New Year’s Celebrations across the UK

New Year’s celebrations have been occurring around the world for thousands of years. Here in the UK, we’ve a whole host of traditions and events to welcome in the New Year. Check out some of the best New Year’s celebrations that are taking place around the country.

Nos Galan Road Race

People are definitely getting a bit healthier these days, but who would’ve thought going for a 5k run on New Year’s Eve would become a popular event for adults and kids alike. Set up by a local runner to celebrate the accomplishments of the Welsh running legend Guto Nyth Brân, who was said to be so fast he could blow out a candle and be in bed before the light had faded, the Nos Galan race attracts thousands of people each year. It takes place around the town centre of Mountain Ash, just south of Merthyr Tydfil. There are races for adults and kids, as well as fairground rides and fireworks. This is quite the event and only seems to be growing in popularity.

Where to stay

Merthyr Tydfil

New Year’s Day Swim – Saundersfoot

Ooo, here’s a nice idea for new year’s eve. Why not plunge yourself into the freezing cold sea, in the middle of winter, dressed in the most inappropriate clothing you can find. Thousands of other people are doing it. Get yourself down to Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire and make a big splash into the new year. The event is for charity, and there’s a competition for the best dressed group and individual.

Where to stay

Pembroke Dock

New Year’s Eve Fireworks, London

The New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London feels like a tradition that’s been going on forever, but it only started in 1999 to welcome in the millenium. Now it’s known as one of the best displays in the world and attracts over 100,000 spectators to the banks of the Thames. It’s no wonder so many people turn up to see, as every year a not-so-small fortune is spent on the event. In 2018 the budget was a whopping £2.3m, so you can safely expect something a touch more spectacular than your usual back garden gathering.

Where to stay

London Central Marylebone

London Covent Garden

Edinburgh Hogmanay

Edinburgh knows how to throw a party, and there’s no holding back for the new year’s eve celebrations. A huge procession of flame wielding torchbearers marches through the city, flanked by pipers and drummers. The walk goes through the heart of Edinburgh Old Town, ending up in the gardens of Holyrood Palace where the procession will form the shape of two people holding hands. There’s also street party galore with music and dancing to the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Where to stay

Edinburgh Central Waterloo Place

Edinburgh Central

Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa is a mammoth event that takes place on the Shetland Island of Lerwick to mark the end of the yule season. On the last Tuesday of January, an entire community comes together in celebration, culminating in the burning of a Viking longship. Thousands of volunteers get involved to bring together this spectacle, and months are spent crafting incredible costumes and building a full size Viking longship. The event involves nearly 1,000 torchbearers, accompanying a full size Viking longship which is dragged through the streets. Songs are sung around the ship before torches are thrown in, burning the ship in an enormous blaze. This is a magnificent sight, and surely one of the best celebrations in the country.