Flickering candlelight can set such a mood for whatever you’re doing – the soft glow can feel romantic, it can feel atmospheric, and it can definitely feel festive! We’ve compiled our favourite events this month where candlelight plays a big part – so prepare to feel very Christmassy indeed!
Image: Christmas at Holkham Hall
Image: Christingle service at Norwich Cathedral
The city’s beautiful Romanesque Cathedral is a year-round ‘must-visit’, but is even more beautiful at Christmastime. Join Norwich Cathedral for a traditional Christingle service on Saturday 10 December, at midday. This service will (of course) feature oranges and candles aplenty as well as festive hymns!
Also taking place at Norwich Cathedral is a performance by their Chamber Choir who, along with Norwich Baroque, will perform Handel's Messiah by Candlelight - it’s set to be a truly breath-taking event. (17 Dec, 7.30pm). Tickets £12 - £18; buy online here.
Kicking off this month’s candlelit events is a fantastic concert with one of Britain’s hugely popular touring groups, The Locrian Ensemble. They’ve made many appearances on TV and films as well as recently topping the classical charts with their performance of the score for Wolf Hall. The Carols by Candlelight event is a great opportunity to see them in the intimate venue that is Norwich Playhouse (9 Dec, 7.30pm), where they’ll be performing a variety of Christmas favourites in full costume, joined by a few special guests! Tickets are £19.50; find more information here.
Image: Christmas at Holkham Hall
Holkham Hall is always a sight to behold at any time of year, but at Christmas it’s decked to the hilt with beautiful decorations and candlelight, so a visit during the festive period is hugely recommended. And if you can combine your visit with one of their Candlelight Tours, then even better! Taking place on certain dates in December, the early-evening tours will be an opportunity for visitors to join one of their guides; learn more about the building’s history and Christmas ornaments as you tour the beautiful rooms of Holkham. Complete the evening with a mince pie and hot drink in their Courtyard Café. Tickets for the tours are £16 for adults or £10 for children and must be booked online.
Update: please note that all Candlelight Tours of Holkham are now sold out online, but there is a number of tickets for the 3.45pm tours available from their ticket office.
Wymondham Abbey, a hugely historic church which has a packed line-up of services and events throughout the year, will host a Christmas Carol Service on the 18 December (6.30pm). With only a week to go until Christmas, this is a great opportunity to sing your favourite hymns by candlelight as you soak up the Abbey’s festive atmosphere!
Image: Bishop's Dining Room and Bar
For delicious food by candlelight book a table at Bishop’s Dining Room and Bar; this intimate restaurant has regularly changing menus featuring dishes made with seasonal ingredients, and their elegant décor includes tables with pretty tea-lights, for supper by candlelight!
Gathering friends together somewhere pretty in the city (you’ll be spoilt for choice here in Norwich!) and have your own candlelight singing session – perhaps you could collect money for charity, in the spirit of goodwill? You don't need to use real candles – pick up some of the candle-effect lights and you’ll avoid potentially singed eyebrows! And in the spirit of Christmas… stick the dreadful singers right at the back!
For the finer details on Christmas in Norwich visit our dedicated Christmas section on VisitNorwich.co.uk. There's info on where to stay, eat, shop and explore as well as lots of additional information - it's all here!
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.