Bath is a lovely Georgian city in England with history back to ancient times. Let’s pop in for a weekend and explore this beautiful town. What are some of our favorite things to do and see? Let’s have a look!
MUSEUMS & SIGHTS IN BATH
Visitors to Bath simply must make the time to visit the ruins of the Roman baths. It’s a fascinating step back in time and the museum is very informative and interesting. A free audioguide is included with your admission and there is a lot of information to hear and absorb!
Children can interact with history by following the story of ancient characters like Flavia and Apulia, a Roman lady and slave girl or Roman soldiers. And these folks (in full costume) are even found around the baths themselves where you can talk with them about their lives. They won’t break character so don’t try to joke with them, haha I tried and failed.
Be sure to set enough time to really experience the site, there is a ton to see! In addition to the much photographed outdoor pool you can also visit several other pools and rooms and see the old systems piping the water from room to room. There are also exhibits about artifacts found at the site. I was really fascinated by the curses on lead sheets that were thrown into the waters and the stories about sacrifices and altars at the temples here.
At the end of the museum you can also drink some of the mineral-rich water and see if it heals your ailments. It’s not very tasty but not terrible either. In the summer months the Roman baths are open late so you can experience them by torchlight.
Thermae Bath Spa
Were you inspired by your visit to the Roman Baths and wanted to jump into the warm waters yourself? Well, you can! Just head next door to the Thermae Bath Spa and lounge in the mineral-rich thermal waters that people have been enjoying since ancient times.
Adjacent to the Roman Bath are the Pump Rooms, the site of dances and parties in Jane Austen’s day. Nowadays these Georgian Assembly Rooms host a restaurant where you can eat lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. The rooms overlook the King’s & Queens Baths and live musicians entertain the diners. They also have a fountain where you can sample those famous healing waters.
Jane Austen Museum
Speaking of Jane Austen, fans of hers may want to visit the Jane Austen Centre. A museum dedicated to the author is housed in an Regency era building, the guides are dressed in costume and lead visitors through the exhibit. There is a tea room on the top floor. It may not have the best food in town, but the staff is costumed and are kind and friendly. The museum is interesting, especially for fans familiar with the author’s work.
A beautiful cathedral, the Bath Abbey is an imposing Gothic structure in the middle of the town that you cannot miss. There are many beautiful details both inside and out, and helpful docents will answer any questions you might have. Entry is free, but the cathedral closes for services and events. The schedule should be posted near the main doors.
The Circus and Royal Crescent
The Circus, meaning “circle” in Latin, is an impressive block of Georgian apartments arranged in a circle. The Circus was designed by architect John Wood the Elder. He based his designs on the dimensions of Stonehenge. John Wood the Elder died shortly after construction began, and his son, John Wood the Younger, completed the designs. John Wood the Younger went on to design the Royal Crescent as well, a semi-circle of Georgian apartments. These lovely buildings are definitely a must-see for architecture buffs.
EAT & DRINK IN BATH
- The best coffee in town can be found at Colonna & Smalls.
- Canary Gin & Wine Bar is a great place to try a special gin cocktail. They have a lot of different gins! And I love all the cozy corners upstairs.
- Word on the street is that Yammo is a hidden gem with Italian tasty thin crust pizza.
- Have you had Nepalese food before? Try it at Yak Yeti Yak, whether you love or hate the funny name.
- Prefer to grab something to go and eat with a view of the beautiful Pulteney bridge? Pop into Marks & Spencer for a tasty salad or two.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN BATH
Bath is definitely a tourist town, and has been a vacation destination for 2000 years or so. Here are a few places to stay in the city for a variety of prices.
- Gainsborough Bath Spa is a high end hotel located in the heart of the city. The hotel has access to the thermal waters of the ancient baths, and have their own spa.
- The Bath Priory is a stunning location with over the lovely decor, swimming pool, spa and a Michelen-star restaurant.
- University of Bath rents some of their dorm rooms to visitors for very reasonable prices. The University is just a short bus ride from the city center.
Have a bit more time in Bath? There is a lot to see in the surrounding area. Why not visit the Cotswolds, Avebury Manor, Avebury Stone Circles, or Oxford? Check out our articles on these places as well as our tips for London!