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Watching London's New Year's Eve Fireworks Display

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London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display

For the thousands of people who come to London to bring in the New Year, there is no better place to hear the bells chime midnight than right next to Big Ben himself! Much as Times Square is the popular destination for New Years revellers in New York City, London’s hot-spot for official fireworks displays is right on the bank of the River Thames, just opposite the London Eye and next to the Clock Tower of Big Ben. It’s the UK’s largest annual fireworks display and, for the first time, the event will be ticketed this year, so it’s important to plan in advance.

So for those of you who are ready to brave the cold (and the crowds!) to see in 2015 down on the Thames, read on for all the information you need.

Ticket Availability and How to Get Yours

Tickets went on sale in September and have ‘sold out.’ However – all is not lost. Every day until the 15th of December, batches of tickets will be released at 12 noon GMT. They cost £10 each and you can book up to 4 tickets per person.

Get them from the official website: London NYE Fireworks

Where to go Without a Ticket

If you haven’t managed to secure a ticket…all is not lost! There are other spots in London you can position yourself to take in the display.

Cannon Street – Cannon Street is in the City of London, just down the river from Westminster. Standing in the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Cannon Street lies outside the ticketed boundaries and includes part of the Riverside Walk, which means it’s possible to get a space on the bank of the Thames.

Millennium Bridge and Southwark Bridge– The ticketed area will end at Blackfriars Bridge, leaving the Millennium and Southwark Bridges open to the public. Although this won’t provide a direct view of the London Eye, it will definitely provide you with a decent place to see some sparkle!

Lambeth Bridge – In the westerly direction, just past the Houses of Parliament, lies Lambeth Bridge. This bridge will be open to traffic but also has pavement space for those wanting a decent view.

Primrose Hill – In north London, on the edge of Camden Town, lies the beautiful neighbourhood of Primrose Hill. Named so after the park and hill of the same name in the centre of this London community, the Hill is a popular spot to watch London’s New Year firework display. Although this vantage point is far away from the display, views are still excellent as the hill here offers a panoramic view of the entire London skyline – and an unobstructed view of the display.

Tips for Visitors Watching the Fireworks

If you get a ticket – You need to be in your designated viewing area by 10pm and will not be admitted after.

If you are watching from elsewhere – We’d advise you get into position as early as you possibly can. London is crowded on the best of days, but New Years Eve brings out all the revellers throughout town so the early bird definitely gets the worm.

Alcohol laws – It is ILLEGAL to consume alcohol on public transport. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal to drink in public. So whether you’re hiking up Primrose Hill, or watching from Lambeth Bridge, feel free to bring some fizz to ring in the New Year!

Clubs and Bars – Most clubs and bars will require tickets on New Years Eve, so again, plan your visit in advance. It may be easier to bring your own drinks than to try to get into a bar around midnight – especially as London prices mean you could be paying serious £££ to get in.

Plan travel in advance – there will be huge road/bus/tube closures throughout the centre of London, especially around the London Eye area, so plan your route home in advance. Some tube lines will be running throughout the night – but the stations they stop at may be limited. Check it out for yourself: www.tgl.gov.uk

About The Author

Margaret

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.
Updated: December 3rd, 2014
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