5 places to catch the major U.K. firework displays on New Year’s Eve

Dec 24, 2019

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To celebrate the end of 2019 — and the end of this decade — there are several places you can enjoy amazing fireworks displays around the country on the evening of 31 December. Here’s a handy breakdown of where and how to get there.

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London will bring in the new year with a huge fireworks display on the River Thames. Official spectator tickets have sold out — and it’d be very squashed anyway. But there are plenty of other ways to see the big bang, whether it is on a spectator boat on the water or high up in the Shard or from the Royal Festival Hall. You can find information on these vantage points here.

You may also know someone who has even a partial view of the event from their home or business, and you may be able to score a free ticket that way. If you would rather watch the event from the comfort (and warmth) of your own home, it will be broadcast live on BBC1 and on BBC iPlayer.


There’s a free event in Deansgate, next to Manchester Cathedral. Given there is no cost, it is recommended to arrive early to secure a good vantage point as large crowds are expected. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. with the show starting at midnight — and it’s alcohol-free.

Read more: 12 festive afternoon teas yule love

Fireworks go off above the city of Manchester. (Getty/yoJoebosolo)
Fireworks go off above the city of Manchester. (Photo by yoJoebosolo/Getty Images)


Newcastle has two free fireworks events — a 6:00 p.m. show for families and a traditional show at midnight. Both are on the Quayside, so there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs to visit beforehand — or to keep the celebrations continuing well into the night.


Edinburgh hosts the world famous Hogmanay New Year’s Eve celebration, which promises to “show the world how to party”. There are two separate fireworks above Edinburgh Castle — an early show at 6:00 p.m. for the whole family and then the traditional show at midnight. Tickets start from just £8.50.

Edinburgh Cityscape with fireworks over The Castle and Balmoral Clock Tower. (Image by Getty/Serge_Bertasius)
Edinburgh Cityscape with fireworks over The Castle and Balmoral Clock Tower. (Photo by Serge_Bertasius/Getty Images)


The Welsh city combines the last hours of the Christmas period and fireworks with a big show at the city’s Winter Wonderland for free this NYE. As the Winter Wonderland’s ice skating rink will be open through to the fireworks, it’s possible to ice skate with the spectacular fireworks taking place above. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free and it’s open all day — you’ll need an extra £15 for the ice skating though.

Read more: Christmas dinner traditions from around the world — and where to find them in London

Bottom line

Fireworks are synonymous with New Year’s Eve — but they don’t just happen in London. If you fancy venturing further afield, there are a few other cities that’ll be having an extravaganza of their own.

Featured image by Gettys Images/rclassenlayouts

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