From family carols, to traditional candlelit Christmas concerts and services reflecting on the meaning of Christmas, Bristol's seasonal carol concerts are sure to get your Christmas off to a sparkling start. #MerryBristmas

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral - Christmas carol concerts and services in Bristol

Image - Bristol Cathedral

Kick off your Christmas with a beautiful candlelit service to mark the beginning of Advent. The Cathedral starts off in pitch darkness and slowly comes to light through the spreading of candlelight. A moving and memorable experience, not to be missed.

When: 2 December - Time: 6-7.30pm - Entry: Free

Join Bristol Cabot Choir for their annual Christmas Concert with highlights from Handel's Messiah and other pieces. 

When: 10 December - Time: 7.30pm - Entry Fee: £15 Reserved, £10 unreserved

Join hospital charity Above & Beyond for an evening of magical carols at Bristol Cathedral with Colston's Upper School Chorus and Lower School Choir, Voice of Hope Wellbeing Gospel Choir, Byron Jones - The Welsh Wizard, Thornbury Ukeaholics and the Above & Beyond Singers. The host for the evening, Jack Ashton (from BBC's Call the Midwife), will be joined by patients, NHS staff and fundraisers who will share their inspiring stories. All proceeds from ticket sales, on-the-night donations and merchandise sales will provide vital funding for Bristol city centre hospitals.

When: 13 December – Time: 7.30pm – Entry fee: £12 Adult, £5 Child, £25 Family

The Christmas concert highlight at Bristol Cathedral is sure to leave you with a warm festive glow. Be treated to haunting harmonies from the cathedral choir as they process down the aisle in near darkness carrying candles, hear readings by BBC Radio 4's The Archers John Telfer and join in with your favourite carols. This concert sells out every year, so get your tickets now!

When: 14 & 15 December - Time: 7.30pm - Entry Fee: £15

This young children-friendly retelling of the nativity story, features well-known readings and carols sung by Bristol Cathedral Choristers. Children (and adults!) are encouraged to come dressed as wise men, angels, or shepherds. 

When: Sun 17 December - Time: 3.30-4.30pm - Entry Fee: Free

Rest those Christmas shopping feet and experience a moment of calm in the middle of the busy yuletide season with a short carol service in the peaceful atmosphere of Bristol Cathedral.

When: 18 December - Time: 5.15-6pm- Entry Fee: Free

Little ones too young for Nine Lessons and Carols? Take them along to this 45-minute informal carol service for babies, toddlers and pre-school children and join in with all the festive favourites as they move around the Cathedral - so no need to worry about noise or little wrigglers! This event is extremely popular, so be sure to get there in plenty of time.

When: 19 December - Time: 10am & 2pm Entry Fee: Free

Fill yourself with Christmas cheer right before the big day at one of the most-loved and traditional Christmas services in the city. Sing along to your favourite carols with festive fervour and hear readings from Bristol community figures in a packed-out Cathedral. Due to the extremely popular nature of this service, it’s worth arriving with plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

When: 23 December & Christmas Eve - Time: 23 Dec – 6-7.30pm, 24 Dec – 3.30-5pm Entry Fee: Free

Welcome in the light of Christmas morning with this special midnight Eucharist.

When: Christmas Eve - Time: 11pm - Entry Fee: Free

Celebrate Christmas morning at the Cathedral with joyous tunes from The Cathedral Choir accompanied by majestic notes from the organ, a string quartet and a trumpeter. Families and children are welcome.

When: Christmas Day - Time: 10am - Entry Fee: Free

St Mary Redcliffe

Treefest - St Mary Redcliffe: Christmas carol concerts and services in Bristol

Treefest, St Mary Redcliffe

Starting by the light of one candle, the choir moves through the church singing Advent Music, followed by readings and Advent hymns for the congregation. The end of the service sees all the candles lit in church.

When: 1 & 2 December - Time: 6.30-7.30pm - Entry Fee: Free

Soak up the Christmas spirit by joining us for this festive singalong, reflecting the church’s role as a beacon for the local community.

When: 5 December - Time: 5-7.30pm - Entry Fee: Free

Treefest is a spectacular festive display of Christmas trees decorated by local organisations, charities, schools and businesses as an opportunity to tell local people about their services, causes or activities, while helping to raise money for good causes. There’s also a varied musical programme and a chance for visitors to vote for their favourite tree.

When: 4-8 December - Time: 8am-5pm daily - Entry Fee: Free

  • Carol Service with the Salvation Army Band & Songsters

Tap along to traditional carols from the church’s choirs accompanied by the Easton Salvation Army Brass Band.

When: 18 December - Time:  7.30pm - Entry Fee: Free

  • Carols for all at lunchtime

Squeeze in a bit of Christmas spirit to your lunch hour with sacred and secular carols for all to sing, plus poems and readings, all led by the Redcliffe Chamber Choir.

When: 19 December - Time:  1.15-2pm - Entry Fee: Free

  • Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols by Candlelight

A selection of well-known carols for the congregation, alongside bible readings and choir carols to celebrate Christmas.

When: 21 & 23 December - Time: 21 Dec - 7.30pm, 23 Dec – 6.30pm - Entry Fee: Free

  • Christingle

Hear the Christmas story in this child-friendly celebration, named after the Christingles –an orange decorated with red tape, sweets and a candle - that are lit during the service.

When: 22 December - Time: 4pm - Entry Fee: Free

  • Christmas Eve Crib service and midnight mass

The family-friendly Christmas Eve Crib is a service based on the Christmas story, followed later that evening by an atmospheric midnight mass.

When: 24 December - Time:  Crib service - 4pm, midnight mass – 11.30pm - Entry Fee: Free

Christmas day celebrations at St Mary Redcliffe include a Christmas Day Holy Communion (8-9am), as well as the Eucharist and Nativity Play (10.30am).

John Wesley's Chapel, The New Room

John Wesley's Chapel

Image - Jon Wesley's Chapel, The New Room, credit Huntley Hedworth

  • Shoppers’ Carols at the New Room

Take a moment away from your Christmas shopping for a festive sing-along in the world’s first Methodist church.

When: 19 December – Time: 1pm – Entry fee: free

  • Carols by Candlelight at the New Room

Join the New Room’s annual Christmas celebration of traditional Christmas carols in a beautiful candlelit 18th century chapel.

When: 19 December – Time: 6pm – Entry fee: free

  • Folk at the New Room presents Three Cane Whale

An atmospheric chamber-folk Christmas special with Bristol-based multi-instrumental acoustic trio Three Cane Whale.

When: 20 December – Time: 7.30pm (doors 7pm) – Entry fee: £14/£12 Conc. (Adv £12/£10 Conc.)

Brunel's SS Great Britain Victorian Weekend

Step back in time as Brunel’s SS Great Britain is transformed into a Dickensian winter scene over the weekend of 8-9 December, with Victorian characters and even falling snow! There'll be traditional Christmas carol singing from local choirs at 12.30pm and 2pm in various locations around the ship and Dockyard.

Carols under Concorde

Get into the Christmas spirit with festive carol singing at Aerospace Bristol (8 December) under Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde ever to fly.

The Lord Mayor's Chapel

Bristol Cathedral - Christmas carol concerts and services in Bristol

Image - Bristol Cathedral, credit A Campbell

Bristol Chamber Choir presents a varied programme of Christmas Music and Carols conducted by Gordon Pullin in the only municipal chapel in England. In addition the Pearsall Consort with Kevan Boll (flute) will play Bach's Suite in B minor for flute and strings.

When: 15 December - Time: 2.15-3.30pm - Tickets: £10

Hear carols and festive tunes from North Bristol Wellbeing Choir, a group who come together to boost their health and wellbeing through music. Join in with popular Christmas carols and tuck into mulled wine and mince pies. All profits go to support local voluntary and community groups.

When: 5 December - Time: 7-9pm - 2.15-3.30pm - Tickets: £15

St John on the Wall

St John on the Wall - Christmas carol concerts and services in Bristol

Image - St John on the Wall

Pop into this beautiful medieval church, built into the old city wall for an atmospheric candlelit service, followed by warm refreshments and Christmas treats in Saint Stephen's afterwards.

When: December 18 – Time: TBC – Entry fee: free

Festive Lunch with Carols at The Memorial Stadium

Bristol Rovers Memorial Ground - Christmas carol concerts and services in Bristol

Image - Bristol Rovers Memorial Ground

Join Bristol Rovers for a festive lunch with carols at their football ground. They will be serving a delicious three-course festive meal in the Poplar Suite followed by some yuletide tunes.

When: December 13 – Time: 1pm – Entry fee: £19.50 per person

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral - Christmas carol concerts and services in Bristol

Image - Chroisters, Wells Cathedral

The first carol service of the season and one of the most charming. The Nave will be full of school children, music, song and festive fun. Public are welcome to join and sit on available seats at the rear of the Nave.

When - 27 November - Time: 1.30-2.30pm - Entry fee: free

This annual Christmas concert sees ten schools from across the county performing with the Somerset County Orchestra and Choir in a wonderful festive celebratory event.

When: 10 December – Time 7-9pm – Entry fee: £5 - £10

Hurry! These hugely popular concerts featuring Wells Cathedral Choir performing seasonal music, interspersed with readings in the Cathedral lit by thousands of candles sell out fast.

When: 20 & 21 December – Time 7-8.30pm – Entry fee: £15 - £30

A traditional carol service led by the world-renowned Wells Cathedral Choir, plus bible readings. These traditional services take place on two nights, are not ticketed and always popular so arrive in good time (to be seated by 5.40pm).

When: 22 & 23 December - Time: 6-7.30pm - Entry: free

Wells Cathedral’s two crib services are especially for children, who are invited to dress as a shepherd, angel or a King! They'll also be some costumes for kids who will be invited to take part in performing a real nativity scene in the Cathedral. Each service will last around 30 minutes.

When: 24 December – Time: 2pm and 3.15pm – Entry: free

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral - Christmas Carol concerts and services in Bristol

Join BBC Wiltshire for their live recording of 'Carols at the Cathedral'. The show will be transmitted on BBC Wiltshire on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning. The Evolution Choir and the Aldbourne Band will be joined by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, conducted by Assistant Director of Music John Challenger.

When: 8 December - Time: Doors open at 4pm - Entry fee: Adults from £6, Children from £2.50

The Cathedral's Christmas Carol service is a wonderful mixture of beautiful choral music, popular carols sung by the congregation and the reading of the Christmas story, with life-size crib scene set up at the very centre of the Cathedral.

When 22 & 23 December –Time: 5-6.15pm – Entry: free

Venture out of Bristol to this iconic cathedral for well-known carols, the Christmas story told using giant puppets and a real donkey! This popular service for young kids lasts about 40 minutes, so arrive early to be sure of a seat.

When: 24 December – Time: 3.30-4.30pm – Entry fee: free

Clifton College Chapel is welcoming guests to a Christmas Carol Service in beautiful surroundings, in aid of ABF The Soldiers' Charity. The carols will be performed by the choir of Bristol Cathedral, in the presence of HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE.

When: 19 December – Time 6.45-8.15pm – Entry fee: free

For more Christmassy events and activities, check out our Christmas pages to help plan your stay in Bristol.