London’s New Years Eve fireworks look amazing on the TV but what is it like to actually go and see them? I am not that keen on crowds but last year, it was decided to sell tickets to limit the number of people who could watch from Central London. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was a bargain. (This year, you can buy tickets here.)
The tickets are divided into four viewing areas and ours were on the North Bank of the Thames imbetween Westminster Bridge and Embankment tube. We went to Westminster tube and noticed two styles of attire on the way. People were either wearing black tie or thermals and a pompom hat. It was very well organised. Barriers had been erected around the Houses of Parliament and we were led right round Victoria Square where we had to hold our tickets up in the air in two pinch points and then back to where we started by Westminster tube but by now we were onthe other side of a barrier.
We had only taken some Quality Street and a bottle of water, (last of the big spenders) but we found that other people had taken chairs, rugs, hampers, bottles of booze, the whole caboodle really for a party. As we went through the entry gates and our tickets were checked, everyone was patient and chilled. the other side, there was plenty of room.
People were happily sitting, chatting, having a picnic or a drink in groups, others were parading up and down our area, there was dancing, music, selfie taking. We were well wrapped up and hadn’t realised there would be room to sit down or we would have taken some little mats. The jolly atmosphere continued as the Embankment slowly filled up and then there was a palpable change and you could sense a collective tension as midnight drew close. As we counted down to 2015 in tandem with flashing lights projected onto the Millennium Wheel, the sky exploded. The noise was tremendous and every one was awestruck by the drama, the colour and their sheer magnificence.
Coming home, quick, busy walk up Victoria Street lots of police. Different atmosphere between two rows of police on horses bidding happy new year. Station uncrowded. But few trains which were very busy.