Trafalgar Square is generally considered not just to be the centre of London, but the focus of the New Year celebrations in London where thousands of people celebrate at midnight on New Year's Eve.
There are no formal events, since there's already a danger over severe over-crowding, and since 2005 there has been an annual fireworks display from the Southbank / London Eye, encouraging people to spread around a little more. Expect more than 250,000 spectators in the area.
The other great London tradition is to watch Big Ben strike Midnight (Big Ben is the name of the clock in the tower at the Houses of Parliament in Parliament Square).
Although there are many hang-overs on January 1, the New Year's Day Parade which has been held annually since 1987 with more than 10,000 musicians, cheerleaders and performers involved in the celebrations. New Year's Day is an official bank holiday (national holiday) so be prepared to find most shops and restaurants closed.
New Year's Eve: December 31st, 2013 is on a Tuesday
New Year's Day: January 01st, 2014 is on a Wednesday
Originally a Scots poem by Robbie Burns, "Auld Lang Syne" is sung at New Year gatherings across London and the UK
(but especially in Scotland), although very few people actually know what the words are, and what it means.
Almost every bar, club and venue holds a party at New Year's Eve, where entrance is usually more expensive than normal. The atmosphere at these events is usually pretty electric as everyone is determined to have a good time, and of course as it's London, there will be plenty of alcohol flowing. If you want to go to one of the bigger venues it really makes sense to book in advance.
Christmas and the Ballet
Christmas is fast approaching and I’m leafing through my Southbank Centre Classical Music guide, worrying that I might be far too late already for some of my most favourite performances
by Susann Laughton
see all xmas blog posts
William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey in London. What many people don't know is that the famous invasion that same year was actually blessed by Pope Alexander II.
Driving experiences, great as Christmas gifts!