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December 2017

Have you arrived here from a search engine ? If so then perhaps you are unaware of the large amount of information we have available for Photographers and all those who like to go out and enjoy events, activities and other opportunities within the UK. When you have looked at this page please click here to go to the latest newsletter and access the full system. Diaries, location guides, galleries, articles, projects, newsletter.......

December is when many towns and city streets are illuminated with lights. They are not all listed in this diary as we have specific pages that list them, so take a look at:-

Where to Photograph Christmas Lights

Ice Rinks - Winter Outdoor

Carnivals and Illuminations

Fire Festivals and Fire Events

Colour Coded Key

Historical, Military, Transport Arial, Airshows, Balloons, Kites Country Shows, Countryside, Carnivals Unusual Events Sporting Events Water, Other Events

Please check latest information before travelling, dates and times may be changed.

Remember to also look at our Wildlife and Nature Calendar for events in the Wildlife world.





01/12/2017 Wootton Bassett Christmas Lights High Street, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. 6pm-8pm. Santa and reindeer arrive and visit the Gift and Food Stalls, they also take part in the Lights switch on and sing Carols by the tree. RWB Events


Dunster by Candlelight

1st and 2nd December 2017 Dunster, Somerset. The medieval village of Dunster turns back the clock and celebrates a traditional Christmas almost entirely lit by candlelight. A special WSR steam train departs from their Bishops Lydeard station. Passengers have the choice of alighting from the train at Dunster station and partake in a 20 minute walk to the village (torch required) or you can continue to travel to Minehead and board a dedicated free bus service to take you back to the edge of Dunster.

Dunster by Candelight


Enchanted Christmas

1st to 18th December 2017 Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire. Between 5pm-8pm. For three weekends in December you can see the arboretum lit up. Take a walk through the Enchanted Wood, about a mile long, as well as interactive activities. Father Christmas, carols from bands and choirs and more. Advance booking required.

Westonbirt @ Christmas

02/12/2017 Mevagissey Christmas Lights Mevagissey, Cornwall. 6.30pm Switch on of lights for the festive season. Light Up
02/12/2017 Calne Winter Festival and Lantern Parade Calne, Wiltshire. A traditional lantern parade through the streets culminates with the 'switching on' of the Christmas Lights, followed by a firework finale. Lantern Parade


Tree Dressing Day

Decorate a tree on Tree Dressing Day, always the first full weekend of December.

Tree Dressing


Rottingdean Smugglers Night

Brighton, Sussex. Starts at 6pm with the Children's procession, followed at 7pm with a torch procession from Lower High Street to the village green. Ending at the beach with a bonfire and fireworks.

The Smugglers


Great Christmas Pudding Race

Covent Garden Market, London at 11am. Teams dressed in fancy dress race around an obstacle course, raising money for charity. To make it more difficult, they have to carry a Christmas pudding on a tray for the Pudding Trophy.

Pudding Race

07/12/2017 Padstow Christmas Festival 7th to 10th December 2017 Padstow, Cornwall. Includes Christmas market, live music, fireworks, lantern parade, Floating Light Display and a food festival with chef demos. Xmas Festival


Chester’s Winter Watch Parade

7th and 14th December 2017. Chester, Cheshire. Parade starts 7pm from the Forum Shopping Centre. Samba bands, dragons, devils and a fire breathing finale. The Chester Re-enactment group joins the Chester Watch and a group of giant skeletons, with Roman chariot and more.

Winter Watch

08/12/2017 Victorian Weekend 8th to 10th December 2017. Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire. A Victorian fair with town criers, treasure hunt, Christmas stalls and lights, street entertainment, Victorian food & drink, and more. Robin Hoods Bay - Whats On


Olympia Horse Show

12th to 18th December 2017 Olympia, London. 7 days of equestrian competitions indoors in the Olympia arena, including show jumping, dressage, carriage driving, Shetland Pony Grand National, stunt riding, exhibition horsemanship and more.

Olympia Horse Show


Mousehole Lights

16th December 2017 to 6th January 2018 Mousehole, Cornwall. The Harbour Christmas lights get switched on at 7.30pm on Saturday and are on from 5pm to 11pm each day. On 19th December the lights are dimmed 8pm-9pm.

Mousehole Lights


Chase the Pudding Santa Run

Weymouth Beach, Dorset. 11am-1pm. Competitors dress up in Santa outfits and take part in a 5K run on Weymouth Beach, chasing a Christmas Pudding.

Race Details

2017 Events


Winter Solstice

Shortest Day of the Year


21/12/2017 Burning the Clocks Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex. 6:30pm. A parade of paper and willow lanterns carried through the city and burn on the beach as a token for the end of the year. There is live music and fireworks. Burning the Clocks
21/12/2017 River of Light Parade Caerphilly, South Wales. Starts 6:30pm. A Lantern Parade through the town and around the castle, finishing with a firework display at the castle. Lantern Parade


Christmas Day




Peter Pan Christmas Morning Handicap Swim

Hyde Park, London. Starts at 9am on the south bank of the lake close to the Serpentine Café. Members of the Serpentine Lake Swimming Club, swim across the lake, and raise money for charity. Only open to swimming club members, but spectators welcome.

Serpentine Swim


Hunstanton Christmas Day Swim

Central Promenade, Hunstanton, Cambridgeshire. Swimmers assemble at 11am-12noon. Thousands of spectators watch hundreds of madcap swimmers in fancy dress take to the cold winter sea for a charity swim!



Porthcawl Christmas Swim

Porthcawl, South Wales. 11.45am Swimmers leave the Hi-Tide Inn to brave the winter seas. About 700 swimmers are set on their way by the Porthcawl Coastguards firing a maroon signal, they run into the water and swim.

Christmas Swim


Boxing Day

 UK Public Holiday



Christmas Day Boys & Mens BA’

Kirkwall, Orkney. Traditional street rugby, played by the Uppies and Doonies (around 200 men taking part) with a much prized locally made leather Ba’ (ball). The Ba’ is thrown up outside St. Magnus Cathedral and the game ranges through the town. The Ba’ starts on Broad Street with the boys game beginning at 10.30am and the men’s at 1pm.

Orkney Tradition

Ba Game

Visit Orkney


The West Bay Wallow

West Bay Harbour Slipway, Bridport, Dorset 12noon. Individuals in fancy dress take a dip in the cold sea to raise money for charity. Spectators can watch from the harbour side.

Xmas Swim


Marshfield Murmmers Parade

Marshfield, Gloucestershire. 11am in village centre. Performances by the Marshfield Murmmers, dressed in costumes made from strips of newsprint and coloured paper (The Paper Boys) perform their play several times along the High Street.

Mummers Plays


Pagham Pram Race

Old Mill, Pagham Road, Pagham, Sussex. 11am start. Oldest continuing pram race in the world, stopping at local pubs and raising money for charity. 80 competitors expected.

Pram Race


Nippy Dipper Boxing Day Dip

Leisure Centre, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen. Starts 10:30am. Swimmers in fancy dress parade to the sea and raise funds for their charity.

Nippy Dip


Grantchester Barrel Rolling

Grantchester, Cambridgeshire. 12noon races start in the village street with 4 teams from Granchester competing and then one team from Granchester and 3 neighbouring villages take part in a relay race up and down the main street. Races last around 40 minutes.




Tenby Boxing Day Swim

North Beach, Tenby, South Wales. 10am. Watch a group of hardy swimmers in fancy dress take to the sea for a morning swim raising money for charity.

Tenby Swim


Boxing Day Duck Race

Abbey Fields, Kenilworth, Warwickshire. 12noon Around 1500 Ducks are released at the Ford, to make their way down river 200 metres and net the winner the top prize of £100. Each duck costs £1.

Duck Race


Windlesham Pram Race

Windlesham, Surrey. 10:30am start. A pram race with a difference raising money for charity. A 3.7 mile course is a carnival parade visiting all the village watering halls.

Pram Race

Pram Race Images


Edinburgh Torchlight Procession

Calton Hill, Edinburgh 7:30pm. A procession of people carrying wax based torches to Carlton Hill where there is Firework Finale. You can buy the torches and be part of the procession as well.

Hogmany Procession



 New Years Eve


31/12/2016 New Years Eve Fireworks - London Victoria Embankment, London. 7:30pm. A Midnight firework display where thousands of revellers watch a 10 minute display, and bring in the New Year. This is a ticketed event to restrict numbers. NYE London


Stonehaven Fire Ball Spectacular

Stonehaven, nr Aberdeen. At midnight (spectators should be in place by 11:30pm), over 60 people march up and down the High Street of Stonehaven swinging giant, blazing fireballs weighing up to 20 pounds each.

Stonehaven Fireballs


Nos Galan New Years Eve Road Race

Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales. 4.30pm-8.15pm. An evening road race for children and adults, the first junior race starts at 5.15pm and the Adult 5k race at 7pm.

Nos Galan


Biggar Bonfire

Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Bonfire lit at 9.30pm. A torchlight parade accompanied by pipers and drummers with a bonfire lit by the oldest resident in the town. Free.

Biggar Bonfire


Allendale Baal Celebration

Allendale. Northumberland. 45 Local men known as Guisers, in fancy dress, carry flaming tar whisky barrels on their heads to the Market Place where at midnight they are used to light a bonfire.

Tar Barrels



Comrie Flambeaux Procession

Comrie, Perthshire. Free event, starts 11.30pm. Eight huge torches made from small birch trees wrapped in Hessian and soaked in paraffin, parade around the village for News Years Eve. They are lit at midnight and accompanied by pipers and paraded around the town and then thrown from a bridge into the River Earn, taking a whole years worth of evil spirits with them.

Comrie Flambeaux


Please check latest information before travelling, dates and times may be changed.

Remember to also look at our Wildlife and Nature Calendar for events in the Wildlife world.