As I continue the series of Christmas-related posts on what to see and do in London during the festive season, today I wanted to talk about Bath Christmas market. Bath (or more accurately Bath Spa) is a small but very beautiful and cosy town in Somerset and a UNESCO Heritage site, just 1.5 hour away from London. It’s very popular among the Brits and visitors, thanks to its renowned Roman baths, beautiful Georgian architecture, nearby world attractions such as iconic Stonehenge and great options for shopping, entertainment and eating out. I have been to Bath few times, but this trip was special as I ventured out to see Bath Christmas market.
Having been to Bath before and always loving my experience there, I could only imagine how beautiful and special Christmas market would be in this ancient town and I couldn’t wait to see it with my own eyes. After a rather adventurous and delayed train ride, my hubby and I arrived at Bath as the sun set down. From the steps of the train station I could already see festive Christmas tree and an installation in a shape of a Christmas bauble.
The Christmas market takes over all of central Bath and it’s impossible to miss it getting straight off the train.
Greeted by the giant nutcrackers, we set off on the market’s path that was cleverly marked by big footprints on the pavement.
All of central Bath feels so festive with various pop-ups like this café, various installations (such as traditional telephone booths filled with fake snow), light displays and shops windows featuring different themes.
And you may even run into Father Christmas (or Santa) himself, who offers free hugs and endless photo opportunities!
Winding through the streets and following Christmas lights, we discovered rows of wooden chalets selling one of a kind handcrafted gifts, food and drinks. What a perfect place for Christmas shopping!
Also, try some roasted chestnuts, mulled wine or freshly baked pastries.
There are over 170 chalets spread out over the territory surrounding Roman Baths and Abbey.
Bath Abbey, which dates back to 7th century, is an impressive building on its own but with projected light display, it looked even more magical.
A tall gorgeous Christmas tree is gracing and lighting up Abbey’s majestic building in the dark.
As you walk further, you will find a couple of options, the Christmas Lodge on Stall Street and Après Ski Bar on North Parade (by the Abbey Hotel), to stop and unwind with good food and drinks.
They have Alpine ski lodge feel and are very cosy and warm inside. They offer great choices for festive atmosphere and food and drink, and thus, get popular among the adults.
You can easily spend several hours just browsing through all the chalets, getting something to eat and drink and popping into different shops along the way.
But if you want to extend your visit beyond the Christmas market, you can also check out glow in the dark mini golf and ice rink, pop into shops and restaurants at the Milsom Place, visit Jane Austen Centre and even dip your toes (or a whole body) in Thermae Bath Spa with its outdoor rooftop pool, which looked amazing from the outside. We’ll definitely be back to check out the spa and book some treatments.
I have to say we realy enjoyed ourselves and I would highly recommend visiting Bath Christmas market and making a trip out of it. And if these photos and info are not enough to convince you, check out this official video of the Christmas market.
Dates: 24 November – 11 December 2016
Times: Monday to Wednesday – 10am to 7pm; Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 10am to 8:30pm; Sunday – 10am to 6pm
- Bring plenty of cash if you plan to shop as vendors in the chalets don’t accept credit cards. However, there are plenty of ATMs around.
- Wear warm clothes as it gets quite chilly in the evenings and you may end up spending most of your time outdoors, checking out the market. I suggest bringing scarf, hat and gloves in your bag or backpack just in case you may need them.
- If you want to avoid large crowds, I suggest you visit the market during the work week as weekends get particularly busy.
- Train ticket from London and back will cost around £60+ per person. Since it’s a bit pricey I suggest you make a 2-day trip out of it and stay at the hotel overnight to explore more of Bath beyond the market (there is plenty to see, trust me!).