The end of 2015 is nearly upon us and you’re probably planning to see in the New Year by partying the night away.
Consuming copious amounts of booze and trying to find someone to kiss at midnight is pretty much a given, and you may be planning on welcoming 2016 while attending a friend’s house party, or even crying and eating bread alone.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit more wild this year, you may want to hit the town in one of the absolute “must be” places in the UK or Ireland during the end of year season.
From celebrating Hogmanay in Edinburgh, to skating in Cardiff or watching the fireworks on the Thames in London, there’s a heck of a lot of awesome ways to ring in 2016, instead of just watching Jools Holland and drowning your sorrows in a bottle of Jack Daniel’s (not that we’ve ever done that or anything).
Here’re 10 of the best towns and cities to be in on New Year’s Eve…
The classic place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Hogmanay in the Scottish capital features a three-day celebration from December 30 to January 1, including street parties and concerts. This year’s Concert in the Gardens event is headlined by Lily Allen. Outside of the music, there’s also the traditional events including flying balls of fire, torchlight processions and handsome men bearing gifts. Oh, and a heck of a lot of whiskey. There’s something for everyone, and it’s a NYE weekend everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
Fancy Dress, Newquay
If you fancy a wild night on the town on NYE, Newquay is pretty much the place to be, as it’s tradition for everyone in the city to dress up in fancy dress and get shitfaced. The local pubs, clubs and bars know the score by now, so there’s plenty of deals on booze and food for thirsty and hungry customers. At midnight, everyone gathers in Central Square to watch the fireworks and then everyone gets sprayed with fake snow by hoses outside Bar Help. Because why the hell not?
London’s South Bank
There’s a lot of eyes on London during NYE celebrations so why not be there to experience it all for yourself? The pubs and restaurants on the Thames are all geared up for the festivities and, as midnight approaches, you can watch the official countdown to 2016 on Big Ben itself, before witnessing first-hand one of the most impressive firework displays in the world on the London Eye. And, if your hangover isn’t too severe, there’s also a massive New Year’s Day parade through the city the next afternoon, featuring more than 10,000 performers from all over the world.
Fireworks, St Ives
The small Cornish town of St Ives gets pretty fucking wild on NYE, really cutting loose with thousands of revellers flooding the town and usually spilling onto the beach. There’s a running theme of people dressing up as superheroes as they check out the bars and pubs or hit up street parties on the seafront. The quiet town really comes out of its shell at the end of the December, with a carnival atmosphere to behold. The fireworks display at midnight is also pretty legendary.
The Lake District
If you fancy something a bit quieter to celebrate 2016’s arrival, the Lake District is tried and tested. You can chill out in a quiet country inn, eat awesome food and look out at the beautiful scenery. Plus, the local taverns tend to get a bit rowdy on New Year’s Eve anyway, if you still fancy checking out a party. You can even go for a pleasant walk on the hillsides on New Year’s Day, provided you haven’t had too many pints of real ale the night before.
Winter Wonderland, Cardiff
For something completely different, why not spend NYE skating on a massive outdoor ice rink in the Welsh capital? Each year on December 31, the Admiral Open Air Ice Rink boasts bright lights, funfair attractions and live music, as well as a spectacular midnight fireworks display. Although this one’s probably not the best idea if you’ve had one too many shots of tequila, as you might end up seeing in the new year in A&E.
Allendale Tar Bar’l Ceremony, Northumberland
The tiny town of Allendale comes alive on New Year’s Eve, with a freakin’ fire festival which is one of those bizarre yet awesome British traditions which has stood the test of time since it started in the Dark Ages. In this one, the local townsmen slap on some traditional Pagan glad-rags and carry whiskey barrels filled with burning tar, while chanting “Be Damned to He Who Throws Last”. They then toss the barrels into a massive bonfire and everyone celebrates by dancing in the streets, singing, kissing each other and getting pissed. Nice.
Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
For something a little different this NYE, why not celebrate it at 550 feet? The Spinnaker Tower boasts a massive NYE party on the top floor each year, so you can see in 2016 by drinking mojitos and eating canapés, listening to a live DJ, while looking out at the Portsmouth harbour. It also boasts the largest glass floor in Europe, because that won’t be terrifying to walk on after a few cocktails…
The Fireballs Ceremony in Stonehaven
More fire! Apparently the Brits really love their pyro on NYE. Each year at the stroke of midnight, the street is lit up as dozens of people stroll down the high street swinging fireballs above their heads. It makes those Catherine wheels in your back garden firework display look a bit shit. Plus, this one’s completely free, which is a bonus!
Drinking in Dublin
Another three day affair across the pond to celebrate the new year, just for the craic! The Irish capital is lively at the best of times, but things get taken to another level over the NYE period, with a festival of live music, comedy shows and various street events. Kodaline are headlining this year’s Countdown Concert, while everywhere from cafés and bars to Dublin Castle are hosting events during the weekend’s festivities. One thing we definitely won’t be doing is taking part in the New Year’s Day fun run. Because nobody wants to see us exercising after all those pints of Guinness, quite frankly!