has been celebrated for at least 160 years, ends with the barrels being used to light the Bar’l fire in the town centre.
Best for: Ghost horses.
Where to ring in the New Year: The Corner House Pub.
The Mari Lwyd is an ancient tradition which used to be widespread throughout Wales but now survives in very few places, one of which includes Llangynwyd in Bridgend. Mari Lwyd (translation: ‘grey mare’) sees residents dress up in giant horse skulls, decorative bells and whistles, and parade around the area visiting homes.