"Join 1,000 other daredevils and plunge into the icy Forth waters...."

If you're still unsure where you'll be as the clock strikes 12 this New Year's Eve, it's time to get your thinking - and party - hats on. We've got three great ideas for enjoying that all-important evening: from pampering retreats to round-the-clock raves, the choice is all yours.

A stylish soirée

For a touch of class, pack your most elegant eveningwear and head for Middlethorpe Hall Hotel and Spa. A stone's throw from York train station and set opposite the city's famous racecourse, this 17th-century hotel promises a warm reception, with a cream tea to boot! Set your evening in motion from 8pm with champagne and canapés, followed by a sumptuous six-course, black-tie dinner. Your new year will begin, quite literally, with a bang thanks to a spectacular firework display, which will be followed by live jazz music into the early hours.

If you're still dancing at 1am, there will be sandwiches and hot consommé to end your magical evening, while the next day you can tuck into a leisurely brunch and Bloody Mary from 10.30am. But before you head home, why not go for a gentle swim in the hotel's indoor pool and then indulge in a relaxing massage or pampering treatment in the Boutique Spa? If only every day of the year could start like this...

Perfect for... Romantics who like to be spoiled

Go by train: York

Info: middlethorpe.com

Go the whole hog!

No-one throws a knees-up like the Scots, so if you think you can handle some Celtic revelry, look no further than the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh. Festivities kick off with the torchlight procession: alongside thousands of torchbearers, you'll help to create a wall of fire from the famous Royal Mile to Calton Hill, where the fun continues at the Son et Lumière light and firework display.

Next up, it's time to join 80,000 other merrymakers at the ultimate street party, complete with live bands, DJs, outside bars and plenty more besides. Don't miss Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens, where you'll wave goodbye to 2011 with the breathtaking Midnight Fireworks that can be seen across the city.

The excitement doesn't stop there. Start your year as you mean to go on, with the One O'Clock Run from Edinburgh Castle the next day - if you need a little
encouragement to don your running shoes, the free event t-shirt and £8 entry fee should do the trick. Or for the very brave among you, why not join the 1,000 other daredevils and plunge into the Forth Estuary's freezing waters for the Loony Dook: it's one way to wake yourself up after a hard night of partying!

Perfect for... Party people and traditionalists alike

Go by train: Edinburgh

Info: edinburghshogmanay.org

Welcome to The Warehouse

Join the people of Manchester for a full-on night of partying at this incredible subterranean venue.

Located in an old air-raid shelter beneath Manchester Piccadilly station, The Warehouse Project (TWP) enjoys legendary status on the clubbing scene and tickets to both the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day parties have always been in demand since it started in 2006.

This year's line-up is still a closely guarded secret, but with the likes of Eric Prydz, Aphex Twin and Sasha headlining this autumn, the big reveal is unlikely to disappoint.

Perfect for... Ravers with energy and attitude

Go by train: Manchester Piccadilly

Info: thewarehouseproject.com

New Year's Eve: do it your way

Prefer the idea of staying in? That's no reason not to plan something special. Why not see in the new year from the comfort of a luxurious rented property?

Boathouse, Lake Windermere

You'll be able to sip champagne from the balcony, jetty or nearby secluded beach, looking out at stunning Lake Windermere. Idyllic.

cumbrian-cottages.co.uk, property reference: 128204

Holiday Barn, Durham

A quick taxi ride will whisk you to spectacular views across the Yorkshire Dales at this fab converted barn near Durham. With three bedrooms, the barn has been lovingly transformed into a gorgeous home from home. If that's not enough, how about the indoor swimming pool and hot tub?

Info: Homeaway.co.uk, property reference: p401484

Railway Carriages, near Grimsby

Never mind travelling by train - why not stay on one, too? Named after carriages on the Orient Express, three former railway carriages have been lovingly converted into holiday accommodation, and have all mod cons. Perfect for a new year with a difference!

Info: Homeaway.co.uk, property reference: p711254


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