Things to do outside London during December

My now regular look ahead to events happening next month that would probably be in my events guide, if only they weren’t happening outside the psychological barrier of the M25 motorway.

Not much happening next month – everyone seems busy with Christmas and avoiding the cold.

Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival1st-8th Dec
From 10am – 8pm each day the Church is lit up by 90 Christmas Trees, each decorated for one of the 78 charities taking part.Fakenham, Norfolk

Dunster by Candlight2nd-3rd Dec
This annual weekend event when this preserved medieval village turns its back on the present and lights its streets with candles.Dunster, Somerset

Burning the Clocks21st Dec
People gather to make paper and willow lanterns to carry through their city and burn on the beach as a token for the end of the year.Brighton, East Sussex

River of Light Parade22nd Dec
Hundreds of lanterns cascade through Caerphilly town centre accompanied by thunderous samba drumming, dancing, costumed performers, giant sculptures and lots more. Climaxes with a fire show and fireworks display against the backdrop of Caerphilly Castle.Caerphilly, Wales

Tolling the Devil’s Knell24th Dec
Every Christmas Eve the bell of Dewsbury parish church is tolled once for each year of the Christian era, to remind the devil of his defeat.Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

The Ba25th Dec
Traditional street rugby, played by the Uppies and Doonies 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.Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Kenilworth Duck Race26th Dec
Around 1,500 yellow plastic ducks are released into the local river and raced down to the finish line.Kenilworth, Warwickshire

Windlesham Pram Race26th Dec
The annual Windlesham Boxing Day Pram Race is a local institution. Since the first race in 1968 the event has grown from six prams and a dozen runners to a hundred teams and over 800 participants.Windlesham, Surrey

Pagham Pram Race26th Dec
60 year old tradition – started by demobbed servicemen who decided they would race. One pushing the pram and another as a baby in it, making sure to drink a pint each, at all the village pubs.Pagham, West Sussex

Marshfield Mummers26th Dec
Seven figures, led by the Town Crier with his handbell, dressed in costumes made from strips of newsprint and coloured paper, perform their play several times along the high street.Marshfield, Gloucestershire

The City of Gloucester Mummers26th Dec
A recreation of medieval mummers plays that started again in 1969.Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Boxing Day Football26th Dec
The Fishermen & Firemens Boxing day football match is Scarborough’s oldest surviving custom – according to written evidence.Scarborough, Yorkshire

Grantchester Barrel Race26th Dec
Annual barrel rolling contest through the town centre.Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

Burravoe Tar Barrel28th Dec
Locals drag a flaming barrel through the town to mark the end of the year.Burravoe, Shetland

Stonehaven Fireballs Festival31st Dec
A procession through the town centre by local men swinging large fireballs around their heads.Stonehaven

Allendale Baal Fireballs31st Dec
A selected hereditary team of 45 barrel carriers known as Guisers dressed in fancy dress carry flaming whiskey barrels through the streets to the town centre where they are used to ignite a ceremonial bonfireAllendale, Northumberland

Comrie Flambeaux Procession31st Dec
At midnight, eight flambeaux or fiery torches begin their procession around the village before being ceremoniously thrown in the River Earn.Comrie, Perthshire


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