Help celebrate Bath’s World Heritage status.

Help celebrate Bath’s World Heritage status.

sydney gardensSydney Gardens is to host an afternoon of free events and activities on Sunday 13 April as Bath & North East Somerset Council, in partnership with Bath Preservation Trust and the Holburne Museum, celebrates 27 years of Bath’s World Heritage Site status.

World Heritage Day will feature fun for the whole family in Sydney Gardens, one of the country’s last surviving 18th century pleasure gardens, from 12noon to 4pm.  Running alongside the Holburne Museum’s ‘Explosive Easter Eggstravaganza’, there will be events and activities for everyone to enjoy and a chance to learn more about the past and future of this historic park.

The Mayor’s Honorary Guides will be leading hourly guided walks (at 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm) around the local area, including the canal – starting and finishing in Sydney Gardens. There will also be opportunities to walk to Cleveland Pools and enjoy a stroll along the canal to Southcot Burial Ground in Widcombe.

There will be swingboat rides for children and traditional games to play. Craft activities are on offer, with the chance to make something to take away and to contribute to a very large ‘painting by numbers’ picture.  There will be some special Georgian characters to meet on the day.

The Kennet and Avon through Sydney Gardens.

The Kennet and Avon through Sydney Gardens.

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is delighted to join Bath Preservation Trust in welcoming everyone to Sydney Gardens for this family-friendly event on Sunday 13 April.

“World Heritage status is a tremendous accolade for Bath. It means we are recognised as being amongst the most significant cultural sites in the world, and one of the only entire cities to be designated a World Heritage Site. World Heritage Day is all about encouraging people to enjoy finding out more about the legacy of this very special place and the responsibility we share in ensuring that future generations can appreciate it too.”

Groups including the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, the Friends of Sydney Gardens, the Cleveland Pools Trust and Bath Preservation Trust will be on hand to tell visitors more about the fascinating history of Sydney Gardens, and the exciting plans for the future.

Bath City Jubilee Waits will entertain visitors with lively English music from 2-4pm. The group re-establishes the tradition of playing music at civic occasions which existed in Bath for much of the 18th Century.

sydney gardensAll of the day’s events and guided walks are free to all.  The ‘Explosive Easter Eggstravanza’ at the Holburne Museum is also a free event offering science and art activities inspired by the paintings of Joseph Wright of Derby as well as a giant egg roll!

Elsewhere in Bath, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in New King Street will be offering free admission to children on the day and making Eighteenth century fashion dolls. At Southcot Burial Ground children can follow the Tree Sprite trail from 11-3pm.

For more information on the World Heritage Day events visit:

sydney gardens

Old soldiers……

Old soldiers……

no bike parking sign Well l was going to have a go at B&NES for being so un-cycle-friendly in posting notices on its Guildhall railings threatening fire and brimstone if you dare to chain your bike to their civic fencing – and then l saw a stands

Another line of cycling parking hoops on the pavement outside. You are forgive. I will happily use the new parking facility.

The more genuine bikes that do so – the fewer advertising-hoardings-on-wheels we will have to put up with.

bike rentalElsewhere – outside the Holburne Museum – the autumn leaves piles up against a solitary hire bike.

Never fear. The season is over but another notice informs us they will be back bigger and brasher than ever before next year.hire bikes

One little sadness tucked away behind a hedge in the Museum garden.

Some of the lovely lantern shapes – including a military chap – we saw paraded through town on November 28th.holburne museum

Well its one event we will have to wait another year to see again but meanwhile now we know where old soldiers go to quietly fade away.

Discounts and ‘start-up’ stalls at Bath Christmas Market

Discounts and ‘start-up’ stalls at Bath Christmas Market

The count-down to the opening of this year’s 18-day long Christmas Market has begun! The chalets are going up and the smell of seasonal pine returns to Bath.

It’s a tradition which stretches back twelve years now and one which brings in millions of pounds and thousands of people to the World Heritage city of Bath at a time of year when the tourists of summer have long gone.

Setting up chalets on Abbey Green

Setting up chalets on Abbey Green

This year there will also be an inducement – in the shape of residents discounts – to encourage more local people to visit the 155 chalets scattered around inner-city squares and streets.

Mid-week coach visits are also being offered incentives with almost double the number of coaches booked in now for such visits compared to last year!

The Market opens on November 25th at 10am and closes on Sunday 15 December.

Chalets by the Roman Baths

Chalets by the Roman Baths

Over 70 per cent of the careful selected traders are local to Bath and North East Somerset and the South West and fifty of them will be trading in the city for the first time. Over 90 per cent of goods sold on the Market are handmade and British.

The Christmas Market has quickly become a big seasonal earner for traders and the town’s economy generally. Last year’s research showed that £18 million pounds was spent by city visitors. Seven million of that in the Christmas Market and a further 11 million in businesses across the city and beyond.

Bath Christmas Market last year.

Bath Christmas Market last year.

There will also be ten new ‘incubator units’ on the north side of Bath Street this year which will allow very small, local businesses to trade on the Market for shorter periods of six days. There has been a good response already with 30 new businesses ‘testing the water’ this year.

Now what’s in it for the locals? The Market is introducing a special Residents Discount Scheme – involving the Discovery Card – which will enable B&NES residents to get twenty per cent discounts at many of the Market’s stalls – when spending more than £20 – on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Chalets on the both side of Bath Abbey

Chalets on the north side of Bath Abbey

The Christmas Market is also supporting 18 local charities with a Charity Chalet – allowing organisations to trade at the Market. Last year one charity alone raised £1600.

The official opening of the Christmas Market will be the arrival of the now traditional Lantern Procession from the Holburne Museum. Hundreds of youngsters carrying hand-decorated lanterns will depart from the Museum at 5 pm and arrive at Abbey Church Yard around 6pm.

The day that the rains came down!

The day that the rains came down!

The lawns at the Holbourne Museum under water!

The lawns at the Holburne Museum under water!

My partner took this while sheltering under the entrance to the Holburne Museum at the far end of Great Pulteney Street during a thunderstorm today!

Earlier this morning  l had joined fellow Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides and members of the public on a special walk given by Training Committee member Sue Trude during which we looked at public sculptures and reliefs.IMG_4404

Other specials are being offered this week – aside from the normal daily tours – and more information is available on‎ Do remember – all tours are free!

The normal Abbey entrance is closed.

The normal Abbey entrance is closed.

Also bear in mind with work starting on lifting a section of floor within Bath Abbey that the entrance has been moved to ensure the safety of visitors. Look out for signs.IMG_4399

Also look out for wet paint and pity the painters doing the Abbey drainpipes in weather like like we are experiencing today!

Georgian pleasures evening.

Georgian pleasures evening.

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An Evening of Georgian Pleasures

Friday 13 September, 7pm - The Holburne Museum Gardens

Step back in time for a very special evening of authentic Georgian entertainment. For one night only, the gardens of the Holburne Museum will be alive with all the delights that made this the place to see and be seen in Georgian Bath.

The evening will feature Georgian music performed by The Vauxhall Players, with all manner of other historic amusements, including a comedic band of players presenting a newly commissioned play, and garden illuminations.

Refreshments and picnic bags will be available from the Holburne Museum Cafe.
18th century dress is welcome, but not compulsory.

Please bring a rug to sit on and protection from the weather, if required.

£12 full price
£10 concessions

Click here to buy online (no booking fees)

This event has been generously supported by The Leche Trust.

This event is part of the Georgian Pleasures Conference, presented by Bath Spa University.