Old-world markets are one of the best things about Christmas time. The warm lights in the wooden stalls, the mugs of mulled wine and hot cider, people running into old friends- Christmas markets have a way of making the best of winter. They draw us out into the cold with the scent of spiced cider and the promise of festive spirit, and perhaps no one in Britain does this better than Bath Christmas Market. Running for eighteen days from November to December, Bath Christmas Market has grown to be an award-winning activity in England’s picturesque South West. Set in the heart of the city, the market sprawls across its Georgian streets and is centred by the gorgeous Bath Abbey and its majestic Christmas tree. (For an extra-special holiday experience, catch Bath Choral Society’s performance of Handel’s Messiah inside the abbey.) There is a plethora of food, drink, and shopping options for visitors of all ages, and local craftsmen, artisans, and performers feature prominently. The town itself puts on quite a display with its lights and decorations, as well as some irresistable photo-ops. Fancy a hog roast, caramelised nuts, or even a vegan selection? The many stalls at Bath Christmas Market have it all. If you prefer a sit-down meal, many of the surrounding restaurants and businesses also get in on the fun, offering festive specials. (Try The Raven for, arguably, Bath’s best pies.) Bath Christmas Market also has its very own Lodge, where you can relax in indoor comfort if the weather takes a turn. The city has also taken an initiative to make the market more eco-friendly, offering a discount on beverages if you bring a reusable cup. Even if you don’t, the Visitor Information Centre sells ones made from corn husks, so there’s no reason to miss out on those savings! If water is more your drink of choice, the Christmas market has a map to direct you to water bottle filling stations. And the city of Bath also works with vendors to reduce the amount of plastic waste and fuel emissions generated. They are small steps toward a more sustainable future. The giving spirit is alive and well at Bath Christmas market. Each day, two local charities host stalls, meaning that throughout the market season there are options for visitors to donate and support their favourite causes. Best of all, Bath Christmas Market is free! It costs nothing to wander among the chalets and down all of Bath’s architecturally stunning streets and alleys, but with more than 150 vendors and copious spots to pick up a tasty treat, it will be hard not to reach for your wallet at least once. Have you been to Bath Christmas Market? Do you think it’s the best? I’d love to know!