Our Guide to THE BEST events in December across the region


Christmas Cracker!

Gallery Pangolin’s popular Christmas exhibition returns with a collection of sculpture, jewellery, prints, drawings and books.

until December 19, Gallery Pangolin, Chalford, GL6 8NT, tel: 01453 889765, gallery-pangolin.com


Buttons, Badges and Blazers

A captivating journey through Gloucester’s vibrant history, chosen from the city’s collection of 4,500 costumes from the 16th to 20th century.

until January 7, Museum of Gloucester, GL1 1HP, museumofgloucester.co.uk


Colour Revolution

A major exhibition, looking at Victorian art, fashion and design, from dazzling dyes used in chic corsets, bold experiments by avant-garde painters, and the flamboyant use of nature’s beauty in jewellery.

until February 18, 2024, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, OX1 2PH, ashmolean.org


Christmas at Blenheim Palace

A feast of festive fun for all the family, with an illuminated outdoor trail; an indoor trail which is a gorgeous reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale; and an artisan Christmas market in the Great Court, selling fantastic produce and crafts by traders from Oxfordshire and beyond. The two trails are open from Friday, November 17 until Monday, January 1. The market is open for a month from November 17 to December 17.

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, OX20 1UL, blenheimpalace.com


Cheltenham Ice Rink

Create magical memories as the popular undercover, fully wheelchair-accessible ice rink returns to Cheltenham’s Imperial Gardens.

November 17-January 1, 2024, visitcheltenham.com


Treasure Island

Expect a feast of rip-roaring thrills, swaggering pirates, foot-tapping mayhem and sea shanties galore in this perfect festive treat for all the family.

November 20-January 6, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, tel: 01285 648255, barntheatre.org.uk


Bath Christmas Market

Featuring over 160 twinkling chalets entwining some of Bath’s most iconic monuments, with a plethora of food and beverage stalls and a stunning light display.

November 23-December 10, various locations around Bath City Centre, BA1 1LZ, visitbath.co.uk


Enchanted Light Trail

The illuminated light trail is a family-friendly night-time experience, showcasing magical installations and illuminations created by teams of local creative artists, lighting designers and craft-persons. Help feed the animals their late-night snacks, toast marshmallows on fire pits, and shop for souvenirs.

November 24-December 23 (Fri, Sat & Sun, 4pm-late), Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, GL54 5FL, cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk


Enchanted Christmas

Prepare to be dazzled by an enthralling winter wonderland, filled with sparkling lights, illuminated trees, festive sounds, mesmerising installations, traditional fairground rides, festive food and drink, and more in the captivating surroundings of The National Arboretum.

November 24-December 23, Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, GL8 8QS, forestryengland.uk/westonbirt/enchanted-christmas


Spectacle of Light

Explore Sudeley’s magical after-dark experience by following the illuminated trail around the castle grounds and meeting colourful characters from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Afterwards, enjoy delicious warming food and drink, and browse the shop for Christmas gifts.

November 24-December 30, Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, GL54 5LP, sudeleycastle.co.uk


Winter Glow

Featuring the popular illuminated light trail – with a new theme and installations for 2023 – plus ice skating, Santa experiences, food quarter & bar, Christmas market, and fairground.

November 24-January 6, 2024, Three Counties Showground, Malvern, WR13 6NW, winterglow.co.uk


Candlelit Christmas

Intimate and extended tours of Shakespeare’s childhood home, learning about the traditions of Christmastide, plus mulled wine, mince pies, the sounds of live, traditional Tudor music, and the chance to buy locally-produced gifts.

November 30-December 16, 5-7pm, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW, shakespeare.org.uk


Wreath Making Workshops

Join Malmesbury florist Emily Hepworth of Persephone Violet in creating your own fresh foliage moss-based traditional door wreath. Cost is £105pp, to include two-course lunch or afternoon tea.

December 1 & 8, Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, SN16 0RB, whatleymanor.com


Strictly Come Carolling

A festive evening of carols and readings – including Antony Lesser reading from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – to raise valuable funds for Shipston Home Nursing and the Royal Orthopaedic Charity. Music will come from soprano Mollie Smith, organist Adrian Moore and conductor Julian Harris. Tickets £20 adults, £5 under 16s.

Saturday, December 2, 7pm, Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BG, shipstonhomenursing.co.uk/events


Local Makers’ Market

Taking place over the ground floor of a collection of Tudor buildings, the market will be an opportunity to buy unique gifts from local makers. There will also be treats in the café, mulled cider on offer, carol singing and a mummers play performance.

Saturday, December 2, 10am-4pm, The Folk of Gloucester, Westgate Street, GL1 2PG, thefolkofgloucester.co.uk


Joy of Christmas Concert

An annual feast of festive music, readings and surprises for the whole family with Jubilate Chamger Choir and guest school choirs. Tickets £15; £10 under 21s.

Saturday, December 2, 7.30pm, Holy Apostles Church, Charlton Kings, GL52 6HW, jubilatechamberchoir.com


Milton Market

A quarterly market showcasing the best makers, bakers, shakers and creators rooted in the Cotswolds.

Sunday, December 3, 11am-4pm, Bruern Farms Shop and Café, Chipping Norton, OX7 6QE, bruernfarms.co.uk



Written by award-winning writer and comedian Alison Spittle, this dark comedy theatre show is an ode to friendship, wild swimming and seeking solace at Christmas.

December 4-23, Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ, oldfirestation.org.uk


Celebrate a Life

Sue Ryder is inviting you to come together with family, friends and the local community to celebrate and remember your someone special at its Sue Ryder Celebrate a Life Gloucestershire event, featuring readings, songs and live music.

Wednesday, December 6, 7pm, St Matthew’s Church, Cheltenham, GL50 3PL, tel: 01242 246270, sueryder.org/glos


Follow the Stars

A star-studded Christmas carol concert in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The cast of celebrities will include Mel Giedroyc, Toby Jones, Greg Wise and Jason Isaacs, whose literary readings will be interspersed with breathtaking musical performances and gloriously uplifting Christmas carols.

Friday, December 8, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, OX1 1DP, followthestars-macmillancarols.com


An Elizabethan Christmas

Join Cantores Chamber Choir and viol consort Fretwork for a seasonal musical treat, recreating the atmosphere of Christmas over 400 years ago, with vocal and instrumental works by Byrd, Gibbons, Amner, Tomkins and Holborne.

Friday, December 8, 7.30pm, St Philip & St James Church, Leckhampton, GL50 2DL, fienta.com/an-elizabethan-christmas


BS3 Santa

Together with actor and circus artist Ben Kirby as Sven the Reindeer Handler, Bristol actor Stewart Wright will be bringing his enchanting, funny and interactive show to Tewkesbury.

Friday, December 8, 4.30pm & 6pm, Tewkesbury Garden Centre, The Mythe, GL20 6EB, tewkesburygardencentre.com



Handel’s magnificent Messiah is coming to a candlelit Worcester Cathedral, performed by the 140 voices of Worcester Festival Choral Society, with acclaimed soloists and Baroque orchestra.

Saturday, December 9, Worcester Cathedral, call TicketSource 0333 666 3366 or visit wfcs.online



Under the artistic direction of Orlando Jopling, the period specialist players of the Wild Arts Ensemble, alongside a selection of Britain’s finest singers, will perform Handel’s legendary retelling of the story of Christ, from the annunciation of the shepherds, to the passion, the resurrection, and the day of judgement.

Friday, December 15, 7.30pm, Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham, GL50 3AH, wildarts.org.uk


The Christmas Meeting

A weekend of top-quality racing paired with a Christmas Extravaganza of family fun, including Santa’s Grotto, and Got2Sing Choir entertaining racegoers with carols. Tickets from £12.

December 15 & 16, Cheltenham Racecourse, thejockeyclub.co.uk


Here We Come A-Carolling

Local, loved community choir The Village Singers will be accompanied by a full orchestra in a very special and uplifting experience, both for the choir and also for the audience. We have wanted to put on a Christmas concert with orchestra for several years. Also expect a bar, raffle and a visit from a special seasonal visitor. Tickets £12/students £8/under-12s free.

Saturday, December 16, St Andrew’s Church, Chippenham, SN15 3JN, villagesingers.co.uk/events


CODS Christmas Concert

Come and witness the splendid talent of Cheltenham Community Choir, and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with some festive favourites and musical classics. Adults £12.50; under 12s £6: ticket price includes festive refreshments.

Saturday, December 16, 7.30pm, Holy Apostles Church, Charlton Kings, GL52 6HW, cheltplayhouse.org.uk