New Year’s Eve is a bit like marmite: you either love it or you hate it. Some of us will undoubtedly be in bed by 11, having grown tired of listening to Jools Holland gushing about the promise of next year. Others will be dolled up, dancing, champagne in hand, watching fireworks and making the night last as long as humanly possible. Whichever one you are, NYE is always going to be the biggest night of the year, and we want to make it extra special, whatever way you want to spend it. So if you are still in search of an unforgettable evening, then come and take a look at these unmissable UK destinations for New Year’s Eve.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a world-renowned New Year festival which brings over one hundred thousand people out onto the streets of Scotland’s capital. The three day festival this year involves some fantastic ticketed events including a torchlit procession, a candlelit concert and ceilidhs (Scottish dancing to you and I). Oh, and it also has one of the world’s biggest New Year firework displays!
Whilst perhaps not quite on the same scale as Edinburgh, Looe has quite a tradition behind it and is consistently ranked in the top 5 places in the UK to see in the New Year. The small Cornish town hosts a free party where fancy dress is about as close to compulsory as you can get. With two evening firework displays, one at 6pm for children and the main event at midnight, the atmosphere in Looe is always electric.
While the majority of us are content to simply raise a glass on New Year’s Eve, the men of the Allendale by tradition look to raise something else. As part of this celebration, they will be raising burning barrels filled with tar, kindling, paraffin and sawdust over their heads. The Tar Barl Festival has for, over 100 years, brought the normally reserved Northumberland village out onto the streets at New Year’s Eve. Allendale locals, as well as thousands of visitors, are transfixed each year by the spectacular procession of barrel-carriers. It is quite a sight!
St Ives, Cornwall
Known primarily as a summer destination, St Ives has managed to adapt its image and bring in the visitors during the winter as well thanks to its ever-popular New Year’s Eve celebrations. Now one of the best known of any UK parties, the streets and bars of this Cornish town come alive with plentiful entertainment, fireworks and of course fancy dress.
Back in 1984, 17 residents of Saundersfoot went on for a sea swim to raise money to local charitable causes. 35 years later, the tradition continues as every New Year’s Day over 1,000 residents brush off their hangovers with a blast in the icy waters. Raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity each year, the swim is a fantastic way to welcome in the New Year. Brrrrr!