London’s Best Christmas Concerts
From awe-inspiring singalongs to cosy church services, there are many places to hear your favourite Christmas carols this December. Warm up your pipes and get ready to ‘fa la la la la’ with UnderTheDoormat as we round up the best Christmas concerts in London!
St Paul’s Cathedral
Most people are familiar with the world-famous carol services that are held at St Paul’s each year – but the entire build-up to Christmas at St Paul’s is packed full of fantastic festive music. Of particular note is the charity concert on 10th December, which will feature readings from British celebrities (including Dominic West and Emily Watson), and glorious singing from St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and the Band of the Welsh Guard. Tickets are available for a range of prices – from £10 to £25 – and all money raised will go to Cancer Research UK.
If you’re keen to attend the popular services closer to Christmas, which are held on the 23rd and 24th December, you’re in for a treat: but you must get there early! Though doors don’t open until 3 pm, there will be a queue around the block long before then. Join in the fun, singing carols in the queue to take your mind off the cold, and perhaps purchasing a snack from one of mince-pie sellers who goes up and down the line. For those unlucky folks who don’t make it into the church, there’s still fun to be had: the whole service is shown live on a big screen in nearby Paternoster Square.
The St Paul’s Christmas Carol Services take place at St Paul’s Cathedral (EC4M 8AD) on 23rd and 24th December, from 4 pm. Tickets are free.
Like St Paul’s, Westminster Abbey has a series of musical treats planned, all of which are sure to please the ears of even the biggest Scrooge in town! The main event is considered to be the 12th December Christmas Concert, which features seasonal readings, popular carols for all to sing, and festive favourites performed by the Abbey’s famous choir. For classical music lovers, there’s also the ‘Christmas Meditation’ on 15th December to look forward to, which comprises a reading of the Nativity and a performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’.
The Westminster Abbey Christmas Concert takes place at Westminster Abbey (SW1 3PA) on 12th December, from 7 pm. Tickets are available from £15.
A Spectacular Season at the Royal Albert Hall
For the most lavish Christmas concerts in town, look no further than the historic Royal Albert Hall. There are performances throughout December, but particular highlights include Christmas Carols with Bloodwise on the 3rd December (which boasts a star-studded line-up including Luke Evans, Pixie Lott, and Kerry Ellis); Christmas with the Salvation Army on the 4th December (which features carol singing and performances by charity’s International Staff Band and Songsters); and, of course, the traditional ‘Carols at the Hall’ which takes place between 21st and 24th December. ‘Carols at the Hall’ is the culmination of the Royal Albert Hall’s impressive festive programme, and promises to be an epic Christmas celebration: all your favourite carols, performed by national heavyweights like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Choral Society, and more.
The ‘Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall’ programme runs from 3rd – 24th December 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall (SW7 2AP). Tickets are available from £12.25.
Carols for Charity
Carols by Candlelight for The Lullaby Trust
Fancy belting out some tip-top carols in honour of a good cause? Head over to St James’s Church in Clerkenwell on 3rd December for The Lullaby Trust’s annual concert. Television personalities Dan Jones, Mark Watson and Tessa Dunlop will be there to lend their voices, as will the popular choir Sing Gospel. All proceeds will go to bereavement support and research for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Carols by Candlelight takes place at St James’s Church (EC1R 0EA) on 3rd December, from 6:45 pm. Tickets are available from £10.
Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals' Carols by Candlelight
Another fantastic concert in aid of a worthy cause, this year acclaimed actress Zoë Wanamaker will act as guest speaker at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals’ Christmas concert. Held in the atmospheric setting of St Luke’s Church in Chelsea, the carol service will include traditional readings and performances from Singing for Breathing and the ICOSA Choir. Once you’ve sung to your heart’s content, warm up with mulled wine and mince pies at the Royal Brompton Hospital. All proceeds will be used to support patients with life-threatening illnesses via the #MoreTimeMoreLives ECMO Appeal.
Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals’ Carols by Candlelight takes place at St Luke’s Church (SW3 6NH) on 18th December, from 6:30 pm. Tickets are available from £10.