London Fireworks on New Years
Start The Year Off With A Bang
2017 was an epic year of travel so it only felt right to start the new year doing just that! London made number 5 on Fodor's top 20 places to ring in the new year, so obviosuly I had to head to The Big Smoke!
things to know before you go
getting to london
You can easily get to the U.K. and London from anywhere in Europe. Depending on how far you're coming from, you may want to take a cheap flight from Ryan Air, or hop on the Bullet Train. But if your like us, we LOVE to have a car when we travel. It gives us a sense of comfort + control, so originally we looked into taking the Channel Tunnel. However this can be a bit pricy especially the closer you get to your travel date. After some quick "cheap ways to get from Belgium to London" google searches I found P & O Ferries on a Yahoo travel form!
This company is awesome - you have 3 options of tickets which can include wifi, flexible travel times, and other great deals! We traveled with our car to and from Calais - Dover for £53! It was great. The boat is also amazing and reminds me of a cruise ship! You park your car downstairs and head up to various lounges, a food court, bathrooms and shops. The food is a bit pricey and nothing that will blow your socks off, so I recommend bringing some sandwiches and snacks or checking out Costa Coffee in the terminal. We played cards, watched downloaded Netflix and even took a mini nap.
Getting around: the london tube
The city is kind enough to encourage a safe ride home on New Years so it offers FREE rides from 11:45pm - 4:00 am the London tube and London Train ! If you ask a tube worker or police officer, they might not have this answer (take it from personal experience) so don't stress about the information they do or don't pass along, I promise you it's open, running, and free! Make sure you double check before the trip and plan around the running times. If you are wondering how long you should stay in London, check out Darek’s post on that!
Watching Fireworks shoot out of the London Eye for New Years is just about as magical as gets here in the UK! However, this spectacular site is a 'paid' event. I am saying the word paid very loosely though - because all these pictures were taken from a ticket free zone! More on that in a minute. For now here is what you need to know about tickets:
How Much is a Ticket?
Tickets run for around £10 each and can be purchased starting in September here.
How many tickets are there?
Tickets are released in two separate batches, but both reaching up in the thousands. However, becuase London is one of the top places for New Year Celebrations you can expect those thousands to sell out fast!
Where does my ticket take me?
There are about 6 sections marked off for the thousands of ticket holders are guaranteeing a uninterrupted view of the show. However, each spot fills up with a crowd so if you want to be in front - get in line early!
about the show
Over 12,000 beautiful fireworks are put on display throughout the 15 minute show. Starting at 12:00am on January first you will see the London Skyline fill with one of the best firework displays ever. From a full range of colors, shapes, sizes, and types I promise you will not be disappointed. Fireworks are launched from the river bank and out of the London Eye all while Big Ben sings its famous song.
where can i see it without a ticket?
If your like me and one of those, 'hope for the best' kinda travelers then make sure you take notes! I am all for spontaneous travel, but London sure has this show on lock down! There are thousands of volunteers out blocking off just about every street that might possibly have a view of the show. This makes it extremely difficult to just mosey on up and expect to see the fireworks. After checking out a few of the mentioned 'Free Zones', we decided there had to be a better way! Rashawn spotted a perfect complex that had an open floor plan, and sat just high enough to have an unobstructed view. The exact location we watched it at was: Grindal Street London SE1 England! A few others joined us up there and a local mentioned it happens every year, but please respect the area and building as it is people's homes! Also, make sure to be in the area early - because like I said the streets are on lock down.
Other Free Vantage points:
- Millenium Bridge
- Tower Bridge
- Waterloo Bridge
- Primrose Hill
- St. Paul's Cathedral
what to expect
The London Fireworks are not a site to miss if you get the chance. Not only does this show gather thousands of people to the actually event, MILLIONS of viewers also tune into BBC to watch the Live Show Broadcast. If you do get a paid ticket to the event you will be close enough to hear Big Ben chime when the clock strikes 12! Obviously you can expect a big crowd, loud noises, and being cold! Winter months are a bit brutal on this side, and London is no exception. Wear lots of layers, bring a hydro with some spiked Hot Chocolate and do NOT leave that blanket at home - you will regret it!
The show is an amazing display. Every second is mesmerizing and better than the last. If you check this experience off your bucket list - tell me about it! Write in the comments or send me a message, I would love to know what you thought of this adventure! Wishing you all many blessings, good vibes, and lots of adventures this New Year!