Festive focus on Bath

I am as keen as anyone that we support our local traders in the lead up to Christmas and am happy to pass on the following information from B&NES.

“A packed package of traditional fun and seasonal experiences, including details of a spectacular city light trail, have been launched as part of ‘Bath at Christmas’ – a festive programme to help the city sparkle and attract visitors this festive season.      

Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bath Business Improvement District, Visit West, SouthGate Bath and Milsom Place are working together on the ‘Bath at Christmas’ programme.

Extensive digital guides with features dedicated to the festive season highlighting what’s happening across the city in the run-up to, and over the Christmas period have been launched.

Go to Bath BID  https://www.welcometobath.co.uk/christmas/  and Visit Bath www.visitbath.co.uk/Christmas  for  inspirational features showcasing Bath at Christmas event listings, things to do, where to eat and drink and places to stay. A virtual online Christmas Market will launch on November 1.  

Beautiful Christmas lights will go on across the city as well as Combe Down and Larkhall from November 18 and a Christmas Light Trail, organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bath BID will illuminate iconic city buildings. 

The official Bath Christmas Light Trail Switch-On is in Milsom Street at 5pm on November 25,  which will also see the launch of Thursday evening late-night Christmas shopping.  The city buildings will be illuminated every day until December 31. You can browse an interactive Christmas Light Trail map at  https://www.welcometobath.co.uk/bath-christmas-light-trail/

The council is also working in partnership with Town Councils on their switch-on dates for Keynsham, Midsomer Norton and Radstock.

Bath at Christmas events include:

The Elves’ Swapshop

26th November to 21st December

Father Christmas and his elves have joined the upcycling revolution! This year, they invite children to visit the fascinating Elves’ Swapshop in the Milsom Street area, where they are training the Share and Repair volunteers how to mend toys and give them a new, loving home.

Children are welcomed along to see the fabulous Elf-O-Matic toy upcycler in action by bringing an old toy to be shared with another lucky child. With the help of the Elf-O-Matic technology, the elves will make sure that the toy is safe and clean and ready for its new home. Everyone who brings in a toy can see the machine in action and will be invited to take home a new toy of their choice.

Tickets will be available for a workshop demo and a jolly singalong with the elves for children and their families, with group visits available for a maximum of eight children with two adults. Keep an eye out on this page for booking information.


Museum of the Moon

19th November to 26th December

Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents five kilometres of the moon’s surface.

The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.

Visit the Museum of the Moon at Bath Abbey for Christmas carols, magical storytelling and moon-gazing with the Bath Astronomers in the Abbey’s newly restored worship space.


Bath on Ice 

12th November to 3rd January

Bath on Ice is back! Get your skates on and head to Royal Victoria Park from 12th November to 3rd January for some festive fun on the rink.

Bath on Ice’s Moguls Bar will be serving delicious food, spicy mulled wine and hot chocolate; ideal to warm up and get into the festive spirit.

After the challenging Christmas many people experienced last season, the Bath on Ice team are more intent than ever to help make this one extra special!


Artisan Makers

26th November to 19th December

From Friday 26th November to Sunday 19th December, a selection of local artisan makers will be on show in Bath’s iconic Abbey Quarter, displaying their unique crafts.

From blankets and Christmas decorations, to festive food and jewellery, grab a gift for the whole family.  welcometobath.co.uk/event/artisan-makers  

And visitors can also enjoy:

  • Bath Artisan Market in Queen Square from 20th November until 19th December
  • A Victorian carousel ride outside the Roman Baths
  • Street entertainment and carol singing 
  • Weekend pop-up shops at 15 New Bond Street and 15 Cheap Street throughout November and December

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “I know many are looking forward to the outdoor events and entertainment happening across Bath at Christmas, and there will be lots of light and sparkle for everyone to enjoy. We want people to enjoy a safe and happy Bath at Christmas. We are encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy the city and all it has to offer but also to be mindful that we still to take some precautions to reduce the spread of Covid.”    

Allison Herbert, Chief Executive of the Bath BID, said: “Last year, we worked in partnership with Visit Bath and Bath & North East Somerset Council to bring the magic of Bath to Christmas despite difficult circumstances, which was a triumph of collaboration in adversity. This year, we are building on that partnership approach to bring a successful Christmas trading period to our membership.

“Bath is always a wonderful place to spend time, and we have been helping to ensure that it’s even more magical this festive season. We are delighted to be working with Bath & North East Somerset Council and Milsom Place to illuminate many of Bath’s iconic buildings once again, and are excited to be celebrating their launch with an official switch-on event. We are also proud to be working with Share and Repair Bath on the Elves’ Swapshop, which will give children the opportunity to have a go on the Elf-O-Matic toy up-cycler and shine a light on Father Christmas’s hard-working elves.

“Bath’s fantastic range of places to eat and drink are all keen to welcome people for the festive season, and the city is also the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping, with a fantastic mix of high street favourites and independent gems, and Thursday late-night shopping from 25th November. We hope that people will head into the city to experience the magic of Bath this Christmas.”

Kathryn Davis, Director of Tourism, Visit West, said ‘“Bath is a beautiful destination at any time of the year, but it truly sparkles at Christmas.  There is so much to look forward to during the festive period, with seasonal experiences further enhancing the already impressive visitor offer.  With a rich array of hospitality, entertainment and beautiful places to stay, Bath at Christmas really is magical.”

Milsom Place added: “Featuring for the first time as part of this year’s Bath Christmas Light Trail, we are particularly pleased to support the illumination of Milsom Street’s wonderful architecture. This initiative will highlight its special qualities as one of the region’s premier shopping streets and enhance the experience of exploring Bath’s citywide festive attractions.”