Tickets for London's New Year's Eve fireworks are long gone. Even Ally Pally's have sold out. But you can still watch them for free AND get a drink nearby. Here's where.
The views from Parliament Hill (for pre-firework drinks we recommend a warming ale or cider at the Southampton Arms) are impressive, and although the fireworks are happening some miles off, there are plenty of posh people in the vicinity who'll be letting off their own rockets — cop an eyeful without paying a penny. We know you're smart enough to wrap up warm/bring a hip flask of brandy.
Tower Bridge (for drinks try the Dickens Inn — not the best pub but at least it's roomy), Southwark Bridge (The Lord Nelson) offers fantastic river views outside the ticketed area, but prepare to get there early (and remember Millennium Bridge will be closed). Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge will be less rammed as they're further away from the action. That said, once the fireworks are done, you can easily decant to cool parties afterwards, such as Camp NYE at the Eagle in Vauxhall.
In the City
Cannon Street (go for a pre-fireworks craft beer Pelt Trader) and Monument (the spacious Crosse Keys Wetherpoon is cavernous and the drinks are cheap) are popular destinations though you'll be giving up your personal space for proximity to the fireworks. Or just go to a party instead. Whatever you do, don't settle for the Hootenanny. You're better than the Hootenanny.
It's best to ring ahead for any of the pubs we've mentioned, just to double check when they close on NYE.