IAN HART: Happy Hogmanay with amazing fireworks

After 35 New Year's Eves in Sussex, I took the plunge and saw in the New Year somewhere else.

Sunday, 8th January 2017, 3:00 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:13 pm
Ian Hart

The commander-in-chief, me and four friends travelled up to Gatwick on Saturday morning and flew up to Edinburgh for what is widely regarded as one of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. What I found was a vibrant and feel-good city, for people of all ages, not that different from Belfast, which I visited just over a year ago.

Manners cost nothing and the overriding feeling I got, as I did in Northern Ireland, was how welcoming everybody was, from the taxi driver who drove us from the airport, to hotel, bar and restaurant staff and the locals.

Without meaning to sound patronising, they seemed genuinely pleased to have us there, something that I sometimes find lacking when I visit London.

We had 48 hours of tip-top fun and entertainment. One observation, rather than a criticism, was probably they over-sold the street party event in Princes Street. One couple who we travelled with had been there five years previously and said what an amazing event it was. Unfortunately, this year they sold in excess of 80,000 tickets, so it was fairly snug.

Away from Princes Street, the pubs and clubs were still kicking, and having watched possibly the best firework display I’ve ever seen at midnight against the idyllic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, we spent the first hours of 2017 in a basement club rocking to Scotland’s answer to Chas and Dave. What I would say is for anyone thinking of making the trip is book early, we did and our flights and hotel booked last summer ended up less than the same hotel were quoting for a room last week!

Harty Junior went one better and ended up seeing in 2017 at Sydney Harbour. To get a good spot they had to get there at 2.30pm! But apparently it was worth the wait and like Edinburgh, and Worthing as I understand, a good time was had by all.


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