Top 11 places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK# Itineraries
The end is nigh… well, at least the end of the year not to be overly dramatic and maybe you’re wondering how to bid farewell to 2021 and welcome a shiny and brand new 2022. We’ve picked 11 places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK from romantic and quiet getaways in the countryside to joyful gatherings, of course, including Covid-safety-measures, across Scotland, England and Wales. All you need is a campervan suitable for winter use, which you can rent at PaulCamper and you’re ready to go!
Places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK – Scotland
In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is actually called Hogmanay which means as much as “Last day of the old year” and the festivities can last up to three days! Unlike the rest of the UK, Scotland has two holidays after New Year’s Eve which means that there is more time to welcome the new year and make Scotland a great place to go for New Year’s Eve.
Hogmanay includes great traditions such as the first footing. Scottish people are visiting their friends and families shortly after midnight to become the first person to enter their house. Traditionally, gifts such as coal for a fire or “black bun” – a dark rye bread – are given when visiting. But enough traditions, here are 5 places to go for New Year’s Eve in Scotland.
1. The Edinburgh Hogmanay
After being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, the Edinburgh Hogmanay is back this year! It is said to be one of the best ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the UK and is happening from 29 December to 1 January.
There are dozens of great celebrations happening in this time frame so be sure to get your ticket in order to participate. Join the torchlight procession through the heart of Edinburgh on the 30th of December and see the medieval streets being illuminated by warm light.
On 31 December, the Hogmanay street party is set beneath the majestic backdrop of the Edinburgh Castle featuring live music and a midnight fireworks display.
And in order to fight the hangover, join the loony dook on the 1st of January. On New Year’s Day, the Dookers parade is making their way through the high street to the River Forth at South Queensferry. Participants are taking the plunge into the icy river in a fancy dress.
2. Stonehaven Fireball Festival
Stonehaven lies on the northeast coast of Scotland near Dunnottar Castle and is a great place to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK. The Stonehaven Fireball Festival is not yet 100% confirmed, but is set to happen this year and includes a parade with kilted women and men marching through the main street and swinging giant fireballs.
Yes, you read right. Fireballs! As soon as the clock strikes midnight, the magic happens and the ceremony is supposed to ward off evil spirits for the new year.
3. Places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK – The Biggar Bonfire
As well as the Stonehaven Fireball Festival, the Biggar Bonfire is still awaiting full confirmation due to Covid, however, when it is happening it is gigantic. Biggar is a town in South Lanarkshire, in the Southern Uplands near the River Clyde and every year there is an enormous bonfire set up in Biggar town centre.
It is lit on New Year’s Eve at 09.30 PM and can get up to 20 feet high. Your feet definitely won’t get cold here.
4. Hogmanay in Dufftown
Dufftown is a burgh in Moray, is part of the historic Mortlach parish and is known as the “Malt whiskey capital of the world”. Get tickets to join the Hogmanay Ceilidh at the Commercial Hotel and gather with the community on the square shortly before midnight.
Drams of whisky and shortbread are shared in order to see the bells and welcome the new year. Both whisky and shortbread are courtesy of the local Glenfiddich distillery and the Walkers Biscuit factory.
5. Isle of Skye
Our fifth place of our places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK is the beautiful Isle of Skye in Scotland. If you’re looking for a quieter start into the new year, this is the place to be. And what to do? Stargazing!
From September through to April the sky is at its darkest and perfect for looking at the stars. Especially, when you’re travelling in a campervan. There are nine dark discovery sites across the Isle of Skye and you can either improve your astronomy photography skills or simply count shooting stars with your loved ones. Very romantic!
Places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK – England
There is no doubt that England has amazing locations to celebrate New Year’s Eve as well. From fiery festivals to crackling fireplaces and beautiful landscapes, there’s something in it for everyone.
6. Allendale Tar Bar’l
Allendale is a village and civil parish in southwest Northumberland and it hosts one of the most amazing fire festivals in the country which has been celebrated for at least 160 years for New Year’s Eve.
During the festival, 45 men are carrying flaming whisky barrels filled with tar on each of their heads and march around town before throwing the burning tar onto a prepared pyre in the town square. This ignites a huge bonfire at midnight and welcomes the new year. Definitely a sight to see.
7. The Lake District
If you don’t want to join a wild festival, you can swap burning whiskey barrels for a crackling fireplace in the Lake District, located in Cumbria. Enjoy the natural beauty of northwest England for New Year’s Eve.
Join the locals in Keswick and gather around the clock tower for a midnight countdown. Or if you want to celebrate with the kids, Bowness-On-Windermere is a great location. Gather at the lakeshore to watch the fireworks display and the glistening colours on the water surface.
8. Places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK – Newquay
Newquay is a town on the north coast of Cornwall and is not just known for its beautiful beaches and surf spots but also for its New Year’s Eve tradition. On the last night of the year, it is customary to wear fancy dresses and outrageous costumes while walking through the town.
Join the locals on their walk to the central square and the New Year’s Eve countdown, followed by a firework at the harbour.
9. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is a rural area in south-central England with medieval villages and beautiful rolling hills. It is perfect to enjoy a calm and quiet New Year’s Eve. Enjoy the picturesque English countryside and the delights of farm-to-table feasts at the local bistros and restaurants.
If you want to enjoy a stunning view you should definitely visit Broadway Tower near the village of the same name and enjoy the sunset. Or you could join the Blenheim Palace Festival of Lights. After dark, there is an illuminated trail going through the palace garden. Don’t forget to pre-book your tickets! The sparkling garden is open until 3 January.
Places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK – Wales
Wales is known for its rugged coastline, mountainous national parks, distinctive Welsh language and Celtic culture and our final two places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK can be found here. So get your campervan and let’s visit Wales!
If we’re talking about Wales, we can’t miss out on this national park surrounding Wales’ highest mountain Snowdon. Snowdonia is also a perfect place to have a rather relaxed New Year’s Eve enjoying nature and getting together for some comfortable evenings in your campervan.
There are plenty of winter walks and climbs, suitable for beginner hikers to confirmed trekkers. So how about a hike around the Lyn Llydaw lake? Relish in the beautiful and historic site with an amazing view of the countryside.
11. Barry Island New Year’s Day swim
Barry Island is a seaside resort, forming part of the town of Barry in the south of Wales. On 1 January there is a really refreshing New Year’s Day swim happening. You may not be able to participate since the registration is already closed and there are enough people that would like to throw themselves in the icy ocean but watching is just as much fun and warmer.
Bring some mulled wine to keep you warm and watch people running into the sea wearing a fancy dress. The swim is happening at 12.30 PM at Whitmore Bay.
These are our top 11 places to go for New Year’s Eve in the UK! Hopefully, we were able to inspire you and could help you with your plans for celebrating the last day of the year. If you’re still in need of a Motorhome suitable for winter use, check out our fleet and find your perfect campervan: