Bath Destination Guide
More than 2000 years ago, the Celts and Romans bathed in the naturally hot, mineral-rich spring waters of this World Heritage town in the south-west of England. It’s this history that gives Bath its name.
Renowned as one of the country’s most beautiful cities, Bath offers visitors much more than a gorgeous, historic aesthetic: as well as visiting the Roman Baths, and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of the Thermae Springs for yourself, you can take in Bath’s many other rich pickings for culture vultures, including restaurants, gorgeous pubs, theatres, art galleries and incredible architecture.
If it’s festivals you’re after, they run all year, with everything from fashion to running to literature, films and Jane Austen covered.
Top Attractions »
A visit to Bath wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the ancient and atmospheric Roman Baths. The steamy water may be inviting, but is off-limits these days. Instead, save your bathing energy for Thermae Bath Springs down the road, where you can while away the hours in the natural thermal spring water or refresh your robed self in the café.
The magnificent Pump Room is a top spot for high tea, and also the place to get a taste of the very spa water that flows into the Roman Baths (it’s renowned for its healing properties!). West End productions are performed in the refurbished Georgian Theatre Royal, and there is something for all ages in the program.
If picturesque bridges are your thing, you can’t go past the breathtakingly beautiful Pulteney Bridge. You’ll get the best vantage point from the Parade Gardens park.
Eat and Drink »
There could be a rap song inspired by the pastries on offer in this town. That’s right, Bath’s got good buns. The Bath Bun is notoriously delicious and equally as famous for its calorific content. Invented by an 18th century’s Dr Oliver, the bun is made from a sweet egg and butter dough topped with caraway seeds.Equally popular and synonymous with this town is the Sally Lunn Bun, a light, brioche-style bun developed in the 17th century and still making mouths water today.
If savoury’s more your style, Bath has got everything from top restaurants to groovy cafes, trendy bars and cosy gastro pubs. Don’t forget to visit a farmer’s market while you’re here – the very notion of which started in Bath back in 1987. Foodies flock to Bath for the annual month-long Great Bath Feast festival in October.
Where to Stay
Whether you’re looking for budget accommodation or keen to splash out, you are spoilt for choice in this town that has everything from hostel accommodation to B&Bs, self-catering cottages and apartments or luxury farm stays and slick city digs.
Couples looking for something different out of town may be tempted by the quirky Hobbit Hole or the laidback Farm Camp. If you’d rather stay close to the heart of the action, there are lots of boutique and big-name hotels in the city centre to choose from, many with their own spas as well.
Don’t let your spell of therapy start and finish with a hot spa when you visit Bath. For a well-rounded visit to this cosmopolitan city a spot of retail therapy is an absolute must. With everything from high street labels to independent shops and markets, Bath shops sell everything from the latest fashions to arts and crafts, homewares and gifts, and antiques and vintage clothing.
The historic Green Park Station is home to the VA antiques market, and the city centre itself is packed with independent and bigger retailers such as Marks and Spencer. Away from the centre is the Kilver Court Designer Village.
Bath Like a Local
If you are a fan of the author Jane Austen you may know that two of her novels – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion – are set in this historic spa town. While you’re here take a daytrip dedicated to visiting the places mentioned in Austen’s novels, visit the Jane Austen Centre, or download the free audio walking tour, In the footsteps of Jane Austen (http://channels.visitbath.co.uk/janeausten/audio-tour). There’s also a 10-day Jane Austen festival each September.