Like everywhere else in the world, we love to celebrate New Year's Eve in London. The first thing you want to do is book a central London hotel – try Superbreak (buy direct) or compare London hotel rates on Kayak.
Note, Trafalgar Square used to be the focal point for New Year's Eve celebrations but nothing happens there anymore although there will be a large screen to see the fireworks happening the South Bank.
The big event for New Year's Eve 2012/2013 is the free fireworks display at the London Eye on the South Bank. The display will start after Big Ben chimes midnight and will last for around 10 minutes. Its popularity means it gets very crowded and will be limited to 250,000 people in the viewing areas. The best spots to watch the fireworks are from Westminster Bridge and the north embankment of the River Thames, opposite the London Eye, but they will be visible from across central London, as well as being broadcast live on BBC1. (Full details on the official site.
Clubs and Bars
As you would expect, tickets for London clubs are more expensive on New Year's Eve. Also be aware pubs often charge an entrance fee to try and control the numbers. It is best to plan ahead and get tickets in advance. See the Top 10 London Nightclubs.
Following the huge success of previous year's NYE events, IceBar by IceHotel London celebrates in style with a variety of party packages to suit everyone. There's a seven course supper club, and a swing band before the DJs take you deep into the night, or just join the party and toast the New Year with an ice glass. Find out more...
Situated within Westminster's iconic Millbank Tower, The London Sky Bar offers panoramic views of the capital from four floors of London's tallest riverside building on the Thames. Tickets start from £145. Find out more...
A luxury river cruise along the River Thames can be a romantic way to bring in the new year. Most boats plan to moor in sight of the London Eye fireworks at midnight so you will get the best view. Try these cruise companies:
- Where can you dine with King Henry VIII in attendance? At the Medieval Banquet in St. Katherine's Dock, near the Tower of London. Enjoy a banquet with live entertainment from King Henry's court. Plus you get to dress up too! There's a special New Year's Eve 5 course banquet with champagne reception and at midnight from £80 per person. Find out more...
- The Boundary Restaurant (where the Albion is) is celebrating their third anniversary with a party hosted in both The Albion and Boundary Restaurant. There's an early dinner or NYE dinner. Find out more...
- Bella Italia has some specialty Italian options for NYE.
- Iconic riverside restaurant, Le Pont de La Tour, has a 4-course meal followed by a private cruise to see the fireworks. Find out more...
- Planet Hollywood has a 'Hollywood Nights' NYE party with tickets from £50 per person for a party from 7pm to 3am.
- There are a few ice skating options for New Year's Eve 2012:
- The Natural History Museum Ice Rink is open till 1am for New Year's Eve/Day.
- Somerset House Ice Rink is 7.30pm-1am with Tom's Skate Lounge offering cocktails plus exclusive access of the River Terrace to see the fireworks.
Fetish BallIf you fancy breaking all your resolutions immediately, head on down to the Torture Garden (not) New Year's Eve Ball – the largest fetish ball in Europe catering for all your fantasies (private rooms available).
Southbank Centre NYE Party
A Vintage New Year's Eve Party at Southbank Centre is an extravaganza of music, fireworks, dining & cocktails.
Viennese New Years Gala
The Barbican has had this tradition for over 25 years. They invite you to enjoy an evening of family favorites from the Strauss family and friends. There's a daytime gala for the family and evening gala too.
New Year's Eve Travel
Free tube travel is usually available from 11.45pm till 4.30am. Use Transport for London's Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.
How long is there to go till London welcomes in the New Year? Keep an eye on this countdown site!