If you’ve managed to escape seeing in 2014 with a hangover (well done you, please pass the fizzy drinks and bacon sandwiches) you really should tear yourself away from the sofa and get out into the city. A surprising amount of London is open on New Year’s Day and putting on some great events. Here are some of the best things to do on the very first day of 2014.
The annual New Year Parade covers 2.2 miles of London and begins at The Ritz Hotel. Some 10,000 performers take in London’s top attractions whatever the weather. It free and starts at 11:45 which might sound early to you party animals, but you’ll still catch some of the entertainment later in the afternoon if you sleep through lunch. More than half a million people are expected to attend the parade this year.
Carry on partying
If you’re really, really enjoying celebrating the New Year, then why not carry on? Try Jaded at Corsica Studios, Regression Sessions and Cargo in Shoreditch. There’s absolutely no need to stop dancing in 2014, it seems. Not even if you’re absolutely shattered and have to go to work on the 2nd.
The only day London Zoo shuts is Christmas Day, so why not go see the penguins and wish them a Happy New Year. (Make sure you travel on a paper ticket and pick up a two-for-one voucher from any main train station, it’ll save you £15 per adult!) They’re open until 4pm with the last penguin show at 1:30. And don’t forget the giraffe afternoon tea at 3pm. They will definitely have partied too hard the night before.
If partying for 24 hours straight doesn’t float your boat, then how about starting off 2014 with a health kick? The Brooks Serpentine 10k run is very popular (as is the more gentle 3k fun run) and a great way to start your getting fit resolutions. The 10k starts at 11am but for the fun run starts at the more fun-friendly time of noon. For more information on entering, have a look here.
Gone with the Wind
It won’t feel like New Year’s Day unless you’ve fallen asleep in front of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh doing their thing in Gone with the Wind. The BFI are showing the classic as part of the Vivien Leigh season. Take a cup of coffee. It’s a great film but that comfy cinema on the South Bank with its snuggly chairs might make you ready for a little New Year’s nap.
Get your culture on
Work off a hangover with an educational stroll around one of the London’s many brilliant museums. Most of the biggies are open on New Year’s Day, including the V&A, National History Museum and the Science Museum. See in the new year with some admiration of centuries-old treasures. Check the open times first though as some will close early that day. Museum staff get hangovers too you know.
Words by Sian Meades