A Guide to Celebrations and Traditions: New Year

London’s New Year Extravaganza

In London, the arrival of the New Year is not just marked by the ticking of the clock but by a tapestry of traditions and events that make the celebration truly unforgettable. Here’s a glimpse into some of the noteworthy aspects of New Year celebrations in the UK’s capital, especially the heart of London.


 New Year Fireworks Display Over the Thames

One of the most iconic events is the New Year’s Eve fireworks display over the River Thames. The display takes place near the London Eye and is a spectacular show attracting thousands of people. Tickets are usually required for specific viewing areas.


 Big Ben’s Midnight Chimes

This timeless moment, broadcast on television and radio, signifies the official commencement of the New Year.

Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower Quick Facts:

Big Ben is one of the most iconic landmarks in London. However, it’s essential to note that the term “Big Ben” technically refers to the Great Bell inside the Elizabeth Tower, rather than the clock tower itself. Here are some key facts about Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower:


Location: Big Ben is located at the northern end of the Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament, in the heart of London.

Name Origins: The origin of the name “Big Ben” is somewhat uncertain. Some believe it was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, a commissioner of works during the tower’s construction. Others suggest it may have been named after heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt.

Elizabeth Tower: The clock tower itself was officially renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Great Bell: The Great Bell housed within the tower is the actual “Big Ben.” It weighs approximately 13.5 tons and was cast in 1858 at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

Clock Faces: The clock faces on each side of the tower are among the largest in the world, with a diameter of 23 feet (7 meters). Each numeral is about 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall.

Chimes: The distinctive chimes of Big Ben are known throughout the world and are often used as a symbol of London. The chimes are heard every hour, and the Great Bell strikes on the hour.

Construction: The construction of the Elizabeth Tower began in 1843 and was completed in 1859. The clock and the Great Bell were installed in 1859.

Height: The Elizabeth Tower stands at a height of 316 feet (96 meters).

Restorations: The tower has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years, including recent extensive conservation work to address issues such as corrosion and decay.

Symbol of London: Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower are iconic symbols of London and are often featured in photographs, films, and other representations of the city.


New Year’s Day Parade

New Year Day parade

London hosts the New Year’s Day Parade, a vibrant procession featuring marching bands, dancers, and various performances. The parade travels through central London and is a family-friendly event with  cheerleaders, dancers, and other performers from around the world. The route typically starts in Piccadilly and proceeds to Parliament Square, passing through some of London’s iconic landmarks. The parade is known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse representation.


 New Year’s Day Concerts

Several venues and theaters across London host special New Year’s Day concerts, offering classical music performances for those seeking a cultural and entertaining start to the year.

  New Year’s Resolutions

Similar to global traditions, Londoners also embrace the practice of making New Year’s resolutions, setting personal goals and aspirations for the coming year.

 Private Celebrations


Beyond public events, many Londoners usher in the New Year with private gatherings, parties, and dinners with friends and family, creating cherished memories to carry into the year ahead.

As traditions evolve and events may change, staying updated with the latest information ensures an enriching and memorable New Year’s celebration in London.

If you or anybody you know are thinking of buying, selling or renting in London then please book a complimentary appointment with Sam Akbay and start your property journey




Join The Discussion

Compare listings