London is a great city to see in the new year, with so many attractions to offer, from famous landmarks to a quite dazzling range of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Of course there is the iconic Big Ben, which strikes the official midnight bells and represents the countdown focus for the whole world, positioned as it is on the Greenwich Meriden, marking the point from which everyone else measures their time.
I have actually London on new year's eve, and although it was quite a few years ago now it still ranks as one of my best. I have a vague recollection of a series of bars throughout the evening, then heading to Trafalgar Square where people were congregating to count down to midnight with their friends, with a few hardy souls even braving the freezing water of the famous fountains.
If you're in London on new year's eve then it makes sense to also stick around for the parade on new year's day, which is a spectacle well worth seeing. For full details of this year's parade, including the times, lineup and options for live online streams, visit here: London New Year Parade 2015
London's New Year's Eve parties are many and varied, with something to cater for pretty much any taste, and we're sure that new year 2014-2015 will be no exception.
The 2014 fireworks lasted around 11 minutes and we can expect similar this year - they take place on the Thames around the London Eye (now officially the EDF Energy London Eye - typical of London to embrace corporate sponsorship so gladly!) so anywhere along the river should afford you a pretty decent view.
One new development for new year's eve 2015 is that for the first time visitors will be charged to attend the fireworks display, with 100,000 tickets being made available costing £10 each. This is being promoted as a safety measure, but with crowds at previous events several times greater than the available ticket numbers there are sure to be many people left disappointed, so make sure if you're going you get your tickets asap - they're available from the 26th September and will be sold online here.
Note: There has been an understandably negative reaction to the decision to charge for the fireworks, with an online petition being set up you challenge the Mayor - you can add your name here.
One of the most popular diversions for those with a decent budget is to take a cruise on the River Thames, pretty much guaranteeing yourself one of the best views of the fireworks. We especially like the look of the New Year's Eve Party and Champagne cruises departing from the Embankment Pier.
The designated viewing areas are expected to be full between 9 and 10pm and will be closed once they're at capacity so be sure to get there early! Disappointingly the London Eye itself is closed from 3pm on December 31st, which is a shame as it would be an excellent vantage point - probably a health and safety thing!
You can also watch London New Years Eve Fireworks display from a variety of land-based vantage points. Watch the free fireworks from The Southbank, Westminster Bridge and Victoria Embankment, Greenwich Hill, Primrose Hill, and one of the several hugely popular London rooftop bars.
The big public music performance in London this new year is Queen and Adam Lambert Rock Big Ben Live, which will also be screened live on BBC1 hosted by Radio One presenters Greg James and Gemma Cairney. Tickets to watch this live are very much restricted so if you would like to attend you'll need to act quickly - ticket sales here.
Another top party taking place this year is The London New Year's Eve Ball at Battersea Evolution in the famous Battersea Park. This al-inclusive event includes a 5 course banquet, champagne reception, live music and entertainment including acrobats and dodgems! Should be an interesting evening - you can secure your tickets here.
London is regarded by many as the global capital for clubbing, with some of the best clubs, best DJs and new music. Recommended venues to try out for New Years Eve include Gem Bar in Soho, Tiger Tiger, Oxygen, East Village, Cargo, Cafe de Paris, Madame Jo Jos, Floripa, Notting Hill Arts Club and Pacha.
Places to watch live online:
There is usually coverage of the midnight fireworks on the BBC News channel, which you can watch live online if you're in the UK:
If you're planning on visiting London over the New Year period, then be warned it will be very, very busy and also quite expensive, so even more so than usual early reservation is strongly recommended - click here for the best London hotel deals.
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