Finally, the end of this topsy-turvy year is near and we’re already armed with our resolutions to kick off 2017 on a high (even if we only stick to them for a week). Whether you are glad to see the back of 2016 or sad to see it go, celebrate the occasion in the capital where there’s plenty going on, getting you ready to face the long month of January. To help us direct you around the city, we’re using the London Underground tube map, so you can easily make your plans and don’t miss a thing! It’s business as usual in London, so here’s New Year’s Day according to the tube…
Circle & District Line (the yellow and green ones)
If you haven’t yet heard about the New Year’s Day Parade, believe us when we say you won’t want to wait another 365 days for it! If you can drag yourself out of bed after a long night celebrating, you won’t be disappointed with the show that’s in store for you! The parade will be making its way across various locations in West London, so we advise the Circle or District line to Westminster (especially if you are staying with us in Victoria). From there, you will be right in the midst of all the action and can follow the walking performance through Regent’s Street and St. James’ Park. Starting at 12 noon (so you can have a bit of a lie in), the parade attracts millions of TV audiences every year due to its spectacular efforts to celebrate the new year. This time, expect a real extravaganza with 8,500 performers from over 20 countries taking the spotlight. Traditional marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats and some familiar faces from West End theatre will be bringing the energy to London’s streets and helping us feel less daunted about the year ahead. Also, give a wave to the Pearly Kings and Queens (or the ‘Pearlies’), a charitable society that represents working class culture in Britain, wearing pearl-decorated clothing that is signature to the charity. If possible, try to find your spectating spot early before the rush of everyone else as the 1st January is going to be an extremely busy day for Westminster!
Perhaps after you’re all paraded-out, jump back onto the Circle and District Line and head to Temple, where the beautiful Somerset House still holds its festive backdrop ready for family, friends or couples to glide around the winter wonderland… on ice! The grand courtyard from the 18th Century is the perfect setting for winter skating, no matter what your skill level. The 900-square metre rink is open until the 15th January, but is a lovely idea to spend New Year’s Day with loved ones. What’s more, postpone the Christmas diet for another day and treat yourselves to the tempting champagne afternoon tea or even stay for a delicious festive dinner and cocktails, definitely starting the year on a high.
Jubilee Line (the grey one)
Step out of London Bridge station on New Year’s Day and take a short walk down to Southbank where you’ll take your new year to new heights with the London Eye. Providing that you’re not too queasy from the mild hangover, the London Eye is open for business and is a great celebration for anyone of any age. At 135 meters, you can gaze down on the buzzing city below and rumour has it that on a clear day, you can see as far as Windsor Castle! After 30 minutes of stunning views, wander along Southbank where some of the festive markets are still standing and get a closer look at the magnificent London Bridge towering over the River Thames. From 1-5pm, the Ceilidh Liberation Front will be getting the crowd dancing to celebrate the new year at the Southbank Centre, so be sure to have the swing in your step ready as you pass by!
Just a little further back along the Jubilee Line is Greenwich, where yet another famous London Landmark is ready to welcome visitors. All-aboard the Cutty Sark perched on the water’s edge and discover its fascinating history as the fastest ship of its age over a century ago. Explore around the ship and learn more about the cargo she used to carry, before getting the chance to stand underneath all 963 tonnes of it! The Royal Museums Greenwich has invested great amounts in maintaining the wonderful attraction and also consists of a few others worth visiting. Take a walk to the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory or Queen’s House and continue learning of how Greenwich was the heart of maritime Britain.
Metropolitan or Hammersmith & City line (The dark purple or the pink one)
Over in Barbican on New Year’s Day is a traditional musical celebration guaranteed to get you into a light-hearted mood! The Barbican Centre is hosting the New Year’s Day Gala, a yearly show that boasts some of the greatest British traditional music from the London Concert Orchestra. Alongside melodies from famous classical names, such as Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Rossini, expect your favourites like ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ to send you singing into the new year!
And finally, how could we go without mentioning the essential activity of New Year that we all dread but love at the same time, sales! Hop back onto the Met or Hammersmith line towards Baker Street and be sure to make the most of the newly launched January sales. You could easily spend a whole day weaving in and out of all the shops through Baker Street, Oxford Street and so on, but be warned… January sales are not for the faint hearted!
We still have some £20 Harrods vouchers left ready to spend on the January sales! So, click below and stay before the 31st January and you can get yourself a little something to start your new year feeling great…