What’s on in Wiltshire this December? We know!
The Christmas countdown is well and truly upon us. From theatre shows and art exhibitions, to craft workshops and Christmas shopping, here are all the best local events to get you into the festive spirit.
THEATRE: Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon, Salisbury Playhouse, until 31 Dec
If you ask us, Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to the theatre and this year Salisbury Playhouse’s take on Snow White is first on our list.
The show, set in the 1950s, is a fresh take on traditional fairytales; rather than being imprisoned by a wicked stepmother, Snow White is a young apprentice working in her aunt’s beauty salon. Peril comes into the tale when she comes across her aunt’s magic mirror, resulting in magic and mayhem, with a few catchy songs along the way. Book now.
ART: Ti Parks: 1939-2017 A Retrospective Journey, 3 Dec – 9 Jan, The Long Gallery, Messums, Tisbury
Collagist, printmaker, painter, sculptor and performance artist Ti Parks’ work is collated together in this enthralling exhibition of various styles, sure to delight everyone who steps through Messums’ doors. Book here.
MUSIC: Carols by Candlelight with High Tea, St Mary’s Church, Lydiard Park, Swindon, 7, 14 and 21 Dec, 4pm
It’s not Christmas without a carol service – make it by candlelight and it’s all the more magical. Lydiard Park is one of our favourite spots for a walk and it makes for the perfect location for a carol concert, set in the grounds of a manor house. The carols and high tea event is £15 per person, email email@example.com. for dates.
EVENT: Countryfile Christmas in the Park, Charlton Park, 10 – 12 Dec
Join Countryfile’s presenters for a festive event in Charlton Park’s arboretum. There will be live baking workshops, Christmas shopping, wreath-making sessions, winter woodland walks, off-road driving experiences and much more. From £15, book now.
MUSIC: Yuletide Feast with Louise Jordan, The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham Saturday 11 Dec 7:30 pm
A festive evening with a difference, folk musician Louise Jordan draws on festive traditions old and new, singing songs and telling stories while you’re served a warming three-course meal, including a hearty Moroccan tagine for your main course – yum! £25 per person, book here.
Next Beauty and Home Christmas Shopping Event, 11 – 12 Nov
Just over the border in Berkshire, but well worth making the trip for, Next in the Oracle shopping centre in Reading is hosting a Christmas Shopping weekend, offering discounts on big name beauty brands (think YSL, Tom Ford and Clinique). It’s one of only four Next stores in the country offering the deal, so we feel pretty lucky!
MUSIC: Noctis Christmas Carol Concert, Whatley Manor, 12 Dec
Whatley Manor is always top of our Christmas to-do list (their cheese fondue is the best we’ve ever tried) so when we heard they were doing a carol concert this year we were *very* excited. Noctis is a chamber choir consisting of musicians from the South West. You’ll be treated to champagne and canapés reception in the drawing-room followed by the carol recital and four-course set dinner with wine, coffee and treats. £120 per person, call 01666 834 026 to book.
CRAFT: Beloit Candle Making Workshop, Apsley House Royal Wootton Bassett, Monday 13 Dec at 7 pm
In the market for making some homemade Christmas gifts this year? Step right this way! Join local candle makers Beloit to create your very own natural soy wax candle and learn how the different scents of candles can influence our mood and emotions. You can even pick the fragrance combination you want for your candle for a truly unique creation. The workshop is 60 to 90 minutes long, £48 per person. Book here.
THEATRE: The Snow Beast, The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham, 18 – 24 Dec,
For budding scientists, this is the festive show to see this year, following the story of adventurer Faina as she tried to discover if ‘the snow beast’ really exists. The show includes live interactive science experiments, toe-tapping songs and a captivating plot, all set to a backdrop of wintry wilderness. Adults £9, children £7. Book here.
Marlborough Christmas Cracker Fair, Wilts, 18 Dec
Marlborough’s town hall is being transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with over 80 stalls of gift inspiration. Just a week before Christmas, this is the perfect event for anyone who has left present buying until the last minute (no judgement!).
KIDS: Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas Trail and Santa’s Grotto, Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford on Avon, until 22 Dec
Gather up the littlest members of your family and head over to Woolley Grange for a Shaun the Sheep themed walking trail, ending with a family visit to see Father Christmas and his elves in their magical grotto. The trail is short but sweet, making it perfect for little legs. £16 per child, adults free. Book here
CHRISTMAS: Swindon Town Gardens Enchanted Light Trail, Swindon, 2-31 Dec
For the first time ever, Swindon’s already pretty Town Garden is being transformed into a winter wonderland with a trail of super-impressive displays lighting up the gardens. From £6.
CHRISTMAS: Roves Farm Christmas Experience, until 23 Dec
Roves Farm has gone all out this Christmas. Not content with Santa’s grotto, they’ve also got a festive activity trail, a twinkling lights trail (who doesn’t love a trail?), reindeer food making workshops – why should Santa get all the Christmas Eve treats? Plus there’s a real live nativity scene with a donkey and llamas in lieu of a camel. Book tickets, prices vary – some events are free, others are paid for.
CHRISTMAS: Avebury Manor Christmas in Colours, until 2 Jan, Thursday to Sundays
All ten rooms inside Avebury’s majestic manor are getting dressed up in their festive finery this month, with each room decorated in a different colour. If this isn’t interiors inspo, we don’t know what is! Find out more.
CHRISTMAS: The Salisbury Christmas Tree Trail, until 2 Jan, starting at Salisbury Cathedral
Starting at the majestic cathedral and winding around the city until finishing at the Market Place, this enchanting walk invites you to traverse the medieval streets of Salisbury in search of 12 Christmas trees. It’s a festive way to see the city and get some tree-decorating inspiration for your own home. Find out more.
CHRISTMAS: Christmas at Longleat, near Warminster, until 3 Jan
This year Wiltshire’s famous safari park hosts the UK’s biggest singing Christmas tree, plus the iconic maze will be lit by magical lights to guide the way (like a modern-day wise man and the north star, don’t you think?). There’s also a festive train for little visitors, and a theatre show too.
CHRISTMAS: Christmas at Stourhead, until 2 Jan
Stourhead’s gardens in Wiltshire are impressive at the best of times, but they’re sensational at Christmas, with over a million lights and lasers bouncing about. Think sparkling tunnels (we defy you to resist taking a selfie in there), flickering flames and larger than life illuminations. Call in at nearby Bruton (yes, we know it’s in Somerset) for the best pizza ever at The Chapel. From £14.If you’re looking for a wreath-making class, you need to check out our round-up of the best Christmas wreath making classes in Wiltshire, or you fancy getting your skates on, here’s where to take a turn around the ice near Wiltshire.
Past December events – add these to your diary so you don’t miss them in 2022!
CHRISTMAS: Malmesbury and Villages Light Up for Christmas, 1 December at 6 pm
Malmesbury is getting all geared up for Christmas with a window light trail around the town, with residents dressing up their houses in their twinkly finery. Download the map and see who’s got the best display this year. We recommend finishing off at The Old Bell for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
SHOP: Malmesbury Late Night Shopping, 3 Dec
It’s a busy month for Malmesbury! The town’s mixture of independent shops and big-name stores stay open late this evening so you can get cracking on your Christmas shopping. Expect festive treats in the shops, plus lots of stalls taking over the high street selling everything from scarves to hot chocolate kits. There will be indoor stalls too and a Santa’s grotto. Find out all the stores taking part here.
OUTDOORS: Winter Warmer Walks. Avebury, Friday 3 Dec, 10:30 – 11:30
Join archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall for a frosty wander around the stone circle as he shares about the prehistory of the site. Post-walk, attendees are treated to Christmas liquer and mince pies, plus a 10% discount in the National Trust shop. £15 per person, book here.
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