Undoubtedly, Christmas markets are one of the best things to get you feeling festive in the build up to Christmas day. I, for one, have a seriously soft spot for all things jolly and the festive period is my favourite time of the year. When the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, I am far from a Grinch and more of a Buddy and want to surround myself with all things Christmas.
There’s nothing better than a great Christmas Market to help feed one’s festive appetite and the best part is you don’t need to travel to another country to find a good one (if you live in the UK, that is!). Just an hour and a half train ride from London, Bath is home to the ultimate Christmas Market – considered one of the best in the UK and perhaps even in the world!
Bath Christmas Market smells like…Christmas, literally. Surrounded by cobbled streets with burgundy and gold wooden stalls, it sells unique artisan and homemade products from handcrafted garlands and Christmas decorations to mince pies, mulled wine, hot chocolate and cider – a literal heaven! There’s even people singing Christmas carols on the street! It’s no surprise this multi-award winning market was listed among the Telegraph’s Best Christmas Markets and Vogue’s Favourite Christmas Markets.
Running since 2005, Bath Christmas Market has increasingly grown in size each year and its 2018 edition (which opened daily from 22nd November to 9th December) featured over 160 chalets. It’s now spread across a large part of Bath city centre and even twists around Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. Quick tip: don’t miss the opportunity to not only visit Roman Baths, but also make sure to poke your head over the terraces for a splendid view above the market stalls in the Abbey Churchyard! A Festive Family Artisan Market also opens in Queen Square on each of the Saturdays while the Bath Christmas Market is on.
Naturally, Bath Christmas Market is a great place to find unique Christmas presents and stocking fillers. Most of the stalls are local to Bath with over 80% belonging to the South West of England. Stalls include the mouthwatering Snowdonia Cheese Company (we couldn’t resist buying smoked Cheddar and Cheddar with cranberries after sampling a large amount of cheese varieties), the irresistible Bath Gin, Slimbridge Soaps, Chatley Chocolate Brownies and its gooey brownies, The Chilli Alchemist, Georgie Porgie’s Puddings and Green Park Brasserie. Profits from the market are invested in Bath so I would suggest getting as much food as you can!
Despite its size, Bath Christmas Market can easily be seen in a day, with its busiest times being at weekends and particularly after lunchtime. However, we’d recommend making a weekend of it and seeing all the wonders Bath has to offer; just make sure you book accommodation in advance, as this is by far one of Bath’s most popular times of the year!
Bath Abbey and Christmas Tree
To get you feeling even more festive, make sure you check out the Christmas tree in front of Bath Abbey (another perfect Instagram opportunity). The Abbey, whose site has been home to a church since 757 AD, puts on Christmas Carol services on one of the Saturdays during the Christmas Market. The informal services with traditional carols start every hour from 1pm to 5pm, lasting about 20 minutes.
While you’re inside, look up at the stone fan vaulting, similar to the one inside Kings College Chapel in Cambridge. If you have enough time, take the Bath Abbey Tower tour up to the tower and along the flying buttresses, finishing with spectacular views of the Roman city.
So there it is – our guide to Bath Christmas Market! What’s your favourite thing about this festive time of the year? Are there any other Christmas Markets you would recommend? If you really loved our post, please leave us a comment and show us some love on social media using the buttons below
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