April showers…

…are no excuse for hiding indoors! There are lots of great ways to see Bath that will enthrall you come rain or shine. So grab your brolly (and your sunglasses) and follow me!

The Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides operate a comprehensive and fascinating guided walking tour of the city centre, which encompasses all of Bath’s iconic landmarks, as well as a wealth of smaller details of historical note that could be easily overlooked by all but the most keen-eyed visitors. I took the tour myself with a visiting relative a few years ago, and was amazed at how much I hadn’t known about the city I’d lived in for most of a decade. And best of all, it’s completely free – your guide will not even accept a tip. The fully trained and knowledgeable Guides are all volunteers, who see it as their civic duty to help visitors understand the history of our beautiful city. Tours depart from just outside the main entrance of the Roman Baths, twice daily at 10.30am and 2pm (except Saturdays, when there is just a single tour at 10.30am); and from 1st May to 30th September there will be an additional tour at 7pm every Tuesday and Thursday. So don’t miss out!

Bizarre Bath Comedy Walk promises something hysterical rather than historical… an irreverent look at the city of Bath, and it doesn’t disappoint. Combining street theatre, magic tricks and stand-up comedy, the walk is described by the Evening Chronicle as “a gentle stroll interrupted by moments of lunacy” – sure to lift even the lowest rain-dampened spirits! Tours cost £8 for adults or £5 for concessions and run nightly at 8pm, beginning outside the Huntsman Inn (just around the corner from Three Abbey Green) and finishing about 90 minutes later, right on our doorstep!

Ghost Walks of Bath are a truly spooky treat for those with a passion for the paranormal – or who just want to prove how brave they are! A city as ancient as Bath, rich with dramatic and even violent history, is bound to have more than its share of resident spirits; this may be your chance to see one for yourself! Tours cost £8 for adults or £6 for concessions and begin outside the Garrick’s Head pub at 8pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, finishing at the same spot around 9.45pm. Do you dare..?

In the Footsteps of Jane Austen is a free-to-download mp3 audio tour of Bath, a must for every Jane Austen fan. The download package includes a map of the route and the tour itself is divided into fifteen chapters, so if you decide to take a break you can easily pick up where you left off – like dipping into your favourite Austen novel. As well as taking in the city’s most famous landmarks and highlights, the audio tour includes extracts from Jane Austen’s novels and letters, giving you firsthand insight into Bath as it was in its Georgian prime. To walk in Jane’s footsteps, download the tour here.

Bath Escape Detective Tours are perfect for those who prefer a more interactive and task-oriented approach to exploring the city. Ideal for groups of two to six people who love solving puzzles and riddles and collecting clues, each tour takes 2-3 hours and to complete it you must solve the crime or uncover the mystery! Unmask the murderer in ‘Case No. 219’ or discover ‘Victoria’s Secret’ (particularly suited for groups including younger players) – if Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple can do it, why can’t you? Visit the Bath Escape website to book your tour: but don’t give away whodunnit!

For those who can’t manage a long walk, or just want to see Bath in style, there’s no better way to go than by taking a ride with Courtyard Carriages. A team of elegant Dutch Carriage horses with groom in traditional livery take you on a 20-25 minute tour of the city centre, including Pulteney Bridge and Great Pulteney Street. Tours cost £11 for adults or £5 for children and depart from opposite Bill’s restaurant on Cheap Street. Full exclusive hire of the carriage is available for £90 which allows for a longer tour of one hour, taking in the iconic Royal Crescent, Circus, Queen’s Square and Royal Victoria Park. Book your tour here and step back in time to the glory days of Georgian Bath!

Sun is shining…

…the weather is sweet; and the days are getting longer at last! We want to help you make the most of it, so we’ve picked out some great outdoor and evening events for all ages and tastes:

Bath Racecourse celebrates the start of the 2015 racing season with a Season Opening Racenight on Friday 17th April in support of WaterAid, an international organization working in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to improve access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. The night includes seven races and a Battle of the Bands competition with live music acts for the City of Bath College competing for the chance to perform a 45 minute set at BathFest on 29-30th May!

Do you Glow In The Park? After dark on 18th April Bath’s Royal Victoria Park will be transformed for Glow In The Park: Bath. A 5km route (2 laps of 2.5km) will be marked out using LED strobe lights, big flashing arrows and themed Glow Zones, areas where lighting, special effects and music have been installed to break up the course and enhance the experience. Walk or run, you can take all the time you want; register online to enter a team and get glowing!

World Heritage Day at Prior Park Landscape Garden is a great way to celebrate Bath’s proud status as a World Heritage City, with this year’s theme celebrating the landscape setting of the City of Bath. And what better setting in which to appreciate the beauty of Bath than Ralph Allen’s 18th century landscape garden at Prior Park? On 19th April this all-day event offers a plethora of free activities for all ages exploring the archeaology and natural history of the gardens, with the chance to learn about landscape drawing, painting and photography, dress up in Georgian costume and learn a country dance, and even mingle with Ralph Allen, Mrs Allen, John Wood and Capability Brown, as personified by members of the Natural Theatre Company. Download the event leaflet to help you find your way around and make sure you don’t miss any of the fun.

It wouldn’t be a visit to Bath without a night out at the theatre! On Tuesday 21st April, for one night only, the egg theatre proudly presents Caroline Horton’s critically acclaimed one-woman show, Penelope RETOLD. Classical myth meets contemporary rage in this retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey from the perspective of war-hero Odysseus’ wife Penelope, waiting at home in Ithaca. Described as an “epic, heartbreaking and fiercely playful tale about love, loneliness and the need to be free”, Penelope RETOLD was developed with input from soldiers and military spouses and is recommended for audiences aged 13 and over. See the Theatre Royal website for booking information.

If perchance the sunshine does let us down, head to the American Museum and explore the life and culture of a hotter, drier clime. Spirit Hawk Eye is an ongoing exhibition of black and white photographic portraits by Heidi Laughton, celebrating contemporary Native American culture and exploring the present-day customs of the Native peoples of California, Arizona and New Mexico. Each portrait is accompanied by personal anecdotes from the subject, explaining the traditions and ways of life that are of particular importance to each individual. Spirit Hawk Eye is an arresting and memorable glimpse into a diverse and beautiful culture and if you enjoy them, mark your calendar to return in July. The museum will be hosting individuals featured in Laughton’s portraits during “a two-week residency that will showcase traditional cultural practices and key issues facing America’s Native Peoples today”. See the American Museum website for details of associated lectures, workshops and performances.

Have an Eggs-cellent Easter!

The Easter holidays have just begun, so that means two weeks of freedom from packed lunches, football practices and the school run – two weeks of opportunities to take your family away to experience something new. So bring them to Bath! Here are just a few of the Easter-themed activities on offer over the holidays:

Easter Fun Day at Bath City Farm
On Tuesday 31st March, 11am-2pm there will be craft activities, egg themed games, and of course, the all-important Easter Egg Hunt! Mums and Dads can browse the craft and plant stalls or relax in the café while the kids run off some of that holiday energy. No advance booking required. Bath City Farm is located just outside the city and can be easily reached by car or on the number 10 and 5 buses – see the website for details

Bath Abbey
The heart of the city, Bath’s ancient and beautiful Abbey Church is worth a visit for its stunning and intricate Victorian Gothic architecture, and the 212-step Tower Tour is a great way to work up an appetite for a hearty lunch – or tire out the kids to guarantee a peaceful evening! The tour takes in the ringing chamber and bell chamber, a chance to stand on top of the Abbey’s vaulted ceiling, and you can even sit behind the clock face! It runs every hour on the hour (last tour 4pm) and costs £6 for adults or £3 for children.

If you wish to worship at the Abbey over Easter there are a variety of services to suit all ages and tastes:

Maundy Thursday

  • 8.30am Morning Prayer
  • 11.00am Holy Communion
  • 7.30pm Sung Eucharist for Maundy Thursday Wherein Bath Abbey Men’s Choir will sing Byrd’s Mass in Three Parts and Shephard’s I give you a new commandment

Good Friday

  • 10.30am Cross Walk Service in the Abbey
  • 11.00am Joint Cross Walks Service in Abbey Churchyard
  • 12noon Three Hour Service with Music by J S Bach, played by Michael Mace (Cello). The service is divided into half hour segments to allow for people to join or leave as appropriate.
  • There is a special service of Meditation in Music for Good Friday at 7.30pm, where Bath Abbey’s Choirs of Girls and Men will perform Stainer’s Crucifixion, with hymns for congregational participation. No tickets or advance booking required.
At 5.15pm on Holy Saturday, there is an Organ Recital by Peter King, Bath Abbey Director of Music, who will perfomr works by Whitlock, Bossi and Grieg.

Easter Sunday

A full Calendar of Sunday services will be available on Easter Sunday, beginning with

  • Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer at 8am; this service includes a sermon but no hymns, and lasts around 40 minutes.
  • Parish Communion takes place at 9.30am, with a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere; a creche is also available. The service lasts one hour, including a mix of classic hymns and songs of worship, and Bath Abbey Girls’ Choir will sing Vaughan Williams’ Easter. There is coffee after the service, giving everyone an opportunity to mingle and chat.
  • There will be Sung Eucharist at 11.15am, led byThe Right Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells, with Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Philips’ Ecce vicit Leo sung by Bath Abbey Choirs of Girls and Men.
  • Festal Evensong is at 3.30pm, where Bath Abbey Choirs of Boys and Men will sing
    O Sons and daughters – Davies
    Psalm 114
    Howells in G
    The Twelve – Walton
  • For those who prefer a more relaxed form of worship, the Abbey’s BTW: Informal Evening Service is at 6.30pm and lasts around one hour.

Ora Et Labora
Open from 10am to 4pm seven days a week and located right between Abbey Green and the Abbey Churchyard, Ora Et Labora offers a great school holiday program of craft activity workshops for kids of all ages, from window art to weaving, all linked to Bath’s Medieval heritage. Ora Et Labora (which is Latin for ‘pray and work’, the Monastic motto taken from the Rule of Saint Benedict) is famous for selling delicious honey mead and Bath Medieval Pudding, both of which can be sampled by mums and dads while the kids are busy crafting their masterpieces. Sessions cost £5 per child, sampling is free!

The Egg Hunt (#theegghunt)
As part of The Egg Theatre’s 10th birthday celebrations, all through the Easter Holidays you can take part in the grand adventure of tracking down 25 decorated eggs hidden across the city centre. Free egg hunt maps are available from the egg theatre’s café, Bath Library, Bath’s Visitor Centre and can be downloaded here. The only egg not marked on the map is the grand prize Golden Egg – it’s up to you wily hunters to figure out where that one can be found!

The map includes questions to answer while you search for the hidden eggs, and egg hunters are encouraged to post pictures on facebook and twitter using the hashtag #theegghunt. Completed maps with all questions answered will be entered into a prize draw to win the Golden Egg to keep, plus tickets for both the egg’s Christmas show and the Theatre Royal Bath’s pantomime. The first 100 maps handed in at the egg reception will also receive a handmade treat from the San Francisco Fudge Factory. So get cracking!

And for those who want a few less eggs and a few more giggles, check out the 7th annual Bath Comedy Festival. Running from Friday March 27th to Monday April 6th, this years festival is the biggest to date, with over 100 events and more acts than ever before in both the core curated programme and the free-entry open programme.

The Bath Comedy Festival is known for hosting an eclectic mix of both well-known and up-and-coming comedy performers, and this year includes the first ever Kids’ Comedy Festival. Visit the festival website for full details and booking information, and you’re laughing!

Easter Offer – Save 10%

Book a stay (minimum two nights with standard occupancy) in the accommodation of your choice at Three Abbey Green during the Easter schools break (Sunday – Thursday, but not including Easter Sunday) and receive a discount of 10% on the cost of your stay. Quote ‘Easter offer’ when booking. To take advantage of this offer, click here or follow the ‘Book Now’ link at the top of the page.

Applicable to new bookings only, and must be requested at time of booking.
Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other deal or discount.
Booking can include Friday and Saturday, but no discount will be applied to these days and they cannot be part of the minimum stay calculation.
Offer can be used on all our available accommodation.
Offer available for from 22nd March – 9th April.

Spring into action…

It may still be a bit grey and rainy now and then, but there’s blossom on the trees and daylight is beginning to hold out a little longer each evening. Crisp mornings, stiff breezes and bright sunshine: springtime is surely in the air, so here are a few ways to make the most of it.

We love discounts here at Three Abbey Green – going on holiday can be an expensive business after all! – so we like to offer a little extra incentive to tempt you to treat yourself. Take a look at our current special offers for March:

Tripadvisor Offer – Pay just £40 per person per night on mid-week stays of two night or more. Offer price available on all accommodation; a £20 supplement will be added to bookings in Lord Nelson and Abbey View. Offer must be quoted at the time of booking and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. Please call for full Terms and Conditions. Offer valid from 2nd – 26th March 2015, Sunday to Thursday inclusive. Redeem by using code ‘Winter Warmer’.

20% Discount – Quote ‘20% off’ at the time of booking to receive a 20% reduction on the cost of any Sunday to Thursday night stay up to and including 26th March 2015. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other deal. Bookings can include Friday and Saturday nights, but no discount will be applied to these dates and they cannot be part of the minimum stay calculation. Offer can be used on all our accommodation.

The Bath Reward Card is another great way to maximise your cash during your stay, as well as supporting lots of local businesses from shops to cafes, restaurants and museums. We will issue you with a Reward Card at check in, together with a map of participating businesses and lots of personal recommendations – we love to shout about our favourite places to go, and if we can save you some money in the process, so much the better!

Have you heard about the Official Bath App? Available free from the ios App Store and Google play, the app is packed with handy features to help your stay go more smoothly from start to finish, including event listings, directions, prices and opening times, plus the holy grail for drivers – real-time traffic and parking information. Download it now!

VisitBath, the official Bath tourism service, has a wealth of helpful resources for travellers, and we are happy to obtain hard copies of any and all brochures and guides – we can have them ready for you at check in if you request them in advance. The Bath Visitor Guide 2015 is a great way to whet your appetite for all the the city has to offer, and can be downloaded from the VisitBath website if you would like to peruse it in advance of your stay. The guide is now also available in Mandarin, which version is also available for download from the website.

And finally, for those with families don’t forget the Easter holidays are coming up soon – we still have a selection of rooms available, but these are sure to be snapped up quickly, so don’t delay: book your Easter getaway now.We can’t wait to see you!


Marching ahead…

The fleeting twenty-eight days of February have flown past, taking with them Valentines Day, Half Term, Pancake Day and (hopefully) the worst of winter’s chill. Now it’s time to march into March – quite literally! – starting on the 1st with the Bath Half Marathon.

Taking place as always on the first Sunday in March from 11am, the 2015 Vitality Bath Half Marathon is a spectacle not to be missed. So if you’re already in Bath, be sure to make some time to watch the race – if you’re quick you may even bag a spot near the finish line on Great Pulteney Street to cheer on the runners as they complete the course!

If you’re travelling to Bath on Sunday, whether you want to watch the race or not, it will certainly impact your travel time and route into the city, so please be aware and plan your journey accordingly. We always recommend guests travel to Bath by train rather than driving, as parking and negotiating the city centre one-way system can be somewhat of a challenge – and we want you to be nice and relaxed so you can enjoy yourself as soon as you get here! This holds especially true on race day, as the route includes several main thoroughfares which will consequently be closed for most of the day. Information about traffic restrictions, including times and a map of the race route, can be found here.

Every year, sponsored runners raise thousands of pounds in donations for their chosen charities, often boosting awareness of lesser known causes and organisations through their participation in the race.

A full list of charities involved can be found on the Bath Half website and includes a host of local causes as well as national, overseas and global organisations like Support for International Change (SIC) and Send A Cow. Children’s charities include the Rainbow Trust and I Can (helping children communicate), and many social and medical charities are represented, ranging from People Against Poverty to the Soundwell Music Therapy Trust; Mind (better mental health) to Marie Curie Cancer Care; Julian House to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. But it’s not just people who benefit: animal lovers will be pleased to see the Bath Cats & Dogs home on the list, along with environmental charities like Tree Aid and Rainforest Concern.

Here are the five Bath Half featured charities for 2015:

  • Teenage Cancer Trust (Lead Charity) is dedicated to improving quality of life and survival outlook for cancer sufferers aged between 13 and 24. “Thanks to local community support, including previous runners of the BATHALF, Teenage Cancer Trust has recently opened its first specialist unit in the South West for local young people with cancer.”
  • Jamie’s Farm (Family Fun Run Charity) offers a short-stay residential programme with follow up, “to help vulnerable children from inner-city schools flourish in education, at home and in the community…through a unique combination of family, farming and therapy”
  • Bath Rugby Foundation (Local Charity) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. “The Foundation strives to motivate, raise self esteem, increase confidence and improve life skills, by imparting the values found in rugby – camaraderie, loyalty, discipline and respect.”
  • RUH (Royal United Hospital) Forever Friends Appeal (Appeal Charity) began in 1999 and each year fundraising has been aided by Bath Half Marathon runners. “Our current fundraising aim is to raise £8.5 million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH, which balances our clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment.”
  • Laureus Sport For Good Foundation (Official Vitality Run Series Charity) “uses sport to change disadvantaged young people’s lives in the UK and across the world.” Laureus supports and assists a worldwide programme of sports-related community projects, working to educate children, protect the vulnerable from illness and bring people together.

It’s for a good cause, and it’s impossible to ignore – so get into the spirit, come along and cheer. I’ll see you at the finish line!

Flipping brilliant!

For those of us whose lives more or less revolve around food, it doesn’t take much of an excuse to get us tucking in with gay abandon. But if you do need an excuse, I have a great one for you this week: it’s Pancake Day!

Yes, this year, Shrove Tuesday has been kind enough to fall during the half term break, giving those of us who have kids (or are just big kids ourselves!) the chance to make the most of this truly scrumptious holiday.

Its name deriving from the term ‘shrive’, meaning ‘to confess’, Shrove Tuesday is a Christian celebration; a time of self-reflection and preparation for the penitiential and contemplative season of Lent. It became customary to indulge in a final meal of the rich, fatty foods one would abstain from for the coming forty days, and making pancakes would be a sensible way to use up foods like eggs, sugar and milk. This is the origin of Mardi Gras, which is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’, and has evolved into the Carnival tradition of wild and ecstatic revelry; a ‘last hurrah’ before the sombre Lenten season of fasting.

In England we have a slightly less spectacular but equally entertaining tradition. It is said to have originated in the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445, at which time Shrove Tuesday was known as a ‘half-holiday’, which would begin with the ringing of bells for the Shriving church service. It is said that a local housewife, who had lost track of the time while busy cooking pancakes, ran to the church still dressed in her apron and kerchief, frying pan in hand, tossing a pancake to keep it from burning. Thus was the first ever Pancake Race!

Pancake races are held in towns and villages all over the UK on Pancake Day, as community gatherings and often raising funds for local charities and good causes. And if you’re in Bath this week, you can see one firsthand for yourself, or even take part – there’s still time to sign up!

Bath’s Flippin’ Pancake Race 2015 takes place right outside the Bath Abbey from 2.30pm on Shrove Tuesday 17th February, in aid of the fantastic charity, FoodCycle Bath. Run from St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Julian Road, FoodCycle Bath aims to benefit the local community with that simplest of pleasures, a hot meal in good company:

“We’re all volunteers, and we all like to cook. We don’t like to see food wasted, and we know that supermarkets and shops have to throw away lots of edible food every day. We know there are people going hungry because they don’t have the money, time, or equipment to cook a proper meal for themselves. So we thought – let’s get in the middle of that, take the edible food and cook for the community.”

The first hour of the event is for kids, who can have a go for 50p, without signing up in advance. The grown-ups race then begins at 3.30pm, with teams of four competing to win the coveted Golden Frying Pan. If you want to take part you can sign up via the Fringe Arts Bath website for a £20 entry fee, which goes directly to FoodCycle. See you there!

Here comes half term…

And if you’re anything like as disorganised as me, it’s crept up on you as a bit of a shock! But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to keep the kids busy on a visit to Bath this half term, whether they’d rather get lost in magical tales of far-off lands or explore the countryside in search of fairies and elves.

Folklore February at Prior Park Landscape Garden. From yarn-bombing to making your own Green Man, every day from 14th to 22nd February, Prior Park will be hosting a range of activities celebrating traditional English customs. And don’t miss the fairy and elf trail – a magical way to explore the beautiful landscape garden.

Wild Wednesday at Bath Skyline. The Bath Skyline walk is a great way to see the breathtaking countryside surrounding Bath. The woodland play area can be accessed from Claverton Down Road, and on Wednesday 18th February it will be the site of a morning of outdoor adventure games and crafts, from 10.30-12.30. Why not make a day of it by taking a picnic and exploring the rest of the trail in the afternoon?

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Museum of East Asian Art. 2015 sees the beginning of the Year of the Ram and the seventh year of this free community event. From 11.45-4pm on Sunday 22nd February the museum hosts a day-long programme of family activities including crafts, Japanese Choir, dance and acrobatic performances, martial arts demonstrations, and a costume photo booth for the perfect memento to start the lunar New Year.

The Little Theatre @ KomediaToddler Time and The Big Scream. Two regular events designed for parents with babies and young children.

  • Toddler Time is especially designed to introduce pre-school children to the big screen, featuring a series of 30-minute shows at 11am every Tuesday. Tickets are £3, babies under one year old get in free.
  • The Big Scream shows the latest movies at 10.45am every Wednesday, exclusively to parents with babies under a year old. Low lighting is left on throughout the film and nappy changing facilities are available. Get the best of both worlds: stay social and meet other new parents and keep up to date with the newest releases without having to get a babysitter.

These two events are just the thing for keeping everyone entertained if perchance the weather doesn’t cooperate during your stay.

Arabian Nights and The Cat in The Hat at The Egg Theatre. From 12th -14th February Bath Spa University’s OnSet Productions present “a vivid re-imagining of the world’s most magical and spellbinding tales”. Aladdin and his Magic Lamp; Sinbad the Sailor; Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves… Not to mention talking birds, beasts, ghouls, demons and djinn – with evening performances at 7pm each night, plus daytime shows at 10am and 2pm on Saturday 14th February, there are plenty of chances to get swept away by Queen Sheherazad’s one thousand and one nights of storytelling.
From 17th-21st February The Cat in The Hat will be in residence at the Egg, entertaining kids of all ages with “the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas”. Based on the beloved childrens book by Dr. Seuss, The Cat in The Hat will be performed at 11am and 1pm every day, with additional shows at 3pm on Friday and Saturday. For ticket prices and booking information on these and all Theatre Royal, Ustinov Studio and Egg events, see the Theatre Royal website.

Junior Karting and Startline Young Driver Experiences at Castle Combe Circuit. Junior karting is a great way for kids to let off some steam and work through those competitive sibling rivalries. Boys and girls aged 10-15 will have a riot of a time “learning top class racing skills, under the professional supervision of our marshals and experienced instructors”. Or if you have older kids (ages 12-16) who can’t wait to be grown up, let them get behind the wheel for a day and learn some valuable skills to get ahead on those ‘L’ plates with a Startline Young Driver Experience. The litany of ‘are we nearly there yet?’ will soon be a thing of the past! Advance booking is required; see Castle Combe Circuit website for details.

Whatever you and your family choose to do this half term in Bath, come rain or shine you’ll have a great time. Tell us your half term ‘must-do’s by email, facebook or Twitter @3abbeygreen and we’ll share them with the rest of our lovely guests!


Spring into Festival Season…

If you’ve a little spare time on your hands and you want to spend it in Bath, February is a great month to visit and sample two of the numerous cultural festivals our city has to offer.

19th-21st February 2015 is the fourth annual Bath Bachfest, “an inspiring and enjoyable series of performances of Baroque music of the highest quality”.

As is the case with its more well-known parent festival, Bath Mozartfest, the Bath Bachfest ranges beyond the music of Bach himself. The festival opens with a candlelight performance of Vivaldi’s sacred concertos and motets by La Serenissima. Featuring director and violinist Adrian Chandler and soprano Mhairi Lawson, the concert takes place at St. Mary’s Church, Bathwick on Thursday 19th February at 7.30pm. The programme is entitled Il Prete Rosso (The Red Priest), a moniker by which Vivaldi became known during his time as a cleric of the Catholic church, due to the colour of his hair.

But if it’s Bach himself you’re after, skip ahead to Friday’s lunchtime recital at the Guildhall, where his Trio Sonata from The Musical Offering will be performed among works by contemporaries Handel, Telemann and Rameau.

Lots more Bach will be on offer at Friday evening’s concert by the renowned Academy of Ancient Music, at the Assembly Rooms. The performance will showcase a number of Bach’s greatest works, including Suite No. 3 in D Major which features the famous Air on the G String.

Bach’s complete Art of Fugue will be performed at Saturday morning’s piano recital by Angela Hewitt, described by BBC Music Magazine as a Bach performer of “great subtlety, beauty of tone, persuasiveness of judgement and instrumental command”.

The final concert of the festival takes place at Bath Abbey, 7.30pm on Saturday 21st February. The Gabrieli Consort and Players will perform two works from Handel’s early career in Italy, as well as the Concerto Grosso in D Major (op.6 no.4) by Handel’s Roman colleague Arcangelo Corelli. This concert is preceded by a talk at the Quaker Meeting House from 6-6.45pm – a separate ticket is required as spaces are limited, but this is free to concert ticket holders.

To round off the festival in true Baroque style, the Bath Bachfest Supper will be held in the Allium restaurant at the Abbey Hotel, directly following the concert at the Abbey. A separate ticket is also required for the supper, which costs £47 per person for a two course meal including wine and coffee. Be sure to mention when booking if you have any allergies or special dietary requirements.

Visit the Bath Bachfest website for further details including ticket prices and availability.

Running from 27th February to 8th March, the 2015 Bath Literature Festival – sponsored once again by The Independent – celebrates 20 Years of Great Books. This year marks the festival’s 20th anniversary and promises to be a spectacular celebration, with events at venues large and small across the city and exploring a variety of themes and ideas. Highlights include:

  • The Bliss Lectures, described as “a headline strand featuring writers and thinkers talking about the thing in life they are most pasionate about”. Touching on subjects as diverse as adventure fiction, feminism and beekeeping, they promise to open a window into the minds and hearts of a diverse range of speakers and provide plenty of food for thought. The Bliss Lectures are supported by festival Creative Partner, Bath Spa University.
  • Bath Literature Festival’s international connections explored and celebrated, with a series of talks exploring The American Dream, its literary origins and where its future might lead.
  • Voices in the City: a great way return to the joy of childhood storytime as an adult. From spoken word poetry and song with students of Bath Spa University in the open air at Southgate, to dramatic readings of short stories at the Old Theatre Royal Masonic Hall with Pin Drop; from perennial festival favourite Poetry Slam at the Porter to the less formal Bath Poetry Cafe. Be transported by the voices of others, or even bite the bullet and join in!

General booking opens this Monday, 19th January, and events sell out fast – so if you spot a must-see, must-do, not-to-be-missed opportunity to indulge your literary side, don’t hang about! Go to the festival website or visit the Bath Box Office right away!


Oh the weather outside is frightful…

…but then that’s January for you! Fear not, however: January in Bath holds plenty of ways to brighten up the New Year without breaking the bank.

It’s no secret that Bath is a great place to shop, with a wealth of independent boutiques and big brand names, from House of Fraser to Debenhams and everything in between. January is the perfect time to make the most of all that’s on offer and bag an armful of bargains – every shop on every street is boasting a sale of some kind, and if you have the wardrobe space to buy off-season you’ll save yourself a packet.

The perfect way to spend those pounds you saved in the sales – not to mention helping you recover from the overindulgences of the festive season – is to treat yourself to a little spa time. The Thermae Bath Spa’s well known Twilight Package is a great way to splash about without splashing too much cash. At £45 for three hours, the package includes a light meal at the spa’s Springs Restaurant. And if you’re not indulging alone, you can save even more by booking the £85 Twilight for Two.

Illuminate 2015
From 5-8pm every evening from now until 10th January, central Bath will be bathed in light and colour, courtesy of this years collaboration between international and local artists and Bath Spa University students.

Projections and illuminations aim to transform and paint the familiar landscape of Bath in a new and exciting light, and can be seen at various beautiful and historic sites including the Holburne Museum, Abbey Church Yard, Roman Baths and Pulteney Bridge. Don’t miss Will Kendrick’s immersive projection and holographic installation at the Roman Baths, Only The Statues Remain, which will be shown nightly from 6.30-8.30pm. Entry to the Roman Baths will be free during this time – a great way to see another side of this famous Bath landmark.

Discovery Card
If you’re visiting friends or family who live in Bath, make sure they’ve got their residents Discovery Card; a great resource for free or discounted entry to the best of Baths attractions, including the Roman Baths and Fashion Museum. The post-Christmas gloom and chilly weather mean that the sights of Bath can be surprisingly quiet at this time of year – make the most of shorter queueing times with some handy discounts!

Bath Reward Card
Who would have thought a little blue card could unlock so many tempting special offers? Anyone who’s stayed with us before of course! This local discount scheme (previously know as the Big Ben discount card) is going from strength to strength, with an ever expanding catalogue of retailers and attractions adding their own offers to the pot. All you need to do is present your card (which we handily attach to your room key) wherever you see the reward card sign, for anything from 2 for 1 entry to 10% off lunch to free coffee with your cake. There’ll be no stopping you!

Hot Deals
January is a quieter time of the year here at Three Abbey Green too, so if you’re feeling like getting away to Bath for some last-minute, post-Christmas rest and relaxation, don’t hesitate – you can snap up the best bargain of all and book one of our lovely rooms at a great discounted price, by looking out for dates marked ‘Hot Deal’ on our online booking page. You never know your luck!

And don’t forget, our 20% Off and Winter Weekend offers are running again, from now until 5th March 2015 (excluding half term). So if work or family commitments make it harder to make a run for it without a bit of forward planning, you can still get a little more for your money. We’ll take excellent care of you and help you start 2015 as you mean to go on – rested, refreshed and ready to conquer the world. Happy New Year!



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