The New Year Parade in London is the largest of its kind in the world. Some people say that it dates back to the early 1920s, but the official first date for the parade was New Year’s Day 1987 when it was the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Big Parade. In 1994 it was renamed The London New Year Parade.
London weather doesn’t always co-operate, and some years it has been a bit wet, but that never keeps people away. People from all over the world show up to see and even participate in the events. This year it was my turn!
The Parade route
This year the parade route started at the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly. From there it passed by Piccadilly Circus, and on down to lower Regent Street. From there it continued to Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and ended at Parliament Square. In total, the route is about 2 miles or 3.5 kilometres long.
Location, location, location
The parade organisers put up some grandstand seating at Whitehall and Piccadilly. You can sit here, but there is a fee. Personally I prefer to find my own spot along the route. I have been to London a few times, and I already had a spot in mind, in Piccadilly Circus, across from the Statue of Anteros. This is, in my mind, the best spot on the route because the parade slows down to turn the corner and you get some excellent photo opportunities as well. Another bonus is that it’s very close to some excellent hotels.
Getting there on time, before 11:30am, really helps you get that perfect spot, and if the weather co-operates like it did this year, you are in for a real treat. There were ten thousand performers this year ranging from marching bands, to floats representing each borough of London. Picking the best was close to impossible as they were all amazing.
I’m really glad I managed to check out the London New Year Parade this year. Will you make it for 2014?