London's New Year's Day Parade first started in 1987 and the annual event has since raised £1.5 million to help a wide range of London-based charities.
It's a huge event with a global appeal and features more than 8,500 performers representing 20+ countries. The parade winds through the city along a 2-mile route. You can expect to see marching bands, cheerleaders, dancers, acrobats and more. Around half a million spectators line the parade route to watch the entertainment (come rain or shine), and around 300 million TV viewers tune in to watch The London New Year's Day Parade throughout the world.
All 32 London boroughs submit a float to the parade and each is judged by a panel of foreign ambassadors and high commissioners to win money for local charities. The parade starts at 12 noon on Piccadilly (outside the Ritz Hotel) and finishes at around 3 pm.
Useful Information About London's New Year's Day Parade
- Aim to get to a viewing point along the route by 11 a.m. to secure a decent spot
- Celebrity commentators dot the route to introduce the parade performers so keep your eyes peeled for a famous face
- Pick up a copy of the Parade Post on the day to find out who's performing and when (they're usually available from the commentary posts or handed out by charity workers). The paper is free but donations are gratefully received.
The Parade Route
The 2-mile parade route navigates past the following landmarks:
- Piccadilly Circus
- Lower Regent Street
- Waterloo Place
- Pall Mall
- Cockspur Street
- Trafalgar Square
- Parliament Street.
See the parade route map for further details.
Nearest Tube Stations
On the parade route:
- Westminster (Circle and District, Jubliee)
- Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly, Bakerloo)
- Charing Cross (Bakerloo)
Near the Parade route:
- Embankment (Circle and District, Bakerloo, Northern)
- St. James's Park (Circle and District)
- Green Park (Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria)