London Arts 2019: Christmas delights at the Old Royal Naval College this Holiday Season
LONDON – For over 500 years the festive season has been an important part of the Greenwich maritime heritage site calendar and today is no different. On the very same grounds that Henry VIII celebrated Christmas, visitors to the Old Royal Naval College can celebrate the festivities with a feast of winter delights including carol concerts, wreath making masterclasses, Christmas shopping, the annual Greenwich Christmas Lights On and Lantern Parade and more.
The Greenwich Christmas Lights On and Lantern Parade, held on 20th November, starts the Christmas season in style. Children from five local schools, led by jazz band Tunnel Chops, will parade their handmade lanterns through the stunning grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, starting at the Visitor Centre they will proceed past the Cutty Sark to Greenwich Market, for the annual Christmas Countdown and Lights On. Father Christmas might also make an early appearance to welcome young visitors to his Greenwich Grotto!
The Old Royal Naval College’s Chapel Christmas Concerts will be held on dates throughout December, providing audiences with the opportunity to hear their favourite carols, including Handel’s Messiah, sung by the Chapel Choir in the atmospheric Chapel of St Paul and St Peter. As well as a beautiful traditional carol service for the Greenwich and Bexley Heath Hospice Service, the Brooke Carol Concert also returns this year to raise money for the international animal welfare charity, The Brooke.
Inspired by revered WW1 poet Rupert Brooke, The Soldier by award-winning playwright Rachel Wagstaff, will captivate audiences in the magnificent Painted Hall on 19th November. This moving production finds its perfect home at the Old Royal Naval College as it chronicles his time in the Royal Naval Division. This rich historical production is both a celebration of Brooke’s life and a powerful reminder of the strength of the war poets’ words ahead of the festive season.
To coincide with Museum Store Sunday, the Old Royal Naval College will extend its opening hours on 1st December for visitors to get a head start on their Christmas shopping and will have precious extra hours to pick up gifts and treats for loved ones in the Painted Hall shop while indulging in festive treats in the Café.
Located next door to the riverside Visitor Centre, cosy onsite tavern, The Old Brewery makes for the perfect setting to get a Christmas drink this December. Once Christmas at the Old Royal Naval College meant double rations of roast beef with some plum pudding, festive events now include a Wreath Making Workshop, a Wine and Cheese Night with a local cheese company and hot gin cocktail making with Sip, Sip, Sip Away with Sipsmith.
The Old Royal Naval College has been known to be an ideal place to celebrate Christmas for over 500 years, from Henry VIII’s 12-day celebrations to football played on the frozen river. With the amazing new festive events this winter, the Old Royal Naval College is the Greenwich destination to celebrate Christmas 2019.
Events at the Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN take place throughout November and December 2019. For more information and tickets, visit their website here