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Where to Watch London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display

By Lily Jones

Updated January 7, 2020 Updated January 7, 2020

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and if you still haven't made any plans, England’s eclectic capital city has plenty to offer.

London's main New Year’s Eve celebration is a spectacular firework display that takes place along the Victoria Embankment and South Bank areas, just a stone's throw away from the iconic Big Ben and London Eye.

Tickets have already sold out for this ever popular event but fret not! There are plenty of alternative viewing spots scattered around central and northern London that offer near-perfect views of the much-awaited fireworks display.

London’s bridges

If you haven’t managed to get your hands on a ticket to the main event, but still want to be at the heart of all the action, head to one of London’s many bridges. Although some will be closed off for ticket holders only, Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge and London Bridge are some of the closest alternative viewing spots along the river.

Offering prime viewing locations, these bridges can get extremely busy, so you’ll need to arrive painfully early or be ready to battle through the crowds to bag a prime vantage point. In the past, some of these bridges have even been cordoned off completely, so make sure to do your research a few hours beforehand to avoid any disappointment when you arrive.

If this all seems a little too hectic, you can head further down the river to one of the many other bridges that straddle the Thames. Lambeth Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge are around a 30-minute walk away from the ticket area and have proven to be much quieter in the past. As well as fantastic views of the night sky, you’ll find yourself with a lot more personal space and a less crowded journey home.

North London’s parks

Geographically, North London sits high above the rest of the capital, meaning its suburban parks offer some of the clearest views of London’s skyline, ideal for catching the midnight fireworks.

Some of the most popular spots for watching the fireworks are from Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath and Alexandra Palace, though there are plenty of other hidden spots to choose from. You’ll still need to arrive early to get a good spot here, but there are usually considerably fewer people to compete with.

If you choose to ring in the New Year in one of the north’s best parks, you’ll be treated not only with a view of the main fireworks display, but several smaller displays peppered along the skyline too. Boasting a much more relaxed atmosphere, you can even bring your own bottle of bubbly and enjoy a midnight toast!

Sky-high events

If you’re not quite ready to brave the cold and would rather escape the madness of the South Bank, there are plenty of indoor venues hosting New Year’s Eve parties that offer prime views over the river too.

While tickets to these exclusive parties can be very pricey, they are generally worth it as you’ll be able to watch the midnight show from the comfort of a heated venue, without having to battle for the best spot.

Wahaca and the Royal Festival Hall are some of the South Bank’s biggest alternative events, while The Shard and Sky Garden Bar (in the walkie-talkie building) are set a little further back from the river, but still offer a 360-degree view of the city and its New Year’s Eve festivities.

Thames River Cruise

A cruise along the River Thames is one of the pricier ways to ring in 2020 but it’s a guaranteed way to escape the crowds along the South Bank and enjoy unspoiled views of the fireworks. After all, watching the fireworks while floating alongside the city’s most iconic landmarks certainly makes for a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration.

While some of the more luxurious cruises include a three-course formal dinner, those hoping to dance their way into the new year should consider an open bar cruise, complete with DJ, dancefloor and even a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

This article was originally published in January 2020 .

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