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Cmac3 Oct 18th, 2009 07:30 PM

New Years Eve in London with 3 teenagers - ideas?
Going to be in London for New Years Eve with three teenagers. Where do we go to see the fireworks, hear bands, etc. I heard there is a great street party like at Times Square. Where is this traditionally held? Is it worth trying to find a moderately priced hotel in this area or should we find a hotel elsewhere and tube in? Any suggestions on hotels (two separate rooms) with complimentary breakfast. I heard Best Westerns are always good. What about local hotels with little suites? Thanks.

jent103 Oct 18th, 2009 08:48 PM

I can't help with New Year's specifically (though I think I heard that there were fireworks, etc along Victoria Embankment? Someone else will come along who knows better, I'm sure, but that's somewhere to start Googling!). However, regardless of what you end up doing for the holiday itself, I would *strongly* recommend staying in central London if at all possible. There are several b&bs/small hotels along Belgrave (the Luna & Simone is often recommended). It's a nice area to stay and close to transport. My personal favorite area is Bloomsbury; there are a lot of small hotels along Gower Street and in the surrounding area. I stayed at the Morgan Hotel in June and would definitely recommend it unless you need an elevator (breakfast included there). You might also check out

flanneruk Oct 18th, 2009 08:49 PM

I've no idea whether America has a "great street party" at Times Square. But if it does, you won't find an equivalent in London.

These days, there's a substantial fireworks display on the Thames ( As long as there's no substantial low-lying cloud, this looks spectacular on television.

It attracts substantial crowds, mostly of revelling (the British euphemism for disgustingly drunk) Young People. These crowds are reputedly uncomfortable, and access to and from the viewing areas is slow (crowds build up relatively slowly, but getting away from the area after 0030-0045 can take a significant amount of time, with a access to number of local tube stations suspended for safety reasons. Attending the event isn't something you should do lightly. It has a good crowd and theft safety record - but once you're in the area, getting away isn't that easy

This is the ONLY public celebration. There's a fair amount of low-level public raucousness elsewhere on the streets, but otherwise most New Year stuff in central London consists of limited-access, overpriced, special dinners/club nights etc.

The overwhelming majority of London's grown up population go to private parties in each others' houses.

Practically any hotel in central London is equally inconvenient for the fireworks.

jent103 Oct 19th, 2009 07:07 AM

flanner, your description sounds about like what I've heard about the Times Square festivities! Except Times Square has a giant crystal ball drop at midnight rather than fireworks. And Ryan Seacrest.

Palenque Oct 19th, 2009 07:14 AM

On New Year's morning there is an American-style New Years Parade, featuring many high-school bands from all over the States - a big industry it seems getting these bands to fund raise to participate in London's New Year's Parade - organizers obviously reap huge profits - the parade has been pretty much of a flop as for getting locals exuberance up and has been lampooned by the likes of - but still it is good fun on a day when not much is going on.

The London Parade 2010
London's New Year's Day Parade. The greatest annual street parade. A free family spectacle in the heart of London to welcome the New Year. 12 noon. ...

Cholmondley_Warner Oct 19th, 2009 08:02 AM

New Years Eve in central London is a pretty grizzly experience. You won't be able to get in anywhere (all will have sold out months ago and be by ticket only). The streets are full of pissed bored people (never a happy mix) and there isn't a central event.

As has been managed there is a firework show - usually by the London Eye. It only lasts about 10 minutes and draws huge crowds which take a while to disperse.

We tend to go to our local pubs and/or friends houses.

janisj Oct 19th, 2009 10:37 AM

"<i>I heard there is a great street party </i>" Well - not really. Unfortunately, you heard wrong.

How old are the kids? Since you mention 3 teenagers, I'd guess at least some are young-ish. If so, stay as far away from the 'festivities' as you can. It will be a zoo of mostly drunken young-ish adults. Any decent viewing area will be scary crowded. And when tube stations get too crowded - they close them and you are stuck figuring how to get back.

If any of the kids are 18 - they can go out and get pissed (drunk) w/ the rest, but otherwise there isn't really a good place for a family to go.

Palenque Oct 19th, 2009 10:59 AM

Janis echoes what i experienced a few years back - or actually saw on tellie - well it seemed to be a great street party around Big Ben - thousands of mainly 20s type all with lager cans in hand and well having a great time - not a great family environment - how about a play - if they have them on NY Eve and book a restaurant or whatever.

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