Hooray for Hogmanay!

Celebrate the new year, Scottish style

There's revelry around the globe on 31 December, but it's north of the border that folk really let their hair down.

More than half a million visitors now attend the four-day Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh alone. The first two days of the new year are public holidays in Scotland, giving revellers plenty of time to recover from all the partying.

Edinburgh+

Torchlight procession

Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland's capital city kick off at 7pm on 30 December with a free torchlight procession and fireworks display. Proceeds from the sale of torches go to local charities. The word Hogmanay is thought to have originated from 'Hoog min dag', which means 'big love day' in Flemish-Dutch.

Rock concert

On New Year's Eve, West Princes Street Gardens host a concert from 9pm and some truly spectacular midnight fireworks. Lily Allen's the headline act this year, supported by Soul II Soul and Bjorn Again – playing against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Hogmanay Street Party

There's also a massive street party on the same night, with live music and entertainment, DJs, giant screens and outdoor bars. Why not join in The Keilidh – an outdoor ceilidh experience set within an exclusive area of the Hogmanay Street Party. A ceilidh (pronounced 'kay-lee') features traditional Scottish music and dancing, along with a Ceilidh Caller to teach you all the moves.

Glasgow+

Hogmanay

The main Hogmanay celebrations kick off in George Square, where there's an event for 25,000 ticket-holders. Join one of Scotland's biggest outdoor ceilidhs and enjoy entertainment, food, drink and plenty of Scottish music. There are arts and crafts for younger revellers, as well as storytelling and traditional dancing. Around 100,000 people take to Glasgow's streets on New Year's Eve, so the atmosphere is electric. There are also plenty of indoor events from concerts to ceilidhs and dances to DJ nights.
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Aberdeen+

Music and more

Take your pick from three events in Aberdeen on 31 December. There's a Ceilidh Supper in the Beach Ballroom, featuring music and more, and a Hogmanay Concert at the Music Hall.

Whichever you choose, everyone can enjoy a stunning free fireworks display at midnight from the roof of His Majesty's Theatre, in the heart of the city.

Stirling+

Stirling Hogmanay

The new year is seen in on the esplanade of Stirling Castle with entertainment from The Waterboys, Skerryvore, JJ Gilmour and Model Aeroplanes, and midnight fireworks

Inverness+

Winter wonder

Hogmanay is the pinnacle of the Inverness Winter Festival. Hosted by comedian Craig Hill, this year's free Red Hot Highland Fling extravaganza features special guests Julie Fowlis and Manran. Gates open at 8.30pm and there’s space for 10,000 revellers.

Manchester+

Camerata Gala Concert

Welcome in the new year at Bridgewater Hall with a celebration of musical theatre. Tap your toes to some popular West End show tunes, performed by stars of the stage accompanied by an orchestra, before the night concludes with a Last Night of the Proms finale.

Midlands+

Family fun at Alton Towers

Those with little ones can celebrate the new year as a family, at Alton Towers Resort. These special break packages include use of the tropical waterpark and exciting children's rides. Indulge in the Alton Towers Spa or some ‘extraordinary golf’ while you’re there. A New Year’s Eve dinner is included, complete with a live band, plus brunch on New Year’s Day.

AA members enjoy big discounts on entry to a wide range of UK theme parks.

Newcastle+

New Year's Eve Carnival

The fun starts at 5pm on 31 December, and there's plenty happening to mark the end of 2014 and the close of the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival. The fun kicks off with the Winter Carnival – a parade of floats, musicians and dancers – before fireworks at Newcastle Quayside at 6pm.

Liverpool+

Swinging in the New Year

Join the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as they dedicate an evening to swing classics, on 31 December. Songs include 'A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square', 'Baby, it's cold outside' and 'ALmost like being in love'.

London+

On 31 December pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs open late into the night, and the streets of central London throb with people. Crowds line the Thames and congregate in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, going mad when Big Ben strikes 12. There are multiple road, bridge, station, and tube line closures so plan ahead – full details. Here's a taster of what's on across the city this year.

Thamesside fireworks 

To celebrate the arrival of 2015, a spectacular fireworks display lights up the sky above the London Eye at midnight. It's enormously popular, attracting large crowds along the Thames, and designated viewing areas fill up early. It’s all shown live on BBC One, but if you’d rather be at the heart of it then plan ahead. Celebrations continue until 12.45am with a live DJ set

Vintage New Year's Eve

Head to the Southbank Centre for a retro New Year’s Eve party to remember. The venue will be transformed into four floors of fabulous fun – from vintage nightclubs and live music to dance tuition and dining. All this plus the chance to watch the official London fireworks from one of the best vantage points in town – a private terrace overlooking the Thames.

The Comedy Store

If you're game for a laugh, why not see in the new year with good humour at the Comedy Store? Head to Piccadilly Circus for the best in stand-up followed by music and dancing. On the bill this New Year's Eve are MC Stephen Grant, Prince Abdi, Jarred Christmas, Romesh Ranganathan, Pete Johansson and The Noise Next Door. The fun starts at 6.30pm.

River cruises

Hit the Thames for a unique vantage point this New Year’s Eve. Choose from the Disco Cruise Party Boat, or a selection of voyages with Bateaux London and City Cruises.

The morning after

If you're feeling fresh enough, there's plenty to do on New Year's Day.

Cheer on your favourites at the New Year's Day Race Meeting at Cheltenham, or brave the Peel Dip on the Isle of Man.

Head to London for the New Year's Day Parade and witness more than 10,000 dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, musicians and performers assemble in the heart of the city.

Why not begin 2015 with a classical concert? The New Year's Day Viennese Gala, in Manchester, is a light-hearted affair at Bridgewater Hall featuring music from Strauss and more.

If you're north of the border, round off the holiday with Handel – there's a special performance of Messiah in Glasgow, on 2 January, courtesy of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus.