Thursday, 3 December 2015

Stay in Bath for the Bath Christmas Market 

It’s that time of year again - one of the most popular times to visit Bath. Because as we get nearer to the end of November, we get ever nearer to the start of Bath’s Christmas market. From the 26th of November until December 13th  the village of traditional chalets will once again set up shop in the middle of our beautiful Georgian city. With the combination of wooden huts, steaming mulled wine and the Abbey soaring high lighting up the Bath night, you’re hard pressed to find another market in the country than can rival it when it comes to an amazing atmosphere.

Each year for the past 15 years, Bath has played host to a vast market emcompassing a huge variety of stalls including food, crafts, and gifts. Stallholders will be coming from all around the world, but there’s also a heavy emphasis on local artisans. This year 82% of the exhibitors will be from Bath or the South West, 76% of these will be products that are handmade, and the number of stalls is set to be over 170! A few of the more unusual things we’re expecting to see include: marmite fudge and strawberry fudge, contemporary ironwork homewares, gluten-free Christmas puddings, Morrocan lanterns, and German nutcrackers.

The market will be open each day from 10am and stays open until 7pm Monday-Wednesdays, 6pm on Sundays, and has late night shopping until 8:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And though visiting in the evening means wrapping up warm it is definitely worth it. Each stall is individually lit up, and the Abbey at night is a real sight to behold. Wandering around the stalls in a warm winter coat and a wooly scarf, nursing a cup of hot cider in one hand and a mince pie in the other is a brilliant way to get into the Christmas spirit.  

If you’ve got time after you’ve been around the market (or before you go) then Bath’s Victoria Park also has some seasonal attractions to try. As in previous years there will be a huge outdoor ice rink to have a spin on, and wood-fired pizzas and a fully-licensed bar to partake of afterwards. One thing we haven’t seen before though is going to be the glow-in-the-dark mini golf. If it was hard during the day then it’s going to be a lot harder (but certainly highly amusing) once the sun goes down!

Another reason we love the Bath Christmas market is that is is so easy for us to get to. It’s right in the centre of Bath, and only a five minute level walk from us at Dukes Hotel and from Bath Spa train station. It’s easy to come and go from as we please – to experience it during the day when it’s quieter, as well as at night. If you’re looking for a nice weekend of shopping that will get you into the festive mood (and get you out of the same old high street shops that everyone will be going to) then there really is no place better than Bath.

Our top tip: try and come during the week if you can – that way you can beat the crowds and take your time exploring, not only the market, but the city itself as well. You definitely won’t be stuck for things to do! 

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