Tyntesfield at Christmas
Photo by William Pummell

Carol services and festive music in Bristol, Bath and beyond

Get into the Yuletide spirit at these joyous Christmas concerts in Bristol, Bath and beyond

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November 11th, 2019

Get into the Yuletide spirit at these joyous Christmas carol services and festive music concerts in Bristol, Bath and beyond.

From magnificent affairs in historic venues like Wells Cathedral and Bath Abbey to festive Bonanzas at St George's Bristol, traditional carol services and candlelit evenings, check out our pick of magical, music-filled events that are sure to leave you with a warm Christmassy glow. 

Clifton suspension bridge, Bristol Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay

A Viennese Strauss Christmas Gala at The Playhouse Weston-super-Mare, 26 November 7.30pm

The British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra return to Weston with Strauss Waltzes, Christmas music and songs from the great Viennese composers, plus The Christmas Festival Overture, and lots more to hum along to. Tickets: £25, Child £16.50.

Love Actually - Live Concert with Full Orchestra, The Forum, Bath, 29 November, 7pm

A unique way to watch the much-loved seasonal romcom, Love Actually - with a full orchestra performing Craig Armstrong's evocative soundtrack live to picture! Armstrong is one of the UK’s most recognised film composers, with his work being awarded a BAFTA for his Achievement in Film Music. Tickets: from £39.50.

Love Actually at The Forum
Love Actually at The Forum

Music & Wine Night with The Back Row Choir at Averys Wine Cellars (29 November, 7-9pm)

Christmas is all about merry-making, and this evening nibbling specially-selected cheeses from Arch House Deli, while listening to a 10-piece choir singing Christmas-themed songs that have been matched with delicious wines in the historic Avery Wine Cellars sounds pretty darn joyful! Tickets £30.

Advent Procession ‘From Darkness to light’ by Candlelight, St Mary Redcliffe, 30 November - 1 December

Candlelit service with readings and Advent hymns for the congregation. Free.

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol Photo by Emily Whitfield-Wicks, courtesy of St Mary Redcliffe Church

Jazz ‘n’ Carols by Candlelight, St Michael’s Without, Bath 2 December 2019, 6.20pm

Dance Again presents a lighthearted and uplifting festive evening where everyone can have a go at belting out traditional Christmas carols and songs. The evening is interspersed with jazzy melodies from Sax quartet Saxophony and performance from local choir, Songways and finishes with mulled wine or mulled cider, stollen and mince pies. Tickets £10.

Tyntesfield Victorian Christmas, Wraxall4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 18, 20, 21 December times vary

Journey back in time to a Victorian Christmas past at Tyntesfield, as this grand gothic house brings to life the season's best-loved traditions. Local choirs - including Byrdsong Choir, Spiro Singers, UWE Gospel Choir, Wellington School Chapel Choir, The Owls of Pill Choir, Clevedon Choral Society and Cheddar Male Voice Choir - will all be belting out Christmas classics in the chapel over the festive season.

Victorian choir at Tyntesfield Photo courtesy of Tyntesfield

Christmas Carols in the Garden, Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, Bath5 December, 6-7.30pm 

Courage Choir will be singing festive favourites in the twinkling gardens of Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa. Stay warm with hot mulled wine or hot chocolate and Christmassy canapés, while listening to carols under the moonlight. Tickets £25.

Royal Crescent Bath

Carols under Concorde, Aerospace Bristol, 7 December, 11am-12pm

Forget magical reindeer zipping around the Earth in one night, how about belting out some tunes underneath the world’s only supersonic jet?! Pop along to Aerospace Bristol for festive singing under Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde ever to fly. Free to enjoy with a museum ticket.

Carols under Concorde, Aerospace Bristol Photo courtesy of Aerospace Bristol

Bristol Cabot Choir Christmas Concert, Bristol Cathedral, 9 December, 7.30pm

Bristol Cabot Choir perform inspiring pieces including Vaughan Williams "Fantastia on Christmas Carols", Rutter's "Gloria", along with audience carols and other pieces. Tickets go on sale shortly. See Bristol Cathedral website for full Christmas service listings.

Kate Rusby at Christmas, The Forum, Bath (11 December)

Emotive folk singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, performs festive Yorkshire songs and carols from her upcoming Christmas album accompanied by a brass quintet for an extra dollop of yuletide magic.

Kate Rusby at The Forum
Kate Rusby at The Forum

West Somerset Railway, Minehead and Bishops Lydeard, 10, 11, 15 and 16 December

Who needs the Polar Express, when you can sing your carolling heart out aboard a steam locomotive through stunning Somerset countryside? Ding dong merrily from Minehead or Bishops Lydeard, recreating Christmases of old. Tickets: adults £18, children £10.

Christmas Carol Concert and Gourmet Dinner, Bath Priory12 and 23 December

Cosy up beside a roaring log fire at this black tie evening with Champagne and canapé reception. Guests can tuck into a superb four-course dinner, accompanied by matching wines and sway along to carols and Christmas music from Bath Chorus Choir (12 December) and Bath Bach Choir (23 December).

Carol Singing at The Gainsborough Bath Spa with The Bath Chorus,13 December (5-6.30pm) & 14 December (3.45-5pm)

Join Grenville Jones and his group of Christmas Carol Singers in The Chapel for an afternoon of carol singing, mulled wine and mince pies. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Julian House who support the homeless. Tickets £10.

Bristol Bach Choir: Spirit of Christmas at St George’s Bristol, 14 December, 7.30pm

Positively brimming with festive vibes, this sparkling evening of uplifting choral music and witty, entertaining readings is inspired by the wonder and magic of Christmas. Tickets from £12.60, £5 students.

Handel's Messiah at Salisbury Cathedral (14 December, 7-9.30pm)

The City of London Sinfonia joins the Choir of Salisbury Cathedral under the baton of David Halls for a mesmerising performance of Handel's masterpiece. This concert is in aid of the Choral Foundation. Tickets from £17 - £37. 

Salisbury Cathedral Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay

BBC Wiltshire Carols, Salisbury Cathedral, 15 December, 5-6pm

Join BBC Wiltshire for their popular live recording of 'Carols at the Cathedral', which will be broadcast on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Aldbourne Band and Wiltshire’s Zone Club will be joined by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, conducted by David Halls. Not suitable for under 5s.

Mediaeval Carols - Opus Anglicanum, Prior Park College Sports, Bath15 December (6-7.15pm)

Experience a medieval Christmas with Opus Anglicanum, who are bringing their sell-out event at Wells Cathedral to Prior Park College. The candlelit programme features medieval music and readings, Gregorian chant and polyphony. Can't make the 15 December? They are also performing at Wells Cathedral on 16 December. Tickets £15, under 18s £7.50.

Christmas Carol Concert at Arnos Vale Cemetery (15 December)

Victorian cemetery and beautiful heritage site, Arnos Vale Cemetery, will be getting into the yuletide spirit with a musical medley of classic carols. Join in with festive favourites sung by Bristol Chamber Choir in the chapel, tuck into scrummy Christmas treats and be sure to arrive early so you don’t miss any of the festive fun.

Arnos Vale Cemetery Courtesy of Arnos Vale
Arnos Vale Cemetery

Carols by Candlelight, Bath Bach Choir, 18 December - St Michael’s Without, 19 & 20 December - The Pump Room), 7.30pm

Bath Bach Choir Carols by Candlelight include seasonal songs, a dash of jazz, young virtuoso musicians, local children’s choirs and conductor Nigel Perrin’s audience-rousing repartee. Tickets: St Michael’s Without - from £12, Pump Room - from £15.

Carols by Candlelight at John Wesley's Chapel, The New Room, 18 December 1pm and 6pm.

Sing along to Charles Wesley’s famous Christmas hymn ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ in the very building where it was originally sung in the 18th century. There’ll also be traditional and contemporary carols to celebrate the Christmas Story, followed by mince pies.

Christmas Spectacular I and II at St George’s Bristol 19 & 20 December, 7.30pm

The Bristol Ensemble and the 90-strong City of Bristol Choir join forces to bring Yuletide cheer to all. Featuring Christmas a glorious mix of carols, traditional and European music, festive readings, audience participation and festive orchestral music.

Family Carol Service, Bath Abbey, 22 December, 2.30pm and 4pm

Children are encouraged to come dressed as a shepherd, angel, wise man or citizen of Bethlehem to create a festive Christmas spectacle with Mr Frosty - a real donkey! See their website for full list of all carol services. Free.

Bath Abbey at night - Christmas Image source - Bath Abbey

G4 Christmas, Wells Cathedral, 19 December, 7.30-9.30pm

Listen to timeless classics, delightful medleys and beautiful harmonies sung by four-piece British vocal troupe, G4, in a magnificent setting. Tickets: £12.50 - £79.50, VIP tickets are available, including a pre-show meet & greet with G4 at 6pm.

Carols by Candlelight, Bristol Cathedral, 20-21 December, 7.30pm

Festive readings from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers’ John Telfer and haunting harmonies from the candle-carrying cathedral choir makes this carol concert one of the season’s highlights. This event sells out every year, so get your tickets now! Tickets £15. See Bristol Cathedral website for full Christmas service listings.

St George’s Festive Fiesta (21 December, 7.30pm)

If you can’t wait to get your vocal cords around some marvellous Christmas tunes, add St George’s festive fiesta to your diary. As well as lots of singalong opportunities, there’s choral works and orchestral pieces from City of Bristol Choir and the Bristol Ensemble, guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.

Wurzel’s West Country Christmas Party, Komedia Bath, 22 December 7.30pm

OOO ARR! Go and listen to all your favourite Christmas hits sung with a good ol’ West Country accent. As well as playing their greatest hits, the Wurzels will be spinning yarns from a career lasting more than 50 years.

The Wurzels Christmas, Komedia The Wurzels Christmas, photo courtesy of Komedia

Cathedral Carol Service with Wells Cathedral Choir, 22 & 23 December, 6-7.30pm

Previously named by Classic FM magazine as the top choice in the South West, the Cathedral’s carol services will take place on two days this year. Expect congregational carols, as well as beautiful singing from the Cathedral Choir and festive readings. Free.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Bristol Cathedral, 23 December (6pm) & 24 December (3.30pm)

Boost your Christmas cheer levels at one of the best-loved Christmas services in the city. Join in with carols and listen to readings from Bristol community figures. Arrive early to avoid disappointment. Free entry. 

Carol Praise, Bath Abbey, 24 December 4pm and 6pm

An informal service for all the family full of festive fun and traditional carols. Includes ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ with all the actions. See their website for full list of all carol services. Free.

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