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Christmas carol services and concerts to enjoy in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 11:36 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 23 November 2017

Armonico Consort & Orchestra (c) Simon Jay Price

Armonico Consort & Orchestra (c) Simon Jay Price


Choral carol services and grand instrumental performances, with the backdrop of some of the Cotswolds most picturesque locations, are perfect ways to embrace the festivities. We pick some of the best carol services and concerts to enjoy in the region

Magical Charity Christmas Concert & Dinner at Barnsley House

An alternative Christmas carol service, the Magical Charity Christmas Concert & Dinner, on Thursday December 14, will begin at 6.30pm with a mulled-wine reception at Barnsley House before a short candlelit stroll to St. Mary’s Church.

The service mixes traditional carols with some alternative readings by professional actors, and ‘thespian’ singing from local choral group, The Wassaillers. Folowing the service brimming with Christmas spirit, it’s back to Barnsley House for a delicious dinner served in The Potager.

Tickets are £95 per person which includes a donation to both Oxfam and Almathea Trust. Please book to avoid disappointment by calling our reservations team on 01285 740 000 or emailing:

A Magical Charity Christmas Concert & Dinner at Barnsley HouseA Magical Charity Christmas Concert & Dinner at Barnsley House

Advent carol service at Tewkesbury Abbey

Within the stunning setting of Tewkesbury Abbey, and its glorious surrounding gardens, enjoy an Advent Carol Service on Sunday December 3 at 6pm, where beautiful choral song will fill the Abbey’s Norman structure. Call 01684 850959 for more details.

Also in the quiet medieval town, on Saturday December 9 at 7.30pm and Sunday December 10 at 3pm, The Roses Theatre will host their popular annual Christmas concert. The Tewkesbury Town Band will perform a number of new and classic festive tunes for audiences to sing-along to. Click here to book tickets.

Stroud Choral Society

In a celebration of Christmas, visit St. George’s Church in Nailsworth on Saturday December 9 for a beautiful evening of choral music and readings performed by Stroud Choral Society and the children’s choir “The Minipins”.

Tickets cost £12 (under 18s free) and are available from choir members, Stroud Subscription Rooms and Shiny Goodness on Fountain Street in Nailsworth.

Click here to book.

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Music at Charlecote Park

During the lead-up to Christmas, there’s plenty happening within the stunning surroundings of Charlecote Park.

On Saturday 9 and Sunday December 10, staff in costume will be providing the soundtrack to your exploration of this pretty stately home. With mulled wine and a mince pie to hand, enjoy the live music to get you in the festive mood. Love stately homes and gardens? Take a look at these delightful locations to visit in the Cotswolds this Christmas.

Berkeley Castle

There’s lots going on this Christmas at Berkeley Castle! Critically acclaimed Split Second Productions are back with a magical and enchanting portrayal of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. The charming re-telling will entertain audiences young and old from Wednesday November 29 to Friday December 8.

The Berkeley Castle Annual English String Orchestra Christmas Concert will return this year, continuing its reign of seasonal magic to delighted audiences. On Sunday December 3 at 6pm, with a reception at 5pm, a wonderful concert will take place in the glorious Grand Hall preceded by a relaxed reception, with wine and mince pies, in front of a roaring log fire.

Also on Sunday December 17, the popular Dursley Male Voice Choir will perform a Christmas Concert in the Great Hall.

Click here to book any of the above events.

Handel’s Messiah, Warwick Arts Centre

An all-star cast of superb soloists - soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, countertenor William Towers, tenor Nathan Vale and bass Willard White - perform the much-loved work of Handel’s Messiah on Thursday December 7 at Warwick Arts Centre.

They join the critically-acclaimed Armonico Consort, led by Artistic Director Christopher Monks. The orchestra will perform on periodic instruments giving a very special insight into how the work would have been heard in Handel’s day.

Click here to book.

Willard WhiteWillard White

Christmas Carols in Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham

Hosted by the Friends of Montpellier Bandstand and Gardens, Carols in the Gardens on Friday December 15 at 6pm will encourage crowds to wrap up warm and singalong to a collection of traditional and modern carols.

Performers include the Ukeholics with more to be announced. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for upcoming details.

The event is free.

Evening Christmas Carols by Steam Train, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

For an evening of festive fun, enjoy Christmas carols by steam train on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. On Saturday December 9, carols will be performed, led by the Cheltenham Silver band, at the Winchcombe station under twinkling white lights.

Upon boarding the service that leaves Toddington station at 7pm, guests can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, after listening to the carols. This year the event is in aid of Winston’s Wish.

Click here to book.

Advent Carol Service at Gloucester Cathedral

For a special celebration to mark the beginning of the new Christian Year, the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral will play host to the Advent Carol Service by candlelight on Sunday December 3 at 6pm.

A Christmas Carol Service can be enjoyed in the stunning setting of the cathedral on Christmas Eve too; a wonderful way to embrace the festivities.

There will be a number of Christmas carol services throughout December – see the full Christmas calendar of events here.

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Handel’s Fireworks, Malvern Theatres

In a concert full of majesty and vitality, the renowned singers and musicians of Armonico Consort, led by Music Director Christopher Monks, perform favourite Handel works, including Zadok the Priest and Music for the Royal Fireworks, at the Forum Theatre, Malvern Theatres on Saturday 2 December.

The programme features choral and orchestral music written by Georg Frideric Handel for royal occasions during the reign of George II and contains some of his most powerful and evocative works; full of glorious brass fanfares, exciting rhythms and joyful melodies. The musicians use instruments of the period giving a flavour of how the King would have heard the music.

Click here to book.

Armonico Consort (c) Simon Jay PriceArmonico Consort (c) Simon Jay Price

Christmas Concert at the Parish Church, Cirencester

In the glorious setting of Cirencester’s Parish Church, expect a wonderful evening of festive song and cheer at the town’s Christmas Concert.

On Saturday December 16 at 7.30pm enjoy a compilation of stunning Christmas classics, seasonal surprises and just a little local nostalgia with a performance of Good Tidings of Great Joy, A Christmas Cantata by local Cirencester composer and Choral Director, Rosemary Hammond.

Click here to book.

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When do you think it is acceptable to start playing Christmas songs?

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