From the sublime (Handel’s Messiah) to the kitsch (carol karaoke), we round up fun, festive and boozy days out we could only get away with at Christmas
Royal Horticultural Society gardens’ winter sculpture walks, lights and fairs are very popular so book a long way ahead. From 7 Dec to 5 Jan, RHS Wisley, Surrey, has a new light trail with giant floral illuminations for its Glow event and an Enchanted Botanical Christmas in a glasshouse (£11/£7). Near Harrogate, RHS Harlow Carr (£10/£5, Thur-Sat until 28 Dec) has an illuminated walk and sculpture trail; at Essex’s RHS Hyde Hall (£12/£6, weekends until 15 Dec) children can make Christmas crafts and meet the bearded one (£14 extra). In Devon, Rosemoor’s Glow illuminations run through a winter garden (£10.62/£5.31, until 4 Jan) and Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden (free) has a 70-metre “cathedral of light”.