Alternative New Year's Eve 2016: unusual places to party in the UK
Do your New Year's Eve parties usually end with more of a fizzle than a bang? Leave Jools and your sofa behind and see 2017 in in style. Here are nine alternative New Year's Eve events happening around the UK this December 31st for you to choose from:
1. The Junkyard Golf Club, London
London has some of the world's best New Year's Eve celebrations, but this winter, why not see in 2017 by scoring a hole in one at Europe’s coolest mini-golf courses? East London’s Junkyard Golf Club, which opened in summer 2016, will be holding a Glows Tribal New Year’s Eve party this year. Expect lots of neon, day-glo cocktails and plenty of delicious hot dogs to chow down on. Junkyard’s resident DJ will be manning the decks as you tackle the various obstacles, which include speed boats and washing machines. And in case you need to find a cheap place to stay in London once you're done putting and partying, here's our list of the capital's best budget sleeps.
Cost: From £9.50* per person
2. Great Gatsby party, Sky Garden, London
Get your (twenties-themed) glad rags on for this fabulously decadent bash, held at one of London's top bars. The night will unfold amidst the greenery of the gorgeous Sky Garden, a three-storey space atop 20 Fenchurch Street in London. There'll be plenty of delicious food and drink at this Gatsby-themed event, and a soundtrack provided by both the Sky Garden's resident DJ and the Juke Joints, one of London's best blues bands. And unlike many London New Year's events the fun doesn't stop once the clock hits midnight, because the party will continue until 2am.
Cost: From £95 per person
3. Skate, Somerset House, London
Ever watched Dancing on Ice and thought "I can do that?" Well here's your chance to shine. Somerset House is one of London's most popular Yuletide hangouts (largely thanks to the presence of one of the world's best ice rinks), but for New Year's Eve they're really pulling out all the stops. Nab a ticket to this event and you'll get a quarter-bottle of Fortnum's Rosé Champagne to sip rink-side - we strongly advise against popping the cork before your ice skating session unless you want to start the New Year in casualty. With unparalleled views of the Mayor's Fireworks, countdown to midnight atop Somerset House's Riverside Terrace. There'll also be no end of party food to help soak up all that fizz. Head to the ridiculously cosy Fortnum's Lodge for warming mince pies and fondeaux for midnight feast if you get particularly peckish.
Cost: From £7.50 per person
4. Cheval Three Quays, London
Sign up for the Cheval Three Quays' New Year’s Eve package and enjoy bells with all your nearest and dearest. Designed for couples, families and groups of friends (up to eight people) the package includes overnight accommodation at Cheval Three Quays' four bedroom Tower Bridge Penthouse, along with six bottles of chilled champagne and a fridge full of Fortnum & Mason goodies. Oh and a late check-out, because lets face it, no matter what your New Year’s resolution, there’s a good chance you’ll be starting off 2017 with a hangover.
Cost: From £10,000 per night per apartment
5. The Allendale Baal Fire, Northumberland
Looking for more traditional New Year's Eve events? Men carrying boiling pans of tar on their heads might not sound very festive, but it's actually an age-old ritual which is still celebrated in Allendale, Northumberland. The pagan ceremony has taken place on the stroke of midnight for hundreds of years. Locals dressed in elaborate costumes use their heads to carry whisky barrels filled with hot tar through the town's streets, and with each barrel weighing around 15kg, this is one procession best left to the professionals! Just before midnight the barrel-carriers reach an unlit bonfire and ignite it by throwing off their flaming headgear. The evening finishes with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne (of course), and hopefully no third-degree burns...
6. Steampunk festival, Leicestershire
All too often we experience that post-party flat feeling when New Year's Day dawns, which is why this four day event (December 30th to January 2nd) is perfect for if you're never quite ready to call it a day when Big Ben's done his dongs. The world's largest Steampunk festival comes to Leicester for the first time this year, and it's a celebration of Victorian sci-fi - think Mad Max on steroids. The festival will include a New Year's Eve gala ball along with themed afternoon teas, guided tours of the city and steampunk-related workshops and activities.
Cost: From £240 per person
7. New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival, Newcastle upon Tyne
This is one of the biggest New Year events in the UK, but the best bit? It's free! Enjoy a packed timetable of music and dance performances, and of course, an enormous firework display. But the main attraction is the parade, featuring the usual Christmas characters (fat man white beard) and some more unusual fellows. This year the parade has a Norse theme, so expect to see various fearsome beasts from Norse mythology. This family-friendly extravaganza, which winds along Northumberland Street before culminating in a grand finale at Newcastle Civic Centre, is the solution to your search for New Year's Eve events for families!
8. Liverpool International Horse Show, Liverpool
Looking for unusual things to do in Liverpool on New Year's Eve? Head to the Liverpool International Horse Show, which will be staging a New Year’s extravaganza to celebrate the end of 2016. Held in the spectacular Echo Arena, the show will be headlined by Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro. There’ll also be displays from some of the world’s top show jumpers, who’ll be launching themselves – and their trusty steads – over various models of famous Liverpool landmarks. And for ultimate cuteness, there’s the Shetland Pony Grand National. The evening will culminate with a breathtaking indoor fireworks display.
Cost: From £11.50 per person
9. New Year's Eve Wonderland Ball Gala Dinner, Celtic Manor Resort, Wales
If you're considering blowing the budget on a New Year's Eve party, make it this this event, held at one of Wales' top hotels the Celtic Manor Resort. You'll enjoy a lavish black-tie affair, including drinks reception, a five-course dinner with wine and a performance by acrobatic dance act Divine Company. The internationally-renowned string quartet Siren will then take to the stage, before the hotel's ten-piece band take their turn in the spotlight and count in the New Year. This party is an especially good deal if you're looking for New Year's Eve events with accommodation. The package includes an overnight stay, so you don't have to worry about finding a carriage at midnight, and you'll also enjoy a traditional Welsh breakfast to soothe your head on January 1st. And if you're looking for somewhere to clear your head on New Year's Day, then one of these beautiful beaches in Wales might be just the thing!
Cost: From £178 per person
Calling all party people! Keep the party going all year long, with these top places to party around the world:
Urbanites will love our guide to the best New Year party cities
Turn back the clock and check out the best party places for some old-school entertainment
2016 might be coming to an end but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop. If you love to party, make a New Year's resolution to visit one of these destinations in 2017.
*Published December 2016. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.