Bath, England Travel Guide by Wanderlist Travel
For nearly 2,000 years, Bath has been welcoming travellers with the lure of its hot springs. The Georgians transformed Bath with their elegant townhouses and Jane Austen made the city her own with tales of high society living. Today, Bath continues to receive sophisticated travellers looking for culture and relaxation.
- The Roman Baths are the heart and soul of Bath in every sense. The hot springs have been popular with visitors for centuries - get there early to avoid the queues!
- The Royal Crescent is the most emblematic street of Georgian Bath. Take a walking tour to discover why the historic centre is UNESCO listed.
- Bath Assembly Rooms were the playground of Georgian high society – even Jane Austen attended balls here.
- No trip to Bath is complete without a spa experience – see the tips below to get the most out of your experience.
- Bath Abbey is a masterpiece of Perpendicular Gothic architecture located next door to the baths.
WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME
- The Museum of Bath Architecture traces the history of Bath’s famous Georgian buildings – this cute museum is heaven for serious architecture fans.
- Prior Park is a landscape garden, perfect for picnics and with panoramic views over Bath.
- Bath Skyline walk is a special walking trail that skirts the city of Bath and affords impressive views over the city.
- The Fashion Museum is a popular attraction for those interested in historic costume.
- No 1 Royal Crescent is Bath’s premier address and a museum dedicated to showing domestic life as it was during the city’s 18th century heyday.
- Bath sits on the southern tip of the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known for its rolling hills and honey-coloured villages.
- Lacock and Castle Combe, though far from being undiscovered, are two supremely picturesque Cotswolds villages only a short drive from Bath. Lacock in particular has been used in the filming of many period dramas.
- Get your spa experience by visiting the Thermae Bath Spa. The main pool is situated on the roof but the complex also offers wellness treatments and a private thermal bath for small groups.
- If your budget allows it, stay at the Gainborough Bath Spa Hotel, which is connected to the same hot spring at the Roman Baths.
- It’s possible to experience the historic architecture of Bath by staying in a historic hotel or B&B. The most famous is the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.
- The Jane Austen Centre is a bit of a tourist trap, but it’s a fun visit for fans of the novelist. Try and time your visit to Bath to coincide with the Jane Austen Festival (September).
- Arrive on the train from London – the local station is called Bath Spa and from there it’s a 5 minute walk to the city centre.
- On foot is the best way of visiting Bath.
- Margaret’s Buildings are a great place to bag a quality souvenir; try Crystals, who sell jewellery made from gemstones and crystals.
- Bath has some excellent bookshops such as Topping and Company and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.
- Milsom Place is an Instagram-friendly shopping precinct with boutiques arranged around a little courtyard.
- Broad Street has lots of great independent stores including Rossiters of Bath, a design led department store and Bath institution.
- Bath Guildhall Market is an old-fashioned indoor market with traditional shops.
- Southgate is a pedestrianized shopping zone with mainly popular high street brands.
- Check out the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings to sample some local produce.
FOOD AND DRINK
- Try a Bath delicacy, the Sally Lunn Bun, at Sally Lunn’s tea house.
- Treat yourself to afternoon tea or dinner at the Pump Room Restaurant, an elegant and historic dining room next to the Roman Baths.
- One of Bath’s best restaurants is Sotto Sotto, an Italian restaurant. Make sure you book early to secure a reservation.
- Clayton’s Kitchen is great for fine British dining in one of Bath’s typical Georgian townhouses.
- Same Same but Different is a popular café serving delicious food, perfect for brunch or an informal dinner.
- The Green Rocket is another casual café-style eatery that caters to vegetarians.
- One of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea is in the secluded gardens of the historic Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.