Bath Christmas Market

When we bought our campervan we said that we would try to never visit the same place twice, so that we would always find new horizons.

Here we are travelling to Bath Christmas market again and using the same campsite for the third time. So much for our earlier statement.

We last visited Bath Christmas market in 2014. We didn’t go last year as we were cabin bound because the extreme knitter had a procedure on her foot.

We’ve been determined to make use of puffin all year round, so decided to book a pitch at Bath Marina Campsite to coincide with the Christmas market. By pure luck I phoned the site on the 29th September 2016 and managed to book the last pitch available. The site is so popular because of its close location opposite the Newbridge Park & Ride.

The lady I spoke to said she was taking booking for December 2017.

We set off on Friday lunchtime arriving at the campsite mid afternoon and spent the rest of the day on the campsite. In the evening we read, knitted and of course the meatballs in a homemade tomato sauce with pasta made an appearance for supper and as I wasn’t driving for the next few days and purely to get into the Christmas spirit the Bacardi made an appearance.

The site has installed free Wifi since our last visit and it gave a strong signal right across the site.

With the dark December nights upon us we settled down to a relaxing evening in Puffin with the television. Each pitch on the site has a TV aerial socket and the dark night makes you want to close the curtains and snuggle down. The battery operated Christmas lights were switched on to create the scene.

This was another dog less trip as it was going to be all shopping, so yet again Ruby was handed over to our feral daughter for a couple of days.

We woke up late on the Saturday morning and after a full English breakfast we walked over the road to the Newbridge Park & Ride to catch the bus into Bath city centre

The Park & Ride has been totally refurbished since our last visit, with toilets and a rental bicycle scheme, but it still had height restriction barriers, so parking a camper or motor home there wasn’t allowed.

It cost me £3 for the return 2 mile trip into the city, but the Extreme knitter travelled free using her bus pass for the first time. We arrived at Westgate Buildings at lunchtime.

As on previous visits to Bath we needed to pace our selves or we wouldn’t be able to last the day. The Christmas market opens at 10.00am, but it is best experienced in the dark to see it fully lit up in the nightime.

We wandered around, taking in the sights and architecture. We needed a late lunch, so headed for the a little Deli/coffee shop we had visited on our last trip.

As the darkness set in we headed for the market situated around the Abbey. It seemed larger than previous visits taking up more side streets. It is mainly local crafts and businesses selling a wide variety of Christmas goodies and speciality foods.

We carried on shopping and sightseeing until we could take no more. The day was only slightly marred by the rain showers

Totally exhausted we caught the 5.30pm bus back to the Park and Ride and then walked to the campsite (I’m glad I took a torch) I’m getting to old for these mammoth retail experiences. We settled in for a relaxing evening in Puffin, but

that was short lived as I noticed a drip of water from the roof light.

Closer inspection showed that the there was a slight leak through the seal. No problem I thought, I’ll just clean it up and put gaffer tape around the edge as a temporary solution.

Every campervan over 20 years old carries a toolbox (I think it’s the law). Open the toolbox and no gaffer tape, so I bodged up a ropey seal with insulating tape.

It looks like I’ll have to remove the roof light and reseal the whole frame. After twenty years the original sealing lasted quite well all things considered.

Sunday morning and we were due to leave the campsite. We had bacon baps for breakfast and we leisurely packed everything away.

After a tiring, but totally enjoyable three days we made our way home.

 

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Bath Christmas Market

We have in previous years visited the German Christmas market in Birmingham. It has become a little same old, same old over years, so this year we needed a change.

During our recent trip to Bath we saw the Bath Christmas market advertised. It was supposed to be large and mainly local crafts and businesses

The Bath Marina campsite we had stayed at in September was the obvious choice again. When I phoned to book a pitch for two nights there were only a couple of pitches available for the days we wanted. The site is a popular stop over for the Christmas market because of its close location opposite the Newbridge Park & Ride.

The Park & Ride was operating late services especially for the market with the last Bus returning at 10pm

Unfortunately the Park & Ride has height restriction barriers, so parking a camper or motor home there wasn’t allowed. The Landsdown Park & Ride situated to the north of the city has no height restrictions.

Monday lunchtime and Puffin was loaded with enough clothes and food to last a week. We are still getting grips with the travelling light ethos. We headed out on to the now familiar route towards Bath.

We arrived at the campsite mid afternoon and decided not to venture out. The afternoon and evening was spent just doing nothing. We had meatballs in a homemade tomato sauce with pasta for supper and as I wasn’t driving for the next few days the Bacardi made an appearance purely to get into the Christmas spirit.

With the dark December nights upon us we settled down to a relaxing evening in Puffin with our new Television. I can’t believe that after all these years of camping that I’m watching a TV. We had never camped this late in the year before and the dark of the night makes you want to close the curtains and snuggle down.

This was another dog less trip. It seems unfair to drag her on shopping trips and I don’t think the park & ride allow dogs on board, so yet again Ruby was handed over to our daughter to spoil for a couple of days.

 

Waking up late on Tuesday morning and after bacon baps for breakfast we walked over the road to the Park & Ride to catch the bus into Bath city centre arriving at Westgate Buildings at lunchtime.

We knew from previous visits to Bath that we needed to pace our selves or we wouldn’t be able to last the day. The Christmas market opens at 10.00am, but we wanted to have the full Christmas experience and see it at its best fully lit up in the nightime.

We wandered around, taking in the sights and architecture. We needed refreshment, so headed for the a little Deli/coffee shop we had visited on our last trip.

CircusCirus

To fully view the landmark sights we purchased tickets on the Bath open top sightseeing bus. This has proved to be the best way to take in the main sights of the various cities we have visited in a short space of time. The commentary gives you an insight in to the history of the place.

Royal TerracePulteny BridgeWeir on the AvonCircus

The city was heaving with shoppers as the evening drew in. The Bacon baps were wearing off and we needed food, so we popped into Café Rouge for an evening meal.

The market is situated around the Abbey and the Roman Baths It was advertised as consisting of 170 stalls selling a wide variety of Christmas goodies and local crafts, but I didn’t think there was anywhere near that amount. I was hoping to find a stall selling Wild Boar hot dogs, but alas nothing.

Disappointed? Just a little with the market, but we enjoyed our day.

We carried on shopping and sightseeing until we could take no more.

Totally exhausted we caught the 8.30pm bus back to the Park and Ride and then walked to the campsite (I’m glad I took a torch) where we collapsed in a heap back at Puffin.

The night was chilly and as we were on electric hook-up, the fan heater was put on for the first time this year. Although we warmed up the cold spell highlighted the need to look at upgrading the camper insulation, particularly inside the door panels and investing in a set of internal screens.

Wednesday morning and we were due to leave the campsite, so after bacon baps for breakfast again and we packed everything away as best we could.

After a busy and totally enjoyable three days we slowly made our way home.

 

Bath & a Knitters Surprise

I have tried to organize a surprise trip that satisfies the extreme knitters passions, Shopping and knitting.

This was another dog less trip, so Ruby was handed over to our daughter to spoil for the weekend.

It was Friday lunchtime and after a leisurely drive down the M5 and a short section of the M4 motorway we exited onto the A36 heading for our favourite city of Bath.

I had pre-booked a pitch for two nights at the Bath Marina campsite. The urban campsite is a gem because of its close location opposite the Newbridge Park & Ride.

The Marina and campsite sit beside the River Avon. It’s an all year round site with concrete hard standings.

Bath Marina

Bath Marina

Marina

Marina

After a walk around the Marina and the river we settled down to a relaxing evening in Puffin.

Water feature on River avon/Cycle path

Water feature on River avon/Cycle path

We found this fascinating water feature just off the Bristol/Bath Cycle path. Sadly it wasn’t working

Bath Marina

Bath Marina

Beans on toast for supper and as I wasn’t driving this weekend the Bacardi made an appearance.

Saturday morning and after a lie in followed by bacon baps we walked the short distance over the road to the Park & Ride to catch the number 21 bus into Bath. The £2.50 each bus ride took only fifteen minutes and dropped us at Westgate Buildings in the city centre.

We have visited Bath so many times before and it never fails to intrigue. The City is famous for its Georgian architecture and as a water spa. We wandered around the many small shops in the side streets, back alleys and small shopping arcades. Bath is a city that buzzes with many shoppers, tourists and some very talented buskers. After all this retail therapy we needed tea and coffee to sustain us for the day. Suitably refortified in a little Deli/coffee shop we carried on with the shopping extravaganza.

Bath

Bath

Bath Cathederal

Bath Cathederal

Although the e/knitter purchased some fabric I actually managed to come away with a new coat and a gillet.

As the day progressed the Bacon baps were wearing off and we needed food, so we popped into Café Rouge for a late lunch. The food and ambiance is great.

We carried on shopping and sightseeing until we could take no more.

Totally tired out we boarded the bus back to the Park and Ride and then walked to the campsite where we collapsed in a heap back at Puffin.

We took a small television with us for the first time ever on our camping trips. The pitches on the marina site have a TV aerial point and it worked quite well. We intend to use the camper right through the winter and when the nights get dark early, so it may be good to be able to watch TV or a DVD.

 

Sunday morning and we were due to leave the campsite, so bacon baps for breakfast again and we stowed everything away into the cupboards. We had another place to visit before we headed home.

Bath Marina & Caravan site

Bath Marina & Caravan site

Just popped in for a nimble

Just popped in for a nimble

The American Museum on the outskirts of Bath is always worth a visit and we hadn’t been there for 12 years. The main reason for our visit was to see the exhibition of work by Kaffe Fassett who just happened to be the extreme knitter favouritist knitter. His knitting style is rule breaking and original. We later wandered around the rest of the museum that gives a fascinating insight into the American life through the ages.

American Museum Bath

American Museum Bath

Wooly Lamp

Wooly Lamp

Wooly Tree

Wooly Tree

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

Ships Figurehead

Ships Figurehead

After a busy and totally enjoyable weekend we slowly made our way home.

We have been chatting about a possible trip to Poland next year. That should give us something to look forward to.