13 best places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK
As we enter the new roaring twenties, why not celebrate this year in style and get your hostel friends together for an unforgettable night? Think fireworks, cocktails and dressing up fancy for New Years in the United Kingdom. There are some unique places to spend New Year’s Eve, including small towns with ancient rituals, big cities with exciting parties and everything in between! Our list covers the top 13 places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK. Get inspired and bring on the New Year cheer!
1. Edinburgh – the best place to go on NYE for street celebrations
Home to the annual Scottish Hogmanay Festival, Edinburgh is a popular place to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK. With major concerts, traditional Scottish events and a massive street party, it’s fun for all ages and kinds of travellers. The festival is held throughout the city centre and runs from December 30th to January 1st. Tickets for the street party are £31.50 each (£20.50 for residents).
Edinburgh also has some fantastic bars and nightclubs. Some of our favourites include Cold Town House, Sneaky Pete’s and The Blackbird.
If you haven’t got a heavy head on New Year’s Day, take part in the annual Loony Dook – where people run into the icy cold waters of South Queensferry in fancy dress (all for charity of course)!Compare all hostels in Edinburgh
2. St Ives, Cornwall – the best place to go on NYE for a classic celebration
Time to find your old Halloween costume, because dressing up is basically a requirement to spend NYE in this beachside town. Thousands of residents and visitors alike flock to celebrate by the beach in their fancy dress, all while admiring the legendary fireworks display. This wacky tradition brings the festivities to the streets with the ultimate party for all ages.
Cohort Hostel, St Ives gives seaside contemporary vibes to backpackers. With an onsite bar, it’s an ideal place to kick off the night’s major party!Compare all hostels in Cornwall
3. Allendale, Northumberland – the best place to go on NYE to experience ancient traditions
If you’re looking for some really unique places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK, why not give Allendale a go?
Every year, this small town upholds a tradition that involves 45 male residents carrying whiskey barrels of burning tar through the town’s streets. Known as the Tar Bar’l, it’s said to have originated in the Middle Ages! The town celebrates with music and dancing before the procession begins at 11pm. By midnight and to ring in the new year, the flaming barrels ignite the Bar’l fire in the city centre. Then everyone yells “be damned to he who throws last.” It’s a wild tradition that really needs to be seen to be believed.
If you’ve got an extra day or two in the area, the famous Hadrian’s Wall is not far and an amazing sight.
Stay nearby in Hexham at Newbrough Bunkhouse to be close to the festivities. To get to this cute town by public transport, there are direct bus links from Newcastle.Compare all hostels in England
4. Primrose Hill, London – the best place to go on NYE for a chilled one with friends
Central London can be lively, but a bit OTT on New Year’s Eve, so why not celebrate it in a chilled but enjoyable atmosphere? In North London, Primrose Hill is the best spot to view the city’s massive fireworks display while you sip on a few bevvies with friends. It’s a very historic area and the hill is next to Regent’s Park, which is immortalised in literature by William Blake and features Shakespeare’s Tree, a tribute to William Shakespeare’s birth.
From here it’s an easy walk to Camden for some killer nightlife. The Blues Kitchen and The Camden Assembly have awesome live music, and nightclubs like KOKO and Electric Ballroom are iconic.
Start and end the night at Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage. Wrapped in a traditional charm, this is THE place to start the new year with a bang.Compare all hostels in London
5. Isle of Skye – the best place to go on NYE for stargazing
Why not send the year off under the stars? Scotland’s Isle of Skye is the perfect place to spend New Year’s Eve in the UK, as you can stargaze till New Year’s morning. There’s no better time to reflect on the past and to look forward to the future than in one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the UK (and quite possibly the world). You can also explore some famous spots like The Old Man of Storr, Quiraing and Dunvegan Castle. So, layer up and get going!
Isle of Skye hostels are fantastic, but if you’re in it for the stargazing game then look no further than Skyewalker Hostel. It has a glass dome where guests can chill and admire the beautiful surroundings.
The Isle of Skye is quite the journey from Inverness or Fort William, why not hire a car and make a road trip out of it?Compare all hostels in Isle of Skye
6. Liverpool – the best place to go on NYE for quirky bars
Liverpool’s nightlife is great anytime, but on NYE it’s even hotter! So we think it is a super fun place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. This eclectic city is often overlooked in favour of bigger cities like London or Birmingham, but its bars and clubs really deserve some attention. Head to Concert Square if you’re in it for the long haul. Here, clubs like Modo and Level will keep you going till the early hours.
Some ideal bars suggested by our #HostelworldInsider Hope are Salt Dog Slims, Heebie Jeebies, Santa Chupitos and Some Place (a secret Absinthe bar)!
Stay at the chic Sleep Eat Love hostel – there’s an onsite bar and restaurant waiting for you! If you’re keen to start your NYE resolutions early, there’s also a fitness centre too!Compare all hostels in Liverpool
7. The Lake District – the best place to go on NYE for nature lovers
YHA Ambleside, Lake District
A visit to the Lake District around this time is popular with nature seekers. Let go of your worries and take the time to rejuvenate and reflect in preparation for the new year. You can walk around the hiking trails of the Lake District National Park, or even camp there and start the new year completely surrounded by nature! Complete the magical night by admiring the fireworks by Lake Windermere.
There are plenty of hostels in the Lake District that are located in charming country cottages. YHA Ambleside is a great base if you’re an adventure seeker – watersports and mountain biking are right outside your window!Compare all hostels in the Lake District
8. Brighton – the best place to go on NYE for a seaside adventure
The iconic Brighton pier is a lovely spot to welcome the new year, with the bonus of spending NYE around some awesome bars and clubs! Check out BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) where guests are encouraged to bring their own drinks for the bartenders to whip up a cocktail from. You’ll only pay a flat fee for a number of mixed drinks. Fun!
Molly Malones Irish pub is an ideal place to spend New Year’s Eve too. With a great atmosphere, live music and local beers, you might want to spend the rest of the year there. It’s also in the hustle and bustle of the city centre! If drinking isn’t your thing, why not ice skate at the spectacular Royal Pavilion for some wintery vibes?
Grab some bevvies, fish and chips and head to the beach as you wave goodbye to last year’s worries.Compare all hostels in Brighton
9. Llangynwyd, Wales – the best place to go on NYE to experience unique Welsh traditions
Fishguard on New Year’s Eve :Nat Morris
Venture out west to witness the bizarre tradition in the tiny town of Llangynwyd. But beware! This is a really wacky place to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK. Locals re-enact the ancient Welsh custom of the Mari Lwyd (or ghost horse – yes literally) wandering around the town. Residents dress up in giant horse skulls, decorative bells and whistles. More like Halloween we think!
Pembrokeshire is also a popular spot for people who want to break away from the busy cities over the holiday period. The seaside town of Fishguard holds an annual New Year’s celebration in their town centre, and it’s known as one of the best NYE street parties in Wales. Feast on street food and dance along to local bands, before watching the firework display as the clock strikes twelve!
The city of Swansea is not far from Llangynwyd. The Chapel House hostel offers a free breakfast and a common room, so you’re all set for New Year’s Day! The town is about a 45-minute car ride or a 1 and a half hour bus ride from Swansea.Compare all hostels in Wales
10. Birmingham – the best place to go on NYE to dance the night away
Looking for a social night out with a bit of dancing thrown in? In Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, The Church Inn run a free NYE party with an in-house DJ. Or stop by The Botanist for groove, funk and soul jams to carry you into the New Year. Then indulge in their delectable comfort food. Yum!
In a nightclub kinda mood? Check out Lab11, The Mill Birmingham (a renovated Victorian warehouse), and Tunnel Club to fuel your dancing needs. Need some fresh air but don’t want to miss out on the action? You can’t go wrong with fireworks on New Year’s. Head to Centenary Square for their annual display and enjoy a few bevvies with friends.Compare all hostels in Birmingham
11. Flamborough, East Yorkshire – the best place to go on NYE for Viking enthusiasts
Another fire festival to add to your list (it’s not ‘Fyre’ we promise). Flamborough’s annual NYE celebrations are rooted in Viking traditions. Flamborough Fire Festival involves events like the Flamborough Fireballs – where residents swing fireballs over their heads, and the Burning of the Viking Longship – where a wooden ship is set on fire to rid away the bad spirits and welcome the good ones. Not to mention there’s the classic fireworks show too!
Admission is a suggested £5 donation, but you’ll get in for free if you dress up in full Viking costume!
Stay in the nearby town of Scarborough. The Boat Shed Hostel is a converted seafarers warehouse and has a barn style atmosphere. Flamborough is about an hour’s car ride from Hull.Compare all hostels in England
12. Knole Park, Kent – the best place to go on NYE for outdoorsy types
Are you a nature lover with no New Year’s Eve plans? – fret no more! Knole Park is the perfect retreat. The National Trust now offer a guided New Year’s Day walk that will have you feeling refreshed for the year ahead. Along this wintery walk you may even come across some wild deer and native birds. The walk is free, and you’re even given a hot drink and cake afterwards!
Knole Park is only an hour and a half from London by public transport. Why not explore the capital city’s celebrations and stay in one of our London hostels too? SoHostel is in the lively hub of Soho!Compare all hostels in London
13. Belfast – the best place to go on NYE for an elegant evening
The Titanic Museum holds an annual New Year’s celebration, with live music, drinks and light food – you can party the night away like it’s the golden age! This cocktail attire event is £45 per person, it’s a bit of a splurge but assures an unforgettable evening! Head to Belfast’s cultural hub The MAC for a fun evening of dancing, singing and lots of drinks, with a Roaring Twenties themed party. All this and it’s only £17! If hanging in a bar sounds more like your scene, stop by the plush Rita’s Belfast for a sleek cocktail or two. For pubs, the Crown Liquor Saloon is the perfect spot for a relaxed NYE with friends, and Kelly’s Cellar is a great spot for a pint and to check out the traditional local music scene.Compare all hostels in Belfast
No matter where you end up, grab some sparkling wine, bring on the roaring twenties, live it up like Gatsby and toast to the year ahead! Where are you spending your NYE? Tell us in the comments!