Where to go for a more memorable midnight this New Year’s Eve

Friday, 20 December 2019

It’s not long now until we welcome not just a new year, but a whole new decade. If you fancy a more memorable midnight than Jools Holland can offer through a TV screen, here’s our list of must-visit towns and cities and their best sights and celebrations this New Year’s Eve.

Skegness – Sea, Sand and Champagne

Costa del Skeg, as Skegness is sometimes affectionately known, is not bathed in sun this time of year. However, what ‘the Blackpool of the East Coast’ lacks in weather, it more than makes up for in quintessential British seaside charm. If you’re planning a visit over the New Year, there’s fish and chips to look forward to in the daytime (The Blue Fin on Lumley Avenue is highly recommended), plus a bracing stroll on Skeggy’s famously long, wide beach and impressive pier.

Top pick for New Year’s Eve: Family New Year's Eve Party, Richmond Holiday Centre

To join Skegness’ biggest family party this New Year’s Eve, head to Richmond Holiday Centre. For £10 per person (kids under-10 go free), there will be children’s entertainment, a buffet, live music and games and prizes with Richie the Rabbit. Find out more.

Or, if you’d prefer a less rambunctious New Year’s countdown, walk to Skegness Clock Tower – the resort’s most famous landmark – to watch the clock strike 12.

Book train tickets to Skegness.

Sheffield – Celebrations in the Steel City

In 2016, Sheffield was crowned the Real Ale Capital of the World thanks to its abundance of brewers (nearly five times more per capita than Greater London) and for starting the UK craft beer revolution. Kelham Island is Sheffield’s mecca for real ale pubs and an ideal spot for a great beer and lively atmosphere this New Year’s Eve. Kelham Island Tavern, The Fat Cat and The Riverside are all worth a visit.

Top pick for New Year’s Eve: The Ultimate NYE bar crawl wristband

If you prefer the idea of shots to sips of ale, the Ultimate NYE wristband guarantees entry all night to three of Sheffield’s best bars, all on Devonshire Street, which is a 15-minute walk or five-minute taxi from the station. For £15, you’ll get a mix of free drinks, free pool and free pizza at The Forum Kitchen + Bar, The Common Room and The Old House. Find out more.

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Nottingham – Queen of the Midlands

Christmas celebrations are already in full swing in Nottingham City Centre thanks to Winter Wonderland in Old Market Square – the largest festive event of its kind in the East Midlands, with Bavarian-style stalls, rides and the most expansive ice rink in the region.

If you’re in Nottingham on New Year’s Eve, visit the Alpine Ice Bar in Old Market Square for a great photo opportunity. Drinks are served in real ice glasses from the Vodka Bar, surrounded by giant ice sculptures and designs. Find out more.

Top pick for New Year’s Eve: Murder! At The Masquerade, National Justice Museum

Before hitting the cobbles of Nottingham’s night scene, how about mixing crime and cocktails at a New Year’s event with a twist? On the evening of December 31st, the National Justice Museum hosts a masquerade-themed murder mystery party in which the year is 1783 and scoundrels, courtesans and con men abound. The interrogation starts at 8 pm and concludes in the Grand Civil Courtroom, where the winner will receive a bottle of fizz. Tickets are £27.95 per person and include two cocktails (or mocktails), the murder mystery tour and a masquerade mask. Find out more.

If you like the idea of a masquerade theme but would rather focus on inebriation over interrogation, The Lacehouse cocktail and rum bar (a three-minute walk from Nottingham Caves and the National Justice Museum) is having their own masked party, complete with drinks, live music, DJs and dancing. Find out more.

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Lincoln – A Historic Night in the Cathedral City

Lincoln’s museums, galleries and historic houses make it a wonderful place to visit in the daytime, but the city also has a lot to offer at night. After the sun sets, both the cathedral and the castle’s medieval wall are illuminated, creating a stunning backdrop for your final photo of 2019.

Nightlife is spread across three main areas – the City Centre, the Brayford Pool and Bailgate – with a small but perfectly formed selection of bars, pubs and clubs. Cosy Club in the Corn Exchange is one of Lincoln’s liveliest bars and will host a roaring 1920s New Year’s Eve shindig this year.

Top pick: Robin Hood, New Theatre Royal Lincoln

For a show in the day, check out the New Theatre Royal Lincoln’s production of Robin Hood. It’s Lincoln’s longest-running traditional pantomime and stars Barney Harwood (Prank Patrol, Blue Peter) as the man in green tights. Find out more.

If you’d prefer to swap laughter and boos for a massage and snooze, book a treatment at Le Sanctuaire Clarins Spa Retreat. Set within a 14th-century building in the Cathedral Quarter, Le Sanctuaire offers a range of health and wellness therapies that’ll help usher in a relaxed new year. Find out more.

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Chesterfield – Family Fun in the ‘Gateway to the Peak District’

Even if you’ve never been to Chesterfield, you might have spotted its most famous feature from a train window – the church’s curiously crooked spire. It’s truly one-of-a-kind, but there’s more to Chesterfield than this unusual sight.

For the daytime, there’s a wealth of stately homes in the area worth visiting, including Renishaw Hall, Chatsworth and Bolsover Castle. More centrally, there’s Queen’s Park, a delightfully restored park with a café, lake and miniature railway.

For a hearty Italian meal to line your stomach before the New Year’s Eve festivities begin, try Ciuri Ciuri, a traditional family-run Sicilian restaurant which is a stone’s throw from the church.

Top pick for New Year’s Eve: Chesterfield Bowl

As the clock strikes 12, you can attempt your own strike at Chesterfield Bowl, a Tenpin Bowling Centre that offers 16 neon-lit lanes of fun, with a ‘Big Ben Bash’ party package available to families who fancy a competitive start to 2020. Find out more.

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Matlock Bath - Celebrate NYE in ‘Little Switzerland’

In the 1800s, Matlock Bath’s steep hills reminded Lord Byron of a ‘Little Switzerland’. Today, visitors are more likely to think of ski resorts while admiring the view from a cable car at Matlock Bath’s Heights of Abraham.

For a proper knees-up this New Year’s, you can’t go wrong with The Fishpond pub. Set in a limestone cliff-face, this traditional pub’s wood burners, artisan bakery and impressive range of beers sourced from local breweries combine to offer a cosy but upbeat free house experience. Find out more on TripAdvisor. On New Year’s Eve, there’s a live band with electric rock covers and plenty of pizza straight from the oven.

Book train tickets to Matlock Bath.