Ho, Ho, Ho! It’s that time of year again to don your favourite Christmas jumper, eat far too many bratwursts, drink copious amounts of mulled wine (perhaps cider?), dance the daddy dance and laugh merrily in the cold evenings as the wind bites your nose and your rosy cheeks. Yes, it’s Christmas Market time!
Where did the year go?! It felt like yesterday when I was scoffing the sausages in Manchester a year before and yet, here I am at another Christmas Market, eyes gleaming on that Christmas tree sprung in the centre of town.
Weeks earlier, a protegé of mine, Freddie (Remember when he wrote the guide to North Yorkshire?) invited me down to his university town, Bath in the south-west of England, to celebrate the arrival of the festive season with our fellow ‘Young Deaf Adults Group’ of DELTA (Deaf Education Through Listening and Talking). I leapt at the opportunity to visit another corner of the United Kingdom and arrived a day earlier to sightsee the quaint and Georgian town for myself.
Luckily, I had a day off work (hooray!) so I could amble down on the Rail Network from Hull to Bath changing at both Sheffield and Bristol, where I would board on the historic Great Western Train taking me 15 minutes to my final destination.
Overall, the journey took five hours but my excitement to see this reputed beautiful town made the journey go all the faster for me.
Sightseeing in Bath
Stepping out of the station, I was greeted in triumphant style, the Bath Christmas tree that soared towards the sky. Blinking back my amazement, I knew that Bath would prove to be a much sought weekend getaway for anyone living in the UK.
While I waited for Freddie to finish off his University lectures, I took the chance to sightsee the centre of Bath, its Christmas Market full to the brim with both tourists and locals alike. Naturally avoiding it for the time being (thanks to my wheeled luggage), I purposely made myself lost and followed on my whims. Here’s what I saw:
Finally, I met up with Freddie, catching up over a gut-busting Belgian Hot Chocolate while Freddie shook his head at my attempts to chat up the beautiful waitress. Did I tell you everyone’s rather good-looking in Bath?! I’m afraid I had the case of the wandering eye that weekend…
Bath Christmas Market
Dropping off my luggage in his on-campus room whilst not at all feeling old amongst student 10 years younger than me (I sobbed at the lost of my youth that night), Freddie and I headed back into town to check out the Bath Christmas Market.
The best of the Christmas Market is found in the courtyard of the Bath Minister, the scent of mulled wine and Hungarian Goulash wafting through the mini alleys between the quirky German wood log cabin style stalls that enticed people with their arrayed Christmas lights. Selling traditional ware and luxury and upmarket designer items, you could be jostling around the owners hoping to get that bargain.
But I wasn’t here to buy anything. I was here to enjoy Freddie’s company and introduce him his first taste of mulled wine. He gave me the thumbs up.
Bath’s Christmas Market is not only confined to the Minister courtyard but rather across many of the streets leading from it. With grandiose Georgian stately buildings standing proud above the cosy Christmas stalls, they really do give a dramatic and overawed effect.
Bath, in my opinion, had the best setting of any Christmas Market I’ve been to in the last few years, but I do have to say that it wasn’t exactly the best. I did feel that many luxury companies saw a chance to promote their products (Overpriced I thought) and took office of most Christmas stalls available. There were hardly any food or mulled wine stalls and you really had to look for one to enjoy a beverage or a bratwurst.
Finally, as our bones grew cold, we searched for somewhere to eat (after seeing the massive queue for the only bratwurst stand we found) and settled on Nandos (oops). However, we only wanted something small as the next day, we would be meeting up with the DELTA crew and enjoying our Christmas meal together.
Meanwhile, our bellies full from Mulled wine and the hot chicken dinner winner, we headed back home to watch the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Can you believe I hadn’t seen it then?!) contented in the knowledge that the Bath Christmas Market had done its job.
Now bring on the weekend!
Have you been to Bath Christmas Market? What did you think of it?