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  • In the December issue of Best of British…

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Events in December

SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND

01-02 VINTAGE CHRISTMAS
Enjoy fantastic entertainment, an incredible festive market and historical education in a unique setting.
The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset
01929 405096, www.tankmuseum.org

07-08 DECK THE HALLS
Fantastical and elaborate floral displays, the largest of which will be up to two metres high, and the opportunity to watch skilled florists giving hands-on demonstrations.
The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset
01749 988111, bishopspalace.org.uk

18 MUSIC FOR CHRISTMAS (7PM)
The Truro Youth String Orchestra return to fill the galleries with a one-hour programme of beautiful Christmas music, suitable for all ages.
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, Cornwall
01872 272205, www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk

18 MEET A MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT (10.30AM, 11.30AM)
Spend half an hour in the company of one of the Cathedral’s many unique medieval books and documents.
Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire
01722 555120, www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

26 BOXING DAY BARBECUE
Enjoy a lunch barbecue with live music on the quay, the perfect follow-up to Christmas day for all your family and friends.
Clovelly, near Bideford, Devon
01237 431781, www.clovelly.co.uk

SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND AND LONDON

04 BITE-SIZE MUSEUM: LEST WE FORGET, WAR STORIES REVISITED (12-12.45PM)
Listen to some of the moving personal stories that have been discovered during the World War One centenary. Told through projections and sound.
Brighton Museum, Brighton, East Sussex
03000 290900, brightonmuseums.org.uk

08 & 22 EXPLORE OUR DÉCOR (2.30PM)
Enjoy a guided tour of Riba’s Grade II* listed headquarters, concluding in a small display of images about this Art Deco landmark.
Riba, Portland Place, London
020 7580 5533, www.architecture.com

10 VICTOR STIEBEL: THE LONDON COUTURIER
Join Beatrice Behlen, senior curator of Fashion, on this talk about Victor Stiebel, the nearly forgotten couturier. Booking essential.
Museum of London, London
020 7001 9844, www.museumoflondon.org.uk

10 TALK: LETTERS TO SANTA
Learn how the Post Office helps Santa reply to the letters he receives every year and see some of the letters children have sent in the past and the replies they received.
The Postal Museum, London
0300 0300 700, www.postalmuseum.org

15-16 KING HENRY’S CHRISTMAS COURT
King Henry VIII invites you to experience Christmas traditions from his royal Tudor court. There will be dancing, merrymaking, magic, music and an audience with the King.
The Mary Rose, Portsmouth, Hampshire
023 9281 2931, maryrose.org

WEST OF ENGLAND

07 100 COCKPITS AND CABS
View a wide range of aircraft and vehicles that aren’t usually opened to the public. Booking essential.
Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire 01902 376200,
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford

08 EVENING CHRISTMAS CAROLS BY STEAM TRAIN (7PM)
Get into the true spirit of Christmas and help raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, Toddington, Gloucestershire
01242 621405, www.gwsr.com

14-15 CHRISTMAS CAROL TRAINS
Sing along or just soak up the festive atmosphere with an evening of carols and festive songs. Booking essential.
Severn Valley Railway, Kidderminster, Worcestershire
01562 757900, www.svr.co.uk

15-16 SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
Discover Christmas cheer inspired by A Christmas Carol and take a tour (11.30am & 2.15pm Saturday, 2.15pm Sunday) to discover the Victorian secrets hidden in this historic building
The Commandery, Sidbury, Worcestershire
01905 361821, www.worcestershire.gov.uk/museums

29-31 MINCE PIE SPECIALS
Take a trip along the Chiltern foothills, see the steam drift lazily past your window – sit back, relax and enjoy the views.
Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, Chinnor, Oxfordshire
07979 055366, www.chinnorrailway.co.uk
EAST OF ENGLAND

30 NOVEMBER-02 DEEPDALE CHRISTMAS MARKET
More than 130 artisans and producers join the permanent shops and café to create one of East Anglia’s best festive markets.
Dalegate Market, Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk
01485 210305, www.dalegatemarket.co.uk/christmas-market

06-09 ENCHANTED AUDLEY END (4.30-9PM)
An enchanting experience of light, colour and sound as Audley End is transformed into an illuminated world.
Audley End House and Gardens, Saffron Walden, Essex 01799 522842,
www.english-heritage.org.uk

12 DECK THE HALLS (2-3.45PM)
See the beautiful decorations and enjoy a mini-tour exploring Christmas customs and traditions with music and seasonal refreshments. Booking essential.
Strangers’ Hall, Charing Cross, Norwich, Norfolk 01603 493625, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/strangers-hall

15-22 CHRISTMAS EMPORIUM
A spectacular Victorian inspired light show, complemented by Christmas stalls offering unique arts, crafts, gifts and locally sourced food and drink.
Lincoln Castle, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
01522 554559, www.lincolncastle.com

19 CATHEDRAL BY CANDLELIGHT TOUR
Enjoy this after-hours tour and let your imagination soar as you hear stories from the Cathedral’s long history.
Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
01733 452336, www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk

MIDLANDS

08-09 CHRISTMAS FAIR
Enjoy the pumping station in steam, live entertainment and a variety of stalls selling items perfect for Christmas gifts.
Papplewick Pumping Station, Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire
0115 963 2938, www.papplewickpumpingstation.co.uk

15-16 CHRISTMAS IN THE HOME
From Victorian lavishness to wartime Christmas on the ration, enter the homes of the past to see how their occupants prepare for the big day.
Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands
0121 557 9643, www.bclm.co.uk

16 WHAT THE DICKENS!
Join in the Victorian festivities as the Hall is transformed into the delights and drama of a Dickensian Christmas.
Aston Hall, Birmingham, West Midlands
0121 348 8100, www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/aston

23 A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Performing 26 different characters, Gerald Dickens brings his great-great grandfather’s most famous book to vivid and exciting life.
Guildhall Lane, Leicester, Leicestershire
0116 253 2569, www.visitleicester.info

27, 30-31 WINTER WARMERS
Enjoy a 20-mile return journey through Staffordshire’s hidden valley, before venturing onto the steeply graded Cauldon Branch with its contrasting moorland scenery.
Churnet Valley Railway, Froghall, Staffordshire
01538 750755, www.churnetvalleyrailway.co.uk

NORTH OF ENGLAND

08 THE FABRIC OF PROTEST (1-3.30PM)
Learn new techniques and share ideas over a cup of tea at this monthly textile workshop.
People’s History Museum, Spinningfields, Manchester
0161 838 9190, phm.org.uk

08 HISTORY OF ACCRINGTON WALK (1-4PM)
Starting outside Accrington’s beautiful Victorian Market Hall, this walk leads to other buildings where you can learn about their history.
Accrington Town Square, Accrington, Lancashire
01254 398319, civicartscentre.co.uk

08 GHOSTLY CHRISTMAS STORIES AT THE HALL (7.30PM)
Join the master storyteller as he shares his frighteningly-good festive ghost tales in atmospheric surroundings.
Barley Hall, York, North Yorkshire
01904 615505, barleyhall.co.uk

18 MEMORY WALK (2PM)
Take a gentle stroll through the past as we explore some of the stories and objects from Liverpool’s history.
Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside
0151 478 4545, www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol

23 CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN THE STABLEYARD
Join us for festive carols with a live band, shopping and dining in the Stableyard.
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire
01625 374400, tattonpark.org.uk

28-29 WINTER WARM-UP
Some of the engines that once powered the cotton mills and woollen mills of the north of England will be running in steam over these two days.
Bolton Steam Museum, Bolton, Greater Manchester
01204 846490, www.nmes.org

WALES

06-08 CHRISTMAS NIGHTS (6-9PM)
A traditional Welsh Christmas. Grab a torch, wrap up warm and come to St Fagans.
St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
0300 111 2 333, museum.wales/stfagans

14 A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (1-1.30PM)
Fluellen Theatre’s celebrated adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ magical A Child’s Christmas In Wales, with Delyth Jenkins on harp.
Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
01792 463980, www.dylanthomas.com

SCOTLAND

20-22 TRADITIONS AND TALES OF CHRISTMAS
Learn about the tales and traditions of a Victorian Christmas, the origins of the cracker, Christmas cards and other festivities.
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
0131 225 9846, www.edinburghcastle.scot

30-31 BLACK BUN SPECIALS
Enjoy a traditional Hogmanay Black Bun and hot drink aboard our nostalgic steam railway, juice and shortbread for the kids.
The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, Bo’ness
01506 822298, www.bkrailway.co.uk

31 HOGMANAY FAMILY FUN
Hogmanay activities for families to enjoy together, including crafts and live music.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
0300 123 6789, www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland

NORTHERN IRELAND

07 LILIAN BLAND (7.30PM)
Historian and author Guy Warner with a talk on Lilian Bland, the first woman to design, construct and fly her own aircraft. Free but booking essential.
Larne Museum and Arts Centre, Larne, Co Antrim
028 2826 2443, www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/events

07-08 CAROL SHIP
Christmas music across Strangford Lough and the Strangford ferry illuminated with Christmas lights.
Strangford Lough, Co Down
07834 539566, www.portaferryandstrangfordtrust.org

• Details correct at time of press – please confirm with event organisers before travelling.



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