The Bath Magazine rounds up five must-see things to do in Bath this month, including making the most of Bath Museums Week and getting in the spooky mood for Halloween
As the witching hour approaches head down to the Spookley Pumpkin Festival at Farringtons farm shop, Farrington Gurney, and pick your own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch to take home for Halloween. The festival runs over the weekend of 14/15 October and throughout half-term, 21 – 29 October, giving you plenty of time to carve yourself a spooky Halloween lantern. Over at Bitton, on the Avon Valley Railway, children who arrive at the steam railway in fancy dress, 24 to 26 and 28 to 29 October, will be offered free rides on the spooky half-term trains. Those of a robust constitution (ie not easily spooked and aged 14 and over) might enjoy a fright night of ghost story telling at the American Museum on Friday 27 October.
Looking for fun things to do at half-term that won’t break the bank? It’s Bath Museums Week, 21 to 29 October, so there’ll be free activities at the Roman Baths, Victoria Art Gallery and other museums. Mums and dads can also join their children for creative workshops at The Edge arts centre at the University of Bath which take place on Saturdays. Join a two-hour long art workshop on Saturday 28 October, in which families get involved in being creative. Sesssions for five to 11-year-olds are £5 children, £3 adults. For the full programme and to book places visit: edgearts.org.
For centuries the orchards around Bath hung heavy in autumn with apples and pears. An annual Apple Day was established by Commonground in 1990 and is now celebrated on Saturday 21 October. Orchardshare, a volunteer group which runs two orchards on the outskirts of Bath, will be making and selling freshly squeezed apple juice at Dry Arch, Holcombe Lane, Bathampton, from 2 – 4.30pm on Sunday 22 October. Meanwhile, the National Trust property Dyrham Park, just north of Bath off the A46, will be inviting visitors to help harvest the pears in the pear orchard, on Saturday 7 October, from 11am – 4pm, Dyrham Park. There’ll be chance to have a go with an old cider press and to squeeze your own pear juice. There will be harvest craft and games, pear bobbing, an orchard trail and harvest goodies in the café. Learn all about perry making and old Gloucestershire folklore and buy bottles of golden perry cider or local pear juice to take home. Normal admission prices apply.
Tickets have gone on sale for the annual big Bath Firework display which takes place in the city centre, on Bath Recreation ground, on Saturday 4 November (gates open at 5.30pm). The spectacular show, which lights up the sky over Bath, is organised by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Bath for charity. Tickets: £5 (£6 on the gate) and £3 for children (£4 on the gate). They’re on sale at all branches of sponsors Bath Building Society, Bath Tourism Office and from: rotary-bath.co.uk.
One of the highlights of the Great Bath Feast (which runs until Sunday 8 October, see: greatbathfeast.co.uk for full list of events) is the annual Great Bath Bake Sale, run by charities and held in Bath Abbey. On Saturday 7 October, from 11am – 3pm the historic church will be filled with people enjoying delicious home-baked goods and coffee and tea from a range of stalls. Money raised will go to local causes and the Footprint Project. There will also be pizza making for kids, Julian House’s bicycle-powered smoothie maker and a card game about food waste hosted by FoodCycle.