There’s more than a hint of festive spirit in Bath now with the build of the Christmas Market underway and the switch-on of festive lights across the area due tomorrow.
Bath Christmas Market runs for 18 days from November 23 to December 10 and will see more than 200 traders and 36 community groups occupy chalets across the city centre. In 2022, the market attracted an estimated 426,000 visitors and boosted the local economy by an estimated £50 million.
Work has also begun to prepare the city and towns with Christmas lights which are being installed in Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Radstock and several areas of Bath.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is providing traditional lights to the Bath communities of Combe Down, Weston, Moorland Road and Larkhall as well as working in partnership with the three town councils on the provision of lights.
There will be lights on Bath’s historic buildings and streets including in and around Bath Christmas Market and at Saw Close, Walcot Street, Kingsmead Square, High Street and Orange Grove.
Bath BID is inviting residents to an alternative to a traditional lights switch on, Bath Lights the Night on November 15, where people can join together at 5pm on to walk through the city and enjoy the light displays with beautiful lanterns made by local children before enjoying music at Bath Abbey at 6pm.
The annual Keynsham Winter Festival takes place on November 24 from 6pm to 9pm with the theme ‘Let It Snow’. It includes a Christmas lights switch-on, a procession from the park to St John’s Church, Father Christmas and street performers.
Residents are invited to a special preview evening of the market on November 22 from 5pm to 7pm where people can meander through the magical atmosphere and have an exclusive first look at the fabulous gifts, food and drink on offer.
Councillor Paul Roper, cabinet member for Economic and Cultural Sustainable Development, said: “Christmas lights beginning to sparkle across the district are a great way to end the year and kick-off the seasonal festivities, ahead of the spectacular winter wonderland of Bath Christmas Market that has begun to be created today. The market is hugely popular with visitors and increases turnover for local businesses.
“All of the events that are lined up are a wonderful opportunity for residents and visitors alike to join together and help create a special atmosphere in our city and town centres. Thank you to our partners and to everyone who has helped provide magical lighting for our communities to enjoy. I look forward to seeing Bath and North East Somerset at its best and another successful Bath Christmas Market get under way.”
Allison Herbert, Chief Executive of Bath BID, said: “We have been looking forward to Christmas for a few months at the BID, all our retail members have filled their shops with carefully chosen items and there are Christmas menus everywhere. I am particularly delighted with the public response to the lantern making challenge and we are so excited to see all the designs which our friends from Bath Carnival have helped to create on 15 November. Watch out for a polar bear and a narwhal and do join us in the Abbey for our community lights celebration in aid of Dorothy House with over 100 local singers and musicians.”
Bath & North East Somerset Council is advising residents and visitors to the market to plan their journeys in advance and where they can access live information about public transport, including three different Park and Ride services, and car parking. Motorists are asked to note that Royal Avenue will be closed to public traffic during the event.
Variable message signs will be in place for the duration of the market to let motorists know how full car parks are on approach. Live occupancy levels are available at most car parks and can be checked online here. Parking at the Park and Ride sites is free if taking the service into or out of the city.
Useful links to help people plan their journeys are:
- All the on and off-street parking in Bath
- First Bus’s journey planner
- Information on Park & Ride sites
- GWR ticket booker to visit Bath by train
Find out what’s on at Bath Christmas Market which takes place from November 23 to December 10.
Please visit Bath Christmas Market’s social media accounts for updates about the Christmas Market: