Every year the University run at least one (very reasonably priced) trip to the Bath Christmas markets for international students, such as myself, to give us a taste (quite literally) of Christmas in the UK. Also, everyone loves a good Christmas market…unless of course you hate Christmas, in which case stop reading now! For those of you who don’t know, they are full of festive spirit in the form of decorated huts, Christmas-inspired goods, a certain popular spice-laced hot drink and fake snow, because real snow is too much to ask for (P.S. go to Germany if you want the full experience).
This was actually the second year in a row I’ve been to the markets with the University, which tells you a lot about the quality of the trip as a whole. Between arriving in Bath and leaving, we had about five hours in which to explore, plenty of time to immerse yourself in the history of Bath and indulge in the delights of the markets. We started with a short walk to the Royal Crescent, a famous row of Georgian houses in…you guessed it, a crescent shape! We then made our way across the city towards the river Avon for an equally picturesque view, before following the road around and eventually reaching the markets. If you ever visit the city in your own time, there is plenty more to explore!
So, here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for, the Christmas markets…unless of course you’re procrastinating in which case get back to revision now! It was great exploring all of the stalls and seeing what they had to offer, many of the stalls selling consumables offered free tasters of their products (yum!). One stall we visited was selling flavoured vodka and wine, which may sound slightly odd to some but don’t knock it till you try it right? On offer was a marshmallow vodka, toffee vodka and chocolate wine, and after trying each one (and making sure we made the right decision) we decided to buy the toffee vodka, a sweet and rather festive tipple.
We then continued to wander through the maze of stalls and huts grabbing any free tasters we could get our hands on (and some gifts), before treating ourselves to that spice-laced hot drink that is a must at this time of the year, whilst admiring the bright large Christmas tree placed next to Bath Abbey. Our day ended with a hot serving of churros (these are not English but it was cold and they are delicious!) smothered in chocolate and caramel sauce – a tasty way to end a joyful day.
So, whether you’re a prospective student or a current student who hasn’t yet gone on this trip, consider it because it’s a great experience, great value for money, and you might make some friends out of it…oh, and plenty of free tasters!