Unfortunately New Year’s Eve in London no longer means free front-row seats to the fireworks since our gracious mayor, Boris Johnson, has deemed us unworthy. Still there are plenty of pubs, clubs and street merriment to ensure London is still the place to be for New Year’s Eve.
Of course, drinks and possibly a night in a London hostel in this fair city can make things start to look pricey. So if you need ideas for cheap things to do on New Year’s Eve 2014 and free NYE parties, check out our shoestring guide.
Whether your budget will only stretch to popping open a bottle of prosecco while watching the fireworks from afar atop Primrose Hill or if you want to dance yourself silly at a headbanging club, we have plenty of suggestions for a cheap and cheerful NYE in London. We can even show you how to get home afterwards.
2014/15 New Year’s Eve Fireworks
As with every year, a monstrous firework and pyrotechnics show will follow the famous ‘bongs’ from Big Ben marking midnight. Unfortunately, it’s no longer free. Still, we won’t let that spoil our fun, there are ways of getting around this. Here are our survival tips for London’s biggest NYE event…
River Thames: Sadly you now will need a ticket if you you want to see the show up close from the banks of the river. The areas between Westminster Bridge and Embankment Station, Embankment and Temple Stations and on the south side of the river around the London Eye are all now premier spots that cost £10, and tickets must be bought in advance from here.
Nearest tube stops: Westminster, Embankment, Waterloo, Charing Cross
Primrose Hill: If you don’t fancy paying (good for you) and would rather avoid the central London crush, try clambering up Primrose Hill for a panoramic view across London – then you can take your pick of the fireworks! The area is not ticketed, just lug your celebratory clinking bottles to the top.
Nearest tube: Belsize Park
The best London clubs for NYE 2014 (free and cheap tickets only!)
Here are some London clubs that have hosted awesome (and budget friendly!) NYE events in the past. We’ll update as soon as we know more so watch this space…
White Rabbit at The Rhythm Factory
This New Year’s Eve, White Rabbit will be celebrating their 4th birthday in style at Shoreditch’s Rhythm Factory. The venue may look tiny from the outside, but walk through those double doors at the back of the bar and it’s like you’ve stepped into the Tardis. They’ll be inviting their favourite performers and DJs from parties past, including deep house legend Zaki and the talented COAM to see you through to 2015.
16-18 Whitechapel Road, E1 1EW | £15 (early bird) | Website
The Village Underground
So cool that if you licked it, your tongue would stick. This New Year’s Eve, Shoreditch’s premier industrial party space will be playing host to Krankbrother, who will be putting on a night world beating music in what promises to be an intimate but unforgettable party. Line-up includes Mr. G, Gerd and Ivan Smagghe and will be steaming on through to 6am.
54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PQ | £15 (early bird) | Website
All these picks so far have been rather ‘clean’, so if what you’re looking for on your New Year’s is dirty, dirty drum & bass, jungle and a bit of filthy dubstep, then you need to get yourself over to Scala. Three rooms of floor fillers, D&B anthems, old skool and acid house should keep you well entertained into the dawn.
275 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, N1 9NL | £20 (early bird) | Website
Queen of Hoxton
A straight up, badass disco is what the Queen of Hoxton will be bringing to those that venture East this new year’s eve. From disco to indie to electro, break out your best moves up on the roof or on the floor downstairs.
1 Curtain Road, Hoxton, EC2A 3JX | £15 | Website
Koko Club Camden
What better way to see in the new year than checking out the best new up and coming bands at the Club NME Ball in Camden’s grandest former ballroom (it’s all gold and red), Koko Club? Doors at 9pm and performances will be followed by DJs spinning floor fillers until the wee hours.
1A Camden High Street London NW1 7JE | £20 | Website
Unlike most sites, we don’t overlook the interests of all, obviously not everyone is wowed by electronic beats or the mockney wailing of the latest indie-wannabes. What some people need to start off their new year is some cold, hard metal, and you can get all you’ll ever need for free at Camden’s Unicorn. Running until 4am they’ll have a night of the best up-and-coming metal bands on the circuit, including Antisect and Dead Existence, followed by rock DJs to give you the start to the year you need.
227 Camden Road, NW1 9AA | Free | Website
Last minute NYE accommodation
With just over a month to go, now is not the time to get picky. However, we will do our best to keep the list of the best accommodation available for NYE below updated every week. Visit the HostelBookers website for more cheap London hostels and hostels and type in your travel dates.
The following properties have availability for a minimum of 3 nights from 30 Dec-2 Jan and prices are per person, per night.
The Horse & Stables Hostel still has space in its 10 and 8 bed dorms. Situated in the transport hub of Waterloo it’ll be easy to get around, made even simpler by the 24 hour tube service.
- Address: 124 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England SE1 7RW
- Cost: £57.73 pppn | Book
The Walrus Waterloo is another Waterloo based hostel offering excellent transport options and a pretty sweet pub downstairs in which to start your night. They currently have space in their 16 bed dorms.
- Address: 172 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England SE1 7RW
- Cost: Book
Saint James Backpackers lets you live it up this New Year’s Eve in flashy West London, but for no extra cost (less even!). The only problem is you’ll need to be a woman, as there are only female only dorms left at this point.
- Address: 21 Longridge Road, London, England SW5 9SB
- Cost: £53.45 | Book
- If last year is anything to go by, London NYE transport will be free between 11:45 and 4:30am on New Year’s Day bus, tube, tram, DLR and TFL Overground services.
- Word has it that tube will also run 24 hour!
- If you are heading to the river Thames fireworks, from 8pm-1am pedestrian access to Westminster Bridge is from south of the river only and the Golden Jubilee footbridges are closed from 8pm-12.30am.
- Visit TFL for updates.
London gets an unfair reputation of being unfriendly. This isn’t true most evenings and weekends, but it certainly is not true over New Year’s. So get involved, be merry and drink like only a Brit can drink.
Have any top tips for New Year’s Eve in London? Share them in the comments…
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Thanks to Michael Camilleri, Spakhrin, jtlondon, jaybergesen, MasterMan and YABPhotos for the images off Flickr. Please note, all images were suitable for use at time of publication according to the Creative Commons License