Bath Christmas Market which has been ranked in the top ten of European festive markets, attracting thousands of visitors celebrating the festive season, is returning to the city this year – and will be celebrating its 20th anniversary.

After two years without the traditional market, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bath & North East Somerset Council is delighted to announce the market’s return.

This year the festive fixture will run for 18 days from November 24 to December 11 as part of the wider ‘Bath at Christmas’ events.  More than 170 chalets will sell a range of seasonal gifts, food and drink and the proposed site will have a similar footprint to 2018/19 with the re-introduction of the areas around Bath Abbey.

Bath Christmas Market has been ranked in the top 10 in Europe and attracts 400,000 visitors per year, with an estimated spend in the city of £32.5 million in 2019.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “I am so pleased to be able to announce our traditional Bath Christmas Market is back and that we’ll be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. As we all know over the past two years the large-scale market couldn’t go ahead due to the pandemic. Despite that we worked with our partners to make ‘Bath at Christmas’ a success in 2020 and 2021 and we really want to build on that.

“Planning is already under way to make it a very special anniversary year. The market gives a huge boost not just to the stall holders, many of which are local businesses, but also to our retail, accommodation, hospitality and tourism sectors.  It will play a crucial role in helping both hospitality and retail after a such a tough time and we hope everyone will get behind it and support Bath Christmas Market 2022.”

Allison Herbert, chief executive Bath BID said: “We are really pleased that Bath and North East Somerset Council has taken this decision and we are looking forward to working closely together, to ensure this year’s Christmas Market is one that everyone can be proud of.”

Kathryn Davis, Director of Tourism at Visit West said; “We are delighted that Bath Christmas Market will be returning to celebrate its 20th anniversary.  This is a huge lift for the industry, and we are looking forward to maximising the opportunities to work with our partners locally to showcase Bath at Christmas to our domestic and international audiences.  This sustainable celebration of local producers and artisans in Bath’s stunning World Heritage surroundings is central to a very special and unique experience during the festive events season.”

A spokesperson for Milsom Place said: ”The return of Bath’s Christmas Market for 2022 is very welcome news for all businesses at Milsom Place. Its festive presence will bring much needed sparkle to Milsom Street and indeed the rest of the city centre during this vital time of the year for retailers and the hospitality industry. We look forward to supporting the event and alongside our partners, building upon last year’s Bath at Christmas attractions which did so much to help mitigate the absence of the Christmas Market.”

The council has already invested in improvements to the chalets and the fees are being held at 2019 rates. Short term lets for traders who are either starting out or have always wanted to sell at the market but maybe couldn’t make enough stock or are unable to attend the full duration of the market will be available.

This year the market will also feature ‘start-up’ carts for new small artisan sellers which will be available for a three or four day let in the heart of the market. Sustainability is important to the market which has an emphasis on local artisan, locally produced food and good quality products. Single-use plastics are not permitted and all stallholders must use environmentally-friendly biodegradable alternatives to common single-use plastic products such as product packaging, bags, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.