“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” – almost. Soon, the streets will be filled with Christmas markets and the faint smell of roasted chestnuts. However, with the return of a Beatle, a palace feast and lots more in-between, there’s plenty for even the most dedicated Grinch to enjoy. Here is the Viking guide to what’s on in December.
Christmas Concert supported by John Lewis & Partners
13 December (7:00pm – 8:15pm)
Westminster Abbey, London
Benjamin Britten’s magical Ceremony of Carols forms the centrepiece of the Abbey Choir’s annual Christmas concert. This festive event will also include a selection of well-known choral works, seasonal readings and traditional carols.
16 December (6:00pm)
The O2 arena, London
In Support of his new album Egypt Station, the legendary Paul McCartney is set to play an enormous comeback show at the O2 arena. With a back catalogue spanning over 50 years, expect to hear plenty of solo hits and, of course, Beatles classics.
Bath Christmas Market
22 November – 9 December
With more than 170 traditional wooden chalets transforming Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths into a wintry wonderland, this is an event for all the family. There is also the chance to go ice skating, ride on a carousel or enjoy a glass of mulled wine in the Après Ski Bar.
Southbank Centre’s Wintertime Festival
8 December – 6 January
Celebrate the winter season at Southbank Centre with festive shows, a Christmas market, seasonal food and drink, and family activities under the glittering lights.
Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre
1 & 2 December
Visit this Victorian-themed street market for dance displays, juggling stilt-walkers and traditional fairground rides. What’s more, there is also an array of arts and crafts, festive gifts and delicious food.
A Foodie Themed Christmas Lights Walk
Angel in the Fields, London
A festive walk of hidden passages, decorated shops and fascinating historical snippets. Of course, it’s all themed around food/drink and there will be Christmas traditions and decorations throughout.
BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST
8 – 10 December
Pick up tips from the star chefs in the FEAST Kitchen Theatre, buy award-winning treats from artisan producers or simply enjoy a mulled wine and some carol singing. There’s also homemade pasta at RaviOllie and delicious sausage rolls at Pig in the Middle.
A Christmas Carol
27 November – 19 January
Old Vic, London
The immortal classic returns to the Old Vic with a joyous adaptation by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). Expect mince pies, music and lots of festive merriment.
Nutcracker – English National Ballet
London Coliseum, London
Now until 30 December
The Nutcracker is a magical Christmas ballet for all the family. Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and over 100 dancers bring this Christmas classic to life.
With the grandchildren
Hyde Park, London
22 November – 6 January
Immerse yourself in London’s biggest and most popular Christmas experience. Expect ice skating, an observation wheel, fairground rides and plenty of festive stalls brimming with toys and sweets.
The Box of Delights
30 November – 5 January
Wilton’s Music Hall, London
Back by popular demand, The Box of Delights returns to Wilton’s this Christmas. Based on the much–loved classic by Poet Laureate John Masefield, you can now experience this enthralling world at the theatre. Expect everything from flying cars to fiery phoenixes.
Arts & Crafts
The Creative Craft Show
NEC Birmingham, Birmingham
1 – 4 November
Knitters, stitchers and hobbyists can enjoy an incredible number of stalls, product launches, demonstrations and workshops in this annual craft extravaganza.
Christmas wreath making workshops (National Trust)
29 November and 6 December (1:30pm – 3:30pm)
Dudmaston Estate, Bridgnorth
Ease yourself into the festive spirit with one of the National Trust’s popular wreath-making workshops.
Get your creativity flowing and impress friends and family with your new decorative skills.
Make! Contemporary Christmas Crafts for Christmas
17 November – 6 January
Jubilee Gallery, Devon
Learn how to make the perfect present for a friend (or yourself) in a series of festive workshops. There are also free, drop–in craft demos taking place in the run-up to Christmas.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Coca-Cola London Eye, London
London’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks will be taking place at the Coca-Cola London Eye on 31st December. Don’t miss what is guaranteed to be an unforgettable display in the capital.
Chester Literature Festival
10 November – 1 December
The Chester Literature Festival welcomes some of the country’s most loved authors and literary personalities to the City. Highlights this year include Nigella Lawson and Luke Wright.
Dickens Christmas Festival
30 November 2018 – 2 December 2018
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth
One of the south’s finest Christmas festivals, travel to a bygone era and enjoy some well-earned retail therapy in the Dockyard’s sprawling Christmas markets. Plus, there are Dickensian street performers, a traditional green Father Christmas and more.
Viking Book Club
Every month we choose a popular book for review based on a recommendation by a member, past guest, well-known author, or one of the Viking team. We then send out a hardback copy to 20 Viking Book Club members, selected at random, and ask them to read it and post their review on our website.