The Best of British Carol Concerts

Choral sheetmusic with Christmas decorationsGet ready to sing

There is nothing quite like a Christmas carol concert to leave you full of warmth and joy. Whether you’re looking for a jovial singalong or a magical evening of exquisite music and meaningful readings, there are concerts all around the country to suit every need. Here is our pick of some of the best, from Cambridge to Leeds:

1. Westminster Abbey Christmas Concert

Westminster Abbey Christmas Concert is on Tuesday the 16th of December and promises to be a marvellous evening of music sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey. You simply have to be here to welcome the season in one of London’s most memorable buildings. Organized with John Lewis (a British Christmas favourite!) and the Barbican, the evening has seasonal readings and traditional carols for all to sing. While you’ll also enjoy renowned choral works such as Poulenc’s ‘Quatre Motets Pour Le Temps De Noël’. Tickets start at just £15, which is a brilliant price for such a grand location! Stay nearby at a London Travelodge to enjoy an enchanting Christmas break, visiting all the glittering sights that London has to offer.

2. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Kings College Cambridge

Kings College Cambridge in wintry snowKings College

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a Cambridge tradition going back nearly one hundred years and has been broadcast on the radio yearly since 1928. The opening carol is always ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, and the Christmas Eve event traditionally includes a new specially commissioned Christmas Carol. You’ll find this one more of a challenge to get into. The best way to get tickets is to queue early on Christmas Eve, starting well before 9am. The queue of people will then be admitted into the Chapel at 1.30 and the service starts at 3pm. Although queuing might seem like hard work, once inside the grounds, you’re free to buy warming refreshments and to roam around. Once you get in, the concert is free and a truly magical event to be a part of. Cambridge is a lovely city, especially around Christmas time, and staying in a nearby Travelodge will make the early morning queue a lot easier!

3. Christmas Celebrations at St David’s Hall

The Christmas Celebrations at St David’s Hall in Cardiff on the 18th of December is a feel-good Christmas concert for all the family. Presented by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the evening will take you on a journey through a sparkling winter wonderland full of sleigh rides and snow maidens, while encouraging you to sing-along to all your Christmas favourites. Family tickets start at just £12.50 for one adult and two children. Staying in Cardiff is a fun-filled option for a Christmas break – and gives you the chance to do that Christmas shopping, if you’ve left it late.

4. Lord Mayor’s Carol Concert, Leeds Town Hall

Also held on the 18th of December is the Lord Mayor’s Carol Concert in Leeds. You’ll be treated to a glorious performance by the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and Rothwell Temperance Brass Band. The annual carol concert is a great event for all the family and helps to support a good cause. Every year the Lord Mayor picks a charity to support and this year it will be the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal. Tickets are £5 and the annual event in loved by all. Leeds is a magical city and the Christmas markets are not to be missed.