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Take a look at what’s on this December across the North and Scotland. There's live music in Manchester, comedy in Leeds, Harry Potter on tour and also some of the best Christmas Markets in the country - all just a train ride away.
There are quite a few big gigs this December, including the world’s most famous virtual band Gorillaz. Murdoch, Noodles, Russel and 2D will be appearing in Manchester on 1 December alongside their Humanz collaborator Damon Albarn.
Another supergroup doing the rounds at the moment are Faye, Claire, Lee, Lisa and H – or in pop vernacular, Steps. With 20 million album sales to their name, they really are showstoppers who put on a hugely impressive performance. You’ll find them at the Manchester Arena (2, 3 December), Liverpool Echo Arena (6 December) and Glasgow SSE Arena (7 December)
It’s not just animated pop groups who are touring in December though… you’ll also find Ricky Gervais in Leeds (1 December) with what many are calling his best tour yet. Which for a comedian who’s often being touted as our greatest export is going some.
For a magical, family Christmas concert why not fly along to watch Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets™ In Concert. You can watch the film in HD with music performed by a live symphony orchestra and it’s touring the North this December: Liverpool (1 December), Leeds (2 December), Manchester (8 December) and Glasgow (9 December).
Hull’s reign as the European City of Culture is coming to an end, but it still has things to wow us with. Currently, a series of events under the banner 'Substance' is taking place across the city. It’s an array of theatre, exhibitions, gigs, talks – there’s literally something for everyone.
Substance Live: The Future Of The North is a gig that, they say, represents, ‘the best northern sounds of now’, that and the fact that it’s hosted by the North’s unofficial cultural ambassador Elizabeth Alker, and the fact that it’s only £10-£12 to get in, means that all the clued-up folk have already booked their trains to Hull. Go and do likewise is our suggestion.
If you're a fan of a warm drink under chilly (sometimes!) blue skies, shopping for quirky gifts and generally bustling around stalls and fairground rides in beautiful city centre settings, well, you’re going to love December. There are Christmas markets and fairs taking place all over the North, including Manchester: Christmas Markets, Leeds Christkindelmarkt, St Nicholas Fair in York, Glasgow Love Christmas and Edinburgh's Christmas 2017.
The Fishermen and Firemen football match is a quirky window on rivalry and rancour that that has raged since the 1800s. It’s also a ramshackle, fancy dress affair and a great excuse to go and blow the cobwebs out of your hair on a blustery, beach-based Boxing Day in Scarborough. Head to South Bay Beach for 10.30 and the kick off overseen by the Mayor.
If you want to see out the year in style then there’s pretty hard evidence that it’s Caledonia where you’ll have to head.
Edinburgh’s three-day Hogmanay 2018 starts on 30 December with a Torchlight Procession, there’s Rag and Bone Man and the Human League on 31 December as well as midnight fireworks. And then, come 11 am on 1 January, you can go for a dip in the freezing River Forth (or just watch the self-proclaimed Loony Dooks) from under a cosy Scottish shawl.
Don't forget to keep us posted with your December travels by train using #wherenext @TPExpressTrains