The UK is blessed with some of the most exciting New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. Across the country, you’ll find a brilliant selection of unique attractions to help bring the New Year in style. You could head to a seaside town in fancy dress, dodge flaming tar barrels on village streets or tilt your neck to the sky to marvel at stellar firework displays. If you’d rather escape the crowds, there’s also ample opportunity to get away from it all and reconnect with the natural world.
Fancy dress in St Ives
Best for: Getting dressed up
Each year on December 31, the idyllic harbourside town of St Ives is transformed into a rip-roaring fancy dress street party. Superheroes, cartoon characters and Cornish pirates fill the cobbled lanes and spill out onto the beach from 6pm onwards. After ducking in and out of the many atmospheric pubs and bars, be sure to find a spot on the seafront to watch the fireworks when the clock strikes midnight.
Featured property: Xenon is a two-bedroom luxury third-floor apartment with a private balcony that overlooks the magnificent Carbis Bay Beach on the edge of St Ives. Featuring a deluxe en-suite master bedroom with Juliette balcony and a comfortable twin-bedded room, this property would perfectly accommodate a family of four.
Walking holiday in the Lake District
Best for: Winter walks
Strap on your boots and head to the Lake District for a winter walking holiday among some of the National Trust’s most picturesque trails. Choose between a relaxing stroll around the shores of a lake or a more challenging hike to the snow-capped fells. Either way, you’ll find yourself confronted with the majesty of nature and enjoy landscape vistas that will stay with you long into the New Year.
Featured property: Sleeping seven across four bedrooms, Rose Farm is a stylish country cottage nestled in the pretty Cumbrian village of Dacre. Furnished with attractive wooden beams and traditional stone floors, it’s a wonderful base for a family, or group of friends, to enjoy all that the Lake District has to offer. Marshmallow toasters will be happy to note that there is a log fire in the sitting room.
Hogmanay in Edinburgh
Best for: Live music
Thousands flock to the city centre of Edinburgh each year to celebrate Hogmanay – the Scots word for ‘New Year’s Eve’. It’s a riotous occasion with live music, street parties and plenty of whisky. Savour the moment by linking arms with loved ones to sing Robert Burns’ classic poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’, as colourful fireworks fill the sky.
Featured property: Just a 15-minute bus ride from all the action in the middle of town, Manse Cottage is a single-storey holiday home with contemporary stylings. With one double bedroom and one twin bedroom, this pet-friendly property is well-suited to families and smaller groups.
Welcome the sunrise at Glastonbury Tor
Best for: Sunrise lovers
Steeped in myth and folklore, Glastonbury Tor is seen as one of the most magical locations in the UK. Legends of ancient ley-lines running beneath the earth and tales of visits from esteemed figures, such as King Arthur and Jesus, attract all kinds of spiritual pilgrims to this iconic hill. On New Year’s Day, a devoted collection of locals, tourists and druids climb the Tor to welcome the first sunrise of the year.
Featured property: Located in the small village of West Pennard to the east of Glastonbury, Foxglove is detached cabin with one double bedroom and a spacious open-plan living room. A sofa bed is available to accommodate extra guests. Just four miles away from Glastonbury Tor, this elegant property provides a comfortable base for sunrise lovers.
Winter Wonderland in London
Best for: Family fun
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a fun-packed, family friendly destination. London’s most festive attraction features everything from ice rinks and circus shows, to ice sculpting workshops and a giant observation wheel. The kids will love to spend New Year’s Eve watching acrobatic wonders such as Zappos Christmas Circus or Cirque Berserk. Parents will appreciate the Bavarian Village, with its traditional Bratwurst sausages and Bavarian Gold beer.
Featured property: Sleeping six in three bedrooms, Wilton Place is a tranquil abode right on the doorstep of Hyde Park. Adorned with gilded framed oil paintings, classical architecture and countless luxury furnishings, this artful home has a regal style to be appreciated over a glass of fine wine. Chatting with friends and family beside the magnificent fireplace, you may or may not decide to glance out of the window to regard London’s spectacular firework display.
Flaming tar barrels in Allendale
Best for: Fiery excitement
The quiet village of Allendale in Northumberland ignites into action on New Year’s Eve. Continuing a 160-year-old tradition, 45 guisers (local men) place flaming tar-filled whisky barrels on their heads and run through the streets. Crowds assemble to take in the spectacle, which culminates with the tar barrels being thrown into a fire in the town centre. It’s customary to shout “be damned to he who throws last.”
Featured property: Located just outside of Allendale, in the celebrated North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Meadowside Cottage sleeps four people in two bedrooms. The sitting room benefits from stone-flagged floors, an original church pew and a charming centrepiece fireplace.
A New Year’s Day deer walk in Sevenoaks
Best for: Spotting wildlife
Each year the National Trust hosts a guided New Year’s Day walk in Knole Park, which is home to a 350-strong herd of wild sika and fallow deer. You may decide to get an early night on the 31st. You may choose to venture out to one of Sevenoaks’ many fine dining pubs for celebratory food and drinks. Either way, a wildlife-spotting walk among the medieval deer park’s glorious green countryside is a nourishing way to begin the New Year.
Featured property: Sakers Cottage is a delightful detached Kentish Ragstone cottage furnished with a mixture of vintage and contemporary fittings. Sleeping two in an enchanting double room with a unique hexagonal window, this property is perfect for a romantic New Year’s getaway. You and your loved one will no doubt enjoy the complimentary welcome hamper of breakfast items, wine and cheese. You’ll also appreciate the short 10-minute drive to Knole Park.