There’s no Christmas Market this year but that doesn’t mean the city centre streets are empty of colour and atmosphere.
The Bath BID has brought some of Bath’s iconic streets and buildings to life for the festive season, with a series of magical rainbow illuminations. The spectacular lighting was funded by the Bath BID and designed and produced by Fineline Lighting and Visit Bath.
Until the end of December, there is colourful illumination in Abbey Green, Kingston Parade, Kingsmead Square, Old Bond Street, Northumberland Place, Stall Street and Walcot Street.
Bath Abbey has also been highlighted, with colour-changing floodlighting and projections helping to ensure the iconic building can be seen from all seven hills around the city.
There has never been a better moment to celebrate the NHS. Because of this, the old Royal Mineral Water Hospital building in Upper Borough Walls, which was home to the first national hospital in 1738, has been lit up in blue. Bath Abbey will also turn blue in support of the NHS on some dates in December.
The full Christmas Light Trail takes visitors from St Swithin’s Church to the north of the city, via popular locations including Abbey Churchyard and SouthGate Bath, to Buro Happold’s spectacular giant advent calendar to the south of the city centre. The trail offers a great opportunity for people explore hidden parts of the city, as well as seeing some of Bath’s world-renowned attractions in a new light.
Details of all of the Christmas Light Trail installations, along with an interactive map showing their locations, are available on the new Welcome to Bath website.
Allison Herbert, Bath BID’s Chief Executive, said: “We are all in need of a bit of cheer this year, so we are delighted to be adding some light to these dark days.
“We are committed to ensuring Bath looks magical, even with government restrictions in place. For those heading into the city centre for Christmas shopping, the Christmas Light Trail offers a great way to enjoy a magical shopping spree later in the day, while the city is quieter.
“We hope that on people’s socially distanced visits to the city, seeing the city’s illuminations will offer some hope in the lead up to Christmas.”
Mick Heath, Head of Events at Visit Bath, said: “We are very excited to be working with the Bath BID on the Christmas Light Trail, which is a wonderful opportunity for everybody to celebrate this special time of the year safely.
“At a time when we would normally be opening Bath Christmas Market, the illuminations remind us that even during this difficult period of separation for so many, we can achieve so much together.
“The project has enthused a real spirit of collaboration from the various organisations across the city who have facilitated access and granted permission to use their historic buildings – a real team effort.”
Rob Sangwell, Managing Director of Fineline Lighting, said: “Fineline are very pleased to be able to help Bath BID and Visit Bath illuminate the city centre this Christmas. The buildings in Bath are such a fantastic canvas to work with, and we jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
“We hope that people enjoy the installations, and that the splash of colour we have brought to the city will provide some cheer during the festive period.”
The Christmas Light Trail is just one of the events and activities taking place in the city over the Christmas period.
Perfect for the young and the young at heart, every day between 3rd and 24th December, Father Christmas will be visiting a different business around Bath with his festive post box.
Much like an advent calendar, the Bath BID will be revealing details of whether Father Christmas is stationed each day, and visitors are invited to give him a wave and post their Christmas wishes through his socially distanced post box.
The Bath BID and Minuteman Press Bath have lined the city streets with a rainbow of artwork created by people who live and work in the local area. Dozens of entries were submitted, with 31 of the best reproduced as two-metre-long giant bunting, which can be found on lamppost pennants in Southgate Street, Brunel Square and Churchill Bridge throughout the Christmas period.
The wonderful designs can be browsed virtually on the Welcome to Bath website, where there is also an interactive map showing the location of each of the banners.
Throughout the year, the Bath BID’s friendly team of volunteer Welcome Ambassadors are on hand to answer questions and offer advice to people visiting the city centre. This festive season, you will find them in their very own Welcome to Bath chalet outside Bath Spa Train Station, to provide the warmest of welcomes to visitors and residents alike.
The Bath Festivals team have been working with other festivals, arts organisations, schools, and Bath Spa University, to schedule festive events and activities around the city.
For those who want to go on a socially distanced Christmas shopping trip, in December, many of the city’s retailers will be staying open late. The Bath BID will be posting details of shops opening late on the Welcome to Bath website.
Find out more about what’s on in Bath this Christmas at welcometobath.co.uk