bath carnival 2019

Where to get the best view of the Bath Carnival 2019 this July

9th July 2019

It’s nearly time for one of the most vibrant events in the city – the Bath Carnival 2019! Expect colour, costumes, culture and an explosion of music to take over the streets of Bath on 13th July, with one of the Carnival’s largest processions ever. 

Each year, the festival embraces a new theme. For 2019, it’s ‘Express Yourself’. Over 1,000 people will be taking part in this exciting annual event, featuring dancers, sound systems, drumming bands, brass bands and incredible larger-than-life costumes. 

It’s a fabulous, celebratory and multi-cultural event for all the family, and you can even apply to join in the fun! Simply sign up and head to the Bath Rec Ground on the day for the preparations, which also includes Fiesta at the Rec – a programme of free family activities and entertainment in the build-up to the parade. There are even creative workshops you can join in the days leading up to the Carnival, where you’ll learn how to create characters and costumes with an expert artistry team. 

Where to get the best view of the parade

The Bath Carnival start time is set for 3pm, with the procession setting off from Great Pulteney Street from 3pm and finishing at Laura Fountain at 5pm. As the parade route, a circular one, is usually packed with eager spectators, the best spots to view the procession are usually open spaces such as the square with Laura Fountain at its centre. 

If you happen to be enjoying a Tower Tour at Bath Abbey, or soaking your cares away in the open-air rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa, you’ll also get incredible views of the Bath Carnival route from above. 

To avoid the crowds altogether, why not watch the Bath Carnival from the comfort of your own home-from-home? There are a number of Bath Holiday Rentals properties that are right on the parade route, so you’ll see the procession pass right by your window! Stay at Argyle Upon Avon, for example, and you can throw open the tall sash windows and get a front row seat for the carnival.

If you’re planning to head into Bath on the day of the parade, it may be best to use public transport. Ahead of the Bath Carnival, road closures have been planned throughout the city centre so it may not be possible to drive in, not to mention the fact that parking is likely to be in very short supply for this very popular event. 

Free Party in the Park festival in Sydney Gardens 

As well as the parade itself, there’s also a free world music festival taking place in Sydney Gardens. These beautiful gardens, the only remaining 18th century pleasure gardens in England, will play host to live bands, DJs, bars, children’s fun areas, food stalls and much more. 

You can pop in at any time from 10am to 10pm, and there’s even an afterparty featuring BBC 6 Music DJ Don Letts over at Komedia if you want to carry on the party – make sure you buy tickets for this one though, as it tends to sell out.