Last year, as one of a couple babymoon trips, my wife and I traveled to London for New Year’s Eve. I’m not normally a big NYE fan. Loud parties bother me, and staying up late to watch the clock roll past 12 is something I can do every day — in fact, I can do it at noon. If you want to make a resolution to improve your life, do it today, don’t wait until next year.
But I do see all these big fireworks displays on television and thought I would like to attend one at least once in my life. London seemed a natural choice as it’s among the few international destinations from Austin and sits on the prime meridian.
Access to the fireworks in London is tightly controlled through relatively inexpensive tickets. You’ll be able to purchase tickets if you want to see this year’s celebration (or is it technically next year’s?) beginning at noon on September 27. That would be 7 AM Eastern Time here in the United States. Tickets are just £10 each. Some of the best viewing areas like ours sell out quickly (minutes or hours, not seconds), while others are around for much longer (hours or days, not minutes).
The experience turned out to be quite fun. We had tickets to the blue zone along the Victoria Embankment, and the fireworks were much bigger and more elaborate than I had anticipated. Our spot was directly across from the London Eye.
Our hotel, the Conrad London St. James, was within walking distance so we could avoid public transit. (Unfortunately it was also directly across from a tube station, and our room had poor soundproofing.) About the only real hassle of going out to see the fireworks was the relative lack of food and restrooms. I’m glad we made reservations to eat elsewhere in Covent Garden before walking down to the waterfront around 10 PM.
Looking for something more exclusive? Check out these other venues in London with a view of the fireworks.