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Free Things To Do On New Year's Eve In London

Updated: September 23, 2023
 By Margaret

Every year brings around the same old question, “What are you doing for New Years?” Well, if you are lucky enough to be spending the night in London on the 31st of December, then we've got you covered!  

Traditionally, the New Year is brought in with style in Westminster, with a fireworks display over the River Thames and the New Year Parade coming through on the 1st of January.  

For all the information you need to get your London New Year fix – just read below!

New Year's Eve Fireworks

The iconic London New Year's Eve Fireworks show takes place by the London Eye.

Though the very best locations for amazing views are ticketed, there are places around the city where you can see them for free.

Read our post to learn more.

TIP:  Transport on New Year’s Eve can be tricky, so it’s always best to consult the Transport for London website.

Westminster, Waterloo, and Embankment Underground Stations are nearest to the fireworks display but all three will be extremely busy. It may be worth considering coming from a station a bit further away and making your way on foot (think Charing Cross, St. James, or Temple).  

Once the show has finished, crowds attempting to leave the area will be massive – you can expect to spend up to an hour and a half just queuing to get into an Underground station and onto a train! So again – plan logistically.

New Year's Day

Bringing in the first day of the New Year is London’s 28th annual New Year’s Day Parade!  

There are expected to be over 10,000 performers taking part in the parade this year, including acrobats, cheerleaders, musicians, and more.

The Parade starts at Piccadilly at 12:00 and finishes at Parliament Square at 15:15.  

For those who don’t wish to stand along the route, you can purchase tickets for one of the Parade’s official grandstands – securing you a seat and a front-row view of all the action.

To see the parade for free, check out the parade route and decide where you’d like to situate yourself.

You’ve got a number of stations to choose from (Green Park, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, and Westminster).

London buses will have limited routes near the parade centre but it is possible to get close by on some routes (19, 9, C2, 24 for example).  But, as always, check the Transport for London website for more information!

Margaret’s Top Tip:

Here at Free Tours By Foot, we don’t have tours running on the 1st of January as it is a Bank Holiday in the U.K.  

But – fret not – both the weekend before and on the 31st, our tours are up and running! So before you break out the champagne, come and join us for a bit of cheer and a fabulously happy New Year!

About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: September 23rd, 2023
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