We are all different creatures with varying tastes, likes and ways to spend to spend our spare time. So, when that one big night comes around each year, begging to be celebrated, it can be difficult to decide how best to bring in the New Year.
The expectation can often become a little too much so many opt for a low key night instead – a takeaway and a film at home to escape whatever else is going on, perhaps even a drink in the local pub or a few friends over for dinner so that you can assure yourself you did something to celebrate.
But this year why not embrace the big night? Pack a bag and head off for a day or two, whether it’s a glitzy party you’re looking for, a seaside retreat or a smattering of adventure then we’ve got you covered. Read on for our top five places to see in the New Year.
Cosy – Brockenhurst, New Forest
Head to a spa, dine in one of the lovely restaurants to sample some local delights, sip a champagne next to an open fire and spend New Year’s Day embracing the fresh air and the calming sights of the New Forest with a muddy walk. Calm, cosy, relaxed and inviting a little hygge into your life, this would be a rejuvenating way to start the new year; refreshed and ready to tackle what 2020 has in store for you. It sounds rather dreamy doesn’t it?
Whether you decide to rent a cottage or stay somewhere like Carey’s Manor (great spa and restaurants) in Brockenhurst, where you don’t have to lift a finger, this village has a stay for you. Brockenhurst can be easily accessed by car (M3 from London) or train (1 hour, 40 minutes from Waterloo).
Seaside retreat – St. Ives, Cornwall
If a glorious seaside retreat is what you’re after, then St Ives could be the one for you. If you don’t fancy the 5-and-a-half-hour drive then hop on a GWR train at Paddington and kick back and relax; first class is lovely and the further west you go, the better the views. Once there, you can embrace the spirit by donning fancy dress, visit some local establishments and head to the beach to welcome in the new year with fireworks flowing.
The seaside isn’t just for summer, if there’s a storm brewing catch the show from the comfort of your hotel or home by the sea and watch the waves coming in with a warming drink in hand. Bliss.
Big lights – London
If you like to go big then can England’s fine capital city really be beaten? Head to Victoria Embankment and South Bank for the epic firework display, just be prepared for it to be busy. Visit Trafalgar square, Leicester square, wander the monuments, take in the lights and the Christmas décor and fantastic window displays of the department stores and just embrace this big city for all its extravagance. Head to one of the ice rinks at Somerset House, the Natural History Museum or Canary Wharf before taking in the dazzling light show on the Thames. With events across the capital you can make this night go any way you want it to – attend a banquette, ball, gala, party, concert, dinner or club and make the best of this big night in a big city.
Adventure – Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
For those of you who thrive on adventure then head to Wales for a properly thrilling time. Head out in the brisk weather for a spot of climbing, caving, gorge walking, quad biking, coasteering, kayaking, canoeing, mountain walking, paintballing and more. Whether you opt for a hotel with dinner and a disco or a comfy cottage to cosy up after a long day then you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Take a refreshing dip in the Afon Mellte on New Year’s Day with an organised canyoning experience, there’ll be no better way to refresh for the adventurers out there! Abergavenny, on the south east side is well connected, head to trainline.com for more information.
Party – Edinburgh
The top host of Hogmanay has to be the exciting city of Edinburgh. With entertainment galore in the form of a street party, concert in the gardens (this year Mark Ronson will be playing all the hits to bring in the new year), fireworks, Ronnie Scott’s Big band in concert and much more – street entertainment, a candlelit concert – you won’t know in which direction to turn.
Three days’ worth of events are planned, to include a torchlight procession on the 30th and a bracing New Year’s Day dip in the River Forth, known as the Loony Dook. This place certainly knows how to put on a party and, once you’ve celebrating this way, you’ll always want to return. The best way to get here, if you don’t fancy a long drive or train journey, is by air – direct flights from London take an hour and 15 minutes.