Friday, December 05, 2008

The Tourist Bit.

I hope you are enjoying the run up to Christmas and aren't feeling too stressed.
On Wednesday I decided it was high time I made an effort to get some of my Christmas shopping done. I love living so close to Bath, but shopping there on a Saturday is to be avoided at ALL costs! The Christmas Market is in full swing at the moment and attracts many tourists and with Bath being such a small city, it just can't cope with the numbers. As it is, during the week, you really need to be parked by 10.30am or you will struggle to find a space.

So, early on Wednesday I made a quick dash around the chalets. I would say its nice to look, but not great for finding Christmas pressies - a lot of the stalls are extensions of some of the shops in Bath, so nothing new. And apparently the chalets are very expensive to rent, making it beyond most hand crafters budgets, so unusual one-of-a-kind items are few.
I was impressed by this beautiful handmade soap stall. The aromas were gorgeous, with only pure essential oils being used to produce each item. (You can request their catalogue here.)
Coming away from the market a huge carousel dominates the square outside the Pump Rooms - trying to negotiate your way around this on a Saturday can be a bit tricky!

There are plenty of carol singers, live bands and street entertainers throughout the winding streets of Bath. Would you believe this isn't a real statue?! This guy certainly fooled this pigeon though!
The florists on Pulteney Bridge had a stunning display outside. I just adore the festive foliage and beautifully arranged wreaths and baskets.

Well, taking all these photos wasn't getting my shopping done, so I had to get on...
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My youngest daughter said she'd like to visit the market after dark, so hubby and I took her last night after school.
It certainly takes on a different atmosphere in the evenings. People seem more relaxed (perhaps that's the mulled wine and cider on sale ;-)) and happier to take things at a slower pace.
The Abbey becomes even more spectacular when floodlit against the jet black sky.
We discovered that it is possible to take a tour of the towers in the evening at this time of year, and with the offer of mulled wine included when you reach the top, we decided it had to be done!
The views from the bell tower are fabulous, particularly at night with the festive lighting adding to the scene.

Below you can see the Roman Baths floodlit for the occasion.

And the tiny chalets of the market sandwiched in amongst the fine architecture.
There were only 10 people on the tour, so we all got to ring one of the enormous bells which date from the 1700's.

Then it was time to leave the roof top and climb the couple of hundred stairs back down again.

Hope you've all had a great week.
Enjoy your run up to Christmas,
Niki x

27 comments:

  1. Looks wonderful. I've yet to have my first glass of mulled wine but I fear I won't be saying that for long...
    Hen x

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  2. WOW! It's just gorgeous!!! I have to come there, sooner or later! Thanks for sharing, Niki!

    Hope you did good shopping! ;)) Florists are soooo tempting during Xmastime!

    Monica x.

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  3. Hi Niki,
    I know Bath is a beautiful city anyway, but I do envy your night views from the tower, I wonder does it carry on all year round or is it just for the festive season?
    I haven't even thought about christmas yet as I'm heavily involved with the village panto, still that will finish this w/e & then I'll get down to some serious present making.... OH NO YOU WON'T... OH YES I WILL !
    Bye for now, Frances

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  4. Hi Frances,
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, the Abbey tower tours are on all year, but the evening tours only happen during the Christmas Market week. (Because we are Bath resisdents we get to go in for free, which is a bonus!)
    Niki

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  5. Hi, thanks for leaving a comment Niki. Glad you liked the bears. Your photos take me back, before we came to France we lived about 25 miles from Bath and used to visit regularly as we had an antiques shop and used to visit the market.
    Yes they still love their 2 hour lunch break here - you can be in a shop 12 o'clock comes and the lights go off!
    Enjoy your Christmas shopping, I haven't finished yet either.
    Regards Nicky.

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  6. lovely just lovely...
    ;0)

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  7. Niki, these photos are fantastic. I wish, wish, wish I could be there. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I really wanted to go to the market this year but am running out of time.

    Thanks for sharing - at least I had a little look round

    Sara
    X

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  9. Oh how exciting, Niki! It all looks so beautiful, especially decorated for the holidays! That live statue is really amazing! =) What a view you had, too! I went to NYC for the day yesterday with my son's class -- I hope to have those pics posted today sometime. =) I only wish we lived as close to NYC as you do to Bath, though... we're all exhausted today! lol

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  10. I loved seeing the night views of your beautiful city. Thanks for taking us along.

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  11. Thanks for the photos of Bath, it makes me all nosalgic as I used to live in Bath during the 1980s. I had no idea you could go up the tower of the Abbey though - what wonderful views from the top.

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  12. Hi Niki..it looks lovely..which reminds me we must take a trip to our German Christmas market which comes to Leeds every year with a huge ice scating rink, mulled wine and German goodies to eat...Pete always likes to go on the last day when everything is being sold off...typical Yorkshire man....I havent been to Bath for yeas..must make another visit...have a lovely weekend...Helen

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  13. Great photos - really enjoyed the tour. I also, always enjoy the florists during the holiday season. I would have never made it to the top of the tower, if I had to climb that many steps. :)

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  14. It looks wonderful. We went to the Christmas markets in Brum and really got into the spirit with mulled wine!

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  15. what a lovely day you had very christmassy

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  16. Niki - thank you!
    I would have given in to mulled wine... How lucky, you ringing the bells!
    This is an emotional post for me, born in Bath (but moved up north very soon after).
    Jo
    x

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  17. Thanks for the tour Niki! I think it would be so much fun to enjoy such architecture and history on a daily basis. The Christmas market looks fun too.

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  18. Just catchin up with all of my favorite blogs Niki, I just LOVE seeing your part of the world. xox Heather

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  19. It all looks so beautiful Niki and just what you need to start up those Christmassy feelings. I always buy something from Merrywood when I go to the CL Christmas Fair in London. Their products smell divine and they package everything so nicely too.

    Your doll's house on the last post is just amazing, what a fantastic find and I couldn't think of a more fitting owner than you to bring it back to it's former glory. What fun!

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  20. all looks lovely and Christmassy, I need a kick to make me hit the town to do festive shopping I'm ok when I get there but the thought I find very daunting.
    I'd prefer to stay down my little lane!
    Jan

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  21. Niki,
    Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. I felt as if I was along for the tour. You take great photos! I love that I was able to see them larger when you click on them.

    Have a great week!
    Deanna :)

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  22. me again, my girls ordered your book Friday, their Christmas gift to me, the only problem is it is ordered to be delivered here, can I leave it unopened untill they get home for their festive break I ask myself hummmmmmm......
    Jan

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  23. What lovely photographs; one of my best vacations was the time I spent in Bath. How lucky you are to live in such a wonderful place! Thank you for sharing these with us.

    Heidi

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  24. Hi Niki

    What a fabulous view of Bath from the Abbey. It looks as if you had a wonderful evening.

    Did you take those pieces to the Flea? She usually buys there. I bet you were surprised when you saw your things in my photos!!!

    Sue xx

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  25. Hi Nicki!

    It`s been so long since I`ve been to visit your beautiful blog. It looks like you had a lovely time. I would love to be able to visit that place. Sure wish there wasn`t such a large ocean in the way!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    tea
    xo

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  26. What an experience! That would be a dream come true for me! Thanks for sharing the pics!

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  27. What a glorious place to spend the day shopping! Thank you for sharing! I have always wanted to go to England and Bath is one of my "destinations" for the future.

    xo
    Becky

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Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx