Didn’t get a ticket but still want to catch the London New Year’s Eve fireworks? There are plenty of alternative spots where you can still see the display and save the tenner entry cost. So layer up, fill your hip flask/thermos full of festive warming drinks and get up high for illuminated city views.

Big Ben Fireworks
Photo by istock.com/Oversnap

Crowds are pretty much a given wherever you plant your feet on NYE, but the basic rule of thumb is if you can see the London Eye from where you are, you’ll be able to see the fireworks.

Cannon Street

Sitting just outside of the ticketing zone, in the middle St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House and Bank it’s a great riverside spot to catch the London New Year’s Eve fireworks, though get there early as it’s going to be very busy.

Nearest tube(s): Cannon Street (train), St Paul’s, Bank

Central London bridges

London New Year's Eve Fireworks
Photo by iStock.com/chalffy

Apart from Cannon Street, the closest places to the action are the nearby bridges, which are Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. Get there early for the latter though—there’s no entry after 8 pm and nearby Hungerford Bridge will be closed.

Slightly further along the river, you can get clear views on The Millenium Bridge or Southwark Bridge. But for a little more breathing room, head out to Vauxhall Bridge or Lambeth Bridge.

Nearest tube(s): Waterloo, Westminister, Southwark, Vauxhall

Primrose Hill

Just a stone’s throw from raucous streets of Camden is Primrose Hill. Take a short stroll over the bridge, up the pretty high street and up the 76 m hill for some of the best views in London. Head up early to nab a decent spot.

Nearest tube: Chalk Farm

Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath

The other big space with incredible city views in north London is Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. It’s a little further out than Primrose Hill but the views are worth. There’s usually more space up there too.

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Nearest tube: Belsize Park or Hampstead Heath Overground

Alexandra Palace

A tried and tested cheapo favourite, probably one for those living locally as it’s a bit out of the way, and the fireworks will be more distant from here. But it’s perfect for those who want to toast the New Year without having to venture too far from home.

Nearest tube: Wood Green or Alexandra Palace Railway Station

Telegraph Hill

Hilltop views are not just to be found in north London, in the south, you can head up on high to Telegraph Hill. The Brockley/Lewisham area has two great spots for fireworks watching. There’s also Hilly Fields too for seeing the sky light up from south of the river.

Nearest station: Overground to Brockley

Greenwich Park

The park itself will be awful, but you can see the stunning views from the top of Point Hill just off Blackheath Hill to see the city and the display. Greenwich itself is also particularly pretty during the festive season.

Nearest station: Greenwich

Practical stuff on the night

The whole capital will be extremely busy on NYE, so keep checking updates and advice from TFL and @LDN_gov Twitter before you head out. The good news is public transport is free between 11:45 pm on NYE until 04:45 am on New Year’s Day.

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