Tickets for London’s big New Year’s Eve fireworks display sold out long ago, as happens every year.
Since 2014, after nearly 500,000 people appeared in 2013, the event has been limited to about 100,000 people for security reasons.
But if you wanted to get a taste of the show, there are still places where you can see the whole action free of charge.
The basic rule of thumb is if you can see the London Eye from where you are, you’ll be able to see the fireworks.
Don’t forget to check:
Sitting just outside of the ticketing area, in the middle St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House and Bank it’s an excellent riverside spot to catch the London New Year’s Eve fireworks, though get there early as it’s going to be super busy.
Nearest tube(s): Cannon Street (Railway Station), St Paul’s, Bank
The neighbouring bridges, Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge, are the nearest points to the action apart from Cannon Street. But get there early for the latter — no entry after 8 pm, and near Hungerford Bridge will be closed.
You can get clear views on The Millenium Bridge or Southwark Bridge just a little further along the river. Yet go out to Vauxhall Bridge or Lambeth Bridge for a bit more breathing room.
Nearest tube(s): Waterloo, Westminister, Southwark, Vauxhall
Similarly, Tower Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge are also near the fireworks and there is no need to have tickets.
Therefore to have a clear view of the event but haven’t managed to grab a ticket, these locations are great options.
Just a stone’s throw from raucous streets of Camden is Primrose Hill. Take a short stroll over the bridge, up the high street and up the 76 m hill for some of the best views in London. Go early to get a decent spot.
Nearest tube: Chalk Farm
Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath
Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath is the other big space with amazing city views in north London. It’s a little beyond Primrose Hill, but it’s worth the views. Typically there is more space up there as well.
Nearest tube: Belsize Park – Hampstead Heath Overground
The leafy choice in north London, Alexander Palace is further from central London and is therefore likely to be less busy than some other places. It provides panoramic views of the capital, including the fireworks of the riverbank area.
Nearest tube: Wood Green – or Alexandra Palace (Railway Station)
Hilltop views are not just to be found in north London, in the south, you can head up on high to Telegraph Hill. The Brockley/Lewisham area has two excellent spots for fireworks watching. There’s also Hilly Fields too for watching the fireworks display from south of the river.
Nearest station: Overground to Brockley
The park itself will be awful, but you can enjoy the stunning views from the top of Point Hill just off Blackheath Hill for city views and the display. Greenwich itself is also beautiful during the festive period.
Nearest station: Greenwich
Practical stuff on the night
The whole capital will be bustling on NYE, so keep checking updates from TFL and @LDN_gov Twitter before you head out.
Public transport is free between 11:45 pm on NYE until 04:45 am on New Year’s Day.