Why not give 2017 a send off to remember by going on a staycation to celebrate New Year’s Eve?
There are plenty of options up and down the country to suit all budgets and tastes, from celebrations steeped in tradition, to family-friendly activities and parties that pull out all the stops. Take a look at The Money Shop’s top tips for the perfect New Year’s Eve getaway, this December.
Few places in the world celebrate the New Year quite like Edinburgh.
Their annual Hogmanay festival runs from 30 December to 1 January and includes traditions thought to date back to the Viking era. The festival kicks off with a torch light procession which illuminates the night as it winds through the city.
This year’s impressive list of entertainment includes Critics Choice award winner and ‘Human’ singer, Rag'n'Bone Man, as the headline act at the Concert in the Gardens. The festival will also include a street party, a candle lit concert and the Ceilidh Under the Castle, where you can take part in traditional Scottish dancing. The child-friendly options include a baby disco at midday and fireworks earlier on in the day at Bairns Afore.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Edinburgh castle makes a spectacular back drop for the festival’s fireworks.
You’ll need to buy tickets for the festival in advance. Entry to some of the events has an additional charge but there are free options too. Please visit the Hogmanay festival website for full details.
Don’t wait for the summer to enjoy Newquay’s glorious beaches. You can see a different side of the resort without the summer crowds and just because the temperatures have dropped it doesn’t mean the surf stops. Find yourself a warm wetsuit and head to the water, or if you prefer to stay on land, you could explore the nearby woodlands instead. Tehidy Country Park, Idless Woods and Colan Woods are all worth exploring and are each a short drive from Newquay.
On New Year’s Eve, the seaside resort really comes to life as crowds get into fancy dress and head out to the streets. Celebrations build up through the afternoon at Central Square and at midnight people congregate there to sing Auld Lang Syne.
Their free fireworks display takes place at Newquay harbour but you can watch the sky sparkle from several vantage points, including Watergate Bay, Great Western and Towan Beach.
For those who can’t choose between a country and a city break, Cardiff gives you the option to easily enjoy both.
The breathtaking mountains and waterfalls of the Brecon Beacons National Park are about an hour’s drive from Cardiff and make the perfect antidote to city life. Caerphilly Castle, which is the second largest castle in Britain (after Windsor Castle) is only half an hour away.
In the city, you’ll have plenty to entertain you, including galleries and museums, while the bay area is perfect for taking a break over lunch. You can keep the festive spirit going by visiting the Winter Wonderland which has ice skating, a fun fair, food at the Alpine Village and a Bierkeller (German beer hall).
Prices for a one hour skating session start at about £10 for a child and £15 for an adult on New Year’s Eve but this may vary depending on demand. You can buy tickets in advance and spectators can watch for free. You can buy tokens for the fun fair rides once you are there.
In the evening, there are lots of clubs and bars where you can get into the party spirit as you usher in the new year.
If you prefer a country break, then the Peak District makes an idyllic staycation spot.
Wrap up warm and head out to explore the beautiful landscape, which looks even more idyllic when covered in snow. There are plenty of walks of varying length to choose from. The 1.5 mile walk from IIam Park to the stepping stones at Dovedale is ideal for all the family.
There are also several impressive historic parkland estates nearby that are worth a visit. The landscape near Hardwick Hall has a 6-mile dog friendly trail with lots of wildlife and flora to discover. After exploring, you can reward yourself with a drink or two at a cosy country pub.
To celebrate with friends, you could rent a house together where you can party into the new year, away from the crowds.
Liverpool has one of the UK’s strongest party scenes with plenty of options for people of all tastes. You can choose between black tie affairs, live music and club nights to dance your way to 2018. Just be sure to get your tickets early.
During the day, head to the iconic Albert Dock, where there are plenty of world class cultural offerings. The world heritage site has the country’s largest collection of Grade I listed buildings.
Tate Liverpool currently has an exhibition featuring the work of the 60s pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, whose colourful comic strip inspired images are unmistakable. Learn about the city’s history at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the International Slavery Museum. If you plan on going to The Beatles Story it’s best to book ahead.
Experiencing New Year’s in London is certainly one for the bucket list!
Hearing Big Ben chime midnight and watching the fireworks at Victoria Embankment is synonymous with New Year’s Eve for many of us who watch it on the television but nothing beats seeing it in person. You are bound to be swept up in the party atmosphere.
In 2016, 100,000 people from 100 countries went to watch the fireworks. Tickets cost £10 and you can sign up for alerts to be notified when they go on sale.
If you’re not all partied out the next day, then head to the New Year’s Day Parade and watch acrobats, cheerleaders and marching bands pass through the heart of the capital.
London also has plenty of winter festivities going on, like the Somerset House ice skating and the National History Museum ice rink. Then of course there are all the galleries and museums to visit.
Hopefully, this list has given you plenty of ideas for doing something a little different this New Year’s Eve, to suit your budget. Now it’s over to you to take your pick and get planning your first break for 2018!