New Year's Eve fireworks London
Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben after midnight on 1 January 2015 Getty

Tickets for London's New Year's Eve fireworks display on the River Thames, one of the most spectacular events of the year, have already sold out. But although the 100,000 tickets available were snapped up in October at £10 each, there are ways to catch a glimpse of the event for free.

For those wanting to brave the cold to welcome in 2016, prime viewing spots can be found across the capital. Get there early in the day and be prepared with water, fizz and snacks – and be prepared to fight the crowds. Sound too stressful? BBC One will also be airing the firework display live.

Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Park in north London is an ideal spot to watch the fireworks, as there are likely to be less crowds. The easiest way to access the park is from Wood Green underground station. Wrap up warm and bring a blanket.

Cannon Street/Monument

Both of these central London areas are outside the ticketed zone and will provide a good view of the fireworks. Make sure you avoid Embankment, Waterloo and Charing Cross stations, which are all in ticketed areas. A word of warning, these are prime locations so expect large crowds.


Although far from the firework display, the royal park outside the Royal Observatory is a prime location to watch event thanks to its panoramic views across the city. You can walk to the park from Greenwich or Cutty Sark DLR stations.

Hampstead Heath

Further out from the city, Hampstead Heath is a fantastic family-friendly spot to watch the fireworks which is likely to be less busy than central London. The grassy public space is one of the highest points in London and runs from Hampstead to Highgate. Parliament Hill has the best views.

Hilly Fields

The highest point of Hilly Fields, located in Brockley in south London, has fantastic views across the city. You can get to Hilly Fields via Ladywell or Crofton Park stations. Head to Brockley or Honor Oak for a great selection of bars and pubs for a warm-up drink afterwards.

Lambeth Bridge

Lambeth Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge offer good, but slightly obscured views, of the fireworks.

Primrose Hill

Located on the northern side of Regent's Park, Primrose Hill is one of the highest points in London at 256 ft (78 m) high and offers views across central London. There will also likely be smaller, local firework displays on offer. The nearest tube station is Chalk Farm.

Tower Bridge

Just around the bend from ticketed viewing areas, Tower Bridge sees crowds gather to watch the fireworks every year. You could also try Millennium Bridge or Southwark Bridge – but be warned, it will be exceptionally busy.

See here for travel information around London over the New Year.