Somerset’s Christmas carol services and concerts: 10 of the best

Christmas at Wells (c) Xen0phile / Thinkstockphotos

Christmas at Wells (c) Xen0phile / Thinkstockphotos - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With Christmas just round the corner, there’s nothing quite like enjoying Christmas carols and singing along to your festive favourites. We pick 10 of the best performances in some of Somerset’s most delightful locations

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral, standing proudly in the heart of England’s smallest city, will play host to an Advent Carol Service on Sunday December 3 at 5pm. Join guests for a service inside the glorious Gothic architecture of the cathedral that will be full of song.

In the run up to Christmas Day, Christmas carols will be sung at many services through Advent, with the season of Christmas really beginning shortly before the 25 when audiences can enjoy Candlelight Concerts on Wednesday December 20 and Thursday December 21 and two more traditional carol services on Friday December 22 and Saturday December 23.

West Somerset Railway

For carol singing with a difference, jump aboard the West Somerset Railway where steam locomotives will travel from either Minehead or Bishops Lydeard for a round trip. Recreating the era of Christmas gone by, on Monday and Tuesday December 11 and 12 the Carol Trains will be hauled by heritage steam locomotives and stopping at stations for carol singing. Tuesday evening’s events are already fully booked but there are spaces available on the Monday evening’s events.

If you’ve missed out on the Carol Trains, there are always the Santa Special and Santa Express trips where Father Christmas will deliver gifts, and plenty of festive cheer, as the train chugs along the track.

Museum of Somerset

The Museum of Somerset, housed in the impressive Taunton Castle, will be hosting A Christmas Carol: A Folk Opera on Monday December 11 at 7.30pm. Renowned historical musicians GreenMatthews will retell Charles Dicken’s classic ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Also on Friday December 15, Somerset’s Amici Choir are bound to delight audiences with an eclectic mix of choral song, much-loved carols and festive favourites and the chance for crowds to join in.

Tyntesfield House & Gardens

Throughout December, the Victorian themed festive celebrations at Tyntesfield House & Gardens will feature an array of choral music performed in the stately home’s stunning chapel. With carols from Vox in Frox, UWE Gospel Choir and Bristol’s new chamber choir Spiro, among many others, it will be tricky to pick when to visit Tyntesfield during Christmas.

For those who love stately homes and gardens in Somerset, here is our pick of the prettiest to visit during the festive period.

Bristol Cathedral

Kicking off the festivities with an Advent Procession and Carol Service on Sunday December 3, the glorious setting of Bristol Cathedral will play host to a number of carol services and concerts throughout December for audiences to enjoy.

On Sunday December 17 at 3.30pm, there will be a Family Carol Service retelling the nativity story, and an appearance from Charlie the Donkey, follows by Shoppers’ Carols on Tuesday December 19 and Toddlers’ Carols on Wednesday December 20.

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St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton

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In the setting of Taunton’s pretty St Mary Magdalene Church, enjoy a sequence of rousing words from the Archdeacon of Taunton and seasonal music to mark the beginning of Advent on Sunday December 3 at 7pm.

Enjoy a seasonal refreshment, and soak in the wonderful music, including a new setting of People, Look East, all by candlelight.

Glastonbury Male Voice Choir, Glastonbury

The popular Glastonbury Male Voice Choir will be performing at a number of venues throughout the vibrant town of Glastonbury over the festive period.

Enjoy the delightful harmonies and gorgeous choral song of the choir at the Glastonbury Frost Fayre on November 25 at 12pm at St Dunstan’s House and the Christmas Concert & Carols with Christmas Tree Festival at St John’s Church on December 13 at 8pm. They will also be singing at the Holy Cross Church is Middlezoy on Friday December 1 at 7.30pm.

Bath Abbey

The impressive Bath Abbey, still stands proudly in the same position it’s held for over 1000 years regardless of the interesting history the city has experienced.

On Sunday December 3 at 6.30pm the Abbey Girls’ and Mens’ Choirs, will mark the beginning of Advent with an evening of music and readings. Due to high demand for the free event, tickets need to be booked in advance. There are plenty more carol services and concerts to attend throughout December, see the full list here.

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Dunster by Candlelight

Now in its 31st year, the annual Dunster by Candlelight will be illuminating the medieval village on Friday December 1 and Saturday December 2.

Alongside a lantern procession, historic entertainment and Christmas market stalls to browse, alongside much more, there will also be concerts held at the beautiful Priory Church of St George, including a performance from the Minehead Choral Group and Friends.

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Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare

On Sunday November 19 at 7.30pm, Weston-Super-Mare’s Playhouse Theatre will be full of magnificent music with the Viennese Strauss Christmas Gala: British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

The festive Christmas special has once again returned, with the Much Loved Productions Company showcasing their wonderful melodies for audiences to enjoy.

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