Christmas at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath
The historic Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa in Bath, just a pleasant 10-minute stroll from the famous Bath Christmas Market (see information below), are hosting several Christmas events alongside their luxurious 2 or 3 night Christmas House Party package including a Festive Afternoon Tea with mulled wine on Christmas Eve, a Champagne and canapés reception, carol singers by candlelight and a sumptuous three-course dinner with wines. On Christmas Day guests can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time to open presents, while the Spa is open all day for guests to take advantage of the warm waters or spoil themselves with a relaxing treatment. A Champagne reception will be followed by a traditional Christmas lunch with all the festive trimmings and the accompaniment of a harpist. Afterwards, guest are invited to settle down to watch an old movie or enjoy a leisurely Christmas Day stroll around beautiful Georgian Bath before an evening buffet supper with wines from the house cellar. The 2-night package (accommodation on 24th & 25th December) starts from £492.50pp per night for a Deluxe Double.
Nor do you have to be staying in order to enjoy the unique atmosphere of The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa during the holiday period. On Thursday 5th December join the magical Christmas Carols in the Garden (£25pp), with the Courage Choir singing all your favourites amid the twinkling surrounds of the secluded gardens. Tickets include festive canapés and mulled wine or a non-alcoholic alternative such as hot chocolate to keep you warm while you enjoy music under the stars.A Wreath Making Workshop with The LANE Floristry includes Festive Afternoon tea in the hotel’s 3AA rosette restaurant on Friday 6th December (£80pp). The little ones will meanwhile enjoy the Hunt the Nutcracker trail; with nine festive nutcrackers hiding in the twinkling gardens, each with a letter tied to his or her wrist. Those who solve the puzzle will be rewarded with a festive treat! Pick up a puzzle sheet in reception. Throughout the Christmas period, The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa’s famed Festive Afternoon Tea, complete with a selection of bright and festive sweet treats such as jolly Santa’s tummy, will be served in The Dower House Restaurant daily (£37.50 per person or £19.50 per child).
For more information and reservations for the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa please see the website.
Victorian Christmas Weekend at Brunel’s SS Great Britain
Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol – the world’s first luxury liner designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel – is journeying back to Victorian England on 7th & 8th December. An immersive experience for all ages, the fully decorated dockyard, Victorian characters and falling snow will re-imagine the hustle and bustle of one of 19th century Britain’s most important docks. Costumed actors from the award-winning living history group, The Ragged Victorians, will be on hand with colourful, seasonal stories, and don’t forget to look out for Mr Brunel himself.
Take part in Victorian printing, see items from the University of Bristol’s Theatre Collection, and enjoy festive music from a number of choirs and brass bands throughout the weekend. Harbourside Kitchen will be stocked with festive flavours including minced pies and mulled wine, while the gift shop is a nostalgic treasure-trove of stocking-fillers and Victorian-style gift ideas from wooden toys to books and Bristol Blue Glass. Tickets for ‘Go Aloft! Climb the Rigging’ can be purchased for a further charge, allowing the more adventurous the opportunity of climbing the SS Great Britain’s mainmast to the thrilling viewing platform which stands at over 26m above ground level and offers one of the best views of Bristol and the iconic harbour.
Victorian Christmas Weekend at Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol on 7th and 8th December 2019 from 10am-4:30pm. Admission is included in the usual ticket admission which includes free unlimited return visits for a year. For more information and tickets please visit the website.
Bath Christmas Market
Regarded as one of the best traditional chalet-style Christmas markets in the UK, thousands of visitors from far and wide will pilgrimage to this year’s Bath Christmas Market from 28 November-15 December. Set amidst the backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage City’s picturesque, honey-coloured Georgian streets and nestling around all sides of the magnificent Bath Abbey and pretty Abbey Green, over 150 illuminated wooden chalets will offer shoppers everything from unique, handcrafted homewares to personalised presents, Christmas decorations and jewellery.
Featuring local craft makers and designers from the South West region, this year welcomes 30 brand-new stallholders. Carol-singers and brass bands will get you into the festive mood as your peruse the stalls, while the Bath Abbey will be opening their doors for Shoppers’ Carols. There will also be plenty of tempting takeaway food stalls serving artisan burgers, Bratwurst and hog roasts, along with hunger-inducing sweet treats such as gourmet crêpes and donuts. There will also be a new dedicated vegan food chalet. If you’re looking for somewhere to shelter from the cold, head to the cosy Lodge for refreshments and a bite to eat within an atmospheric Alpine-style chalet.
Bath Christmas Market from 28th November-15th December 2019. Opening times: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am–7pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am–8pm & Sundays from 10am–6pm. For more information please visit the website.
Christmas at Stourhead
The famed landscape gardens of Stourhead in Wiltshire, managed by the National Trust, is to delight winter visitors with a brand new festive experience for 2019. Christmas at Stourhead, on selected days from 29th November – 30th December 2019, will feature glistening tree-tops, shimmering gardens and hidden surprises. From a Laser Garden and a spectacular Tunnel of Light festooned by over 100,000 pea-light, to Singing Trees bidding you welcome in the distance, glowing blossom shall rise high into the night sky and the twinkling hedgerows will light your path towards thousands of illuminated lights on the Fibre Optic Lawn. Wander beneath the unique tree canopies, drenched in seasonal colour and dripping with shards of light, frosty snowflakes, stars and baubles, before pausing to admire the waterside reflections of the majestic lake.
Christmas at Stourhead visitors can keep warm with mulled wine and hot chocolate as they gather around the specially designed fire-pit with family and friends to toast marshmallows, and roasted chestnuts will further enhance the yuletide atmosphere with aromas of Christmases past. For further memories of yuletides gone by, little ones can ride on the traditional Victorian fairground rides and are sure to glimpse Father Christmas and his elves before the trail ends, while the adults can enjoy browsing the well stocked gift-shop.
Christmas at Stourhead from 29th November – 30th December 2019. For tickets and more information please visit the website.
Festival of Light at Longleat: Myths & Legends
Illuminating the magnificent estate of Longleat, the renowned Festival of Light has returned, until 5th January 2020, with another series of extraordinary Chinese lanterns depicting ‘Myths and Legends’ from across the world in a rainbow of colour to brighten the darkest of winter nights. Set in over 30 acres of jaw-dropping Capability Brown landscaped grounds, this year’s festival reimagines gods and magical beings of ancient Greece, along with heroic tales of British folklore and the colossal kraken, a gargantuan sea monster lurking in the depths of Longleat’s Half Mile Lake, ready to engulf any ships. New for 2019 is a choreographed light projection of’ this year’s Myths and Legends’ theme onto the iconic frontage of Longleat House.
Day tickets enable visitors to experience not only the Festival of Light but the Winter Safari and the beautiful interiors of Longleat House, this year decorated for a 1920s Christmas in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Longleat House opening to the public and atmospherically capturing the heyday of the 6th Marquess of Bath’s youth. Lantern Late and Twilight tickets are perfect for those only wishing to appreciate the lantern festival, with an additional charge for the Santa Train (running until 29 Dec), a must for the younger ones who will be thrilled on journeying past the Half-Mile Lake before disembarking at North Pole Halt where they will find an enchanting snow-covered winter wonderland and Father Christmas snug in his grotto.
Festival of Light at Longleat on now (selected days) until 5th January 2020. Advanced booking recommended. For more information and tickets please visit the website.
The Christmas Tavern at The Bird Hotel, Bath
New for 2019, The Christmas Tavern pop-up at Bath’s boutique Bird Hotel until 31st December is a celebration of the best of the season, complete with tree-lined walkways, snow-capped mountain scenes and polar bears. With a Christmas tree laden with decorations and twinkling fairy lights and a ceiling adorned with a multitude of Christmas baubles, stars and lanterns, the focal point of the festooned log-cabin style venue is the cosy wood-burner with its vast fireplace surround. Open from noon every day, take a seat in one of the comfy armchairs or booths and enjoy mulled drinks, decadent Italian-style hot chocolate or festive themed mocktails and cocktails.
The Christmas Tavern menu offers everything from pizza, turkey and cranberry sausage rolls to mince pies and churros, while Christmas party-goers can select a set menu. A great place to catch up with family and friends over the holiday, or join one of the shared Christmas party nights, this setting is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. On 12th December the Christmas Tavern will be hosting a Fondue Lunch Party; offering a taste of the Alps with everyone’s favourite warming Swiss dish. Feast on lashings of melted cheese with crudités and traditional accompaniments over a fondue pot to share with family and friends (£22.50 pp for a savoury fondue pot with traditional accompaniments, fondue dessert and a glass of wine). On 31st December see out 2019 and the last day of the Tavern in flamboyant style by joining the New Year’s Eve Birdhouse Party from 8pm – 12.30am. With a drinks reception, three courses with half a bottle of wine, a DJ with dancing and a glass of champagne at midnight (£75 per adult) it’s not possible to be overdressed in such a setting as this.
The Christmas Tavern at The Bird Hotel, Bath until 31 December 2019. For more information and reservations please visit the website.