Christmas in Bath
PUBLISHED: 11:21 13 November 2007 | UPDATED: 14:55 20 February 2013
Bath is enchanting at any time of year. But it really comes into its own in December when the soft, honey-coloured stone of its architecture provides an exquisite backdrop for coloured lights, decorated trees and all...
Bath is enchanting at any time of year. But it really comes into its own in December when the soft, honey-coloured stone of its architecture provides an exquisite backdrop for coloured lights, decorated trees and all the lovely paraphernalia of Christmas.
The centrepiece of this year's festivities is the famous Christmas Market. This year the event will, for the first time, include a small platform to be situated outside Bath Abbey on which local entertainers can perform. The market itself runs from 29 November until 9 December and an estimated 200,000 people will visit it over the 11 days. More than 100 wooden chalets packed with everything you could possibly need for the perfect Christmas will occupy the Abbey churchyard area in the shadow of the Abbey.
Much of the merchandise on offer is locally made, including unique handcrafted items, along with festive food and drink, decorations, jewellery, accessories, crafts and children's toys. Mulled wine and mince pies add to the festive atmosphere. Alongside the Christmas Market, the Guildhall Market is holding its own Christmas event and several themed events are planned elsewhere in the city. Particularly appealing to fans of Jane Austen is the Regency Christmas exhibition, which takes place at the Jane Austen Centre throughout December. This year a lantern procession will also be held and all children are invited to take part in the parade to the Abbey from the Holburne Museum.
If you're feeling in need of a spiritual alternative to all that spending, the Abbey will hold regular shoppers' carol services throughout December. Meanwhile, a little way out of town, the American Museum in Britain at Claverton is holding its magical 'Christmas at Claverton' celebrations, climaxing in 'Claverton by Candlelight' on 15 December, for which 1,000 candle lanterns will light up the museum and its surrounding grounds. The night is rounded off with a spectacular firework display. 'Christmas Jewels' is the theme of the museum's yuletide display and each room will be festooned with spectacular jewel-like decorations whose centrepiece is a three-metre tree in the Central Hall - a must!
Until 23 December: A Regency Christmas. The Jane Austen Centre, tel 01225 443000
24 November - 16 December: Christmas at Claverton. The American Museum in Britain, tel 01225 460503
29 November - 9 December: Bath Christmas Market. tel 01225 396417, http://www.bathchristmasmarket.co.uk/
6 December: Holburne Museum Lantern Procession. 4.30pm, tel 01225 466669
12 December: Charity Fundraising Concert in aid of Robin Hood Ministries. The Forum, tel 01225 462231
19-21 December: The City of Bath Bach Choir sings Carols by Candlelight. The Pump Room, tel 01225 463362
Visit Bath: tel 0906 711 2000 (50p/min), http://www.visitbath.co.uk/
Bath Abbey Services
1, 8 December: Shoppers' Carol Services. 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm
3 December: Advent Hope Service. 7.30pm
7, 8 December: Messiah sung by the Bath Choral Society. 7.30pm, tel 01225 463362
15 December: Shoppers' Carol Services. 1pm, 3pm
15 December: Christmas Concert with Carols for Choir and Audience. 7pm, tel 01225 463362
16 December: Family Carol Service. 5pm
19 December: Rotary and Chronicle Carol Service. 6.30pm
20 December: City Centre Carols with mince pies and coffee. 1pm
22 December: Christmas Concert: A Ceremony of Carols. 6.30pm
For more information call tel 01225 422462 or visit www.bathabbey.org.