If balls of fire and barrels of flaming tar sound a bit alarming, there are also fun runs, live music and, of course, fireworks in our round-up of the best places for a traditional New Year’s Eve
If you like your celebrations tinged with a bit of derring-do, head for the normally unassuming village of Allendale. Here you’ll find 45 “guisers” – hereditary barrel bearers – doing their bit for pagan tradition by roaming the streets carrying on their heads great whisky barrels filled to the brim with burning tar. The test of strength and courage ends in spectacular fashion as the guisers ceremonially toss their barrels onto the mighty Baal bonfire to welcome in the new year. And they do all it all in fancy dress. Of course.