Bath Christmas Market shoppers still pour in despite deluge
Thousands of shoppers have already enjoyed the delights of this year's Christmas Market in Bath.
The market, which opened last Thursday, has more than 140 stalls for visitors to peruse, selling an array of gifts, clothes, hot food, wine and spices. Despite the bad weather, organisers are hopeful it will be as successful as last year's.
Nick Brooks-Sykes, chief executive at Bath Tourism Plus, said on average the market was responsible for £11 million of visitor spending in the city.
He said: "The appalling weather this week has undoubtedly had an impact on visitor numbers, but I am confident that this is just temporary and that a spell of good weather will bring visitors out in force.
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"Our Christmas marketing campaign is the biggest that Bath has ever seen and its success is reflected in an increase in the number of booked coaches and extensive press coverage for Christmas shopping in Bath."
Almost all of the stall holders this year are regulars at the market, which is now in its 11th year, and many already have shops in the city.
Mary Dawson, from Up to Seven which sells knitted children's clothes, has a shop on Pulteney Bridge but has always had a stall at the market.
She said: "There is massive footfall through the market that would never find our shop. The event is fantastic for advertising and great for Bath."
James Ransome, from The Spicery in Roseberry Place, said the Bath market was the best of its kind.
He said: "It's the best market because it is the nicest crowd. It's a relief coming back here after doing other shows around the country – the people here are more relaxed and friendly."
The winner of this year's Mayor of Bath's Prize Chalet was the business Holly and Ivy, based near Wincanton, which sells quilted items and bedding. As well as a glass bowl, the stall also won a 50 per cent discount on leasing a pitch at next year's market.