Patricia Bech: Places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the UK

By Patricia Bech

As we come towards the end of the year, there is much excitement ahead with festive celebrations on the horizon and the arrival of the New Year. The holiday season is fast approaching and there is so much to look forward to during the Christmas break. This is quickly followed by one of the biggest global celebrations, New Year’s Eve.

Patricia Bech writes about NYE
Patricia Bech suggests some places to visit for NYE celebrations

In the UK we are lucky enough to have some fantastic destinations where you can ring in the New Year. There are plenty of fireworks displays that take place across the country and also some other interesting events that you can attend. There are lots of parties where you can enjoy the evening with friends or family.

I love watching the sunrise on New Year’s Day from anywhere, but if you want to enjoy something special the night before, here are some of the best places to visit to mark the start of 2020.

Patricia Bech Sunrise Photo

City celebrations recommended by our travel writer Patricia Bech…


Edinburgh is one of the top destinations in the world for New Year’s Eve. It is renowned for holding the famous Hogmanay Festival and this city has a brilliant party atmosphere at this time of year. With Edinburgh Castle providing a beautiful backdrop to welcome the start of 2020, visitors to the city can enjoy music, fireworks and street parties. The atmosphere is electric.


You may have seen the amazing fireworks display that takes place in London on the television before, but there is nothing better than witnessing it in real life. The fireworks in the capital are spectacular and among some of the best. It is very busy and this New Year’s Eve celebration is packed with people wanting to get the best view of the display. Big Ben and the London Eye feature in the background. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants where you can catch a glimpse of the fireworks if you don’t want to get cold outside.


If you visit Cardiff for New Year’s Eve then you can still enjoy some of the festive attractions, such as ice-skating. The Winter Wonderland remains a popular attraction until after Christmas. The New Year’s Eve celebrations have some extra pizazz such as fireworks and a funfair. The local restaurants and cocktail bars all get into the spirit of things and give you the opportunity to enjoy delicious food, drinks and fun dancing.


Manchester is known as another place for having a particularly good fireworks display for New Year’s Eve. It is also a great destination to visit for all the family. The fireworks are set off in Albert Square and this is where the crowds gather. There is a countdown to midnight and a big screen is in place to help with viewing.

For something a bit different….


Away from the glitz and glam of the big city celebrations, Northumberland offers a more traditional take on the event. The Allendale Tar Barl Festival s a ceremony that takes place in the town. The centrepiece of the occasion is a colourful procession with over 40 men carrying whisky barrels with flames. The men dress in traditional costumes and touches are also lit. The barrels and touches are then all thrown into a big bonfire at the end with chanting from the crowds. This is definitely a unique way to welcome the start of the New Year.

Patricia Bech is a freelance travel writer who is based in the UK. She authors the Patricia Bech Travel Notes.