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The Muddy round up of some of the more interesting things to do in and around Wiltshire in December.  See also Cracking Christmas markets and fairs and our Pick of the pantos and Christmas shows.


Magic of Christmas at Stourhead, Warminster, Mon 30 Dec

The world-famous landscape garden Stourhead will be lit up in all its festive glory for the whole of December. The tree-tops will glisten and the gardens will shimmer and sparkle with seasonal colours. If there is anything to get the scroog-iest of people in the Christmas spirit, this is it.


The Festival of Light, Longleat, nr Warminster, until Sun 5 Jan

A thrilling odyssey as myths and legends from across the world are brought to life in giant light sculptures.


Wild Goose Dreams, Ustinov Studio, Bath, to Sat 21 Dec

UK-premiere of a thrilling love story by South Korean playwright Hansol Jung. Two people meet on a dating site: Guk, a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to the US in search of a better life and Yoo, a young defector from North Korea, who’s haunted by memories of the father she left behind.


Christmas at Cheddar Gorge & Caves, Cheddar, until Tues 24 Dec

Father Christmas’ secret subterranean outpost deep in the Mendip Hills – plus all the stalagtites and stalactites you can handle.


BUMP roller disco, Millennium Square, Bristol, to Sun 5 Jan 2020

roller skates december

Who needs an ice rink when you’ve got your own wheels? Lace up your roller skates at the Christmas pop-up Bump roller disco, with a Disco Ball Bar, Pepe Nero pizzas, bratwursts, Yorkshire pud wraps and crepes and more.


Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea, Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford-on-Avon, Available until Sat 4 Jan

Inspired by the exciting release of Frozen 2, Woolley Grange has created a winter-wonderland themed afternoon tea. Enjoy blueberry ice mountain cupcakes, Siberian chocolate and raspberry bombs, frosty vanilla macarons, aerated chocolate snowflakes and marshmallow snow cubes.


Pre-Christmas Celebration, The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden & Greenway Hotel, Shurdington, Fri 20 Dec

This special offer includes an arrival drink, mince pies and a three-course traditional Christmas dinner. You’ll stay in cosy overnight accommodation and a full English breakfast in the morning.


Robin Hood, Salisbury, to 12 Jan

Join Robin and his merry band for a fantastic adventure this Christmas. With all the elements of a traditional pantomime – comedy, dance, audience participation, fantastic sets – and familiar songs, you won’t want to miss this year’s Playhouse extravaganza. It’s the perfect treat for all ages.


Ten Times Table, Theatre Royal Bath, Mon 2 – Sat 7 Dec

Photo Pamela Raith

If farce is your fing:  Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy follows the increasingly raucous attempts of a village committee to organise the first Pendon Folk Festival.


A Christmas Carol, Swindon, Mon 2 Dec to Tues 3 Dec

“Christmas? A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!” exclaims Ebenezer Scrooge in the opening stave of A Christmas Carol. It’s also an excuse for the Dickens Theatre Company to bring you their joyously authentic staging of this Victorian classic.


The Winter’s Tale, Branagh Theatre Live screening, venues around Wilts, Weds 4 Dec

Shakespeare’s tragicomedy of obsession and redemption. King Leontes appears to have everything: power, wealth, a loving family and friends. But sexual jealousy sets in motion a chain of events with tragic consequences. Cripes. Find your nearest screening.


Settlers Stores pop-up, Gray M.C.A. gallery, 5 St Margaret’s Buildings, Bath, Weds 4 – Tues 10 Dec

settlers stores items december

Catch the Frome-based fashion and accessories brand that mixes contemporary British tweed with African-inspired Dutch wax batik at their Christmas pop-up in Bath. 10am – 6pm, with shopping and drinks until 8pm on Thurs 5 and Fri 6 Dec.


Del Boy’s Christmas Comedy Dinner Show, Old Bell Hotel, Malmesbury, Thurs 5 Dec

Spend an evening at the cosy Old Bell Hotel for a night packed with comedy, party games, pantos, presents, crackers and karaoke, just like the Trotters and their mates’ would celebrate!


GvE&Co Pop Up Shop, Ladbroke Grove, London, 5-8 Dec

Heading to the Big Smoke this month? Shop for those hard-to-buy-for Christmas gifts, or even treat yourself (‘cos you’re worth it, right?), at this fab Pop Up from 5-8 December. Envelop your home in luxurious autumn colour – purchase furnishing fabric by the metre, throws, cushions and floor pillows in cotton and luxurious silk velvet. Take your pick of gorgeous silk pyjamas, robes, travel pillows and lovely wool rugs. Oh, and there will be mulled cider and hot chocolate on arrival. There will also be limited edition Giclée prints. Thurs 5 Dec 6-8.30pm, Fri 6 Dec 11am-7pm, Sat 7 Dec 11am-5pm, Sun 8 Dec 11am-2pm at Cassian de Vere Cole Fine Art, Ladbroke Grove Entrance, 50 Elgin Crescent, London W11 2JJ. Complementing GvE&Co will be Ram Jewellery, 22 carat gold one-off pieces hand made in London and stocked in Harvey Nichols and Browns London.


Jurassic Lark, Swindon Arts Centre, Swindon, Thurs 5 Dec to Sat 7 Dec

The festive season means pantomimes are well and truly back with a bang. Geoff Marsh and his gang are back with an all-new performance, heading back to the land before time. This crazy show will have dinosaurs, witches and time machines. This will be unlike any other pantomime you’ve ever seen, but in a good way!


Christmas Chef’s Table, Vaughan’s Cookery School, Devizes, Fri 6 Dec

Owner of Vaughan’s Kitchen, Peter Vaughan is famous for his interesting alternative to the traditional British Festive menu. This years Christmas Chef’s Table will take you on a backpackers’ culinary journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.


Wreath Making, The Plough, Cold Aston, Fri 6 Dec

Make your own custom wreath, perfect to hang on your door at Christmas time. During the workshop you’ll be treated with bubbly and canapes. Tickets are available to buy for £60.


Soushi Pop Up Restaurant, Miserden Estate, Miserden, Fri 6 Dec

Soushi’s chef Brett Mills has promised an unmissable feast for the diners at Miserden Estate.


Cinderella, Wharf Theatre, Devizes, 6-14 Dec

The story of a young girl who just wants to meet her prince and live happily ever after; however her truly ugly sisters have other ideas. With a few unexpected twists along the way, will she get her prince so we need to buy another hat or will the ugly sisters royally mess it up?


Crafts and Carols in the Corner Yard, Newton Farm Foods, Newton St Loe, nr Bath, Sun 8 Dec

Arts & crafts stalls aplenty, festive tunes from a brass band and hot snacks, hot drinks, mince pies and mulled cider to keep you going. Santa will have seasonal treats for the young ‘uns, with rides around the village on Chuffy the Train. Toot toot! From 11am – 3.3pm, free admission.


Sleeping Beauty, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Sat 7 Dec to Sun 5 Jan

Michelle Collins and Chris Jarvis are starring in the Wyvern Theatres adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. This hilarious, must-see panto has all the bells and whistles including dance, side-splitting comedy, sensational song and plenty of festive magic.


Frome Monthly Vegan Market, Cheese and Grain Market Yard, Frome, Sat 7 Dec

Vegan Fairs have been popping up all over the country as it’s the perfect chance to try the best vegan alternatives available on the market. All your favourite snacks will be available including cakes, chocolates, pies and cheese. Sellers will also be showcasing ethical clothing, accessories and beauty brands. Not only do these fairs promote ethical and environmentally friendly business, but it also supports local artisan producers.


Gingerbread Festival, Riverbourne Community Farm, Salisbury, Sat 7 Dec to Sun 22 Dec (Festival is only on weekends)

Up for something different this Christmas? Bring the children for a host of fun activities. Children can meet the Gingerbread Fairy, do a workshop in the barn and complete the Gingerbread Trail around the farmyard. The vintage tractor will be available for festive photos, and there will be goodies to take home! Accompanying adults go free and can enjoy mulled wine and hot chocolate in the Gingerbread Barn. ​


Christmas Chillout, The Santosha Studio, Chippenham, Sun 8 Dec

De-stress Sunday is turning festive! These deeply nourishing sessions combine gentle yoga, breath work and guided meditation.


Carols by Candlelight, St John’s Church, Devizes, Thurs 12 Dec

Star actor Rupert Everett, will be the special guest reader at Julia’s House Carols by Candlelight service. Local choirs, school and families will be joining together at St John’s Church for an evening of musical magic, carol singing and seasonal readings. The service is held in support of Wiltshire’s children’s hospice charity, Julia’s House.


Rubols Fusion Kitchen, Miserden Pop Up Restaurant, Miserden Estate, Miserden, Fri 13 Dec

The Miserden pop ups are a Muddy favourite. Set in the gorgeous and unique setting of the Garden Cafe (now installed with log burners and heating for the winter months), some of the best dishes in the West Country come from this kitchen. Cousins Ruby and Holly have combined their love from Mexican and Middle Eastern flavours to create some incredibly tasty dishes.


Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps, Swindon Art Centre, Swindon, Fri 13 Dec to Tues 24 Dec

Father Christmas is back to deliver presents but this time he’s had one too many handfuls on sprouts during his journey! This hilarious musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s sequel to ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee’ is the perfect mixture between classic toilet humour and witty jokes, it’s the perfect show for the whole family.


Rob Delaney, Phil Wang, Ed Gamble & Rose Matafeo, The Forum, Bath,  Sat 14 Dec

Channel 4s Catastrophe star Rob Delaney, HIGNFY’s Phil Wang, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo and Mock The Week’s resident plucky-scamp Ed Gamble. Pretty cool line up.


Robinson Crusoe, Arc Theatre, Trowbridge, 14 – 17 Nov

This swashbuckling show promises to be a treat for the whole family with plenty of laughs, colourful costumes, and bundles of energy brought to you by local young performers.


The Spitfire Sisters do Christmas, Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre, Sun 15 Dec

The Spitfire Sisters’ will be performing their favourite Christmas jingles, both old and new, as well as songs from their new album.


All on a Winter’s Night – Johnny Coppin, Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre, Tetbury, Sun 15 Dec

Johnny Coppin is presenting his annual concert alongside Paul Burgess and Dik Cadbury. There will be a brilliant mixture of carols, songs both old and new, together with stories and folklore.


Coppelia, The Royal Ballet live screening, venues around Somerset, Tues 10 Dec, encore screening Sun 15 Dec

coppelia ballet december

Photo Bill Cooper

Young man falls in love with bit of a doll. Choreography by Ninette de Valois.   Find a screening near you.


Slade: The Rockin’ Home for Christmas tour, O2 Academy, Bristol, Sun 15 Dec


Say Gudbuy t’Jane, then Skweeze Me Pleeze Me and let’s Cum on Feel the Noize. I could go on but I won’t, Coz I Luv You (sorry). Line up includes originals Dave Hill on lead guitar and Don Powell on drums.


Just Fabrics New Showroom, Just Fabrics, Cheltenham, Mon 16 Dec

Cotswold based business Just Fabrics has been booming in recent years, and thankfully they’re opening a brand-new interiors showroom in Cheltenham. Spread over 10,000sq foot, the fully refurbished unit has been specially designed to house their extensive range of woven and printed interior fabrics.


Carol Concert, Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Fri 20 Dec

Spend an evening in the stunning Salisbury Cathedral singing festive carols. This moving concert is set to be a remarkably well-attended event, showcasing why the community and this County hold our military in such high regard. Featuring performances from Blake, Colin Thackery, Classical Reflection and The Band of the Rifles, in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Help for Heroes. Make sure you grab your tickets early as this event is always popular.


Snowman and Rupert & The Frog Song, with the Bath Philharmonia, Bath Forum, Sat 21 Dec

A live orchestra will add a truly magical dimension to these animated classics.


The Selfish Giant, Pound Arts, Corsham, 21-24 Dec 

“The snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak and the frost painted all the trees silver…” Not a panto, but this festive season you and your families are invited to step into a theatrical worlds where giants are your neighbours and a once beautiful garden is stuck in everlasting winter. Explore an extraordinary friendship, and how even the grumpiest giant’s heart can melt when Spring finally comes.


Boxing Day Lunch, The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden, Thurs 26 Dec

The festivities don’t have to finish on Christmas Day. Enjoy a delicious three course lunch at The Kings Hotel for £35.00 per person.


108 Sun Salutations to Welcome the New Year, The Santosha Studio, Chippenham, Sun 29 Dec

Join Chie Sibbring with a celebratory practice of 108 sun salutations. This exercise is a great way of showing your gratitude to the sun by refreshing the mind, reinvigorating the body and revitalise the spirit.


New Year’s Eve Gala Party, The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden, Tues 31 Dec

Ring in 2020 with a champagne and canapé reception before being seated for a gourmet five course dinner, followed by dancing until 1.00am. This extravaganza is the perfect way to welcome the New Year with your loved ones.


New Year’s Eve at The Firestation, The Firestation, Cheltenham, Tues 31 Dec

Fancy a relaxed New Years Eve to kick back, enjoy some good food and live music? On the menu is duck liver parfait, Scottish smoked salmon, rum steak, pork belly, red wine poached pear and much more.


New Year’s Eve at Bowood, Bowood House, Calne, Tues 31 Dec  

Bowood aren’t hosting one New Year’s Eve party this year, they are hosting two! You’re spoilt for choice between a New Year’s Eve Ball in the glamorous Kerry Suite, or a mighty 7-course dinner at the Shelburne Restaurant, with live jazz and a revellers’ breakfast.


Don’t miss


Design Fabric Appointments, Heliotrope Interior Design, Broad Chalke, Available throughout December


Gemma Brunton Photography, Family Portrait Photography, Boudoir Photography, Commercial and headshot Photography

Having a picture of how you want your home to be in your head is easy, but being able to bring those ideas to life…not so much. This is why Heliotrope Interior Design are here to lend a helping hand. For £25 you can schedule an appointment with the designer to work through fabric cuttings and pattern books and select as many samples as you may wish. Once your appointment has finished you can either take your samples away or finalise your selections and make an order. If you place an order during your visit, the £25 appointment fee is refunded. You can select out other furnishings during your visit, including carpet, lighting and other interior bits and bobs. This is an absolutely fabulous and unique way to shop and will protect you from any unwise purchases that you’ll regret later down the line.


Silver ‘Tutti Frutti’ Rings, Watling Goldsmiths, Chippenham


This incredible collection of handmade jewelry is growing by the minute. These stackable designs are a perfect gift for a loved one or just to add to your own collection. All these designs are completely individual and unique. Originally designed for the owner’s personal collection for her holidays, she loved her creations so much she decided to sell them in store.


Facial Repair Offer, Lifestyle Hair and Beauty, Malmesbury 


The changing seasons can do a number on our bodies, and that includes our skin. When skin has been exposed to high temperatures and sunlight, it becomes dehydrated and signs of aging begin to appear. Lifestyle Hair and Beauty are offering a course of 3 Hydradermie Double Ionisation Longue Vie Soleil facials plus an eyebrow shape or tint for £195, to help battle sun damage, dark spots and any signs of ageing.


Baby’s First Stay Away, Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford-on-Avon, Valid Sunday to Wednesday until Thurs 19 Dec  


Bringing kids away for the first time can be a daunting experience. The plans you had to relax and unwind can quickly become stressful. Woolley Grange Hotel have set up the perfect get away if you plan to bring a baby. They’ll provide anything you need whether its bottle cleaning, baby listening service, highchairs or cots. They have thought of everything to ensure you’ll have the most stress-free family break possible. Included in the deal is a personalised welcome hamper, parent and baby first swim lesson, Baby Breakfast Club and babysitting services.


Jennifer Young Spa Day, Bowood House, Calne, Weekend and Weekday Spa Experiences Available


Bowood House is offering a rejuvenating spa experience for those weathering the pre and post-effects of cancer treatment. Jennifer Young has trained therapists to provide specialised and superior spa treatments with cancer in mind. As part of the experience, you’ll receive a 60-minute spa treatment and chakra oil and crystal. Plus, spa facilities, robe & slippers, a glass of bubbly and healthy lunch with a fruit platter.


Christmas Lunch, Hillbrush, Mere, throughout Dec

Enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch at Hillbrush Estate from £19.40 for two courses and £23.50 for 3. Peruse the menu before you dine and don’t forget to book!


Book Ahead



Cotswolds Decorative, Antiques & Art Fair, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Fri 3 to Sun 5 Jan


Fabulous, eye-catching and unusual art and antiques return to Westonbirt School this 3-5 January at our fave fair of the year, the Cotswolds Decorative, Antiques & Art Fair. With a huge variety of pieces for collectors, home furnishers, interior designers and anyone looking for unusual decorative accessories, it’s your chance to find some real gems, from vintage fashion and costume jewellery, to traditional antique pieces or the latest in decorative chic style. A cut above other vintage fairs, dealers from all over the UK and Europe will be selling Mid-Century Modern, eye-catching Art Deco, contemporary sculpture, industrial chic, painted furniture, portraits and glamorous jewellery…need I go on?


Luxury Yoga & Organic Beauty Retreat with The Yoga Glow, Pauntley Court, Fri 10 to Sun 12 Jan

Start the New Year on the right foot with a weekend of holistic weekend of yoga, organic beauty and freshly prepared nourishing food. The Yoga Glow will be hosting the whole weekend, held at the impressive Pauntley Court. During the trip you’ll enjoy morning meditations, yoga nidra, a sound healing gong bath, organic beauty and nutrition workshops. Plus, a variety of yoga classes to suit all levels.


Calendar Artists 2020 Exhibitions, Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, Sat 11 Jan to Sat 22 Feb

Thirteen talented artists who have previously exhibited at Fisherton Mill have contributed a piece of their artwork to feature on the pages of their charity calendar. The exhibition will showcase the carefully selected paintings, prints, illustrations and photographs as a special thanks to their generous donation. A portion of the sale from each calendar sold will go to support Harnham Water Meadows Trust.


Wedding Fayre, The Great Tythe Barn, Tetbury, Sat 18 Jan


The Great Tythe Barn is a stunning Grade || listed, 16th century stone barn nestled in the cosy market town of Tetbury. This gorgeous venue are opening their doors to newly weds to-be to explore this potential wedding venue. Plus, there’s no need to book in advance and entry is free!


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019, M Shed, Bristol, until Mon 4 May 2020

The Natural History Museum’s world-renowned exhibition is back with 100 spectacular images showcasing the beauty and fragility of life on earth at a time of environmental crisis.



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