Are you heading to Bath in the festive season? This enchanting city is one of the best places in the country to welcome Christmas.
Not only is it home to a legendary Christmas market, but there are a surprising number of other festive attractions for a small city, as well as plenty of warming winter things to do.
I lived in Bath for a year, and loved spending an entire Christmas period checking out all of the best things that the city had to offer (most of these attractions happen every year!).
Recently, I popped back at the start of the 2022 season to see what Bath had in store for this festive period.
So, here are all of the best things to do in Bath at Christmas – markets, shows and more!
Things to do in Bath at Christmas
Bath Christmas market
The Bath Christmas Market is one of the UK’s most popular.
Encompassing 170 glimmering chalets and stalls, this market boasts delicious gifts like homeware and jewellery and food products made by local suppliers.
Suppliers include 6 O’clock gin from Gloucestershire, Canned Wine Co which was launched by Bath locals and Judith Hobbs Studio Potter which is based in nearby Bristol.
If you want to have some local West Country products under your tree, there’s nowhere better than Bath Christmas Market!
There’s also an Apres Ski Bar outside the Abbey Hotel Bath, which is a cosy hut serving mulled wine, baileys and hot chocolate and beer, all in a winter-themed atmosphere.
Bath on Ice
Sitting in the middle of Royal Victoria Park, Bath on Ice provides an ultimate winter wonderland.
With glowing wintery lights as the night darkens, Bath on Ice is the ideal place to whizz around the rink practicing your moves or spend quality time with the family!
There’s also a bar with seasonal drinks on offer, making it the ideal place to step in a wintery wonderland.
Aladdin at Theatre Royal Bath
The Theatre Royal in Bath sits in the middle of the city centre. There’s a pantomime every year; this year it’s Aladdin!
This pantomime is a timeless classic, with a script by Jon Monie and starring Tom Lister from Emmerdale and Nick Wilton from EastEnders.
It runs until 8th December, so there’s plenty of time around the festive period to catch this show!
Christmas services at Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey is a majestic religious building located in the heart of Bath city centre.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, this abbey has withstood the test of time and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, eventually being rebuilt during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign.
You can take in the grandeur of the building and get in the festive period with the abbey’s Christmas services, that take place throughout the Christmas period.
Enjoy shopper’s carols on the 3rd and 10th December, take in the Family Carol Service on 18th December and see the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on 23rd December at 5pm and 7:15 pm.
Some of the events are ticketed; you can read more about them and buy tickets here.
Restaurants for Christmas dinner in Bath
There are plenty of restaurants and pubs in Bath, all of which are decorated for the festive period!
Whether you fancy a bottomless brunch or a more traditional Christmassy meal, check out these restaurants in the city!
- The Hare and Hounds: I’ve always loved this pub, which sits on Lansdown Road (a short drive from the city centre), and has amazing views over Bath.
- Bath Brew House: The Bath Brew House make their own delicious beer and have a festive menu over the Christmas period.
- The Botanist: I love the plant-inspired cafe at The Botanist, and they have a full Christmassy menu!
- The Bird Bath: The Bird Bath is a swanky hotel in Bath city centre with great Christmas dining opportunities!
Enchanted Garden of Light at the American Museum & Gardens
The American Museum is located just out of Bath City Centre, and in the Christmas period it’s home to the Enchanted Gardens of Light.
Running through the woodland around the American Museum, this festive trail is lit up with hundreds of light bulbs, all twinkling in the darkness. It takes around an hour to walk around.
12 Tales of a Georgian Christmas at No.1 Royal Crescent
Calling all history fans!
12 tales of a Georgian Christmas depicts this historic era when many of Bath’s roads, including the Royal Crescent, were built.
No. 1 Royal Crescent is a museum that depicts the Georgian period through rooms that are decorated like they were then.
With this Christmas experience, you can learn about how people celebrated Christmas in the 19th century and hear fascinating stories and poems from the era.
Bath Christmas light trail
The Bath Christmas light trail encompasses the entire city. Enjoy the glimmering lights strung around the buildings and lighting up the cathedral, parks and alleyways.
As soon as the sun goes down, this trail is accessible, and it’s the perfect way to enjoy an evening in the city – plus, it’s a great free attraction!
Sitting around a 45 minute drive from Bath, Wookey Hole is a fun family-friendly place to visit near Bath.
Over Christmas, the caves turn into a proper winter wonderland and is one of the best family-friendly Christmas destinations near Bath.
Walk through the caves, which are adorned with charming glittery fairy lights, and head to Santa’s Whimsical Grotto, where your kids can drop off their Santa letters, or head to the Wookey Hole Toy Factory where elves will give all little ones a present!
Cheddar Gorge is one of the most popular places to visit in Somerset, and Gough’s Cave (one of the caves) which becomes a storage space with oodles of toys!
The cave encompasses a Santa’s grotto with a workshop and elves checking santa’s sleigh and seeing who’s on the naughty and nice lists.
Also perfect for families, Cheddar Caves are the ideal festive trip close to Bath!
Longleat is a popular safari park sitting around 30 minutes from Bath.
Every year, Longleat boasts The Festival of Light, a gorgeous light show. This year, it’s Roald Dahl themed with lots of displays showcasing the famous author’s books, with a festive twist of course!
There’s a Santa train, a winter drive through the safari park and a Christmas tree experience where you can take in the gorgeous decorations.
It’s definitely a must-do if you’re in the West Country during the Christmas period! Tickets for this one sell fast, so secure yours early to avoid disappointment.
Soak in Bath Thermae Spa
If you’re visiting Bath in winter, the thermae spa is a must-do.
There’s a huge pool at the top of the building which is naturally heated by Bath’s thermal hot springs; perfect on chilly days.
You can take in immense views of the Bath Christmas market and the lights of the city twinkling below you!
Indoors, there are four steam rooms and other pools with warm water.
Stay the night in a traditional hotel
Warm up after a chilly evening and wake up in the cosiest of beds before heading out into the historic city.
Whether you’re spending a weekend in Bath at Christmas or are just looking for the best things to do while living here, I hope this guide has proved useful!