New Year provides the perfect time for reflection, promise, determination and hope. As such, many people mark the occasion with a celebration – out with the old and in with the new. Beginning a new year in an exciting new city offers encouragement for a fun-filled 12 months and helps to foster the idea of fresh starts.
Waking up in a foreign place, ready to embrace the new year and beginning the coming annum with adventure, exploration and fascination is an enticing and exceptional way to welcome January 1st. The following guide provides details of some of the best last minute New Year breaks.
There aren’t many cities in the world that can compete with the offerings of London at New Year. The stunning capital of England offers a multitude of parties, ranging from low key event on the banks of the River Thames through to major national celebrations like those at The Natural History Museum or countdowns in Trafalgar Square.
The following day, visitors can immerse themselves in the exceptional activities of the city, including the New Year’s Day Parade which starts on Piccadilly at midday. Alternatively, stroll through the city and admire the amazing array of worldwide attractions whilst they’re relatively quiet.
Accommodation is booked up quickly though it’s entirely possible to benefit from a great deal. Hotels often reduce rates as the date gets closer and self catering options are available from companies such as Airbnb.
The rates for apartments or shared properties can be incredibly low and many guests will make lifelong friends through this way of booking. The added bonus of a getaway to London is that travel costs are much lower than a foreign escape and the city is host to multiple free events and non-ticketed parties.
There are a selection of last minute flights still available to some of Spain’s major cities for very low rates. For around £200 per person, return flights are available throughout the UK to destinations including Barcelona, the Canary Islands and Madrid. Spain celebrates New Year with food, drink, dancing and friendship, making for an excellent choice for those who want to eat, drink and be merry.
Take part in traditional activities such as ‘lucky grapes’, whereby individuals eat 12 grapes, one on each of the 12 seconds leading up to midnight. If they can successfully complete the challenge, they will have a prosperous coming year.
Cheap hotels and self catering options are readily available from an internet search. Be prepared to book slightly further out of the centre of towns and cities in order to achieve the lowest rates, but this will allow for bargains on some excellent and quirky accommodation options.
Street parties feature heavily in Spain and crowds gather in towns and cities to see in the midnight. This fosters an excellent atmosphere, though it is important to note that this may not be the ideal setting for children.
For those looking to journey abroad but without a lengthy flight, a trip to Ireland could prove to be ideal. Irish hospitality is recognised worldwide as being amongst the warmest and most entertaining. New year celebrations are varied and visitors can choose to opt for large city parties through to homely, traditional pubs with live music.
Ireland is a beautiful country with contrasting areas. Breathtaking mountains, stunning seasides and lush green spaces are all found in this sublime land. Visitors can also benefit from contrasting celebrations. Dublin plays host to large and lively parties with clubs and bars open well into the 1st January. Smaller towns such as Cork and Shannon are equally as energetic but arguably more cosy in their approach to the festivities.
Opt to stay in a self catering cottage or city apartment or aim for a hotel room in the centre of the action. Prices are more likely to be lower the earlier that you book, but many offer discounts for cancelled rooms or last second bookings.