Didn’t get a ticket but still want to catch the London New Year’s Eve fireworks? The Mayor of London has promised that this year will be a triumphant return and the best year ever, so you don’t want to miss it. There are plenty of alternative spots where you can still see the display and save the entry cost so layer up, fill your hip flask/thermos full of festive warming drinks and get up high for illuminated city views.
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.
Sitting just outside of the ticketing zone, between St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House and Bank, this is a great riverside spot to catch the London New Year’s Eve fireworks. Get there early, as it’s going to be very busy.
Nearest tube(s): Cannon Street (train), St Paul’s, Bank
Central London Bridges
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
Just a stone’s throw from raucous streets of Camden is genteel Primrose Hill. Take a short stroll over the bridge, up the pretty high street and up the 76m 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 it. There’s usually more space up there too.
Nearest tube: Belsize Park or Hampstead Heath Overground
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
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 watching the fireworks; there’s also Hilly Fields too for seeing the sky light up from south of the river.
Nearest station: Overground to Brockley
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 and there is strike action planned, so keep checking updates and advice from TFL and @LDN_gov Twitter before you head out. Sadly, TfL are not offering free travel this year (boo, hiss).
Check out our guide to New Year’s Eve Parties in London 2021.
First published Nov 18th 2019, updated Dec 23rd 2022