By telling “Bath,” we do not mean a place where you wash. When written with a capital letter, this word means a gorgeous city color-coded in Britain. The naturally warm springs are just one of the numerous sights in this place. Why would you visit artificial spa sources when there is a heaven on the earth like that?
Bath is an expensive resort, but it is worth visiting at least once in a life. So many things attract wealthy tourists from all over the world – starting from the marvelous Georgian streets ending up with the place where Jane Austen’s stories where written.
This Bath guide offers 10 things every tourist should do in this impressive, breathtaking city at any time of year!
Famous Roman Baths Left Since Ancient Times
The primary thing you should know is that the Romans founded Bath to serve as a thermal spa. Later, the city also became one of the primary centers of the wool industry. According to UNESCO, since the 18th century, Bath, Somerset became an elegant touristic city with neoclassical Palladian architecture. The Roman baths, which are still in place, create a specific harmony with those Palladian constructions. Yes, the city is part of the UNESCO fund.
As far as Romans were the first, you have to try the original thermal spa left by this great nation. It is a unique chance to walk in the footsteps of the Romans. It took place almost 2,000 years ago, and each tourist has a chance to feel the atmosphere sitting in the warm pool. The local thermal spa water has 43 minerals, and it is the absolute record!
“History teachers, guides, and students will love spending time learning interesting facts directly from the local inhabitants who used to live in this land for ages. You may find it almost at any list of “Top things to do in Bath”. It’s definitely worth seeing!” – said Peter Ness, freelance writer at Skillroads and an inhabitant of Bath.
The Roman Baths also serve as an original museum where you can learn more about the history of Ancient Rome. Enjoy a British Sign Language tour if you are a linguist. The excursion lasts for a couple of hours, but the impressions remain for the rest of your life!
Address: The Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath BA1 1LZ, UK
Contact: +44 (0)1225 477785 or 24/7 support: +44 (0)1225 477867; romanbaths.co.uk
Opening times: January – February: 9.30am – 6pm; March – 20 June: 9am – 6pm; 21 June – 31 August: 9am – 10pm; September – October: 9am – 6pm; November – December: 9.30am – 6pm
Prices: Adults – £16.50; Student – £14.50; Seniors (65+) – £14.50; Children (age 6-16) – £10.25; Family Two Adults (2 adults and up to 4 children) – £48.00; Family One Adult (1 adult and up to 4 children) – £33.60
Bath Tourism: Galleries & Museums
If you are keen on the history of the UK and the Roman Empire, start with exploring a couple of the most significant local museums: The Holburne Museum and The Victoria Art Gallery. The first one is a perfect XVIII century architecture with the modern rear extension aimed to create a contrast. The primary sights are Gainsboroughs and portraits on show. Those who value modern art will be amazed by the collection of paintings by various modern artists. You may find the masterpieces of a few Turners along with the works of David Fisher there.
Address: The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB, UK
Contact: +44 (0)1225 388569; holburne.org
Opening times: open daily: Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm and Sun 11am – 5pm (except 25-26th December and 1st January)
Unlike The Holburne Museum, which focuses on collecting contemporary pieces of art, The Victoria Art Gallery offers more classical works. Overall, these two places are quite similar and both gorgeous and full of history. The gallery is a family-friendly visual play for everyone: it offers the spectacular Georgian-style views. You can also discover a beautiful Bath’s landscape. The museum offers more than 1,500 paintings and other works of art.
Address: The Victoria Art Gallery, Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT, UK
Contact: +44 (0)1225 477233; janeausten.co.uk
Opening times: open daily: 10.30am – 5pm (except 25-26th December and 1st January)
Prices: Adults – £4.50; Students – £4.00; Seniors (65+) – £4.00; Child (age 16 and under) – Free
You cannot imagine Bath without Jane Austen like a pot of tea without a Sally Lunn’s bun. If you want to feel the spirit of “Pride and Prejudice”, you definitely should visit The Jane Austen Centre. There you’ll find more about the life famous author, have a look at the original period property and would even have a chance to dress up in a Regency costume.
Address: The Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, Queen Square, Bath, England, BA1 2NT, UK
Contact: +44 (0)1225 443000; janeausten.co.uk
Opening times: November – March: Sun-Fri 10am – 4pm and Sat 9.45am – 5.30pm; 24th March – 4th November: 9.45am – 5.30pm; July – August: 9:30am – 6pm
Prices: Adults – £12; Seniors – £10.50; Students – £9.50; Children – £6.20; Family (2 adults and up to 4 children) – £28
Fond of fashion? Red carpets make you squeak? Then The Fashion Museum Bath is right for you! Doris Langley Moore found the museum in 1963 as a The Museum of Costume and only in 2007 it was renamed to the Fashion Museum. Connecting 400 years of history and around 200 dressed figures, the museum gives a charming insight into the world of vogue.
Address: Fashion Museum, Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath BA1 2QH, UK
Contact: + 44 (0)1225 477789; fashionmuseum.co.uk
Opening times: January – February: 10.30am – 5pm; March – October: 10.30am – 6pm; November – December: 10.30am – 5pm
Prices: Adults – £9.00; Students – £8.00; Seniors (65+) – £8.00; Children (age 6-16) – £7.00; Family Two Adults (2 adults and up to 4 children) – £29.00; Family One Adult (1 adult and up to 4 children) – £20.30
Food and Best Pub in Bath: Find Your Favorite Ale!
There is no way to leave Britain without tasting its famous beer. Pubs in Bath deserve special attention. In fact, people do not drink beer here – they prefer calling it Ale instead. Are you a big ale fan? Perhaps, you just wish to taste this beverage for the first time in your life.
The Bath Ales brewery (or Hare Brewery) is the best place to start from. It can boast a sterling reputation. The country has rewarded it with some prestigious awards for the premium quality and overall national atmosphere. Getting there is easy. You will find it half way along the Bath to Bristol cycle track. The place is quite tiny yet cozy. You can taste various sorts of ale for free before buying one.
Address: 9 Brunel Square, Bath BA1 1SX, UK
Opening times: Mon-Wed 9am – 5pm; Thu-Fri 9am – 8pm; Sat 11am – 5pm
If you are looking for the place to spend an evening or to dine a nice restaurant chain from the Hare Brewery with its own microbrewery and a fantastic service waits for you:
- Graze Bar & Chophouse: 9 Brunel Square, Bath BA1 1SX, UK
- The Salamander: 3 John Street, Bath BA1 2JL, UK
- The Hop Pole: 7 Albion Buildings, Upper Bristol Road, Bath, BA1 3AR, UK
- The Hare: 3 Gosditch Street, Cirencester GL7 2AG, UK
- The Swan: Bath Road, Swineford BS30 6LN, UK
And don’t forget to visit The Saracens Head Tavern – the oldest pub in Bath since 1713!
Address: 42 Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LP, UK
Contact: +44 (0)1225426518; greeneking-pubs.co.uk
When it comes to discussing drinks, it is impossible to forget about food. Tourists can find lots of outstanding restaurant and bars. One of the most recommended tearooms, for example, is the Sally Lunn’s Eating House, where you can taste waist-popping toasted buns. Their award-winning cuisine offers the original Sally Lunn bun (the recipe still keeps a secret!) and authentic historic dishes. Plus the “tea and eating house” is located in the oldest houses in Bath since 1482.
Address: 4 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX, UK
Contact: +44 (0) 1225 461634; sallylunns.co.uk
Hall & Woodhouse Bath is an amazing 2-floor gastropub for real gourmets. It combines two styles: Long Bar from the Raffles hotel in Singapore and Thirties Busby Berkley musical. This stunning bar and restaurant was built in the 1960’s and is located in the heart of Bath.
Address: 1 Old King Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2JW, UK
Contact: +44 (0)1225 469259; hall-woodhousebath.co.uk
People who want to taste non-traditional food should visit Olé. However, modern place offers a more modern menu, so it is directed to satisfying your hunger rather than sophistication. Did you know that you could eat grilled Spanish black pudding? How about trying puntillitas? Or churros dipped in thick chocolate for the dessert?
Address: 1 John Street, Bath BA1 2JL, UK
Contact: 01225 466440; oletapas.co.uk
What you’ll truly be needed in Bath is a good food pub guide, ‘cause Bath have more than the eyes can take in!
Bath Guide: Pulteney Bridge & Stunning Parks
Talking about Bath attractions, Pulteney Bridge is one of the most picturesque bridges in the world. It became especially famous for the number of world’s films screened here. Tourists may feel this special movie magic when walking around. For example, here Javert met his downfall in famous Les Miserables (2013). Right, movie directors from different countries come to Bath to film near the known bridge. You can notice nice small shops and cafes across the bridge. Moreover, such world-known masterpieces as Inspector Morse, The Duchess, and Vanity Fair were filmed in Bath.
If you feel tired after an active day, I recommend going straight to the park. Bath is a very green city with lots of parks to explore. Have a picnic at Royal Victoria Park o have a slow walk over the Prior Park Landscape Garden – all up for you! Get a lungful of fresh air and get a journey to the most marvelous places of Bath:
- Royal Victoria Park: Marlborough Ln, Bath BA1 2NQ, UK
- Prior Park Landscape Garden: Ralph Allen Dr, Bath BA2 5AH, UK
- Sydney Gardens: Sydney Rd, North East Somerset, Bath BA2 6NT, UK
- Alexandra Park: Shakespeare Ave, Bath BA2 4RQ, UK
- The Courts Garden: The Walk, Holt, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 6RR, UK
- Iford Manor: The Peto Garden: Iford Manor, Iford, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 2BA, UK
- Longleat: Longleat, Warminster, Wilts, BA12 7NW, UK
- Somerset Lavender Farm: Horsepond Farm, Bishop St, Faulkland, BA3 5WA, UK
- Bowood House and Gardens: Old Rd, Derry Hill, Calne SN11 0LZ, UK
About the author:
Alice Berg is a blogger from Bath, UK, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter.