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October 21st, 2019
This Christmas, many attractions in the South West will turn the clock back 100 years for a festive Victorian experience. Here's our pick of the best Victorian Christmas events in Bristol, Bath and beyond.
Victorian Christmas Market, Gloucester Quays (14-24 November)
Brimming with Christmas cheer, this family-friendly event brings with it festive markets alongside an open-air ice rink on Gloucester’s Victorian dockside. Meet Dickensian characters and entertainers, jingle along to choirs and brass bands and ride the traditional carousel.
A very Victorian Christmas at Tyntesfield (23 November - 5 January)
Step back in time to a Victorian Christmas past at Tyntesfield, as this grand gothic house brings to life the season's best-loved traditions. Pre-book a house ticket to soak up the magical atmosphere inside the house as the Gibbs family and servants set about their festive preparations. Grab a map and follow the Great Dickensian Trail and join in with crafting, games and storytelling. If that wasn’t enough yuletide joy, there’s also Christmas horse and carriage rides, local choirs crooning Christmas classics in the chapel plus seasonal Sunday markets for a spot of festive shopping.
A Christmas Carol at Bristol Old Vic (28 November -12 January)
After its record-breaking run last year, Tom Morris’ enchanting adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale, A Christmas Carol, returns to charm your snazzy Christmas sock off. With a good helping of contemporary Bristol references, a dash of snow and catchy songs, it’s the perfect way to top up your festive spirits.
Christmas through the ages at No.1 Royal Crescent (30 November - 5 January)
Discover old-fashioned festive merriment and how Christmas traditions came to be at No. 1 Royal Crescent as they reveal how the yuletide season was celebrated through the ages. From the refined simplicity of the Georgians to the cheery trees and cards of the Victorians; through hard but hopeful wartime Christmasses, to the bright and colourful ones of the present day.
A Christmas Carol at Wells Cathedral (3 December)
Watch Charles Dickens’ ghostly tale brought to life in the spectacular setting of Wells Cathedral. Complete with period costumes and a fabulous musical score, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge will be whisked away on a journey by three ghosts determined to show him the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire (5-20 December)
Discover the annual Christmas tree festival in the abbey cloister, before gathering around the enormous Christmas tree in the Tudor courtyard on Thursdays and Fridays to sing along to traditional yuletide songs with Victorian carol singers, ‘Same Difference Arts’.
Victorian Christmas Weekend at Brunel's SS Great Britain (7-8 December)
Fulfil your Dickensian white Christmas dreams listening to tales from a bunch of ragged Victorian characters under falling snow on the 19th century dockside. Meet Victorian engineer Mr Brunel himself and climb the rigging, Victorian sailor-style! Visitors can also take part in traditional Victorian printing processes before warming up with festive treats in the Harbourside Kitchen or shopping stocking fillers in the shop.
Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day (7 December)
Immerse yourself in Victoriana in the Gloucestershire town of Chipping Sodbury with traditional fairground rides (including a ferris wheel and helter skelter), steam engines, singing school choirs and a hog roast in the streets. Victorian fancy dress is encouraged!
Dress up as a Victorian at the Fashion Museum, Bath (15 December)
Dress up in authentic Victorian dress and take a photo in front of a mock 19th century street scene, before creating festive multi-coloured star ornaments using yarn at the Fashion Museum’s ‘On a starry night’ Christmas event.
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.
A Victorian Christmas for Home Educating Families (19 December)
Children can explore the traditions and customs of Victorian Christmas through a series of interactive role-play activities in this special 90-minute session for home educating families. Handle real and replica Victorian artefacts, create a Christmas decoration to take away, learn about traditional 19th century meals and learn the significance of Victorian carols. For ages 5-8.
Victorian Carousel, Bath (19-29 December)
Hitch a ride on the hobby horses and take a whirl on Bath’s Victorian carousel, which will be stationed in Stall Street for some good ol' fashioned family fun.