Bath is a bijoux city, small yet exquisitely formed and beautifully detailed. It’s small scale enables a festival to fill the whole of Bath with an active atmosphere, consuming the streets, markets, restaurant and bars. During the summer months events take place most weekends, but across the year there are some key festivals that are unique to Bath.
The Jane Austen festival takes Bath back in time, breathing life into the Georgian buildings. People mill around the streets in regency garb, promenading in petticoats and bonnets, parasols and ringlets galore. It is a dreamland for people that have read the classic books or seen the television and film adaptations. The festival is generally held in early September and lasts for up to 10 days, but throughout the year there are related themed events like balls and picnics.
During the summer months Dyrham Park hosts a series of events, from food festivals to jazz nights and classic car weekends. Even when there is no event it’s a great place for a walk or picnic.
Boules is a popular local sport regularly played at Queen Square, but during the Boule Championships the party atmosphere joins the set-up. Queen Square hosts the games, with food and drinks stalls lining the streets. It is a great way to spend a summer evening, and you cannot resist having a go!
October brings The Great Bath Feast, a month long festival that celebrates food & drink and all things culinary. Local restaurants, bars and shops host events and masterclasses, offering specials and tasting menus. The array of choice and experiences make October a great time to visit Bath; to explore local cuisine and the city.
On the run up to Christmas the city becomes a chocolate box of delight and a magical festive wonderland. The warm glow from the windows frame a range of treats, with delicate white lights twinkling in the streets. The aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts permeate the city centre, flowing out from the German-style market that opens around the Abbey. The stalls are full of trinkets, nibbles and gifts to tempt you. The calmest way to visit is daytime during the week, when the crowds are relatively peaceful. But the prettiest way to see the market is late afternoon and evening when the stalls and shops become alive with twinkly lights and frosty air, which also attracts larger crowds. We just go with the flow and relax into the slow pace.
The Bath International Music Festival takes place in May, filling the city with an eclectic programme of events. All tastes are catered for, from fine classical music to contemporary jazz and local folk. Bars and music venues host evening and daytime listings, many for free and some ticketed. Local venues to watch are The St James Wine Vault and The Bell.