This event has already taken place
Celebrate the end of London’s year like no other and welcome 2013 with a bang, watching the Mayor’s spectacular, free New Year’s Eve fireworks.
The night skies will be a blaze of light and colour on Monday 31 December 2012 with a display of stunning pyrotechnics by the London Eye on the famous South Bank.
To get you in the mood, here’s how London welcomed in 2012:
All you need to help you plan your journey and get there and back safely.
Getting to the fireworks
We strongly recommend that you use public transport. Many roads and bridges will close to traffic from 5pm on the day.
The Mayor is supporting free travel on all journeys from 11.45pm, on New Year’s Eve until 4.30am on New Year’s Day, on all Transport for London services - bus, tube, tram, DLR and TfL Overground services.
- Tube, Bus, DLR and TfL London Overground services: www.tfl.gov.uk/journeyplanner or 0843 222 1234
- National Rail services (fare charges apply) www.nationalrail.co.uk or 08457 48 49 50
Your journey may take longer than usual as you may have to queue and use different entrances at central London stations. Police, British Transport Police, stewards, TfL and National Rail staff will be able to assist you on the night.
Please note, 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.
View New Year's Eve Fireworks in a larger map
New Year’s Eve in London is great - but it’s also really busy so plan ahead. Think about:
- Travel plans before the fireworks
- Where you want to be at midnight
- Your journey home
No ordinary night
Each year around 250,000 people come and watch the Mayor’s midnight fireworks display on the banks of the Thames. The best viewing areas fill up about three hours in advance, and the areas around the river are always packed with people. Before deciding to head out you should consider how long you are prepared to stand around outside waiting for the display to start.
A great place to be
London is still one of the best places to be on New Year’s Eve. Pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs are open well into the night across the city. However, most pubs and clubs are ticketed entry on the night, so if you haven’t booked in advance you may find it difficult to find somewhere to enjoy a drink or eat both before and after the event.
Many people choose to bring in the New Year at home with family and friends. Visit London has a comprehensive list of events local to you over the Christmas and New Year period. You can also enjoy the Mayor’s spectacular firework show live on BBC1.
From 10pm, a live DJ will be playing hit tunes, party classics and new sounds in the run up to midnight.
As the clock strikes 12, Big Ben’s famous ’bongs' will be relayed across all viewing areas, before the UK’s biggest annual fireworks display launches from the EDF Energy London Eye to a specially created musical soundtrack.
Once the fireworks come to an end, join together with friends and strangers alike for a massed rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
The party will then carry on until 12:45am with a second live DJ set. Stay to the end and you’ll avoid the worst of the station queues too!
Large crowds can sometimes be uncomfortable and unsettling, so make sure you are fully prepared with the following tips.
- Access to viewing areas is controlled to ensure a safe capacity. One-way systems and road closures will be in place to ensure safety. Please follow signage and advice from stewards and police.
- Viewing areas will close once full; some close as early as 9pm. Do not attempt to access viewing areas after 10:30pm.
- If you see anything suspicious or an unattended bag, contact a police officer, event steward or Transport for London staff.
- Keep your possessions with you at all times. Pickpockets operate in crowds, so keep your valuables well hidden.
- Large crowds mean the event is unsuitable for buggies and for very small children.
- Wrap up VERY warm – you get colder than you think when standing still outside for several hours in winter!
- Stay together with friends
- Bring any medication you need with you
- St John Ambulance and London Ambulance Service will be there on the night if you feel unwell
- Bring water with you to keep rehydrated
- No alcohol, food or drink will be on sale at the event
- If bringing alcohol, bring plastic bottles or cans and drink responsibly. No glass!
The Mayor is supporting free travel on all TfL services from 11:45pm on New Year’s Eve until 4:30am on New Year’s Day.
There will be significant changes to regular tube and train services and you may have to use different routes or station entrances with specific queuing arrangements. Please plan your journey both to and from the event and follow directions from stewards, police or rail and tube staff on the night.
Be aware that London Underground, and other stations, may be required to close at short notice when public safety requires them to do so. The anticipated closure and reopening times of stations within and around the event footprint are noted below, but these may change on the night.
If closed for safety reasons, the following stations would reopen no later than 2:00am on 1 January 2013:
- Westminster: anticipated closure around 9:30pm.
- Temple Station: no direct access to the Embankment.
- St James’s Park: one-way system in operation, but anticipated entry and exit throughout the night.
- Holborn, St Paul’s and Mansion House: to operate as normal for as long as practical.
If closed for safety reasons, the following stations would reopen no later than 3:00am on 1 January 2013:
- Waterloo: large queues are anticipated after 12:10am.
- Charing Cross: exit only from 11:45pm for London Underground (operating as normal for National Rail).
- Embankment: exit via Villiers Street only. Closed briefly between 11:30pm – 12:15am. Access via Villiers Street only.
- Lambeth North: closed from 11:30pm.
Blackfriars: There will be no direct access to the viewing areas. National Rail are expected to be non-stopping from 7pm and anticipated changes of operation for London Underground, including short notice closures due to large crowds. In the event of a closure, it is expected to reopen by 1:00am.
Other stations on the underground will be impacted by New Year’s celebrations throughout the evening and stations may be required to operate differently to normal operations and may close at short notice. Expect long queues if re-entering stations post midnight.
For further details and to plan your journey visit www.tfl.gov.uk/journeyplanner or 0843 222 1234. Information will be available at all staffed stations.
Free travel does not apply on most National Rail Services. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 48 49 50.
When the fireworks are over, most people will want to head home. You may be required to wait at certain exit or junction points as the stewards and police disperse the crowds.
If you need to get a tube or train, consider walking part of the way or to a station far from the main viewing areas. If heading to Charing Cross, Embankment or Waterloo stations please follow signed routes to access them. A one way system will be put in place to ease overcrowding; however you may experience queues of up to 90 minutes.
Bus services leaving central London will be progressively withdrawn and diverted from 5pm and will return to normal from about 3am. After the event, buses will depart from Green Park station – for services to west London; Holborn station and Tottenham Court Road (Goodge Street station) – for services to north and east London; Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch and Oxford – for services to north and west London; Imperial War Museum, St George’s Circus, Vauxhall and Victoria – for services to south London.
The Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks would not be possible without the support of many different organisations and agencies. Special thanks go to the EDF Energy London Eye, Westminster City Council, the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, City of London Corporation, Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service, Transport for London, the Port of London Authority, The Shell Centre, BBC TV and Radio and event producers, Jack Morton Worldwide.