Turn the clock back over 100 years to see how Bristolians would have celebrated the Christmas season in Victorian times...

Victorian Christmas Weekend at Brunel's SS Great Britain (9-10 Dec)

Victorian Christmas Weekend at Brunel’s SS Great Britain is a Dickensian dream. Snow is falling and a rag tag mix of Victorian characters have come to celebrate the season. On 9 and 10 December, the Ragged Victorians will be bustling around the decorated dockyard sharing their seasonal stories. Families can get involved with making traditional Victorian Christmas cards, meet Mr Brunel - the man who engineered the great ship, step into the shoes of a Victorian sailor and climb the rigging as well as watch the historic buoy on Brunel Square be transformed into a giant Christmas bauble (10 Dec). There'll also be Christmas carols in the First Class Saloon (9 Dec). Afterwards, warm up with festive treats in the café or pick up some unique last minute gifts in the shop. 

SSGB Xmas cards mr brunel

Image - Mr Brunel with children making Christmas cards at the SS Great Britain

A very Victorian Christmas at Tyntesfield (25 Nov - 3 Jan)

Take in the atmosphere of this grand, gothic house as you watch the Gibbs family and servants make their festive preparations, with plenty of song and dance. (Pre-bookable house tickets are still available, book now before they sell out!)

You can also grab a map and follow the Great Dickensian Trail round the verdant grounds, inspired by yuletide classics such as The Christmas Carol.

And for Tyntesfield tots… there’ll be Christmas crafting, games and storytelling of Beatrix Potter’s  the Tailor of Gloucester. See here for even more ways to celebrate, including special night time openings, Christmas concerts in the chapel and seasonal food and craft markets.

Tyntesfield Christmas

Image - Tyntesfield Christmas, credit Steve Haywood

A Victorian Christmas at Blaise Castle House Museum (9 Dec)

There’s plenty of old-fashioned merriment to be had at Blaise. See the house decked with boughs of holly (and evergreens from Blaise Estate) fa la la la la la la la la. Get into the festive spirit with carols, storytelling, dressing-up and family yuletide craft activities. You’ll also find lots of stocking filler inspiration in the shop.

Arnos Vale Christmas Carol Concert (10 Dec)

A stunning heritage site, steeped in Victorian Architecture, Arnos Vale Cemetery will be getting in the jolly holiday spirit with late afternoon carols by Bristol Chamber Choir in the chapel. Enjoy a musical medley of choral performances and join in with familiar favourites. The Friends of Arnos Vale Cemetery will be on hand selling delicious festive refreshments to fill you with good cheer, so be sure to arrive early!

Owls close up

Image - Choir at Tyntesfield, credit Peter Hall

Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day (2 Dec)

The Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day heralds the arrival of Christmas in the town, which lies about half an hour’s drive from Bristol. The High Street and Broad Street will be filled with all sorts of festive cheer - traditional fairground rides, steam engines, school choirs and lots more. Feast on hot chestnuts, mulled wine and mince pies, catch up on Christmas shopping at market stalls and late night shop openings and wave to Santa as he parades through the town. Snow machines will add some proper wintry atmosphere and Victorian costumes are encouraged.
Take a look at their facebook page for updates.

Corporate events:

SS Great Britain Christmas parties

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a first class passenger aboard a magnificent Victorian sailing vessel? Now you can! Stepping onboard Brunel's SS Great Britain is like entering a time machine, so you can expect a wonderfully atmospheric Christmas Party.  Some events have already sold out, but there are still exclusive dinner packages still available. Start the night with a drink on the Promenade deck, before tucking into a festive menu in the First Class Dining Saloon. The Captain's Dinner (16 Dec) includes a tour of the historic ship by Mr Brunel himself! Or, why not play the sleuth and solve a Christmas murder mystery over a three course dinner (2 Dec)? 

First Class dining saloon ssgb

Image - First Class Dining Saloon, credit Adam Gasson

Neo-Victorian Fantasy Christmas Parties at The Bristol Paintworks

After a bit of Victorian flavour for your Christmas party? Paintworks' Christmas party theme fits perfectly with the original Steampunk architecture of 
The Paintworks. Be transported back to a time of adventurous explorers in this neo-Victorian extravaganza, an eclectic mash-up of old-world meets new. Vintage street performers and Victorian Strongman acts are interspersed with world-class acrobatics whilst you enjoy a four course dinner. After dining, have a flutter in the star-lit casino before dancing the night away.

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