[Photo credits: Max Rawlinson]
Happy to copy in a list of events, venues and attractions gearing up to entertain and delight you in the run-up to Christmas. This comes courtesy of Visit Bath who tell me the Countdown to the Christmas Lights and the Great Elf Gathering will take place at 4.45 on Thursday, November 17th in Milsom Street.
Bath is set to become even more magical this Christmas as the city’s picturesque Georgian streets twinkle with decorations, choirs sing carols by candlelight and the aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air. There are many ways you can embrace the spirit of Christmas in Bath: get all your shopping wrapped up at Bath Christmas Market which celebrates its 20th year, go for a spin on the outdoor rink at Bath on Ice, or catch a lively performance of Aladdin at Theatre Royal Bath.
From 24 November– 11 December, the award-winning Bath Christmas Market returns for 18 days of festive cheer. Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas as you browse over 150 chalets of handmade Christmas decorations, bespoke jewellery, artisan food and drink, toys, accessories, and gifts for pets. Many of the chalets at Bath Christmas Market are local makers and designers you won’t find on the high street. Various entertainers from community choirs to brass bands will fill the streets with music and festive joy during Bath Christmas Market, local school children will be singing their favourite Christmas songs, and Bath Abbey will be opening their doors for Shoppers’ Carols.
Wander off the beaten track along the many cobbled side streets to explore independent shops such as Honey Willow Jewellery, Always Sunday Townhouse (an emporium of homeware and gifts), The Silver Shop of Bath, The San Francisco Fudge Company and Topping & Company booksellers. Look out for Miss Mistletoe welcoming visitors at Milsom Place – a hidden oasis of boutique shopping and restaurants away from the bustling festive crowds. Or, head outside of the city centre to Newton Farm Shop for a special evening of shopping.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas experience in Bath
Take a break from shopping with a visit to Bath on Ice in Royal Victoria Park. Go for a skate on the outdoor rink or play a few rounds of Glow in the Dark Mini Golf from 12 November – 3January. If you’re feeling creative, try a Christmas candle pouring workshop with a complimentary glass of mulled wine at PaddyWax Candle Bar, or festive bauble blowing at Bath Aqua Glass on Walcot Street.
The American Museum & Gardens present their Enchanted Garden of Light trail through the spectacular grounds of the museum at Claverton Down. Be transported into a magical after-dark adventure with light displays which will emblazon the entire house, gardens and woodland in glorious colour. A little further outside of Bath is the gorgeous Iford Manor Estate, where you can book a festive wreath making session with local florists followed by lunch at Iford Manor Kitchen, while city-centre bars The Grapes and The Urban Garden will also offer wreath-making workshops. Christmas at the National Trust’s Prior Park will run throughout December with a festive trail for all the family to enjoy.
12 Tales of a Georgian Christmas returns to No. 1 Royal Crescent – step inside this beautiful museum and see all the rooms dressed-up for the festive season. Enjoy all the celebrations a family of the time would experience through storytelling and poems as part of the house’s immersive experience.
On Saturday 10 December at Victoria Art Gallery, children can enjoy an ‘all wrapped up’ creative art session to make a self-portrait with hats, gloves and scarves. Or, for a sustainable Christmas experience, book a magical toy swap session at the Elves Swapshop – bring along an old toy and Santa’s elves will put into their special Elf-o-Matic upcycler machine, then you’ll be given a pre-loved toy.
Eat, Drink and be Merry!
At Green Park Brasserie, set within the distinctive setting of the old railway station at Green Park in the centre of the city, you will find Bath Pizza Company and an independent casual-dining restaurant serving local produce and cocktails. Look out for live jazz nights and Christmas party menus.
Stop by The Bird, Bath where the snowy woodland sprigs strewn with fairy lights, flickering candelabra and draped Bavarian rugs at the Alpine Lodge and Bar tucked behind the hotel are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. Rest weary feet after a busy day of shopping at the snow-topped Après Ski Bar outside Abbey Hotel Bath, which will be serving mulled wine, cocktails and authentic Alpine appetisers, or try brand-new restaurants Coppa Club and The Architect for festive set menus full of seasonal fayre.
For elegant evening dining, book a festive candle-lit dinner at the Pump Room Restaurant, or for a classic Bath foodie experience, treat yourself to a Christmas afternoon tea at Roseate Villa Bath, Sweet Little Things, The Ivy Bath Brasserie or The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.
Stay a While
There really is no better place to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year than Bath, so why not stay overnight at one of the city’s hotels, guest houses or self-catering apartments. Choose from 5* luxury at the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel and Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa to Tyndall Villa, Brooks Guest House and Broadstreet Townhouse where cosy, stylish rooms welcome you. Children will be enchanted during breakfast at The Apex Hotel, where they can meet Santa over pancakes and a Christmas selection box. For larger groups and families, Bath Luxury Rentals or Bath Apartment Breaks offer spacious living. Spend an evening relaxing in the thermal waters of Thermae Bath Spa with views of the city’s twinkling lights from the roof-top pool, or chill out at The Soul Spa with a drop-in guided meditation session and sound bath.
Plan your visit at visitbath.co.uk/Christmas