London New Year’s Eve fireworks 2023: Where to watch for free in the capital

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  • December 31, 2022
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Londoners will once again be able to ring in 2023 with a spectacular fireworks display in the capital, with crowds returning to watch the spectacle for the first time since before the pandemic.

The plaza in front of the London Eye will welcome 100,000 visitors as 2022 comes to an end, following more muted celebrations to mark the start of the year in 2021 and 2022.

It marks one of the last high-profile public events making a ‘return to normal’ after the end of Covid restrictions and most official guidelines.

Sadly tickets, which went on sale in October, have already sold out, with revellers paying £15 each to be able to catch the display from one of six vantage points in the city.

However, if you don’t want to miss out on firework action this New Year’s Eve there are other places in London which could afford you a good view of the display.

While most of these are likely to be busy also, they won’t cost you a penny, so if you want to see the fireworks, just wrap up warm and head to one of these alternative spots…

London Bridges

If you want a good vantage point from the centre of town, you could head for one of the main bridges – Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge should provide decent views. Bear in mind with the latter however there’s no entry after 8pm, while the others are likely to be pretty crowded.

If you fancy going a bit further afield you could also consider Vauxhall Bridge or Lambeth Bridge, while you should also get a good view of the night sky from Southwark or the Millennium Bridges.

Tube: Westminster, Waterloo, Vauxhall, Southwark

Cannon Street/Monument

Cannon Street and Monument – close to St Paul’s Cathedral – are a mere stone’s throw from the ticketing area, and it’s right by the river so you could be in for a good view. However, get there early if you plan to watch from here as it will get very busy in the run-up to the main event.

Tube: Cannon Street, Bank, St Paul’s

Primrose Hill/Parliament Hill

If you don’t fancy venturing all the way into town, head to one of North London’s best vantage points, both of which offer spectacular views across the capital.

Primrose Hill, which is 76m high, will give you a great spot to enjoy the bangs and whizzes and toast 2023 in style.

Meanwhile Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath is further out but higher up at 98m – allowing for some pretty unsoiled views of the display. In both cases get there early to beat the crowds.

Tube: Chalk Farm (until 9.30pm only), Belsize Park (Primrose Hill), Hampstead, Hampstead Heath Overground (Parliament Hill)

Greenwich Park

Another good option if you don’t want to head into town, you can get good views of the fireworks here, if you head to the top of Point Hill, which offers superb views of London. Once again it’s bound to be crowded so make sure you get there in good time.

Tube: North Greenwich

Alexandra Palace

A little further afield, but this is a good bet for north London residents who want to avoid the crowds in the centre of town. Be prepared for a steep climb to the top of the hill but the views you’ll get when you reach the summit will be worth the effort.

Tube: Wood Green (followed by W3 bus), or you can get the train to Alexandra Palace station.

Things to remember

If you’re planning to head out anywhere to try and see the fireworks, a few things you should bear in mind:

Admission to the main event is for ticket-holders only – those who do not have tickets will not be allowed in. The Government website has stated that people should not attempt to come to the event without a ticket, while the reselling or transfer of tickets is not allowed.

If you are planning to visit one of the above locations to watch the fireworks, make sure you get there early as they are likely to be crowded

Make sure also that you plan your journey before heading out: while the Tube is running all night, some stations, especially those close to the centre of town, will be exit only while trains may not stop at others after a certain time. Tube travel is also not free this year, as it has been in previous years.

Many roads around the centre of town will also be closed, meaning buses may be on diversion – while cabs are likely to be more expensive than usual.

Make sure you wrap up warm on the night – while temperatures are set to be less cold than they have been of late (the Met Office is forecasting lows of 10 degrees celsius in London on Saturday night) bear in mind you’ll be outdoors for several hours. So you might want to forego the New Year’s Eve finery and stick on a coat instead.

Those going to the fireworks are also advised to pack light, and take only what you need – which is also a good tip if you plan to watch the display elsewhere.

For more information on the main display, head to the New Year’s Eve section of the Government website, while you can use the Transport For London website to plan your journey to wherever you happen to be going.

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