Bath is completely magical at Christmas – the winding streets and beautiful old buildings are transformed with twinkly fairy lights, there are cosy, welcoming cafes and pubs on every corner, and the fabulous independent boutiques make it the perfect Christmas shopping destination. The Bath Christmas Market is, of course, legendary, but what else is not to be missed during the festive season? We asked local blogger Sal Godfrey to round up her favourite things to do in Bath at Christmas…
1. Apres-Ski Bar, The Abbey Hotel
Every Christmas, this pop-up bar appears as if by magic outside the Abbey Hotel, and is the perfect place to warm up and chill out after a serious shopping spree. Inside the rustic log cabin you’ll find a snug alpine ski lodge, beautifully decorated and lit by lanterns and candles, with lots of comfy corners to take a load off your feet, and a bar serving mulled wine and winter comfort food. Entry is free but it can get quite busy as the evening goes on, so bear that in mind when you plan your visit.
2. Kingsmead Square Festive Street Food Market
This is a brand new event for 2017, but it looks like it’s going to be amazing! A whole host of local food stalls will be in attendance, providing everything from alpine-style mac and cheese to Valencian paella, as well as the square’s fabulous resident foodies (I particularly recommend a visit to Swoon Gelato for their famous Italian hot chocolate), and there’ll also be live music and plenty of covered seating. The market will be running alongside the Bath Christmas Market, so why not pop along to Kingsmead Square for lunch – it’s the perfect excuse to explore a little more of the city.
3. The Gourmet Picture Company, Victoria Park
Another new event for 2017, the Gourmet Picture Company will be creating an incredible pop-up cinema in Victoria Park, from the 14th of December to the 7th of January, where you can enjoy classic movies with a fabulous three-course meal (created by either Tom Kerridge or Rick Stein) for just £45 per person. Big squashy red sofas, amazing comfort food dishes, an interval with ice creams, and some of the very best Christmas films make this the ultimate night out with friends. Booking online is essential.
4. Shoppers’ Carols, Bath Abbey
For anyone who gets a bit stressed out and fed up after too much Christmas shopping, Bath Abbey have the perfect solution – informal, 20 minute services with traditional Christmas carols, guaranteed to make you feel all warm and festive again (as well as providing a welcome opportunity for a sit down, of course). The services take place regularly during the day on weekends, whilst the Christmas Market is running, and there’s no charge or booking required – just pop in and soak up the glorious atmosphere of the ancient Abbey at Christmas.
5. Christmas Mini Golf, Victoria Park
Bath’s miniature golf course is transformed at Christmas into a winter wonderland, with festive lighting and music – and that’s not all. Head down there in the evening once darkness has fallen and play a glow-in-the-dark round! Kids of all ages will love playing this pretty little mini golf course with light-up balls and a whole new set of glow-in-the-dark golf rules… booking is available for parties of 10 or more, or just turn up on the day.
To be honest, Bath is blessed at Christmas – the events above are but a fraction of the festive fun available. Are you visiting Bath for Christmas this year? Send us a comment and tell us what you’re planning to do while you’re there!