New Year's Eve should be the biggest and best party of the year, no matter where you are in the world. And with 2020 right around the corner, it’s time to start planning for your celebrations. But where should you go?
To help you find the best experiences this year, we’ve listed our top New Year’s Eve destinations for retirees, below.
Hogmanay is the Scottish way to celebrate NYE – and, boy, do they know how to put on a show. Expect four days of street parades and A-list musical guests. Then, in the morning there is the teeth-chatteringly plunge into the freezing Loony Dook (don’t worry about diving in yourself – it is very much a spectator sport).
If you don’t mind crowds, you can’t get more iconic than Times Square. Everything from the New Year’s Eve “Ball Drop” to the “Rockin’ Eve” spectacular is shared with an estimated one million people on this frosty New York street. Body heat certainly comes in handy, here.
The next entry for your bucket list is Sydney Harbour, a celebration seen by a billion people around the world each year. If you don’t want to party too hard, the Sydney Opera House houses captivating performances – many of which finish before midnight.
The whole Las Vegas strip is pedestrianised on the 31st, setting the stage for a raucous celebration. Not in the mood for all the neon and dance music? Head to any of the casinos, each of which will offer their own lavish take on New Year’s.
Dubai doesn’t do anything by halves – and when it comes to NYE, no expense is spared. Astounding fireworks rocket from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, as the clock strikes midnight – but not before an evening of fine dining and relaxing by the dazzling Dubai Fountains.
A romantic way to ring in the new year, the City of Love hosts a raft of elegant NYE celebrations. With the Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars your picturesque gathering points for the evening, you’ll certainly want to bring your camera along to this one.
The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens lets you celebrate the end of the year where an ancient civilisation began. To meet some locals and smash some plates, visit a local Bouzoukia to dance the night away to traditional Greek music.
You don’t need to follow the TV crews to get the most out of New Year’s Eve. Try these places which are much quieter – but just as enjoyable – as their popular counterparts.
While it isn’t commonly associated with NYE revelry, this vibrant, artsy city hosts a huge New Year’s party, with a titanic firework display on the beach and gatherings in almost every bar and restaurant.
Start the new year eating poppyseed cake and mulled wine below a medieval castle in beautiful Bratislava. Continue Christmas at a Slovakian festive market and finish up with one of the many street parades; stay for as long you like – many cater to revellers until 2am.
St. Ives, Cornwall
Tucked away on the Cornish coast is one of the UK’s best-kept secrets for New Year’s. Thousands flock to the town for its fancy-dress parade that ends on the beach - the closest thing you’ll get to a Caribbean street parade in the UK.
Antarctica comes to the Welsh capital in December. With musical performances galore and a gargantuan ice rink outside of the Civic Centre, you’ll be skating and singing until the clock strikes twelve.
This country may have the population of a small city, but they know how to put on a show. Icelanders gather around blazing bonfires in the hours before midnight, but it’s all just a warm up for the big event: come 12pm, the country goes up in lights as millions of krónas worth of fireworks erupt into the night sky.
Croatia is a cacophony of colour and carols come New Year’s Eve. Brass bands welcome in revellers, while the stunning sounds of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra countdown the final moments of 2019 with finesse.
Junkanoo is the foot-stomping NYE tradition in the Bahamas. Rather than standing frostily by an open flame, Nassau rings in the new year with an elaborate street parade, choreographed dance routines and classic pop hits ringing out on cowbells and goatskin drums.
Experiences closer to home
You don’t need to hop on a plane to enjoy a memorable New Year’s Eve. In fact, there are destinations on your doorstep which are every bit as exciting as Times Square.
Get a cottage
For a quiet one with your partner, family or friends, rent one of the thousands of cottages across the UK. Bring a bottle of bubbly to open at midnight and some logs for the fireplace to re-enact The Holiday in style.
Rent a boat
It might not be the most traditional way to experience NYE, but with seven thousand miles of majestic coastline to explore, there’s a raft of new experiences to be enjoyed in the UK. If you don’t have your sea legs, a canal boat is simple to operate – just don’t forget your winter thermals.
Go into the great outdoors
From the wild Scottish Highlands to the rugged hills of the Lake District, there is a plethora of outdoor options to enjoy during December. Either take a tent, book a cabin or try glamping with your loved ones to make memories you’ll never forget.
Alternative places for NYE in the UK
Wave goodbye to crowds and long queues when you try these alternative NYE destinations this year.
Port Lympne, Kent
A combined hotel and safari park, Port Lympne gives visitors access to animal-themed lodges. And before you start envisioning animal-themed wallpaper, it’s wilder than that; we’re talking lions, bears and tigers wandering around in front of your window.
Fort Clonque, Scilly Isles
This 19th-century sea fort sleeps 13 in gun batteries and soldiers’ barracks, all surrounded by crashing waves. With so many beds, it’s suitable for large families or groups of friends who want something out of the ordinary.
Gothic Temple, Buckinghamshire
Gothic architecture adds an eerie, ethereal feel to New Year’s celebrations – but don’t worry about jumping out of your skin; the most frightening aspect of this 18th-century country home is its jaw-dropping beauty. The perfect spot for history buffs.
If you are considering a luxurious New Year’s Eve in a far flung destination, then some of the money you could receive through equity release could help. For more information about how it can benefit you, get in touch today to speak with a local Equity Release Supermarket adviser on 0800 802 1051 or email us at [email protected]