Your guide to Christmas in Bath
Temperatures are dropping, the woolly scarves are coming out and mince pies are lining supermarket shelves: Christmas is just around the corner.
In the coming weeks Bath will get well and truly into the festive spirit, with a calendar jam-packed with events – from a Carols by Candlelight service to the opening of the city’s brand new open air ice rink.
And with so much happening over the festive period, many say Bath is now becoming known as the ‘Christmas capital of the West’.
So whether you’re looking for family fun, ways to celebrate the Christmas countdown with friends or just somewhere to do your shopping in style, Bath’s got it covered.
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Bath Christmas Market
A highlight of the Bath Christmas shopping calendar, this market is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit.
Browse more than 140 traditional stalls in the city centre, feast on a wealth of culinary delicacies, and marvel at the illuminated streets.
If your priority is finding the perfect gift for your loved ones, you’re in luck – at Bath Christmas market there’s everything from jewellery to jams, scarves to fairy lights, luxury bath products to handmade ceramics. Look through the range of stalls here.
The market opens between November 22 and December 9.
And to celebrate the opening of the market the enchanting Holburne Lantern Procession will be making its way from Sydney Gardens up Great Pulteney Street to Bath Abbey. Meet at the Museum for the procession kick off at 5pm.
Bath on Ice
No matter what your age, ice skating is a must over the festive period. And where better to put on your skates than Bath’s brand new open air real ice rink?
The rink, in Royal Victoria Park, is perfect for a night out with friends, a romantic date or some family fun.
And after an icy glide (or a Bambi-style tumble!), why not head to the rink side café chalet for a festive snack? Then top off the night with a glass of mulled wine or a mug of steaming hot chocolate.
For session times and prices, click here.
Carols by Candlelight service
If there’s one thing guaranteed to get you in the mood for Christmas, it’s carols. So what better way to spend an evening than enjoying the City of Bath Bach Choir’s annual carol concert?
Held at the Pump Room on December 19, 20 and 21, this concert has over the years become one of the most popular events in the Bath Christmas calendar.
Through a mixture of traditional and modern, serious and light-hearted carols, the choir brings the magic of Christmas to life.
Each night the Junior Choir will also perform a selection of Christmas songs, and there will be a short recital by a young instrumentalist.
To find out more, click here.
Bath Christmas Lights Switch On
Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like the warm glow of lights, so watching the switch on is a must.
And in Bath it’s no ordinary switch on - Matt Baker and Alex Jones will be turning on the city’s Christmas lights live on The One Show, broadcast from Bath!
A team of rickshaw riders led by Matt will pass through Bath on November 13, where he will be welcomed by cheering supporters. The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need will chart a route from Llandudno to London’s BBC Television Centre - a total of 411 miles in eight days.
The switch on will start from 6pm, with the show being broadcast live from 7pm in Milsom Street.
To find out more, click here.
Christmas Party in the Parlour
Step into an American Christmas of yesteryear at the American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor.
From November 23 to December 16 the museum will undergo a festive makeover, being decked out with handmade decorations from floor to ceiling.
Discover how early American settlers amused themselves during the long winter months, and see how members of a Shaker community spent Christmas preparing baskets of food and warm clothes to hand out to the needy.
And you can snap up a range of gifts at the museum’s Christmas shops, from Navajo jewellery to herbs and history books.
Find out more here.
Wine Gang Christmas Fair
If for you Christmas is about enjoying delicious wine with the people you love, this event is not to be missed.
A Christmas wine fair with a difference, at the Guildhall more than 350 wines will be available to taste.
Hosted by five of the UK's top wine critics, known collectively as 'The Wine Gang', the Fair will see retailers and producers from across the country show off their very best wines.
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet all of The Wine Gang members, attend exclusive master classes and participate in tutored wine tastings with winemakers.
The Fair takes place on November 24. Tickets cost £20.
Click here to find out more.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
For guaranteed family fun, snap up tickets to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Performed at the Theatre Royal Bath, this is a panto with class: Olivier Award-winning theatre and television star Nichola McAuliffe will take centre stage alongside Dame extraordinaire Chris Harris.
The cast will also feature Bath’s own Jon Monie as Muddles.
This performance of Snow White, the second ever in the Theatre Royal’s pantomime history, can be enjoyed between December 13 and January 13, 2013.
It is the ideal way to spend a weekend, jazz up Boxing Day or get in the festive spirit on Christmas Eve.
To find out more and to book tickets, click here.
Christmas parties at Allium Brassiere
For a Christmas party you’ll never forget, head to Allium Brasserie, winner of Bath Good Food Awards Best Newcomer 2013.
Boasting a mouth-watering three-course menu served in the plush surroundings of Abbey Hotel, this makes for a perfect party with friends and family or work colleagues.
At the helm is head chef Chris Staines, one of the most highly regarded chefs in the UK.
Menu highlights include roast turkey with traditional trimmings; parfait of chicken livers with Cumberland sauce & toasted brioche; pork belly with pot roasted root vegetables, and roast butternut squash with chargrilled onions and sage & basil pesto.
Round off the feast with Christmas pudding, warm apple crumble or sticky toffee pudding, or opt instead for Colston Basset Stilton with biscuits. There’ll also be a generous helping of mince pies on offer!
To read the menu in full, click here.
Family Christmas decoration workshop
With the helping hand of your little ones, create baubles and Christmas decorations you can treasure forever.
Held at Holburne Museum, this workshop "I'm a Feltmaker..." with Julie Roberts takes place on December 9.
Bath Artisan Market
Peruse more than 60 stalls selling handmade and vintage items as well as food and art from local artisan producers at Bath Artisan Market at Green Park Station.
From spicy preserves to vintage and handmade clothes, from painted furniture to Christmas decorations, this is a festive market with a twist.
Head to the Early Bird Christmas Market on November 11, or get your supplies at the Christmas Food & Stocking Filler Market on December 9.
Find out more here.