‘Good spectacle and environment’: readers’ favorite Christmas live shows | United Kingdom holidays


Particular acoustics, Sloane Sq., London

The great Sixteen choral ensemble is about to current its 2022 Christmas programme, that includes a fantastic assortment of music from the sixteenth century proper as much as the current day. It’s a deal with yearly, with Cadogan Corridor’s acoustics making it much more particular.
From £19, 15 and 21 December, cadoganhall.com
Rebecca Stewart

So atmospheric, west London

exterior of ealing abbey
{Photograph}: Mick Sinclair/Alamy

Ealing Abbey’s Carols by Candlelight is an absolute gem – as knowledgeable musician I’ve performed there for the previous few years and it’s hands-down my favorite Christmas gig. The choir is flawless and the entire occasion is so atmospheric, from the a cappella opening proper behind the abbey and the procession, during to the ground-shaking, quasi apocalyptic Hark the Herald on the finish with its hovering descant and crashing drums. The repertoire is an expertly chosen choice of conventional carols and a sprinkling of extra unfamiliar up to date or worldwide settings. A should for lovers of Christmas music, no matter your spiritual beliefs.
£15, 7.30pm, 17 December, trybooking.com

Good spectacle, North Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey
{Photograph}: Michiko Smith/Alamy

A thousand flickering candles greeted us at Twelfth-century Fountains Abbey as we entered to affix a carol service final yr on a crisp Yorkshire night. This annual occasion is a superb spectacle the place you’re warmed by mince pies and mulled wine earlier than belting out traditional carols with stars glowing up above in case you are fortunate. It creates a magical communal environment of individuals coming collectively in unison. Simply what’s wanted in these troubled instances.
Free, 3pm, 11 December, numbers restricted so tickets needs to be collected from Fountains Abbey porter’s lodge from 1pm on the day, nationaltrust.org.uk


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Guardian Journey readers’ suggestions

Each week we ask our readers for suggestions from their travels. A choice of suggestions will likely be featured on-line and should seem in print. To enter the most recent competitors go to the readers’ suggestions homepage

Thanks to your suggestions.

Carols in Welsh, St Davids, Pembrokeshire

St Davids Cathedral in St Davids
{Photograph}: Robert Morris/Alamy

St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire is particular at any time of yr however the candlelit carol service just a few days earlier than Christmas is one thing else. Folks come residence from afar to attend and so most know the occasional carol sung in Welsh in addition to the English ones. The primary time we went, my then-boyfriend was so overwhelmed by the environment he promptly proposed. My now-husband and I’ve tried to get again yearly since.
£12, 7.30pm, 10 December, stdavidscathedral.org.uk

Pub carols, south London

The Bedford pub in Balham
{Photograph}: Robert Hackman/Alamy

Famend as a comedy membership and for internet hosting a spread of stellar musicians (Ed Sheeran carried out one among his early exhibits right here), the Bedford pub in Balham units the scene for the vigorous and energetic tunes of Christ Church Balham’s pub carols. For greater than a decade, the church has raised the roof of the Bedford mashing up trendy pop and rock songs with the carol classics you understand and love; suppose Clear Bandit and O Little city of Bethlehem. The occasion is certain to heat the soul and add some groove to the traditional carol service. There may be enjoyable for all, with two afternoon providers geared toward households with youngsters.
Free, 11 December, 3pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm, christchurchbalham.org.uk

Attractive individuals and traditions, central London

The nave of church St Clement Danes
{Photograph}: Jozef Sedmak/Alamy

The Fourth Choir, London’s LGBT+ chamber choir carry out its winter live performance within the strikingly lovely Saint Clement Danes church. Expertise early Christian music by underrepresented composers in addition to up to date, daring items that can hit you proper within the photo voltaic plexus. It is a live performance with a beautiful custom and superb individuals. Darkish lighting, mulled cider, a blissful environment and an early begin of 5pm with ye olde pubs shut by for afters. £8-£20, 5pm, 11 December, thefourthchoir.com

I Noticed Three Ships, Truro, Cornwall

The interior of Truro Cathedral in Cornwall
{Photograph}: G Scammell/Alamy

Truro has the UK’s most southerly cathedral and it’s gorgeous; three spires and great stained glass. So why not head to there for a Christmas-tide hit? Together with empty seashores it’s cause to go to Cornwall within the winter. The cathedral choir guarantees carols akin to I Noticed Three Ships, We Three Kings, the Sans Day Carol, and Gaudete, in addition to joyous and delightful music from the sixteenth century to the current day.
£15, 7.30pm, 17 December. Additionally, Handel’s Messiah 7.30pm, 10 December, from £16

Ski to the live performance, Tignes Les Boisses, France

{Photograph}: Hemis/Alamy

For those who occur to be snowboarding in Tignes or Val d’Isère this Christmas, don’t miss Christmas Eve mass on the Eglise Saint-Jacques in Tignes Les Boisses. The church was constructed within the Fifties, a duplicate of the village’s authentic 18th-century church, which was misplaced when the valley was flooded for a hydroelectric mission. It’s stated that one of many village’s residents refused to go away and subsequently drowned – a statue to commemorate her has been erected subsequent to the highway alongside the dam. The church, its setting and the Christmas Eve service are lovely – the service is held late within the night forward of the standard midnight meal to rejoice the arrival of Christmas Day.
Jayne Pearson

Swedish Christmas, Harrow, London

Harrow School
{Photograph}: Michael Wald/Alamy

In Sweden, the darkish winter evenings are brightened up on Saint Lucia’s Day (13 December) with a candlelit procession and conventional songs in church buildings. For those who can’t make it to Stockholm, London’s Swedish neighborhood have an annual procession to Harrow Faculty to rejoice this Nordic custom. See the white robe-clad choir parade with flickering candles earlier than settling right into a Swedish choice of Christmas carols and mesmeric music, this yr that includes in style Swedish singer Cornelia Jakobs. There’ll even be glögg and fika – mulled wine and gingerbread cookies to get you within the festive meals. The environment is wonderful: haunting with a touch of horror within the halls of Harrow Faculty.
£35, 7.30pm, 11 December, londonsvenskar.com. Additionally youngsters’s live performance at 4pm, from £15

Profitable tip: Look to the rafters, Durham

Durham Cathedral
{Photograph}: CW Pictures/Alamy

There’s nothing fairly like approaching magnificent Durham Cathedral from the gently frosted cobbles of Kingsgate footbridge on a crisp December day. The sheer scale of this Norman construction is sure to catch even probably the most frequent customer off-guard. The acoustics are heavenly and there’s something splendidly holy about trying as much as the rafters whereas listening to the primary pure notes of As soon as in Royal David’s Metropolis.
Free, 6pm 22 December and 3pm 24 December, durhamcathedral.co.uk

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