The last Christmas present may have been unwrapped, but that doesn't mean the end-of-year fun has to be over! In fact, the UK is one of the most exciting places to celebrate New Year's Eve, when destinations across the country host events ranging from fireworks to traditional ceremonies. So, if you need inspiration for where to spend New Year's Eve in the UK, check out our favourite spots for ringing in the New Year.
Edinburgh goes all out for New Year's Eve - known as Hogmanay in Scotland - where the city's official celebrations go on for three days!
The countdown to New Year's Eve starts with a torchlight procession on 30 December, where participants make their way from Edinburgh's Old Town to Holyrood Park. There are numerous parties on 31 December, including Hogmanay in the Gardens and Ceilidh at the Castle, concluding with a midnight fireworks show. The last big event on Edinburgh's schedule is the Loony Dook, taking place on 1 January. This occasion sees merrymakers in fancy dress walk through the streets of nearby South Queensferry before taking a dip in the icy waters of the Firth of Forth.
With all these events on offer, Edinburgh is the best choice for anyone seeking an activity-filled New Year's Eve experience. Be warned, though: it's a popular option so make sure to book your Edinburgh hotel well in advance!
Cornwall may be known for its stunning coastline and serene seaside towns, but St Ives happens to be a hotspot for New Year's Eve.
On 31 December, St Ives transforms into a town-wide street party, where spectators wear fancy-dress costumes while perusing the pop-up food and drink stalls. This event allegedly began when local pubs had an impromptu competition to see which of their guests wore the best outfit and this gradually grew into the big occasion it is today. St Ives' party attracts people from far and wide but still manages to retain its charming local feel. At midnight, revellers head to the harbour to watch fireworks.
St Ives gets busy during New Year's Eve, but there is still a chance to get some peace and quiet around the main event. Visitors can take the opportunity to explore the photogenic sights of Cornwall, such as the Lizard Peninsula and Minack Theatre.
Cardiff's New Year's Eve festivities go under the name of Calennig, which translates as 'the first day of the month'. There are numerous events to choose from, but one of the go-to options is to participate in the midnight skate at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland.
Winter Wonderland may have been primarily set up for Christmas but the action continues well into the New Year. Before your ice-skating session, go on the amusement rides or feast at the Alpine-themed market stalls. At midnight, Cardiff lights up with fireworks; the best vantage points include Winter Wonderland and the Civic Centre.
The next day, rent a car in Cardiff and head out to the nearby Brecon Beacons for a relaxing start to the New Year. This national park is an official Dark Sky Reserve, which means that visitors will get to see a natural lightshow come nightfall.
Hogmanay is observed throughout Scotland, but you can find one of the more unique New Year's Eve traditions in the coastal town of Stonehaven. A short drive from Aberdeen, Stonehaven is the home of the annual Fireballs Parade.
As the name suggests, the main event is a fireshow, where performers spin fiery wire cages while making their way down to the harbour. The parade is accompanied by drums and bagpipes, starting at midnight and ending when the last fireballs are thrown into the water; this is then followed by fireworks. For the earlier hours of the evening, you can attend a ceilidh, which is a Scottish gathering that features folk music and dancing.
If you're looking for something a little different this New Year's Eve, Stonehaven's parade offers spectators a truly memorable experience.
The UK capital's celebrations are famous, with London's colossal midnight fireworks display appearing on television screens around the world.
This event is so popular that you'll need a ticket to see it in person; attendees are assigned to official viewing areas along Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge or Westminster Bridge. Planning ahead is worthwhile, however, as the choreographed fireworks sequence is one of the best in the world. But never fear: if you miss out on tickets, you can also watch the show from participating venues along the South Bank.
There are other excellent places to see in the New Year in London, with the Natural History Museum, the Southbank Centre and the Barbican all hosting their own festivities. No matter what you end up doing, don't miss out on the New Year's Day Parade the next morning, which sees 8,000 performers make their way through London's West End.
This is the second fire festival on our list, but Flamborough's New Year's Eve event has a distinctive Viking theme.
The Flamborough Fire Festival is a nod towards the historical moment when this East Yorkshire village was invaded by the Vikings in the 8th Century. The evening's festivities include battle reenactments, a torchlight procession, fire dancing and a fireworks display. The main event, however, is the burning of a Viking longship; this ship is built by locals during the summer before being offered up to the bonfire on New Year's Eve.
It's an exhilarating family-friendly event, with spectators being strongly encouraged to wear their best Viking finery to fully join in on the merriment.
Other UK cities may seem like the more obvious choice for New Year's Eve, but Manchester is an underrated destination, especially for people who want to dance the night away.
Many Manchester restaurants and bars host parties on the night, but the city is known for its big New Year's Eve musical events. The most well-attended gathering happens at the Warehouse Project, which has a stellar lineup of DJs, ensuring that attendees will be dancing into the late hours. In Albert Square, crowds gather to watch the midnight fireworks that are launched from the roof of Manchester Town Hall.
Whether you decide to attend a fancy-dress party or celebrate with friends at one of the city's rooftop bars, you're bound to have a wild New Year's Eve out in Manchester.
For folk who don't want to attend a big event on the night, Northern Ireland is home to a hidden gem that's ideal for a calmer New Year's Eve.
The area around the Mourne Mountains is designated as an Area of Outstanding Beauty and the scenery here served as inspiration for author CS Lewis when he wrote about the magical land of Narnia. During winter, it will feel like you have these snow-covered mountains all to yourself, with many walking trails to enjoy at places like Tollymore Forest Park and Silent Valley.
The Mournes region is arguably one of the most beautiful in all of Northern Ireland and it's conveniently located only an hour away from Belfast. So book a hotel in Newcastle -the gateway town to the mountains - and enjoy the tranquility that comes with a New Year's Eve escape to the Mournes.
Are you ready to celebrate the New Year? Start planning your New Year's Eve UK trip today!