Bath

Why go there?

For centuries Bath has been the place where people came to in order to relax. The ancient Romans came here for the hot thermal waters, and the Victorians came here to take the healing waters and to shop. As a result, Bath today is a mix of ancient culture and refined boutiques, beautiful historic Georgian architecture and elegant eateries, with the Roman Baths still a centrepiece of the city.

Key gateways

Airports:

Bristol, Cardiff, Heathrow

City map

Key attractions

The Roman Baths

One of best preserved ancient sites in Europe, the Roman Baths are a must-see. Admiring the colonnaded pools and immersing oneself in the stories of the Romans at leisure shouldn’t be missed – and it’s just a 5 minute walk from the train station.

Website: romanbaths.co.uk

Bath Abbey

Since 757 AD, three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey, which is home to magnificent stained glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world. Set within the city centre, this architectural masterpiece towers over the pretty streets below.Magnificent stained glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world, create an extraordinary experience of light and space.

Website: bathabbey.org

Thermae Bath Spa

The natural thermal waters of Thermae Bath Spa offer visitors the modern equivalent of the ancient Roman Baths. There is no better way to experience the naturally warm, mineral-rich waters than by bathing in their rooftop pool overlooking Bath’s city skyline.

Website: thermaebathspa.com

No. 1 The Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent is a sweeping curve of 30 terraced houses built between 1767 and 1774 and a splendid example of Georgian architecture. No. 1 Royal Crescent is a popular museum and No. 16 is the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa.

Website: no1royalcrescent.org.uk

Jane Austen Centre

The Jane Austen Centre celebrates one of Bath’s most famous residents. It offers a glimpse into the Regency period, when Jane Austen lived, the chance to discover how the city of Bath inspired her writing, and the opportunity to dress up in one of the many Regency era costumes available at the centre.

Website: janeausten.co.uk

Still to be discovered

For those who have visited Bath before, here’s a selection of attractions that they may not yet have discovered:

Theatre Royal

One of the oldest theatres in the country, the Theatre Royal offers a wide range of performances from touring West End shows, to dance, opera, ballet and pantomime.

Website: theatreroyal.org.uk

Bath Boating Station

Hiring a Thames Skiff (rowing boat), Canadian canoe, kayak, or punt for an hour two, from Bath’s charming Victorian boating station is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the city. On the river Avon, and within easy walking distance of the city centre, it is also possible to take a riverboat to Pulteney Weir in the city centre.

Website: bathboating.co.uk

Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge, with its sweeping horseshoe-shaped weir, is one of Bath’s most famous images. The bridge, which incorporates shops, was built by Robert Adam in 1769.

Website: bath.co.uk

The Holburne Museum

Originally designed and constructed as a hotel, this Grade I listed building is now home to a collection of fine and decorative art. The museum is free to enter but charges apply for some of the exhibitions.

Website: holburne.org

Bath Skyline

Only a short stroll from the city centre, The Bath Skyline is a 6 mile walk, in the hills above Bath and beyond. With fantastic views of the city, it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle, and soak up a sense of tranquillity.

Website: nationaltrust.org.uk

Just a stone's throw away

The following is just a selection of some of the destinations that can be easily reached from Bath. For many of them using a Britrail Pass is a simple and cost effective way to get around.

Bristol

With a harbour at its beating heart, and home to ss Great Britain, Bristol’s city centre is lined with restaurants, clubs, bars, museums and art centres. Just 12 minutes on the train from neighbouring Bath, it’s easy to combine both these cities in a single trip.

Website: visitbristol.co.uk

Cardiff

Just over an hour away by train, or 1 hour and 30 mins by car, this city is well known for its castle which dates back 2000 years. One of the city’s other key attractions is the Principality Stadium – home to the nation’s rugby.

Website: visitcardiff.com

Cheddar Gorge

From its awe-inspiring cliffs to its extraordinary subterranean caves, Cheddar Gorge & Caves holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors, and is an international centre for caving and rock climbing. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Bath.

Website: cheddargorge.co.uk

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avebury and Stonehenge is approximately 1 hour by car from the city of Bath. As the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe, and now with a fantastic exhibition and visitor centre, visitors can get up close to 250 ancient objects and marvel at how Stonehenge came to be.

Website: english-heritage.org.uk

The Cotswolds

With its honey coloured stone, and picture postcard villages, a visit to the Cotswolds is a taste of how you would image rural England to be. Villages such as Bibury, Castle Combe and Broadway are among the pretty places to go for a stroll.

Website: cotswolds.com

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