If you’re looking for a city to explore with plenty of attractions, culture and history, then look no further than Bath in Somerset, England. From visiting historic sites and exploring the beautiful architecture to tasting some of the best local cuisines in England or even taking a dip in the thermal baths from which it takes its name, this city has something to offer everyone! So if you’re planning a trip to the UK anytime soon, don’t miss out on these 9 fabulous things to do in Bath!
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Things To Do In Bath:
Bath is a city steeped in history, known for its stunning architecture, natural hot springs, and picturesque countryside surroundings. From its Roman roots to its Georgian grandeur, there are so many things to see and do in Bath.
Enjoy a stroll through the city’s charming streets and admire the beautiful buildings, from the iconic Royal Crescent to the impressive Bath Abbey. You can also treat yourself to a relaxing spa day at the Thermae Bath Spa, where you can soak in the natural hot springs that have been attracting visitors for centuries. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, don’t miss the chance to visit the Jane Austen Centre and learn about the author’s life and work in the city where she lived for several years. And for those who love the great outdoors, there are plenty of lovely walks and bike rides in the surrounding countryside, offering breathtaking views and peaceful solitude.
Whatever your interests, Bath has something to offer everyone. To get you started here’s my pick of the 9 best things to do in Bath:
1. Roman Baths
If you’re looking for a unique and immersive experience, look no further than the Roman Baths. This fascinating historic site allows you to step back in time to when the Romans first settled in Britain.
You can walk among the original Roman pavements and admire the many parts that remain of these ancient Roman Baths, which are still filled with mineral-rich hot water. Unfortunately, you can no longer take a dip due to the quality of the water, but you can visit the nearby Thermae Bath Spa that uses the same water which is treated to make it safe for bathing.
You start the tour on the terrace overlooking the Great Bath. However, the statues you see of the Roman emperors and governors of Britain were only carved in 1894 for the grand opening of the baths in 1897. Most of the Roman remains are actually below ground level, sprawling beneath adjacent streets and squares which I was actually quite surprised at, the site is so much bigger than you’d expect.
The site wasn’t just a thermal bath, it was one of the most visited religious sites in the UK, where people came from all over the country to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva and bathe in its healing waters. In the museum, you can see some of the private altars that once littered the temple courtyard and find out about the sacrifices that were once made there.
Throughout the museum, you will find a vast array of artefacts including the cursed tables, now included on the UNESCO Memory of the World register. You will also find numerous displays that will immerse you in the sights and sounds of the Roman bath house as well as CGI reconstructions that show the baths how they would have been used in their heyday.
So take a break from modern-day life and explore this incredible wonder of the ancient world.
2. Bath Abbey
When it comes to exploring historical architecture, Bath Abbey is a must-see. This stunning Gothic-style structure originally dates back to the 7th century, with many updates and additions added to its design over the centuries. From the intricately designed stained-glass windows to the vaulted ceilings, there’s no question that this building is a true masterpiece.
Visitors have the opportunity to join guided tours or simply wander the abbey on their own, you can even buy an audio guide for £3.50 if you want a detailed commentary. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the stunning details of Bath Abbey are definitely photo-worthy! One of my favourite features of the abbey is the angels climbing up the tower and the beautiful stained glass windows.
Whether you’re interested in history, or architecture, or just want to immerse yourself in a beautiful setting, Bath Abbey is a building you won’t want to miss.
3. Sally Lunn’s
If you’re looking to indulge in a delicious and historic treat, Sally Lunns is the way to go! These rich and fluffy buns originated in the city of Bath and were a favourite of Jane Austen herself. The recipe is centuries old and consists of a sweet brioche-like dough, making it the ideal vessel for butter or jam.
One of my favourite things to do in Bath was having a Sally Lunn’s breakfast, the French toast pictured above was incredible! One the best things I’ve tasted in a very long time, it was so good I went back the next morning for seconds!
Of course, you aren’t limited to just breakfast as the cafe is open all day serving a selection of sweet and savoury meals all served on its famous Bath Bunn, however, I recommend booking a table in advance for the evening as it is often fully booked.
The cafe is also one of the oldest houses in Bath and downstairs you will find a small museum along with a gift shop where you can purchase some Sally Lunn bunn’s to take home. The museum although small shows the actual kitchen used by the legendary young Huguenot baker Sally Lunn in Georgian Bath to create the first Bath Bunn.
4. Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge is an architectural masterpiece that is not to be missed on any trip to Bath, England. Completed in 1774, this gorgeous bridge spans the River Avon and was named after William Pulteney, who funded the construction.
What makes this bridge truly unique is its Georgian architecture, which is an eye-catching blend of Gothic and classical styles. As you stroll across the bridge, you’ll appreciate the fantastic views of the river and the surrounding area, including the Bath skyline. And if you’re a big Jane Austen fan, you’ll be happy to know that the bridge was featured in her novel, “Northanger Abbey.” All in all, Pulteney Bridge is a must-see attraction that will leave you breathless with its beauty and rich history.
5. Cruise Down The Avon
If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the beautiful city of Bath, then taking a cruise down the River Avon should definitely be on your list. As you float along the calm waters, you’ll get an up-close view of the stunning architecture and historic landmarks that line the riverbank.
From the iconic Pulteney Bridge to the picturesque Bathampton Mill, there’s so much to see and discover. The cruise is also a perfect opportunity to sit back and relax, as you soak in the tranquil surroundings with a refreshing drink in hand. So whether you’re a local resident or a tourist visiting for the first time, a River Avon cruise is definitely an experience not to be missed.
River cruises start from the banks of the River Avon next to Pulteney Bridge. Alternatively, you can take a more relaxing punt down the river by renting your own boat from Bath Boating Station.
6. Royal Crescent
When it comes to experiencing the rich history and culture of Bath, there are few places more iconic than the Royal Crescent. This impressive row of 30 terraced houses dates back to the 18th century and has long been a symbol of high society and elegance. From the spacious lawns and perfectly aligned columns to the stunning views of the surrounding countryside, a visit to the Royal Crescent is truly a treat for the senses. Step back in time and imagine the lives of those who once called these grand houses their home, and marvel at the timeless beauty that still radiates from every inch of this majestic landmark.
Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of architecture, or simply looking for a day out in Bath, the Royal Crescent is a must-see that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
If you want to learn more about how these wonderful homes were decorated and learn about the life of those who lived in them during the period 1776-1796 be sure to visit No.1 Royal Crescent, a fascinating museum which gives visitors an immersive experience that brings the house to life!
7. Royal Victoria Park & Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful way to spend your day in Bath, then the Royal Victoria Park and Botanical Gardens are where you want to be. With over 57 acres of perfectly landscaped gardens, you’ll get lost in the beauty of the flowers and the serene atmosphere that surrounds you. Take a stroll on the green lawns, visit the beautiful botanical gardens, or have a picnic with your family and friends, you can even have a barbecue in one of the designated areas.
The park is known for its stunningly restored bandstand, children’s playground, mini golf, and impressive boating pond, it’s the perfect spot to watch the world go by.
8. Enjoy Afternoon Tea At The Jane Austin Centre
Imagine stepping into the world of Jane Austen, the charming cottages, the bustling streets of Bath, and, of course, the quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea. Now, picture yourself indulging in this delightful experience in none other than Jane Austen’s former bedroom. As you take a seat in the cosy Regency Tea Room at the Jane Austin Centre, you’ll be treated to an array of savoury sandwiches, sweet pastries, and, of course, a piping hot pot of tea or coffee if you wish.
As you sip and nibble away, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of Jane Austen’s world, from the period costumes to the literary quotes adorning the walls. What could be better than an afternoon spent indulging in delicious treats and immersing yourself in the elegance of the Regency era?
If you want to learn more about the life of Jane Austin and explore more of her former home you can enter the museum, tickets can be bought online or at the shop on the ground floor.
9. Visit The Thermae Spa
If you’re searching for a relaxing escape, then you won’t want to miss the experience of visiting the historic Thermae Bath Spa. This iconic attraction first opened its doors in 2006, inviting guests to indulge in a rejuvenating retreat that dates back to the Roman era. With natural thermal waters that reach temperatures of 42℃, the Thermae Spa is the perfect place to unwind and let the stresses of daily life melt away. The warm waters of the rooftop pool are fabulous with stunning panoramic views of the city which give an unmatched sense of relaxation.
One thing to note when visiting the Thermae Spa is that it can get extremely busy especially in the evening, because who doesn’t want to take in the sunset from a thermal rooftop pool? As much as I enjoyed my ‘Twilight Experience’ it was rather busy and a few guests didn’t quite understand the concept of relaxation. However, I would still recommend a visit as it’s a really beautiful place but I would recommend going early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Where To Stay In Bath:
Whatever your budget there is an abundance of hotels, guest houses and hostels in Bath.
For budget travellers there are plenty of hostels to choose from, I would personally recommend the YHA Bath as it’s situated close to the city centre, has free parking, an onsite cafe and lovely grounds to relax in. Prices start around £20 a night depending on the time of year.
If you have never stayed in a hostel before then check out my hostel guide for newbies for more information on whether hostel stays are for you. They are not for everyone but I find the low cost gives me more money to spend on activities and attractions.
Although I usually choose the hostel option, I was celebrating a friend’s birthday for my last visit to Bath so we chose to stay in a lovely hotel just a 10-minute walk from the city centre called The Bear. If looking for somewhere to stay I fully recommend this hotel, it was in the perfect location with free parking, the rooms were amazing and the breakfast was even better! It wasn’t cheap at £110 a night for a double room but considering the cost of other hotels in the area, it was a bargain!
For booking accommodation I recommend using Booking.com. This website offers the best-priced accommodation catering for all budgets and styles. Just pop in your requirements and it will give you a list of available accommodation. Perfect for picking out the best hostels, B&B or even some luxury escapes.Booking.com
Bath is a wonderful place to visit, no matter your age or interests; there is something here for everyone. From exploring the Roman Baths to pampering yourself in the Thermae Spa, it’s easy to see why this city is so beloved. Not only that, but the locals are so warm and friendly, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay longer and longer! If you’re considering a trip to Bath, make sure to check off at least a few of these fabulous things to do in Bath for a truly unforgettable experience. Picture-perfect memories await around every corner, just remember to bring your camera!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content coming in the next few weeks so make sure you pop back to catch up!