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Bath Travel Guide
Last Updated: August 31, 2023
Thanks to the area’s hot springs, Bath has been attracting visitors for thousands of years. The Romans started visiting around 70 CE, laying the groundwork for the baths that they continually used and expanded upon until the 5th century.
The city became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era (1714-1830), leading to a proliferation of beautiful Georgian architecture that characterizes the city today.
Though it’s known as a luxury vacation spot, there are many free things to do in Bath that make it worth spending a day or two visiting if you’re on a budget. With stunning architecture, a beautiful cathedral, historic baths, and the home of famous 18th- and 19th-century writer Jane Austen, Bath has plenty to keep you entertained during your visit.
This travel guide to Bath can help you have fun, save money, and make the most of your visit!
Table of Contents
- Things to See and Do
- Typical Costs
- Suggested Budget
- Money-Saving Tips
- Where to Stay
- How to Get Around
- How to Stay Safe
- Best Places to Book Your Trip
- Related Blogs on Bath
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Bath
1. Learn about the Roman Baths
The Baths were one of the great religious spas of the ancient world. The Romans used the area as a retreat and worshiped the goddess Sulis Minerva here, as she was seen as a life-giving and nourishing deity. The natural thermal springs that supplied the baths actually still flow with hot water today. You can visit the ruins of the old bathhouses, walk on original Roman pavements (sidewalks), see thousands of archaeological finds from pre-Roman and Roman Britain, marvel at Roman construction and engineering, and listen to a great audio tour by author Bill Bryson. Admission is 17.50-28 GBP depending on the season and day of the week.
2. Stroll around Royal Victoria Park
Bath’s largest park dates to 1830. Spanning almost 60 acres, it was opened by Queen Victoria (then just an 11-year-old princess). Originally an arboretum, it is designed like traditional English gardens (e.g. lots of roses and lavender), making it a very scenic spot to wander. Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent of terraced homes overlooks the park, so it’s the perfect spot for a picnic with a view. You can also play tennis here and there’s an 18-hole mini golf course. For the horticulturalists among you, you can also visit the Botanical Gardens. From November to January, there’s also an ice rink set up here.
3. Explore Bath Abbey
Built in 1499, this medieval church is famous for its unique Gothic architecture (it’s shaped as a cruciform and its ceiling uses fan vaulting). The church is well-preserved and you can tour the tower to learn more about its history, which stretches back over 1,300 years and includes three different churches and the coronation of King Edgar in 973 CE. Admission is by donation and tours cost 8-10 GBP.
4. Experience history at No. 1 Royal Crescent
This collection of homes was completed in 1774 and is an excellent example of Georgian architecture. While the exteriors of the homes are admirable, you can also tour the interior of a townhouse museum to see what domestic life was like in the 18th century (it has been decorated and furnished as it might have been during the period 1776-1796). Admission is 11 GBP in off-peak season and 13 GBP in peak season. Pre-booking your tickets is recommended.
5. Admire Pulteney Bridge
Designed in 1769 by Robert Adam, Pulteney Bridge is one of the most beautiful and romantic bridges in England. It’s a postcard-perfect spot for views of the town and the Avon River. Designed in a Palladian style with pediments, pilasters, and tiny leaded domes at either end, there are shops and restaurants that line both sides of the bridge. Pulteney Cruises runs boat trips from here. There’s no need to book and tickets cost 11 GBP.
Other Things to See and Do in Bath
1. take a free walking tour.
One of the first things I do in a new destination is to take a free walking tour. It’s the best budget-friendly way to see the main sights and connect with a local guide who can answer all your questions. Footprints Tours hosts two-hour tours that can show you all the highlights. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!
Additionally, you can go with the Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides . Their free tours are a complimentary service offered by the city led by knowledgeable locals. Tours are hosted twice daily (once on Saturdays) and last two hours. There’s no need to book in advance, just show up at the Roman Baths meeting point (look for the Free Walking Tours sign).
2. Visit the Victoria Art Gallery
This public museum boasts a collection of over 15,000 British paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts dating back over 600 years. Highlights include landscape and portrait oil paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, an 18th-century English Romantic artist who lived in Bath. The upper gallery has quirky decorative art, including over 400 delicate Georgian drinking glasses and a huge collection of pottery dogs. Admission is 7 GBP.
3. Enjoy the Jane Austen Centre
Bath has a permanent collection of Jane Austen memorabilia as Austen lived in Bath for most of her life and used the city as a setting in many of her novels. Visit the Centre to join talks, activities, and see contemporary exhibits on her life and works. Guides in period dress wandering the center complete the atmosphere and you can extend your visit by enjoying an afternoon tea at the center’s Regency Tea Room. Die-hard Jane Austen fans may want to attend the annual Jane Austen Festival, which takes place in September of each year. Admission costs 13.25 GBP.
4. Shop on Walcot Street
Known as the “Artisan Quarter,” Walcot Street is Bath’s hipster district, the equivalent to London’s Camden Town. Bath’s oldest commercial street, today Walcot is lined with unique shops, including artisanal cheese shops, independent cafes, and vintage antique stores. On the weekends, there’s an open-air market where you can browse funky and bohemian souvenirs.
5. Study astronomy at Herschel Museum of Astronomy
If you’re interested in the history and science of astronomy, this is an awesome museum. William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 in the garden of the preserved townhouse in which the museum is housed. Exhibitions include what was once the world’s most powerful telescope, Herschel’s travel diary, pocket globes, and other astronomical instruments. You can also wander the Georgian garden in which Herschel made his discovery. Admission is 9.50-11.50 GBP depending on the season.
6. Experience the world of fashion
Founded in the 1960s, the Fashion Museum contains over 30,000 pieces of clothing items and accessories that date back to the 18th century. The collection was started by Doris Langley Moore, a designer, collector, writer, and scholar who lived in England and was an early female fashion historian. The main collection, A History of Fashion in 100 Objects , includes many costume pieces throughout history (such as a pair of decorated gloves from the time of Shakespeare). The Dress of The Year is an annual exhibition that changes each year to showcase contemporary fashion highlights from the previous year. Note: the museum is temporarily closed while it moves locations.
7. Learn about Bath’s working history
The Museum of Bath at Work takes a unique look at the working history of the city to the present day. The museum recreates the workshops of several types of local businesses throughout history, all on display in a former eighteenth-century indoor tennis court. Opened in 1978, the original collection at the museum started with the remnants from a mineral water bottle business based in Bath. If you’re interested in social history or the rise of industrialization, this place is worth a visit. Admission is 10 GBP. The museum is closed in December and January.
8. Enjoy Bath’s iconic Georgian architecture
Bath is generally regarded as one of the prettiest English towns, thanks to its 18th-century Georgian-era architecture. In fact, the entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only such city in the UK. Be sure to walk down Great Pulteney Street, a long thoroughfare with expansive Georgian buildings on either side. Another spot to take in the Georgian architecture is at the Royal Crescent, a sweeping arc of Georgian townhouses.
9. Shop in a bustling open-air market
Green Park Station was a former railway station that has found new life as one of Bath’s most unique shopping attractions. The open-air market has numerous independent shops, restaurants, and cafés. Visit on specific days of the week for special markets: a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings (9am-1:30pm), a general market on Saturdays (10am-4pm), and an antique market on the last Sunday of every month.
10.Walk the Bath Skyline
For panoramic views of the city, stroll the Bath Skyline path, a tranquil and mostly flat path that leaves straight from the city center. There are 6-mile (10-kilometer) and 3-mile (5-kilometer) loops, with a breakdown of each route on the National Trust website. Plenty of benches dot the path should you need to take a break.
11. Relax at Thermae Bath Spa
This is the only city in the UK where you can bathe in natural thermal waters. This award-winning spa is a four-story day spa with various thermal baths, as well as a rooftop pool offering incredible views over the city. A two-hour spa session costs 40-45 GBP. This is a very popular thing to do in Bath, so if you’d like to partake, book in advance.
12. Visit Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein
In 1816, Mary Shelley wrote the world’s first sci-fi novel: Frankenstein. This interactive museum takes you into her dark world through four rooms housed in a Grade 2 building (a building of such special interest that is protected and preserved). There’s information about her life, an 8-foot recreation of Frankenstein, and a bunch of unusual artifacts and vintage memorabilia. Tickets cost 15.50 GBP. They also have an escape room which costs 64 GBP for two people (price includes house entry).
For more information on other cities in England, check out these guides:
- Brighton Travel Guide
- Bristol Travel Guide
- Cambridge Travel Guide
- Liverpool Travel Guide
- London Travel Guide
- Manchester Travel Guide
- Oxford Travel Guide
Bath Travel Costs
Hostel prices – A bed in a dorm with 4-8 beds costs 20-25 GBP per night, while a 10-12-bed dorm costs 15-20 GBP. A private double room with a shared bathroom costs 55-75 GBP. Free Wi-Fi is standard though most hostels do not have self-catering facilities. Prices are only a little higher in peak season.
For those traveling with a tent, camping is available outside the city center in nearby Somerset. A basic plot for a small tent costs from 10 GBP per night.
Budget hotel prices – A budget hotel room starts at 80 GBP per night in the low season but in peak season it’s more like 120 GBP per night. Bath isn’t exactly a budget destination, so don’t expect a lot of great deals. On the plus side, many budget hotels include free breakfast.
There are lots of Airbnb options in Bath. A private room costs 60-75 GBP per night while an entire home/apartment averages 100-120 GBP per night. Expect to pay considerably more in summer and if you don’t book early.
Food – While British cuisine has evolved in leaps and bounds due to immigration (and colonialism), it’s still very much a meat and potatoes country. Fish and chips remain a popular staple for both lunch and dinner while roasted and stewed meats, sausages, meat pies, and the quintessential Yorkshire pudding are all common options as well. Curry (and other Indian dishes, such as tikka masala), are super popular too. A local specialty to try are Bath buns, a sweet roll topped with crushed sugar and raisins.
You can eat cheap in Bath if you stick to basic pub meals and cheap take-out like falafel, sandwiches, and fish and chips, as they cost as little as 6-10 GBP. There are also many Indian and Thai restaurants offering mains from 8 GBP.
For a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, expect to pay 14-20 GBP. A pint of beer costs 5 GBP while a glass of wine costs around 7 GBP. Restaurants here are very expensive, so expect to spend about 35 GBP or more for a nice sit-down meal with appetizers and a drink.
Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs around 6.50 GBP for a combo meal while pizza costs 8-12 GBP. A latte or cappuccino is around 3 GBP while bottled water costs about 1.20 GBP.
If you plan to cook your own food, a week’s worth of groceries costs 40-60 GBP. This gets you basic staples like pasta, rice, veggies, and some meat.
Backpacking Bath Suggested Budgets
If you’re backpacking Bath, expect to spend about 60 GBP per day. This budget covers a hostel dorm, taking public transit and walking everywhere, cooking your own meals, limiting your drinking, and doing mostly free activities like enjoying the parks and taking a free walking tour. If you plan on drinking, add 5-10 GBP to your daily budget.
A mid-range budget of about 160 GBP covers staying in a private Airbnb room or private hostel room, eating out for most of your meals, taking the occasional taxi, having a couple of drinks, and doing more paid activities such as visiting the baths and touring the abbey.
On a “luxury” budget of 285 GBP or more per day, you can stay in a budget hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink as much as you want, rent a car or take more taxis, and do as many tours and activities as you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!
You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you spend more, some days you spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in GBP.
Bath Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips
Bath isn’t a budget-friendly destination, which is why many travelers choose to visit on a day trip. However, there are quite a few ways to enjoy the city without spending too much. Here are some tips to help you save money during your visit:
- Visit the parks and gardens – There are a handful of large parks and gardens throughout Bath. Pack a picnic, bring a book, and spend an afternoon relaxing.
- Eat at the pubs – Bath has some delicious but expensive restaurants, so eat cheaper meals at the pubs and taverns where you can experience the local flavor. If you’re on a tight budget, skip the pubs and cook for yourself. It saves you a ton!
- Walk everywhere – Bath isn’t a big city, so you can save yourself a few pounds by walking everywhere.
- Take a free walking tour – If you want to get a better feel for the city, be sure to take a free walking tour. They last a couple of hours and are a great way to learn about the city’s history on a budget. Footprints Tours and Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides both run daily tours. Just make sure to tip at the end!
- Check out Visit Bath – There’s no official tourist pass for Bath like many other cities have but Visit Bath has a selection of discounts available on its website including for selected tours and restaurants.
- Stay with a local – If you’re on a budget, use Couchsurfing to stay with a local. It’s an easy and enjoyable way to cut costs while connecting to the local scene and getting insider tips.
- Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.
Where to Stay in Bath
Bath has several hostels that are fun, affordable, and social. Here are my suggested places to stay in Bath:
- Bath Backpackers
- St Christopher’s Inn
How to Get Around Bath
Public transportation – If you’re staying within the city limits, it’s best to walk or take the bus to get around. A single ticket is 2.20 GBP on the bus (2 GBP if bought using the First Pass mticket app) and a day pass costs 5.60 GBP (on the bus or in the app).
The bus covers all the main sights, however, since the city is so small, you can easily walk everywhere to save money.
Bicycle – A single-day rental costs 20-30 GBP for a regular bike and 45 GBP for an e-bike. You can rent bikes from Green Park Bike Station, Bath Narrowboats, or Julian House Bike Workshop (Bath Narrowboats is by far the cheapest at 20 GBP for the day).
Taxi – Taxis are readily available, with prices starting at 2.80 GBP and going up around 2.25 GBP per mile. Given how expensive they are, I wouldn’t take one unless absolutely necessary.
Ridesharing – Uber is available in Bath and is a little cheaper than taking a taxi. However, walking and cycling are the easiest (and cheapest) ways to get around this compact city.
Car rental – You don’t need a car to explore Bath, however, it might be helpful if you want to explore the region at large. Car rentals can be found for as little as 25 GBP per day for a multi-day rental. Keep in mind driving is on the left and that most cars have a manual transmission. Drivers need to be at least 21 to rent a car as well.
When to Go to Bath
Spring (late March to June) is the peak tourism season as that’s when the flowers are in bloom, though it can get pretty wet and rainy during this time. In May, during the annual Bath Festival, the city really comes to life. It’s an open-air celebration of music and literature which takes over the city for nearly two weeks. The weather is warm enough and the city is lively. It’s the best time to visit.
Summer is the warmest season but temperatures are rarely ever above 22°C (72°F). Expect many street festivals and public events in the late spring and early summer.
For fans of the city’s most famous writer and resident, the annual Jane Austen Festival takes place every September. Expect street theater, literary walking tours, and even a costumed ball. Book your accommodation early as the city fills up.
During autumn, temperatures are mild and, outside the festivals, the city is a bit quieter.
Winter lasts from December to February and tourism crowds thin out dramatically during this time. Temperatures dip below freezing and prices are slightly lower. The Bath Christmas Market starts at the end of November and sees the streets of Bath’s city center filled with seasonal decorations, Christmas lights, and many local makers and designers selling artisan gifts and typical Christmas market foods.
How to Stay Safe in Bath
Bath is a safe destination and the risk of violent crime here is low. That said, petty crime such as pickpocketing or theft can occur so keep your valuables out of sight just to be safe. Pickpockets tend to work in teams, so stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Always keep your valuables secure and out of sight when at the bar or in crowded areas and you should be fine.
Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).
Scams here are rare, however, you can read about common travel scams to avoid if you want to learn more.
If you experience an emergency, dial 999 for assistance.
The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:
Bath Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources
These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
- Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
- Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
- HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
- Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
- The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
- Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
- FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
- SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
- LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
- Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
- Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
- BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!
Bath Travel Guide: Related Articles
Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling England and continue planning your trip:
The 14 Best Things to Do in Bristol
Where to Stay in London: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit
The 8 Best Hostels in London
How to Spend a Week in London
The 11 Best Walking Tour Companies in London
70+ Free Things to Do in London
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- Where To Stay
- Booking Resources
- Related Blogs
Bath Travel Guide (with Practical Tips, Itinerary + Map)
Our Bath Travel Guide includes recommended places to visit and things to do, accommodation options, tips and more for one of the most beautiful of England’s cities. Everything you need to plan your visit and essential reading for any visitor to Bath!
Plan your trip to Bath
The beautiful city of Bath England is located on the edge of the Cotswolds in the South West of England is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world.
The city (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is famous for its beautiful Georgian architecture, literary connections and ancient Roman legacy.
Perfect for a weekend stay Bath can also be visited easily by train from London making it a popular day trip from London.
If Bath is somewhere you wish to visit in the UK this article contains everything you need to plan your trip including things to do in Bath, places to visit in Bath, where to stay, where to eat and top tips to help you make the most of your time in this compact but stunning English city .
🏆 Q uick Picks
What you will find in this complete Bath Travel Guide
- 🏆 Quick Picks
Map of Bath
Attractions and things to do in bath, 🏨 accommodation in bath, option 1 – by car, option 2: by train, option 3: by bus, option 4 – by tour (best tours to bath from london), experiences, tickets and tours in bath, best day trips from bath, uk travel planning itinerary planners, sally lunn’s historic eating house, books to read about bath.
There are lots of things to do and see in Bath – enough to keep you busy for a couple of days. If you can we recommend staying for at least one night and giving yourself some time to really explore this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city.
Some of the most popular places to visit in Bath include
- Roman Baths
- Jane Austen Centre
- Pulteney Bridge
- The Royal Crescent
- The Pump Room s
- Sally Lunns
Places to visit in Bath (+ things to do, map & travel tips)
Bath Itinerary – How to plan the perfect Bath day trip (includes map)
Bath is a wonderful destination in which to spend a couple of days to really explore the city. There is a wide range of accommodation options available in Bath to suit a variety of travel styles and budgets.
If you are driving we recommend booking accommodation with parking provided.
Best for couples – Grays Boutique B&B or the Black Fox Inn
Best hotel for a relaxing break – Gainsborough Bath Spa
Most budget-friendly hotel – Z Hotel Bath
Need parking? – The Roseate Villa Bath & Grays Boutique B&B or The Kennard
Best for groups – Hill House
Pet-friendly Bath accommodation – Grosvenor Villa
Read more Area and accommodation guide to Bath
Find more options in my Accommodation Guide for England.
🚗 How to get to Bath from London
Bath is within easy travel distance of London and if you are based in the capital there are a number of options to get to the city.
Read more – How to visit Bath from London
Bath is located 115 miles to the west of London. Plan at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours to drive between the 2 cities (this will vary depending on traffic but this can be a busy route). Directions can be found here.
This is my preferred way to travel to Bath and is one of our favourite train journeys to take in the UK (London to Penzance with a stopover in Bath)
Bath Spa train station is a short 10-minute walk from the centre of Bath.
The trip only takes 90 minutes from London Paddington. Click here for train times and ticket prices to Bath from London.
It is possible to take a bus from Victoria Coach Station to Bath. The journey takes 3 to 4 hours as there are stops along the way (Heathrow Airport)
This is the cheapest way to travel to Bath from London though so if you are on a budget this may be your best option. Click here for coach times and prices from National Express.
Read more – Complete transportation guide to the UK
If you prefer to combine a visit to Bath with other popular destinations in the south of England such as the Cotswolds, Oxford or Windsor there are a number of tours from London that will enable you to do so.
These are the perfect option if you are trying to see as much as possible within a short time frame. Below I have selected the best tours available to Bath:
- Stonehenge and Bath Full-Day Tour from London
Skip the long lines at Stonehenge, and tour the Georgian city of Bath at leisure on a guided full-day tour from London. Travel by coach to the standing stones of Stonehenge and learn the theories of their mystery, before heading to Bath in time for lunch.
- Full-Day Windsor Castle, Bath, & Stonehenge Tour
Explore the stately Windsor Castle . Marvel at the ancient mystery that is Stonehenge. Discover the wonderful city of Bath, England’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ride in comfort on an air-conditioned coach/bus with Wi-Fi on this 11-hour tour.
- Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds, & Avebury Small Group Tour
Enjoy a day out from London exploring some of England’s most beautiful sites. Experience the Georgian splendour of Bath and the mystery of Stonehenge, as well as the picturesque village of Lacock , seen in Pride and Prejudice and the Harry Potter movies .
- Cotswolds, Bath, and Oxford: 2-Day Tour from London
This 2-day excursion to the scenic Cotswolds, with a stop at the ancient stones of Avebury and the majesty of Bath and Oxford, will show you an England that you may have only seen in your history books.
Read – 7 Best Day trips to Bath from London
With so many things to do and places to visit in Bath, I recommend planning your itinerary and purchasing tours, tickets and experiences as soon as you can to avoid disappointment, especially during the busy summer months.
- 25-Minute City Boat Trip to Pulteney Bridge
Cruise down the River Avon on a traditional vessel and enjoy all the canal-side highlights of this ancient city.
- City Sightseeing Bath: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
Hop-on to a City Sightseeing Bath bus tour and enjoy unlimited hop on hop off for 24 hours. Discover sights such as the River Avon and Great Putney Bridge, as you travel on an open-top, double-decker bus with panoramic views of the city.
- 1.5-Hour Walking Tour with Blue Badge Tourist Guide
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath with a fully qualified and professional tour guide. Visit the city’s major landmarks and hear about its history along the way.
- The Jane Austen Centre Ticket (Skip the line)
Celebrate Bath’s most famous resident and get a snapshot of what it would have been like to live in Regency times at the Jane Austen Center. Find out about everything that would have inspired Austen’s timeless novels, such as fashion, food, and society.
- Bath Cycle Tour
This 2-hour cycle tour of Bath takes you through the City’s oldest street. See beautiful Georgian architecture, Victorian public gardens, the Medieval city walls and the legacy of Britain’s Roman occupation before enjoying views over the city from the Kennet and Avon canal.
- Professional photoshoot in Bath
Have your photographs taken against the backdrop of Bath by a professional photographer. Perfect to share Instagram or Facebook or for the family album.
> Click here for more tickets and tours in Bath
Bath is the perfect base to explore the surrounding countryside and cities. The Cotswolds, Bristol, Salisbury, Corsham Court and village (as seen in Poldark), Lacock, Avebury and Stonehenge are all within easy reach.
This is my selection of day tours to take from Bath. Many places can be travelled to by bus or car too.
- Avebury & Stonehenge Private Tour – Day Tour From Bath
Follow in the footsteps of Britain’s ancient ancestors and explore fascinating historic sites which continue to amaze and baffle people today. Sites include Avebury, the world’s largest stone circle, and Stonehenge, one of Britain’s most famous icons.
- Stonehenge Private Half Day Tour
Enjoy a private guided tour around one of Britain’s most famous icons, Stonehenge. This is a half-day tour giving you the flexibility to do other things on the day.
- Wells, Cheddar Cheese & Cheddar Gorge – Day Tour
Visit the beautiful cathedral city of Wells, England’s smallest city, and enjoy a tasty insight into the area’s most famous creation – Cheddar Cheese! The tour ends with a visit to the spectacular Cheddar Gorge, England’s largest gorge.
Read more – Best day trips and tours from Bath
Where to eat in Bath
There are many wonderful teahouses, cafes, gastropubs and restaurants in Bath. Don’t miss a visit to Sally Lunn’s tearooms to try one of the famous buns!
The tearooms in the Pump Rooms at the Roman Baths were the social heart of Bath for more than two centuries. Enjoy a meal or afternoon tea in the beautiful neo-classical salon.
Where – Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LZ
One of the oldest houses in Bath is also the location of the bakery which serves one of the most famous local delicacies. The Sally Lunn bun is a brioche type creation that you really must try when in Bath.
Where – 4 North Parade Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX
Tips for visiting Bath
- Bath is a fantastic destination in itself and a wonderful place to base yourself to explore the surrounding countryside too. If possible and time allows plan a few days in the city – you won’t regret it!
- Look out for the famous blue plaque s on some of the houses which tell of the famous people who once lived there. There are over 100 in the city.
- Go to the Roman Baths early in the day as they are very popular. Avoid the weekend if possible. If you are visiting in the summer there are late-night openings available too.
- There are lots of festivals held in Bath throughout the year including the Bath Festival and the Children’s Literature Festival. Find out more on the Bath Festival website here.
- Visit the Thermae Bath Spa and enjoy bathing in the naturally warm waters in the rooftop pool (whatever the season!)
- If you enjoy books we recommend popping into Mr B’s Emporium . The staff are fantastically knowledgeable and the beautiful bookstore is filled with quirky furniture and a labyrinth of rooms to explore.
- Bath is a hilly city – make sure to wear comfortable shoes!
Looking for more inspiration for your travels in England? Check out my England Travel Planning Guide which has loads of ideas, tips and resources to plan your itinerary.
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Welcome to Bath - The Original Wellbeing Destination
An elegant city full of traditional heritage, contemporary culture, green spaces and a few surprises..
Built for pleasure and relaxation, beautiful Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The waters are still a big draw today, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in.
Bath’s compact, visitor-friendly centre is overflowing with places to eat and drink, plus some of the finest independent shops in Britain, making it the ideal city break. Immerse yourself in Bath’s remarkable collection of museums and galleries, and enjoy year-round festivals, theatre, music and sport.
Bath's stunning, honey-coloured Georgian architecture is straight from a Jane Austen novel; highlights include the iconic Royal Crescent and the majestic Circus. There’s plenty to see beyond the city, too, with beautiful Somerset countryside to explore, as well as attractions including Stonehenge, Avebury, Castle Combe, and Longleat Safari Park.
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Blessed with some of England’s finest Georgian architecture, from stately Palladian townhouses to graceful crescents, Bath is one of Britain’s loveliest little cities. It’s been a fashionable haunt since the mid-18th century, when wealthy entrepreneur Ralph Allen, the famous father-and-son architects John Wood the Elder and Younger, and celebrity dandies such as Beau Nash transformed this sleepy Somerset backwater into one of England’s most elegant spa towns. However, Bath’s history stretches back far further; in Roman times the city was known as Aquae Sulis and the hot springs that bubble up nearby fed numerous bathhouses, the largest of which can still be visited to this day.
Wandering along its splendid terraces feels rather being granted an all-access pass to Bridgerton
With so much architectural grandeur on show, one of the great pleasures of exploring Bath is simply soaking up the scenery — wandering along its splendid terraces and photogenic lanes feels rather like being granted an all-access, behind-the-scenes pass to Bridgerton . But Bath is about more than good looks; it has some cracking museums and galleries, some excellent pubs and restaurants, and plenty of green space on its doorstep too. The only downside to a city this pretty is its popularity. It’s packed to the gunwales in summer, when accommodation is at its priciest and hotel rooms are thin on the ground. Visit outside those hectic months, however, and you’ll be able to see Bath at its best.
Main photo: Royal Crescent, Bath (Getty Images)
Bath is full of things to do . Top of the list for every first-time visitor is a trip to the Roman Baths, the best-preserved Roman bath complex in Britain. Dating from around 70AD, much of the structure remains impressively intact, including the Great Bath and King’s Bath, which are fed from underground springs that supply water at a constant 46C. A fascinating museum explores the history of the site, including its origins as a Celtic sacred spring dedicated to the goddess Sulis. Sadly, bathing is off-limits: to experience that you’ll have to head over to the flashy Thermae Bath Spa nearby, a striking steel-and-glass spa with saunas, steam rooms and an amazing open-air rooftop pool (book well in advance).
Not far from the Roman Baths looms the city’s other unmissable landmark, Bath Abbey, a medieval marvel built in the 12th and 16th centuries. You can climb the 212 steps to the top for panoramic views across the city; on the way to the top, look out for the angels climbing up and down ladders on the façade, a visual reminder of the dream that inspired the abbey’s builder, Bishop Oliver King.
No 1 Royal Crescent offers a fascinating insight into the life of the city’s fashionable elite
The city’s Georgian centrepiece is the magnificent Royal Crescent, an almost impossibly uniform arc of Palladian mansions overlooking the green lawns of Victoria Park. Built between 1767 and 1775 by John Wood the Younger, the façades are all identical (and Grade I listed), but the interior of each is different. For a glimpse inside, head over to No 1 Royal Crescent, which has been restored using only 18th-century materials, and offers a fascinating insight into the life of the city’s fashionable elite.
A stroll from the Royal Crescent brings you to another of the city’s architectural showpieces, The Circus, consisting of 33 townhouses divided into three semi-circular terraces. Famous former residents include Thomas Gainsborough, Clive of India and David Livingstone — look out for the blue plaques.
Other architectural highlights to seek out around the city include Pulteney Bridge, an 18th-century wonder spanning the River Avon, and the distinctive landmark of Beckford’s Tower. The city also has several museums that are well worth visiting. The Jane Austen Centre commemorates the author, who lived in Bath between 1800 and 1806 and set several of her novels here, including Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Guides dressed in Regency costume fill you in on the historical context, and there’s a prim café, perfect for afternoon tea.
Also worth a look are the Holburne Museum, a treasure trove of artworks amassed by the 18th-century aristocrat Sir William Holburne, and the Museum of Bath Architecture, which offers intriguing insights into Bath’s history of urban planning.
The main shopping district is SouthGate, a heavily redeveloped area on the southern side of the city centre — although it’s mostly big chains here. For independent shops you’ll have more luck exploring lively Walcot Street, as well as the lanes and alleys around Milsom Street, George Street, Green Street and Broad Street.
Bath has no shortage of hotels and B&Bs , but finding one in midsummer — especially at a price you can afford — can be a real headache, so book as early as you can for the best choice. Most hotels are located close to the centre, with several in and around Great Pulteney Street, on the east side of the River Avon.
There’s also a good number of upmarket B&Bs and small hotels on the river’s south side, especially in the area around Wells Road — although do note that it’s a good 15 to 20-minute walk into the centre from here. As everywhere, short-stay companies such as Airbnb are also having an impact on the city’s accommodation scene.
The grandiose Gainsborough boasts its own Roman-style bath
Hotel standards (and prices) are generally high, but relatively few hotels have private parking. Many places provide an on-street parking permit, usually at extra cost, which is far cheaper and more convenient than having to pay for one of the city’s pricey car parks.
The city’s most prestigious address is the fabulously upmarket Royal Crescent Hotel* , situated in a prime position on the eponymous crescent. The swish Queensberry Hotel* offers a more boutique vibe, while the grandiose Gainsborough* has its own Roman-style bath. The revamped Abbey Hotel* is another great, central and reasonably good-value option.
Bath has a good choice of restaurants, including many independents, gastropubs and cafés that offer something more interesting than the usual chains. Top spots are dotted around the city centre. A few hot tips include vegetarian maestros Acorn, fine diners such as the Michelin-starred Olive Tree, The Circus and Menu Gordon Jones, and gastropubs like The Marlborough Tavern and The Chequers. For a caffeine fix, don’t miss coffee specialists Colonna & Small’s. The city’s best market is inside the old Green Park Station, which houses small shops and pop-up traders, and hosts a Saturday food market and Sunday flea market.
If the Bath bustle gets a little too much, head out from the city centre to the sprawling estate of Prior Park, the former home of Ralph Allen, the man who did more than anyone to build modern-day Bath (and also laid the foundations for the British postal system). He also owned several quarries, and his lavish Palladian house was built as a showpiece for the distinctive amber-coloured Bath stone that is such a prominent feature of the city’s Georgian buildings. The house is now occupied by a public school, but the surrounding estate is owned by the National Trust, and offers a wealth of lovely walks and super views of the city. Another idea is to go for a peaceful cruise along the River Avon. Traditional wooden rowing skiffs, punts and canoes can be hired from the Bathwick Boating Station, which also has a rather lovely river-view restaurant just above it.
Know before you go
Bath, like the rest of Britain, uses the British pound. It’s a safe, walkable city, although very hilly. If you can avoid driving into the centre altogether, so much the better: hideous traffic and an incredibly confusing one-way system adds up to a recipe for guaranteed stress. If you’re just visiting on a day-trip (especially in summer) then using one of the city’s three big park-and-rides, or ditching the car and arriving by train instead, will be a much less traumatic experience.
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Inspired to visit Bath but yet to book your trip? Here are the best hotels from Booking.com* and Hotels.com* . These are the best tours of Bath from our trusted partners* .
Bath is one of Britain's most appealing cities. Exquisite Roman and Georgian architecture, hipster hang-outs and swish spas make it hard to resist.
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1. Why you should visit Bath
2. top attractions: things to see and do, 3. jane austen and bridgerton, 4. hotels: where to stay, 5. where to eat and drink, 6. transport: how to get there.
Famous for its Roman baths, Georgian architecture and World Heritage status, Bath is one of Britain’s “loveliest little cities”, said The Times . The “only downside” to a place this pretty “is its popularity”. Visit outside of the “hectic” summer months and you’ll be able to see “Bath at its best”.
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The UK’s “most beautiful city”, Bath is “agelessly elegant” and “damn near impossible to take a bad photo of”, said Anna Galbraith in The Gentlemen’s Journal . “Even in the October rain.” While there is “pomp and grandeur aplenty”, for “every tier of afternoon tea sandwiches”, there is an “experimental chef cooking up a storm”.
Home to English writer Jane Austen between 1801 and 1806, two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion , were set in Bath, said Meehika Barua in Elle . In fact, this ancient Somerset city is pretty much the “go-to location” for many period films and series, including hit TV drama Bridgerton .
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The largely intact Roman bath complex is the “most popular of Bath’s attractions”, said Anna Kaminski on Culture Trip . The Roman Baths are fed by mineral-rich hot springs and date back more than 2,000 years.
Thermae Bath Spa
Bathing is off-limits at the Roman Baths, but visitors can relax in the warm waters of the Thermae Bath Spa , said The Times. The UK’s only natural thermal spa, this “flashy” and “striking” steel-and-glass spa has saunas, steam rooms and an “amazing” open-air rooftop pool. “Book well in advance.”
Landmarks and buildings
Designated as the only city in the UK to be a World Heritage Site in its entirety, thousands of visitors flock to Bath every day to admire the “many historic landmarks that it boasts”, said Patricia Bech on A Luxury Travel Blog . Must-see landmarks include the Royal Crescent, a “spectacular” semi-circle row of terraced houses considered to be one of the “greatest examples of Georgian architecture”; the Bath Abbey, which is “striking from outside and within”; and the Pulteney Bridge, “one of the most photographed sites in the city”.
Bath Skyline walk
Devised by the National Trust, the Bath Skyline walk is a popular six-mile circular route which starts just a short stroll from the city centre and goes through meadows, ancient woodlands and secluded valleys. The view at the end is spectacular.
Shopping and markets
There’s plenty of places to get a shopping fix in Bath , with high street brands and independent outlets found across the city. A real attraction for shoppers are the many markets that are held throughout the year. Every Saturday you can visit the Bath Farmers’ Market at Green Park Station or the Walcot Antique and Flea Market . Green Park Station also hosts the Bath Vintage & Antique Market on the last Sunday of the month. The oldest shopping venue is the Bath Guildhall Market , which is home to around 20 stallholders.
Jane Austen Centre, festival and tours
Celebrating Bath’s most famous resident and offering a snapshot of life during Regency times, the Jane Austen Centre is a place “any Jane-ite should visit at least once”, said An Historian About Town . The guides, who are dressed in Regency costume, are “more than just regular employees” – they “truly love what they do”. Every year there’s a Jane Austen Festival held in Bath and in 2023 it will be from 8-17 September. Strictly Jane Austen Tours also offers visitors the chance to walk in the novelist’s footsteps.
Bridgerton in Bath
With much of Bridgerton ’s filming taking place in the city, Bath played a “starring role” in the Netflix drama series, said the Visit Bath tourism board. Fans can explore filming locations with walking tours from BritMovieTours and Bath Adventures . Or you could plan a Bridgerton -inspired stay .
With a 9/10 expert rating, guests staying at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa can expect “elegant and individual bedrooms, first-rate food and an enticing spa”, said The Telegraph . No.15 by GuestHouse, The Queensberry Hotel, and The Gainsborough Bath Spa also got 9/10s in the paper’s round-up of the best hotels in Bath.
Just a 20-minute drive from the city, The Pig Near Bath is an out-of-town retreat located in the “rolling calm of the Mendip Hills”, said Condé Nast Traveller . It’s “a joy to sleep here”, with 29 pretty bedrooms turning a former family country house into a boutique hotel.
The Olive Tree, located at The Queensberry Hotel, is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city of Bath. Talented head chef Chris Cleghorn brings an “innovative, personalised approach to the cooking” with colours, textures and flavours “used to full effect”, said the Michelin Guide .
There’s a “bumper crop” of independent places to eat and drink, said Olive Magazine . For vegetarian dishes head to OAK; for “upmarket fish and chips” The Scallop Shell; and for wild game and sophisticated Sunday roasts The Elder. According to The Telegraph , other restaurants to add to your must-visit foodie list include Clayton’s Kitchen, Cafe Lucca and Comptoir+Cuisine.
Aside from being a “gorgeous city with irresistible charms”, the best restaurants in Bath prove that it is “a foodie heaven as well”, said Rosemary Waugh in Time Out . The “go-to location” for afternoon tea is The Pump Room Restaurant, a perfect spot for “Austen-inspired daydreaming”.
Pubs and wine bars
There may be “more beautiful pubs” in Bath, but the “slightly scruffy” Pulteney Arms is a favourite with locals, said BBC Good Food . The Pulteney Arms has a wide range of real ales on tap and even has its own gin, Old Tom Cat Gin.
The Boater, a “cosy and intimate” pub, celebrates “the splendour of a well poured pint”, said Total Guide to Bath . Other must-visit boozers include The Grapes, a public house since 1792; The Raven, which specialises in real ales, fine wines and delicious pies; and The Canon, one of Bath’s most popular pubs.
Offering casual dining and cheap eats, cosy wine bar Corkage is a “great place” to try interesting wines, said BBC Good Food. Beckford Bottle Shop, a “trendy wine shop-cum-bistro”, offers food that is “designed to accompany the wines” rather than, as usual, “the other way round”, The Telegraph added.
Bath Bun or Sally Lunn?
If you’re keen to get “stuck in to all things local”, then why not try a Bath Bun or Sally Lunn – two of the city’s “best known sweet treats”, said Lorna Doran in the Bath Chronicle . The Bath Bun is “small and sweet and is laced with sugar and fruit”, while the Sally Lunn is “a lot bigger” than a Bath Bun and more like a plain French brioche or French festival bread. “It is baked to a secret recipe.”
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House
To try one of Bath’s delicacies, head to Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House . Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and pre-theatre meals, Sally Lunn’s building is one of the oldest houses in Bath and also features a museum.
With parking at a premium in the city, the best way to travel to Bath is by train. Located at the south of the centre, Bath Spa Station is on the Great Western Main Line, just 12 minutes from Bristol Temple Meads and 1hr 20mins from London Paddington.
If you are driving to Bath for a day trip, then it’s wise to use the park and ride facilities at either Lansdown, Newbridge or Odd Down. The bus journey from all three sites is approximately ten minutes to the centre and adult return tickets cost between £3.10 and £3.60. Parking is free if you use the bus.
For visitors flying into the West Country, the nearest airport to Bath is Bristol Airport , a 45-minute drive away by car or around an hour by bus . London Heathrow airport is about two hours away from Bath by car.
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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.
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The luxury travel guide to Bath: where to dine, drink and stay
Plan the perfect long weekend with our guide to this history-steeped city
The first thing you’ll notice when arriving in the South-Western city of Bath is the architecture. The iconic honeyed limestone synonymous with the area’s Georgian buildings has remained painstakingly preserved, and the impact is striking. In fact, this World Heritage city is a treat for anyone with a penchant for a grand landmark: from the imposing Royal Crescent, which survived the bombing of WWII, to the Pulteney Bridge that straddles the river Avon, there is plenty to admire.
The snaking streets of the city centre are perfect for a morning of relaxed roaming; quaint museums and galleries sit unassumingly on cobbled streets, intersected by nostalgic sweet shops, independent markets and cosy cafés.
Of course, the appeal of Bath is rooted in wellness, and the city’s spa culture still remains a weighty draw. Thermae is the UK's only natural thermal spa, while the original Roman Baths have been standing since 70AD.
Where to stay
No.15 great pulteney.
No.15 Great Pulteney has recently been taken over by the burgeoning Guest House group, and the renovation of the listed Georgian townhouse is impressive. Original features blend seamlessly with cosy, contemporary touches – be sure to seek out the vinyl library (there’s a record player in every room) and raid the pantry for fresh milk and homemade brownies.
Begin your evening in the light-filled, welcoming bar, where you’ll find a refined cocktail menu to impress the most particular of drinkers. Downstairs, head chef Matt Gillard’s ‘Wild British’ menu is worth booking in advance for. Expect a pared-back, sophisticated take on the classics, with the quality of the seasonal, locally sourced produce taking centre stage. Breakfast is equally impressive: we’d recommend the wild mushrooms and onion relish piled high onto sourdough.
No visit to No.15 is complete without a trip to the sublime spa, which has been extensively redesigned. Book in for an Ease Your Tension treatment, where an invigorating foot scrub is combined with masterful, forensically targeted back and neck massage. Choose how you want your treatment to make you feel, and your therapist will not only tailor the strokes and aromatherapy oil, but the soundtrack, too. You’ll even be gifted a bottle of your prescribed oil blend, along with a QR code that links to the playlist, so you can relive your treatment at home.
For something truly memorable, splash out on the stone-walled Copper Room, in which couples can relax in the super-sized copper bathtub, drink in hand, before enjoying a double treatment.
Room rates start from £150. To book and for more information visit Guesthousehotels.co.uk .
Where to eat (and drink)
The Walcot is fast becoming a one-stop destination that caters for every whim, whether you’re in the mood for a formal three courses or a night of live music and dancing.
With more than a hint of Soho House influence, this multi-floor destination comprises a sizeable bar stocked with natural wines and polished cocktails, and a day-to-night dining room that really showcases Bath’s abundance of stellar produce. If you’re lucky enough to find the crab raviolo on the menu, don’t hesitate.
With cocktail-focused drinking den Bread & Jam now open in the basement – named in ode to its former life as a bakery – and a fully-fledged (and strictly adults-only) nightclub waiting eagerly next to it, there will soon be little reason to leave.
What to see
The fashion museum.
A treasure trove of textiles, from the historic to the modern, Bath’s Fashion Museum is the ideal way to wile away a morning. The permanent display has been at home in the grand Assembly Rooms since 1963, when a donation by fashion historian Doris Langley Moore kick-started the collection. Today, it’s a perfect place to peer at everything from 18th century gowns to Mary Quant minis and iconic Alexander McQueen creations.
Running for the duration of 2021 is Shoephoria , an immersive display of over 350 pairs of shoes, from velvet mules unearthed from the 1690s to Queen Victoria’s own boots.
The best way to take in Bath’s most beautiful scenery is via boat. Hop onto the Bath Adventure company’s original 1960s hire boat and sip on a glass of fizz while enjoying the views of the river Avon.
If you’d prefer to stick to dry land, the Bridgerton walking tour is a popular option for good reason. See the Featherington family house, Lady Danbury’s mansion and everything in-between – including those iconic ballrooms – while personal headphones deliver the show’s soundtrack for a fully immersive experience.
Thermae Bath Spa
Few things beat the tranquillity and relaxation that a spa provides, but Thermae Bath Spa ’s award-winning natural waters are an especially tempting escape from reality. Boasting Britain’s only naturally warm, mineral-rich waters, Thermae traces its roots back to the use of its natural springs by Celts and Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
With a modified menu of treatments currently available (in accordance with government guidelines), Thermae Bath Spa is a unique opportunity to soak in the natural beauty of the city. The open-air rooftop pool provides spectacular views over Bath, while the Twilight package allows a couple to make use of the spa facilities during sunset.
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24 Hours In Bath, England: The Ultimate Travel Guide
Planning to spend one day in Bath, England? Find out the top things to do, best restaurants, hotels and info in this Bath travel blog.
And they were right. The ‘ they ’ in question were the lovely people at Visit Bath who spotted I was a lover of UK travel (Hello Hastings , Amersham , Oxford , London to name but a few recent stops!) and wanted to see how their beloved Bath shaped up.
Bath isn’t a hard sell. With bundles of history (including the Roman Baths, amazing architecture and Jane Austen connections) the city’s famous Bath stone, and a trendy forward-thinking city taking pride in producing great food, entertainment and more, it’s one of the most popular day trips from London for tourists visiting the UK. I know this, because I saw a lot of them! Big tours, families, and couples from all over the world hopped on the same train as me from Paddington!
One hour and 38 minutes later we emerged in beautiful Bath, and dispersed through the city’s streets. I was ready to enjoy one day in Bath!
This year is a particularly big one for the city. The Royal Crescent is 250 years old, and it’s the 200 th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death . She set some of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion in the city, and lived there from 1801 to 1806. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine says…
“I really believe I shall always be talking of Bath – I do like it so very much… Oh, who can ever be tired of Bath!”
I agree! Who can ever be tired of a city this pretty? So with all of this in mind, let me kit you out with all you need to know for your trip to Bath, including what to do, how to get there and a few of my top foodie picks!
Best Time To Visit Bath, England
Bath is a city that’s got plenty to do all year round, but as I visited on a particularly hot, sunny week in July I would definitely recommend a summer trip. It’s a very walkable city, and along with all the pretty streets, there are also lovely parks and the River Avon to enjoy.
The long days lend themselves to outdoor eating and drinking too, of which there are plenty of great options. Plus, for any camera addicts, it’s hard to beat the views of the green water of the Roman Baths against a bright blue sunshiny sky!
Meanwhile, in winter time you can expect Christmas markets, ice rinks and some great stores to pick up your Christmas gifts!
Top Things To Do In Bath
While I’d say Bath has a big reputation for history, architecture and literature – there’s more to it than that. There are gorgeous views, plenty of great foodie spots, cool boutiques and plenty more. Plus, to be honest, it’s a great city just to wander around! With 24 hours in Bath here are a few of the top things to do.
Book your trip to Bath from London
Free Walking Tours Of Bath
A really great (AND FREE!) way to familiarise yourself with a city and find out the best places to visit in Bath! The free walking tours of Bath are informative and show all the key sights. They run twice a day and even more in peak summer.
Comedy Walking Tour Of Bath
Bizarre Bath’s comedy walks in the city are legendary! Several people tweeted me about this tour and while sadly I didn’t get the chance to squeeze it into my trip this time, it’s top of my list for when I return.
Jane Austen Centre, Bath
As mentioned, it’s a particularly big year for Jane Austen fans, and Bath played a huge part in Jane’s life and the storylines of several of her most popular books. At this interactive museum I enjoyed a talk by one of the Georgian ladies, which gave a great overview to Jane’s time in Bath, before engrossing myself in interesting pictures, excerpts from her novels and facts. A highlight was the opportunity to dress up in character and proposition Mr Darcy! He said he’s thinking about my offer, but wasn’t convinced by my footwear.
Explore Walcot Street, Bath
This is the cooler, less commercial area, with tonnes of independent stores, restaurants and galleries. From the vintage clothes in Yellow Shop to beautiful stationary in Meticulous Ink and popular eatery Sam’s Kitchen , it’s a nice contrast to the big name stores in the city. I even spotted this great photo op just along there!
No.1 Royal Crescent, Bath
There’s a real wow moment when you stand in front of the Royal Crescent and take in the unique arched shape of the buildings. While most are private residences, No.1 is open to the public, and dressed as it would have been in the late 1700s. In the rooms are guides in traditional attire who really bring the history to life!
The reason Bath is called Bath? Hmm I think you get it! The roman baths are one of the top things to see in Bath. If you only pay for one attraction in the city, let it be this! The waters were known for their healing properties, but over the years became a real focal point for the city’s development. There’s more than the large Roman bath, there are fascinating ruins hidden underground, ancient artefacts and a great modern retelling of Bath’s ancient story. There’s even a chance to try the pump water for yourself.
Thermae Bath Spa
After exhausting yourself exploring the city on foot, book in for a soak in the natural thermal springs in Bath. The water contains over 42 different minerals, and while the temperature is naturally over 40 degrees, the water is cooled to the optimum bathing temperature of 33.5°C. There are two huge bath areas (big swimming pools) – one indoors with a lazy river and jacuzzi section and a truly spectacular rooftop bath with views over the city. There’s also a great new wellness area with different showers, saunas, steam rooms and a bizarre intergalactic room which was strangely relaxing! I felt like I floated out of the spa and felt so refreshed by the ancient healing waters!
Shop ‘Til You Drop In Bath
While I know you probably wouldn’t go on a big day trip to shop at stores you can find anywhere in the UK, there are some unique boutiques mixed in with the likes of Debenhams, Topshop and Primark! A few of my favourites included Vinegar Hill (a gift/homeware store), Spotty Herbert’s (a kids shop), Instant Vintage and Flock Bath (both vintage stores). There’s also Bath Guildhall Market – a collection of 20 small stores selling everything from wool to handbags and sweets!
Climb the tower at Bath Abbey
Ok this is where you pray your visit falls during a time of good weather. For £6 you can climb the tower on a special ‘tower tour’. Trained guides give you all the info you could need, while you do the hard bit climbing 212 steps to the top. After reaching the bell ringing area, it’s along the roof of the cathedral to start the second climb. The views from the top really were magnificent. I was so happy to see Bath from a different angle!
Hop On A Boat In Bath
Catch the city from yet another angle on board a board with Bath City Boat Trips or Pulteney Cruisers . You’ll be treated to a thorough history of the city, while taking in great views of Pulteney Bridge and the Weir.
Where To Eat And Drink In Bath
Along with every chain you’re used to seeing, Bath has a thriving foodie scene. Some of the top picks in the city include Acorn Vegetarian kitchen (where I’ve heard the vege food is SO good you won’t miss meat!), Sam’s Kitchen Deli (popular for its menu of small plates), Clayton’s Kitchen (run by twice Michelin-starred chef Rob Clayton) and Sotto Sotto (a top Italian option). With just a few days there, I only had time to sample a few places…
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House
Bath’s oldest house! Yes this place dates back to 1482, and is the place to try Bath’s famous buns. The name? Legend has it a girl called Solange Luyo fled France in the 1600s and as her name was difficult to say, became known as Sally Lunn. Her brioche style buns were popular, and these days you can have them sweet (with cinnamon butter, lemon curd or chocolate) or savoury (with toppings such as bacon, salmon, cheese, mushrooms and more!) If it’s around lunchtime, be prepared to wait – this place is on everybody’s hit lists!
I loved this relaxed café, which shares its space with The Loft (homeware store and boutique). I stopped for lunch and enjoyed homemade quiche with two inventive and delicious salads – one with butternut squash and goats cheese, the other with courgette, pomegranate and feta.
A cute hipster-esque café, complete with a bike on the wall, excellent coffee, and a queue of regulars! There are two branches in the city.
King William Pub
If you’re a total foodie, I’d recommend this pub. Far more gourmet than your average gastropub, the cuisine is a huge draw with a creative menu incorporating plenty of local produce. I started with balsamic watermelon, goats cheese mousse and pine nuts, which was intriguing to the eye and deliciously summery.
The roast rump of lamb with warm potato salad was succulent and I just loved the crunch from the shallots on top. Although feeling full, I decided I had to squeeze in dessert, and the chocolate and raspberry mousse definitely rounded off the meal in style! It was so rich and indulgent. Staff were really attentive and friendly, offering up recommendations and chatting with regulars.
How To Get To Bath
Don’t have a car? The easiest way to get to Bath is by catching a train from London Paddington to Bath Spa with GWR Trains . If you book in advance you can sometimes find tickets as cheap as £10 each way.
Or if you want to take the stress out of organising a visit, check out these day tours to Bath.
Where To Stay In Bath
There are plenty of accommodation options in Bath, depending on your budget.
For those wanting space to spread out, I can’t recommend Mr Darcy’s Abode part of Bath Boutique Stays enough! The stunning townhouse has super-cool décor including lots of fun Mr Darcy references (I loved the lights!) The huge kitchen area would be amazing for a group party or hen do, as would the lounge area downstairs. I stayed there during my visit and absolutely fell in love with the place!
Booking.com has plenty of great places to stay in Bath . If you’re looking for a special Bath hotel, I’d recommend the Gainsborough Bath Spa or the Abbey Hotel . They’re both very central too.
On a budget? There are lots of hostels in Bath City Centre including Bath Backpackers Hostel , St Christopher’s Inn Bath , YHA Bath and even some cheap rooms at certain times of year at Bath University .
Thanks to Visit Bath for inviting me to write this Bath travel blog and explore this beautiful part of England. As always, opinions are my own! I hope you enjoy your 24 hours in Bath as much as I did!
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With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.
12 thoughts on “24 Hours In Bath, England: The Ultimate Travel Guide”
Ah, it looks like you had such an amazing time in Bath! Really makes me want to go back and visit myself, and it looks like you uncovered some fantastic restaurants too!
It was a lovely trip. You can see and do so much in 36 hours. Definitely one for you to return to at some point!
Amazing post Chloe! Bath is one of my favourite cities in the UK and you’ve captured it really well. Love that spa. I went in winter and it’s amazing to sit in the rooftop pool while it’s freezing cold outside. Love the Jane Austen centre too. Oh my god I want to go back to Bath right now haha
Thanks Emily! I hadn’t been since I was about 15! Still as pretty as I remembered it being. I’d love to go in winter too. I heard they have Christmas markets and ice rinks!
Really enjoyed your informative post Chloe, it’s years since I have visited Bath and I’m very tempted to go back again. I’ll make sure to take a wander along Walcot Street, sounds intriguing.
Thank you so much for reading! Walcot is a must visit – so different from the rest of the city!
It’s gorgeous Angie! And yes so many great reasons to visit this year in particular!
I just love Bath so, so much!
Me too! It’s such a gorgeous spot.
I adore Bath, I’d love to live there – well, if I’d live anywhere, anyway. And though I’ve been more than once, I cannot believe that I’ve yet to make it into #1 Royal Crescent. Well, hoping to get there again this fall, and will definitely see it then. I stay at the YMCA hostel in Bath, and like it a lot.
My favorite attraction in Bath is the Assembly Rooms, with the Fashion Museum in the basement. You can dress up there, as well, and there is a great backdrop for a photo op. The kids in our group loved it.
You know what else is so cool about Bath, that a lot of people don’t realize? In less time than it takes to get back to London, you can take a train to Cardiff and see the Dr. Who Experience. The YHA hostel there is fabulous, particularly the inexpensive food available on the ground floor. I don’t know about the dorm rooms, but I’d bet they are just fine. The private room we got because of the kids was as good as any mid-class hotels I’ve been in – generously sized, with a great private bath.
Definitely looking forward to another visit. And, as usual, you’ve listed some more great places to try. Thanks so much!
Wow I didn’t know it was that quick to Cardiff too. I’ll have to combine the two next time! Thank you 🙂
Bath is just super cute right?! I love all your literary references, I’m a big Jane Austen Fan!
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ENGLAND , EUROPE , UNITED KINGDOM · May 19, 2020 Last Updated on June 8, 2023
ULTIMATE CITY GUIDE TO BATH, ENGLAND
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Bath has been firmly stamped in the minds of the British public, and nowadays across the globe, as being one of the most important cities marking Britain’s cultural identity. Visitors to Bath can experience quintessential British culture, face Britain’s history head-on, and delight in a wonderful culinary scene, in addition to relaxing in the famous thermal baths that give the city its name.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about visiting the magical town of Bath, England!
History Of Bath
“I really believe I shall always be talking of Bath” – Jane Austen in her novel Northanger Abbey.
Austen couldn’t have been more accurate! Indeed, ever since Bladud, legendary king of the Britons supposedly cured his pigs of leprosy in a hot spring and subsequently founded this city in 863BCE, people have travelled from all over to relax and recuperate in the waters.
From the Romans to the Georgian elite, Bath became the place to see and be seen. Elite society, of whom Austen mingled, waltzed nights away at The Assembly Rooms, paraded The Pump Room in search of eligible husbands while strolling in pleasure gardens like The Sydney Gardens.
Bath is rich in historical facts like these, and they seem more like wild fantasies than attainable reality. However, to this day millions of travellers desire such wild pleasures.
The timeless beauty of the honey-hued Georgian architecture, romantic cobblestone streets to the survival of the Roman Baths, the Assembly Rooms, and much more means that these images of the past are accessible.
Best Time Of Year To Visit Bath
From a local’s perspective, the best time to visit Bath is between September and October .
The summer months are often inundated with thousands of tourists and a plethora of large tourist busses. The streets are full, there are queues into top sites running for miles and it is almost impossible to relax.
If you head over in September, the weather is still mild, streets are deserted (better chance of capturing that Instagram photo), it is easier to gain quick access into all the best places, and eating out is a breeze.
How To Get Around Bath
The most convenient way to reach Bath is by train , especially if you’re coming from down south from places like Cornwall or London . This way you’ll get a direct train journey for affordable prices or catch a National Express coach that travels into Bath every day.
If, however, you’re driving to Bath there are several car parks around the city, all of which are affordable and easy to get to.
When in the city, walking is the most convenient form of transport, as busses and cars cannot drive up the highstreets and everything is within walking distance. However, if you’re coming into town from one of the many hills in Bath, there are local busses that run every 20-minutes into the city centre.
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Top Things To Do In Bath
1) bath abbey.
Proudly located in the centre of Bath city is Bath Abbey .
Steeped in history with staggering architecture, the church imposingly dominates the scene and hypnotises thousands of people to visit daily. To enter is free, although they do welcome donations (usually £2) and the Tower Tours cost a small fee and only run between 10 am-4 pm.
Climbing the 212 steps up to the top of the tower is a must as it offers a visit to the bell chamber, the chance to sit behind the clock face and to witness unrivalled rooftop views of the city.
Inside the Abbey, one can see extraordinary examples of Norman Perpendicular Gothic architecture and architectural evidence dating back to the Anglo-Saxon.
The Abbey is still a place of worship and therefore might be closed for service. If this is the case, check the door times or Abbey’s website for when it will reopen.
2) The Roman Baths
Quite possibly the ‘it’ attraction in Bath, the Roman Baths shouldn’t be missed.
As one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, you’ll find an interactive museum filled with artifacts and videos of Romans as well as archaeological excavations of the original baths. With a pinch of imagination, you’ll be transported back in time and will experience Roman life for yourself.
Tickets start from £14 but with them, you get an audio guide, an optional guided tour and the opportunity to try the natural spa water.
3) The Pump Room
To enjoy Bath like an 18 th century English Lady, you’ll need to head to the Pump Room to try their wonderfully delicious afternoon tea. Its opulent interior design speaks volumes of the aristocracy who once socialised here.
If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, then you’ll be delighted to know this was the building she, and other elite members of society, met, enjoyed lavish entertainments and gathered to drink the therapeutic waters.
4) The Assembly Room & The Fashion Museum
The Assembly Rooms was another centre of Georgian social life. The two-tiered chandeliers and stunning pillared balconies provide a glimpse into the place where many attended grand balls and sought eligible husbands.
On the lower ground of the Assembly Room is the Fashion Museum and it holds a display of contemporary and historic dress, tracing Bath’s history through objects and clothing.
Open every day of the week, tickets start at £8.55 for adults and £6.53 for children.
5) The Crescent & The Circus
If you’re looking for a little bit of celebrity head to the Crescent and the Circus .
These are probably the most iconic landmarks in Bath and are a row of terraced houses laid out in a crescent shape. Its exterior has remained unchanged since it was built in the 1700s and has been home to many celebrities, including Nicolas Cage and Johnny Depp!
If you’re looking for a little history, you can visit No1 Royal Crescent . Now a museum, it has been remodelled to resemble a Georgian Town House and the interior gives a sense of how the wealthy lived.
6) Milsom Street & Pulteney Bridge
Bath city has some of the quaintest and quirkiest independent shops in the United Kingdom. Head to Milsom Street for some of the more expensive shops while Pulteney Bridge has more unique shops lined on both sides.
This is significant because it is one of only four bridges in the world to have shops on it, with one of the others being in Florence. Bath has everything from designer outlets, craft shops to unique bookshops. A perfect location for a little retail therapy.
7) The Holburne Museum Sydney Gardens
While in Bath it is imperative you visit The Holburne Museum . It was originally a Georgian villa-style hotel, but now houses a collection of 17 th -18 th century paintings.
From Thomas Hoare to Sir William Holburne, The Holburne Museum is your gateway into British art. It’s free to enter but they again welcome donations.
Right behind the museum is Sydney Gardens . Here you can walk around a garden paradise, take in the lovely river and see where the elite once went for entertainment, public breakfasts, orchestras and fireworks.
8) Prior Park
Prior Park is one of Bath’s best-kept secrets. Hidden among many houses, this 18 th -century landscape garden is bewitching.
Situated slightly on a hill, Prior Park Garden offers exceptional views of rolling hills, winding woodlands and Bath’s Georgian rooftops.
Here, you’ll see an exquisite Palladian Bridge and a grand mansion that is set against an idyllic pastoral landscape. It was originally designed by Ralph Allen in 1734 to show off his wealth and the famous Bath Stone; the golden-hued stone that now builds every house in Bath.
9) Thermae Bath Spa
The healing waters in Bath have been famous for centuries. While it is no longer possible to bathe in the Roman Bath’s healing waters, the Thermae Bath Spa offers similar relaxing ways to improve your health.
For a reasonable price, you can enjoy the rooftop thermal pool, panoramic city views or unwind in their wellness suite, featuring steam rooms, a relaxation room and an ice chamber. You can also enjoy dinner in your robe in the Spa’s on site restaurant for a unique experience.
Day Trips From Bath
While there is so much to see and experience in Bath city centre, it is really worthwhile heading out to the surrounding areas and explore the true English countryside.
Under 40 miles away from Bath, Stonehenge is one of, if not the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. It should not be missed during your visit to Bath.
The stone circle at Stonehenge has a history reaching back 4,500 years and is a spellbinding piece of architecture. Here, you’ll also see Neolithic Houses and discover the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life.
To get to Stonehenge, you can take the train or bus from Bath Spa train station to Salisbury, but you will need to take a bus from Salisbury to Stonehenge. You can also buy admission tickets in advance.
The easiest way to get to Stonehenge is to drive from Bath directly to Stonehenge or hop on a bus tour guide .
Stratford Upon Avon
Just a few hours by train or car is the birthplace of the legend William Shakespeare. No mention of England, or the United Kingdom, would be complete without some reference to Shakespeare.
He is considered the best British writer of all time and has given us sonnets, plays to read, performances to watch and films to devour. Without him, Britain wouldn’t be in Britain. That being said, a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon will be time well spent.
Start your day at Shakespeare’s Birthplace , a beautifully restored 16 th -century half-timbered house. Continuing on the journey of Shakespeare’s life, head to Shakespeare’s New Place ; his home in retirement.
Here, you’ll find statues from his well-known plays, such as Hamlet pondering life with his skull. Then head to the Church of Holy Trinity where you can visit Shakespeare’s grave.
While at Stratford make sure to check out Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (this is the former home of Shakespeare’s wife), Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
If you’re lucky enough you might get to see one of the best productions of Shakespeare’s plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company and if not, check out their exquisite shop and café.
Getting to Bristol is the easiest day trip from Bath. Head over to Bath Spa Train Station, get on a train to Bristol Temple Meads and you’ll be in the city centre in under 20 minutes.
Being a university city, Bristol is a vibrant and electrifying place to visit. For things of historical importance head to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (entry is free), and here you’ll find geology, Eastern art, Bristol’s history, natural history and famous, as well as modern, paintings.
For more art, you can go on a Banksy street art walking tour with a guide around the city.
Bristol Cathedral should definitely be on your list. Founded in 1140 and consecrated in 1148, it was originally St. Augustine’s Abbey but later became the seat of The Bishop of Bristol.
For more historical sites head to Brunel’s SS Great Britain Ship, Cabot Tower, Tyntesfield (a serious must) or for something more modern, Bristol Zoo or one of the many quirky book shops.
For other day trips, be sure to read our full article on 10 Places To Not Miss In Southwest England !
Salisbury & Salisbury Cathedral
Much like Bristol, Salisbury is really easy to get to by car, bus and train. Besides shopping and eating in one of the many renowned restaurants there is so much to see and do in Salisbury.
The obvious choice would be to visit Salisbury Cathedral . Considered to be one of the leading examples of Early English architecture, the cathedral is exquisite and awe-inspiring in itself, but it is also home to the four original copies of the Magna Carta and the oldest working clock in the world.
Right next to Salisbury Cathedral is Mompesson House; an 18 th -century house which was originally home to Sir Thomas Mompesson, MP for Salisbury. The Salisbury Museum and Arundells (former home to Prime Minister, Edward Heath from 1985 to 2005) are also great to visit.
Where To Stay In Bath
Bath’s city centre is littered with quaint B&B’s, quirky hostels and elegantly preserved manor hotels.
Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
Set in sweeping and beautiful gardens of which include fountains, ponds and a terrace, the Macdonald Hotel offers guests celebrity treatment with world-class service and an award-winning restaurant. The spa features a swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, and a fitness centre.
It is a 10-minute walk from Bath Abbey (city centre) which means the hotel makes for the perfect city-country experience. Spending your day surrounded by nature and tranquillity, then spending your night under the neon lights of Bath’s energetic nightlife.
BOOK YOUR STAY
Lansdown Park Hotel
The hotel itself is a magnificently preserved Georgian mansion and was designed in collaboration with the Country Living Magazine.
With the country lifestyle in play, everything was designed with comfort in mind and all the 55 rooms have comfy sofas and cosy beds. The restaurant overlooks the garden and serves fresh local produce in the à la carte breakfast menu and the classic dinner dishes while the bar is open all day and has an extensive drinks menu.
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
If the Bath hotel scene had to be known for anything, it would be its Royal Crescent .
While slightly more expensive, guests can stay in one of the Crescent’s elegant houses.A 5-star hotel, with a history that spans more than 250 years, staying here is certainly a luxurious experience.
With a fully equipped gym, a truly relaxing spa and a secluded landscaped garden, the hotel offers guests the closest thing to time travel. The bedrooms are decorated in an 18 th -century style while modern comforts, such as WIFI and TV, make you feel even more pampered.
Anabelle’s Guest House
For the best B&B in the city, head Anabelle’s Guest House .
Located near the Roman Baths, the B&B is a quick walk to the Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge and The Circus. The rooms are clean and kitted out with a wardrobe, TV and free toiletries. If you’d like a continental breakfast it is an additional £4 per person.
YHA Bath Hostel
For those backpackers or travellers on a budget, YHA Hostel is perfect for you.
The building itself is a visually striking Italian-style mansion with private gardens, laundry facilities and a restaurant. Each morning there is an option for a hearty breakfast and in the evenings a home-cooked meal.
Guests also have the option of using the large shared kitchen facilities. There is a TV lounge overlooking the garden with comfortable sofas while the bar serves a variety of drinks and the WIFI is available in public areas.
Where To Eat In Bath
Bath’s fame and close association with the British elite has given rise to an exquisite array of cuisine. From local delicacies to exotic Asian dishes, visitors experience not only a taste of history but are transported around the globe, with a promise of returning home.
Some local dishes to look out for are Bath Buns (sweet dough covered in sugar and currants), Bath Oliver Biscuits (which compliment cheese perfectly), Bath Chaps (pork tongue wrapped in pork cheek, marinated in brine and herbs, then rolled in breadcrumbs), and the Bath Soft Cheese.
Sally Lunn’s Eating House
This eating house has its roots deep in history. According to legend, Sally Lynn, a Huguenot refugee arrived in Bath in 1680. Here she worked in a bakery and produced the now-famous Sally Lunn Bun; a light, brioche-style bun.
Not only does this restaurant serve this local favourite but the building itself is one of the oldest houses in Bath, featuring a kitchen museum in the basement that shows the original kitchen used by Sally Lunn.
Open for Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, the menus serve local and authentic dishes. Perfect for a quintessentially English experience.
For an exotic flavour head to Koh Thai restaurant. Not known to many tourists, but a popular choice among locals, Koh’s is a place where the irresistibly rich flavours of Thailand are brought to the tiny streets of Bath.
Located on Broad Street and open Monday-Sunday, the menu includes mouth-watering curries, seafood platters, well-known delicacies such as Chicken Satays and Spring Rolls to unique desserts and fiery cocktails.
Regency Tea Room
For those of you searching for a little history or a quintessentially British afternoon tea experience, the Regency Team Rooms is perfect.
Located on the top floor of The Jane Austen Centre, the tea rooms have a lovely period atmosphere where the staff are decked out in regency fashion while the menu serves cakes, sandwiches, scones and toasties named after Austen’s characters.
Especially popular are the ‘Tea with Mr Darcy’, ‘Lady’s Afternoon Tea’ and ‘Crawford’s crumpets’.
Hall and Woodhouse
If you’re looking for a restaurant that allows four-legged furry friends, then Hall and Woodhouse is your place.
Built-in the 1960s and originally designed as an auction house, this restaurant has a stunning bar with alcohol bottles vibrantly on display. The rustic, brown décor and open space make for a charming and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a quick lunch, celebratory dinner, or just a few drinks.
The normal, vegetarian and vegan menus also make this the ideal inclusive dining experience.
Evening Hangouts and Bars
There are a number of places to explore during the evening if you’re looking for somewhere to hang out or a bar to enjoy the night away.
Among the best places to go to is The Hideout , with its wood interior and walls decked out with whiskey, cocktails, draught beers and a range of spirits.
Speaking of cocktails, Sub 13 is Bath’s premier cocktail bar with leather booths – perfect for a girls night out – while the Opium Bar has a vintage feel and speakeasy décor.
Bath Wrap Up
With so much history, culture and culinary delights, Bath is an intoxicating, exciting and unique city to visit. There is an abundance of quintessential English experiences to be had, a plethora of hangouts to enjoy a drink and several day trips to the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom.
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Bath Travel Guide
A honey-coloured gem set in the leafy south-west of England; Bath is one of the UK’s most idyllic cities. The centre is characterised by sweeping crescents and twisting streets glimmering with golden stone, and calls to mind scenes of 19th-century high society as described by Jane Austen in two of her novels. There’s also plenty of greenery and a gentle bucolic pace thanks to the city’s position amidst soft English countryside.
Bath is famed for its thermal springs, around which the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex, which gave the city its name. The site still flows with natural hot water, while today’s ready supply of top-end boutiques and fine dining compliment the 21st-century thermal bath and spa facilities, pushing the city’s appeal to an all-time high.
Bath has the further distinction of being the UK’s only entire city with UNESCO World Heritage status. Around 5,000 buildings are listed for their architectural merit, with the Royal Crescent, the Circus, the Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms and Pulteney Bridge particularly exceptional Georgian masterpieces. Today, any addition to Bath’s pristine brickwork has to slot in seamlessly and be built in the distinctive Bath Stone.
Beyond the city confines, gently undulating hills offer endless rambles, and not a few picture-postcard villages. Bath is within easy reach of some of the Cotswolds’ most appealing offerings, such as the pale 17th-century limestone buildings of the historic wool town of Painswick.
As to be expected of any university town, Bath’s pubs fill up swiftly at night, while its culinary circuit is increasingly diverse. Dinner options range from affordable brasserie meals to exquisite contemporary dishes served on crisp white tablecloths. For a real treat try the Michelin-starred restaurant at The Bath Priory.
Literary and artistic residents make for a rich cultural scene, and Bath’s calendar is peppered with noteworthy festivals, such as Bath Literature Festival and Bath International Music Festival. As for a certain English novelist, she remains one of the city’s most revered figures – her life and work are celebrated every autumn at Bath’s city-wide 18th-century extravaganza, the Jane Austen Festival.
Featured hotels, the royal hotel.
Housed in a property designed by Brunel, The Royal Hotel has been around since 1846. The present owners took over in 1995 and initiated a refurbishment programme that has transformed the hotel into a modern, attractive and comfortable establishment. The hotel has two bars and a restaurant with steaks as its speciality.
The Queensberry Hotel
The Queensberry is a boutique town house hotel that is both intimate and stylish. Located in a residential street near the Circus, it is an elegant hotel with many of the original Georgian architectural and decorative features intact. The service is superb, and so is the hotel's Olive Tree restaurant, which offers contemporary British cuisine.
Boutique Duke's, located on Bath's grandest street, somehow manages to make grand Georgian proportions homely as well as chic. Vivid décor, four-poster beds, delicious breakfasts that linger in the memory, and personable hosts that genuinely seem to care – Duke's is the complete package.
The Royal Crescent Hotel
It is hard to beat The Royal Crescent Hotel and Bath House Spa in terms of location, which is situated in the very middle of what is perhaps Europe's most elegant crescent. The hotel occupies two of the Royal Crescent's buildings, both of which were built by John Wood the Younger. The hotel is one of Bath's very best and has beautiful gardens and an excellent restaurant.
The Pulteney Hotel
The Pulteney Hotel is a large, elegant Victorian house set in its own picturesque south-facing gardens, with fine views of Bath Abbey. There are 17 rooms, all with en-suite facilities, colour television, tea- and coffee-making facilities, hairdryer and central heating. All rooms are tastefully decorated.
15 minutes' drive outside of Bath, 5-star Lucknam Park has established itself as the destination for those seeking a weekend immersion in luxurious hospitality. Set in a 17th-century Palladian mansion marooned in 202 hectares (500 acres) of listed parkland, the hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, an equestrian centre, and a cookery school.
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The origins on this historic city can be traced back to AD 60, when the Romans came to bathe in its hot springs. Today, the springs remain central to Bath’s identity, with many visitors coming to relax at the city’s spa resorts. The entire city was recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and draws many visitors for its fascinating Roman, Grecian and Royal British history.
Bath is a popular destination year round. In summer the streets and parks of the city are full of locals enjoying the sun. Pack a picnic to enjoy in Parade Gardens as you look across the River Avon, or throw some bread to the ducks in Victoria Park, the largest park in Bath. Behind the park is Royal Crescent, an street of 18th century terrace houses built in an sweeping crescent.
The best way to see the city’s landmarks is by embarking on a walking tour from Bath Abbey. Visit the Roman Baths to see where the city began, see one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Britain at the Bath Abbey, or take a walk up Great Pulteney Street. Make your way to Pulteney Bridge for shopping, as the bridge is one of just four in the world that is completely lined by retailers. Along with historic landmarks Bath is renowned for its museums, galleries and cultural institutions.
While Bath may not be known for its culinary exports, it is home to some of the coziest pubs in England, and the pub fare is second to none. Enjoying a pie and a pint of bath ale is the perfect way to warm up during Bath’s chilly winter months. Weekend farmers’ markets are a great opportunity to sample the regional delicacies, including locally produced cheddar cheese.
From London you can reach Bath by coach or car in around 2 hours, while visitors arriving from outside the UK will find Bristol’s international airport at your service. At just over 100 miles (160 kilometers) from London, Bath is a perfect weekend escape from the big smoke.
Where to stay in Bath
Bath City Centre
The lively bars and relaxing spas are top of the list for many visitors to Bath City Centre. A stop by Cotswolds or Thermae Bath Spa might round out your trip.
Upper Town is popular for its abundant dining options, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Cotswolds or The Circus.
Bathampton is noteworthy for its gardens, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Cotswolds and Bath Abbey.
While visiting Combe Down, you might make a stop by sights like Cotswolds and Roman Baths.
Limpley Stoke is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Cotswolds and Bath Abbey while you're in town.
You'll enjoy the bars and riverfront in Batheaston. You might want to make time for a stop at Cotswolds or Bath Abbey.
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Popular places to visit, thermae bath spa.
Bathe in some of Britain’s warmest thermal waters and unwind with relaxing treatments at this appealing spa complex.
Marvel at the natural hot spring pools and the majestic architecture at this well-preserved ancient site.
University of Bath
Enjoy the collegiate vibe at University of Bath during your visit to Bath. Visit the shops and spas in this walkable area.
This semicircular terrace of townhouses is one of Bath’s most well-known landmarks.
Built in the Gothic style, this prestigious church is a popular pilgrimage destination and an important city landmark.
Theatre Royal Bath
One of the oldest working theaters in Britain hosts dramas, comedies, operas and even a few ghosts in a stunning Georgian building .
Read travel guides and advice on visiting Bath
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- Things to do
- 1.1 History
- 1.2 Orientation
- 2.1.1 Regional airports
- 2.1.2 London airports
- 2.2 By train
- 2.3 By bike
- 3.1 By foot
- 3.2 By public bus
- 3.3 By tourist bus
- 3.4 By taxi
- 4.1 Landmarks
- 4.3.1 Art and fashion museums
- 5.2 Theatre
- 5.3 Football
- 5.5 Concerts
- 5.7 Cricket
- 5.8 Walking
- 5.10 Get wet
- 5.11 Read a detective novel set in Bath
- 9.2.1 International
- 9.3 Splurge
- 10.1 Country pubs near Bath
- 10.2 Nightclubs
- 11.1 Budget
- 11.2 Mid-range
- 11.3 Splurge
- 12 Stay safe
Bath is a historic Roman and Georgian spa city. It is famous for its hot springs , Roman period baths, Medieval heritage and stately Georgian architecture. Bath has been double UNESCO -listed as a World Heritage Site, both in its own right (in 1987) and as one of 11 "Great Spa Towns of Europe" (in 2021). Set in the rolling Somerset countryside on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, Bath (with a population around 90,000) offers a diverse range of attractions for its 4.4 million visitors each year: restaurants, theatres, cinemas, pubs and nightclubs, along with interesting museums, and a wide range of guided tours. It is also a university city.
Understand [ edit ]
History [ edit ].
Bath is among the oldest of England’s principal tourist destinations and has been welcoming visitors for centuries. The three hot springs within the city were sacred to the Celtic goddess Sulis, whom the Romans later identified with the goddess Minerva. Bath first achieved its status as a sacred spa site with the growth of the Roman settlement Aquae Sulis around the thermal springs. The Roman period saw a vast complex of baths constructed - the remains of these were re-discovered in the 18th century and helped fuel Bath's modern revival as a luxury resort.
Bath was a prosperous city in the Medieval period, the site of an Abbey and Cathedral (under the Bishop of Bath and Wells). The Reformation under Henry VIII created uncertainty for Bath's, although during the reign of Elizabeth I, the town was revived as a spa resort. It was during the Georgian period, however, that Bath came again into its own. Exceedingly fashionable, Bath was laid out in stately avenues, streets and crescents, encrusted with Neo-Classical public buildings.
Bath suffered a significant amount of damage during air raids in World War II. The prestigious crescents and terraces were relatively unscathed and restored where necessary, but some of the more minor Georgian and Victorian streets were demolished both after the war and during a later ill-conceived phase of development known now as the "Sack of Bath". Consequently some modern buildings pop up in unexpected places, and the locals are generally very opposed to any major building developments that are put forward. Those works are substantially complete, and a new shopping centre near the railway station has opened.
Orientation [ edit ]
Bath is 160 km (100 miles) west of London and 18 km (11 miles) south-east of the nearest big city, Bristol . It lies in the valley of the Avon River, upstream of Bristol.
Read [ edit ]
Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is traditional reading before a visit to Bath. Austen spent some time there, and her novel is a satire of the social life of the city at the time. Many of the sites she mentioned are still able to be visited in the city today.
Get in [ edit ]
By plane [ edit ], regional airports [ edit ].
These smaller airports provide a much more sedate experience than the London ones. Check in queues are shorter, there are fewer people about, and it's much clearer where you have to go and what you have to do. Less stress and fewer delays than the London ones.
Bristol Airport ( BRS IATA ) is 35 km (22 mi) from Bath and boasts scheduled flights from many major European cities, including Amsterdam Schiphol , Barcelona El Prat , Berlin , Brussels , Copenhagen , Edinburgh , Glasgow , Paris and Prague (but not London ). By public transportation there are three main options for reaching Bath.
- Catch the Flyer bus service from the airport to Bristol Temple Meads station, then the train from there to Bath; expect the journey to take about one hour, and longer between 4PM and 6PM when Bristol's roads are congested.
- Air Decker direct bus from the airport to Bath railway station. Every thirty minutes from early until late. Journey time is about 55 minutes. Single ticket £16.50, return £22.00.
- Taxi (about £40) and get to Bath in about 40 minutes.
Southampton Airport ( SOU IATA ) is under 2 hours from Bath by train, and connections are good.
Cardiff Airport ( CWL IATA ), Exeter Airport ( EXT IATA ), and Bournemouth Airport ( BOH IATA ) are also served by low-cost airlines and are within a couple of hours driving distance of the city.
London airports [ edit ]
The alternative is to use one of the London airports and travel on to Bath by train, car or bus. The most convenient are:
- Heathrow Airport is about two hours drive straight down the M4 ( westbound ) motorway. Alternatively, the RailAir express bus service (running every 20 minutes) connects with the main London to Bath rail service at Reading rail station; expect the total journey to take slightly over two hours. Or take the train the entire way, hop on the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then take a train from there to Bath Spa railway station, the journey takes a little under two hours. Alternatively, the National Express coach company run direct buses from Heathrow to Bath bus station.
- Gatwick Airport is about three hours drive away via the M23 ( northbound ), M25 ( clockwise ) and M4 ( westbound ) motorways. Alternatively, a half-hourly rail service from Gatwick connects with the main London to Bath rail service at Reading rail station; expect the total journey to take slightly over two hours.
- Stansted Airport is about three hours drive away via the M11 ( southbound ), M25 ( anti-clockwise ) and M4 ( westbound ) motorways. By train, you will need to catch a Stanstead Express train to London Liverpool Street station, the tube to London Paddington station, then follow the directions below; expect the total journey to take around 3½ hours.
- Luton Airport is about a 3-hour train ride. The Thameslink rail connects the airport to central London where you can catch a train to Bath Spa.
By train [ edit ]
Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain
Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling +44 8457 484950 from anywhere in the UK. There is a taxi rank outside the station, and the bus station is adjacent.
The station is staffed M-Sa 6M-8PM, Su 7:45AM-8PM, however the ticket office will only sell advance tickets between 8AM and 6PM (ignore the times on the National Rail website: they are wrong) There are no luggage lockers in the station; Bath Backpacker's Hostel in Pierrepont Street, which is a few hundred feet from the station, will look after left luggage for the day for £3.00.
By bike [ edit ]
The Bristol-Bath Railway Path is part of the National Cycle Network (R4) and provides a cycle corridor between the city centres of Bath and Bristol . Travel time is about 90 minutes. The path is relatively flat, and has only 2 road crossings, making it very safe. In the morning and evening it is a busy commute route, so it may be advisable to avoid these peak hours.
By car [ edit ]
Get off the M4 at Junction 18, follow signs for about 10 miles (16 km). Use the Park-and-Ride facilities!
It is very easy to get lost in Bath, as a lot of it is one-way and there's a traffic system that prevents you driving from one side of the city to the other. You have to go out on an unofficial ring road and re-enter the city. Furthermore, the high population density, the lack of a city bypass and the low capacity of the old narrow streets means that congestion is often horrendous. In particular, on Saturdays the car parks will all be full, and the roads will be blocked by people queueing to get into these car parks, a problem made worse since the opening of the new Southgate car park. At peak times, it can be quicker to walk from the edge of Bath to town, rather than driving and finding somewhere to park. The short answer - don't drive in Bath.
Parking in central Bath is better than it used to be as there's a big new underground multi story under the Southgate Shopping Centre. Most of the smaller long stay car parks will be full by 8:30AM during the working week so you have to get in early. Major central multi-storey car parks are based underneath the Southgate Shopping Centre, Walcot Street, Manvers Street (near the train stations) and Charlotte Street (off Queens Square). Average 2010 rates are around £3 an hour - or the more prohibitive pay and display in central bath at £1.30p per 30 minutes in the most convenient street locations. Many parking bays are "residents parking only" so check before leaving your car. Traffic wardens are very efficient so don't even think of parking on a yellow line or going over your time limit. On Sundays and between 7PM and 8AM other days most parking is free, however check machines for exact details.
The best way to drive into town is to use the park and ride facilities when travelling into Bath for the day. You can park for free and then take a bus for £2.20 per adult return (round-trip, discounts exist) right into the city. The only downside to this is that the last bus leaves at 8:30PM, so you can't use this service if you're staying in Bath late.
By bus [ edit ]
51.37793 -2.35964 3 Bath's bus station is close to the railway station and buses to most destinations outside the city leave and arrive at this location. It is served by:
- National Express . Coaches to Bristol, London Victoria and London Heathrow.
- First West England . operates buses locally and from bath to Bristol, Lawrence Hill, Hengrove, Weston-super-Mare, Wells and points in between in West England.
Get around [ edit ]
Most locations in Bath are easily walkable from the city centre and stations. Avoid using a car in town centr.
By foot [ edit ]
Some of Bath's shopping streets feel like pedestrian-only areas - but aren't. Have a quick look round before you follow everyone else out into the road and, if you're driving, expect pedestrians to walk out in front of you.
By public bus [ edit ]
Typically for British public transport, public buses are at best adequate. A popular 'Park and Ride' bus system operates from a ring of car parks around the outskirts of the city (Newbridge, Lansdown, Claverton Down and Odd Down). They will take you to the city centre, or to a number of the cities schools. Bath's buses are often quite expensive, compared with other cities. If you are going to be taking more than 1 return journey or 1 single journey in a day, it is recommended to ask the driver for a day pass instead which gives unlimited travel on that bus company's buses in Bath. This costs around £3.70 per day. There are several bus companies operating, such as WessexConnect and FareSaver, but the most useful for tourists will be buses operated by First.
By tourist bus [ edit ]
Tour buses complete an enjoyable circuit of main attractions; they can be picked up en route or at the main bay at 'Bog Island' (for the Skyline tour) or next to the fountain near Bath Abbey (for the city centre tour). When you see something you like just hop off at the next stop, have a look round, and hop back on the next one that comes along. Attractions en route include the historic Royal Crescent, The Circus - and some tour bus companies include a route up the winding Ralph Allen Drive past the impressive Prior Park Gardens. Tickets cost £11.50 for the 40-minute Skyline tour of the 45-minute City Centre, hop-on, hop-off service.
By taxi [ edit ]
There are taxi ranks outside the train station and the Abbey, and Kingsmead square. Taxi firms are well advertised locally. The drivers know the city well and will entertain you with (often cranky) stories.
See [ edit ]
Landmarks [ edit ].
Come out of the Roman Baths and you will see:
Come out of the main Abbey door, turn right and follow the pavement round the corner past the statue of "The Lady With The Pitcher". Pass some bookshops and a shop selling Bath Aqua Glass and cross the road to the entrance to Parade Gardens. Then follow the road to the left to see:
Cross Pulteney Bridge to see:
Go back in the direction of the Parade Gardens to catch a Hop On Hop Off Tourist bus to take you to:
- Bath's other crescents . Georgian architecture at its best can be seen at Bath's handful of crescent shaped, residential streets, offering superb views over the city. The Royal Crescent is the most famous, but Camden Crescent offers the best views, Cavendish Crescent is the most petite. Lansdown Crescent and Widcombe Crescent are also fine examples.
- 51.38074 -2.35829 7 Sally Lunn's Refreshment House & Museum , 4 North Parade Passage, BA1 1NX , ☏ +44 1225 461634 . City centre shrine to the original Bath Bun — claims to be the oldest house in Bath, and it very nearly is — the simple but enjoyable museum in cellars is free if guests take refreshment. See below under Eat.
- 51.3865 -2.3595 8 Walcot Street . Bath's 'Camden Town' bohemia with "bargain" antiques and weekend markets.
- 51.385283 -2.364781 11 Georgian garden , ☏ +44 01225 394041 . 9AM–5PM daily . Dating back to 1761, this small garden has been through multiple transformations over the years. It has now been restored to a Georgian style (c. 1770–1836), with gravel, a stone path, and simple topiaries, and is open to the public. If you're near the Royal Crescent, the garden is worth a visit to step back into the Georgian era for a few minutes. Free . ( updated Nov 2021 )
- Other attractions include Solsbury Hill, the Kennet and Avon Canal, River Avon, and St. Catherine's Court (unsure if you can visit, but you can stay there for £6500/weekend!).
Parks [ edit ]
Bath's parks are ideal for a summer picnic although local by-laws prevent the drinking of alcohol outdoors. Topless bathing used to be frowned upon but is becoming the norm as the regenerating city becomes more cosmopolitan. The Council maintains all parks to a high standard.
- 51.38141 -2.35656 12 Parade Gardens . In the heart of town overlooking the river, this is where the locals come to laze away the afternoon. Small entrance charge for visitors but free to residents. This park normally has a topical floral display and has a bandstand for music in the summer months.
- Alexandra Park . A free park to the south of the city centre with fantastic views overlooking Bath.
- Prior Park Landscape Garden . Eighteenth-century landscaped garden with lakes and winding wooded paths and the famous Palladian Bridge, one of only three bridges of its kind in the UK.
Museums and galleries [ edit ]
Art and fashion museums [ edit ].
Do [ edit ]
- What's on? Read Bath Chronicle (published Thursday), or Venue Magazine (Wednesday).
Tours [ edit ]
There are many guided tours, walking tours, and audio tours of the city available. Options range for historical tours to ghost tours to pub crawls; you will find leaflets for these in most hotels, bars, and restaurants.
- Mayor of Bath Honorary Guide tour . Every day of the week . A fantastic for a free, pleasant two-hour walk around the famous Georgian city of Bath with the Mayor of Bath's Corps of Honorary Guides. This has been going since the 1930s, and visits many famous historic and architectural places within the city, delivered by enthusiastic Bathonians.
- 51.38279 -2.35704 1 Upper Avon boat tour , Spring Gardens Road . Boat tour to 51.40061 -2.32619 1 Bathampton and back, turning at the 17th-century Bathampton Weir and Mill. The entire tour takes about 1 hour. A single journey is £5, and return trip can be taken any time. Return ticket is £10. ( updated Jul 2019 )
Bath also makes a great base for day trips to the surrounding countryside. There are also tours that go to Stonehenge and places like Avebury, the village of Lacock, Castlecombe, and other surrounding villages throughout the Cotswolds. Go to Tourist Information next to the Abbey for brochures or to book a tour.
Theatre [ edit ]
Football [ edit ], cinema [ edit ].
- The Odeon . is the biggest cinema for the biggest and newest films. It opened in 2006.
- The Little Theatre . shows arthouse and foreign films alongside the newest releases in an intimate environment.
- Tivoli Cinema . cafe bar and cinema.
Concerts [ edit ]
Not many of these. Bath hasn't really got a suitable venue. Bands sometimes play at the Pavilion, or the Rugby Ground but it's a poor show from the city that once held the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music . Some major classical events are held in Victoria Park but they're far from frequent.
Jazz music every Thursday and other live music occasionally at St James' Wine Vaults in the north of town near the Royal Crescent. The Bell Inn on Walcot Street has live music on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday lunchtime, always free and busy.
The city is pretty good for local and up-and-coming bands, though, as well as street musicians.
- Moles . A live music club. ( updated Apr 2016 )
Golf [ edit ]
- Bath Golf Club . Excellent, free draining hilltop course. Not overly long but a good challenge for the mid-handicapper. Always in great condition. Located at Sham Castle, near Bath University.
- Tracey Park Golf Club . Appealing 27-hole parkland course between Bath and Wick (Bristol). The Crown course is superior to the Cromwell course, which has some newish holes. Nice clubhouse.
- Lansdown Golf Club . Narrow fairways are a feature of this hilltop course next to Bath racecourse: can get windy.
- Entry Hill . Municipal, nine-hole learners course. Not bad now that the trees have grown up. Superb views over Bath.
Cricket [ edit ]
Visitors to Bath wanting to enjoy a summer afternoon watching cricket have some lovely grounds that welcome spectators for Saturday and Sunday fixtures:
Walking [ edit ]
- Bath Skyline Walk provides excellent views of the city.
- Follow the canal for 40 minutes to the George Inn at Bathampton for good food in a delightful setting.
- Two Tunnels Greenway is a four mile paved path south to Midford.
Riding [ edit ]
Bath is a small city surrounded by lovely countryside for a horse ride.
- 51.323017 -2.366495 5 Wellow Trekking Centre , Little Horse Croft Farm, Ford Rd, Wellow ( 15-minute drive out of town ), ☏ +44 1225 834376 . This is one of the best experiences you can have as the countryside and horses are wonderful, they have 50 more than horses and can cater for all ages. Prices are extremely reasonable. ( updated Apr 2016 )
Get wet [ edit ]
Bath is the only place in Britain where you can bathe in hot natural waters. You can't leap into the Roman Baths but you can pamper yourself at the Thermae Bath Spa across the road. The "Thermae Bath Spa" is a modern spa in the heart of Bath one block over from the original Roman Baths. It is a four-storey day spa, that uses the "healing waters" to sooth and relax. The waters are filtered but remain warm in the indoor and outdoor roof pool. A great way to spend an afternoon or evening relaxing in the warm waters looking out over the city architecture. They offer everything from massages to a "kraken stove" steam bath but just spending a couple of hours soaking in the indoor pool, steam baths and roof deck outdoor pool is great fun.
Read a detective novel set in Bath [ edit ]
Two authors have written a series of detective novels set in the city: Christopher Lee's started with The Killing of Sally Keemer and Peter Lovesey's first was The Last Detective . You can buy them in 51.38355 -2.36178 1 Waterstone's bookshop at the top of Milsom Street.
Learn [ edit ]
Bath is home to the University of Bath , a very well respected institution that focuses on the sciences, engineering and social sciences. Bath University has world-class sports facilities used by British Olympic athletes. It is located at the top of Bathwick hill, about one mile east of the city centre.
Bath acquired its second university, called Bath Spa University, in 2005. The main campus is in a rural setting at Newton Park to the west of the city.
As with most tourism-heavy cities in the United Kingdom, Bath has a selection of language schools, and colleges for international students. Some of these institutions include International House [dead link] and Bath Academy .
Work [ edit ]
The Ministry of Defence was a major local employer until 2012. The city has a large technology, finance, and property sector. Outside that Bathonians are generally employed in lower paid tourist, retail and dining industries. The universities and hospital are also large employers. Future Publishing, a large magazine and media company, has many offices in Bath.
Buy [ edit ]
The 2010 Southgate Shopping Centre is constructed in a mock Georgian style and features a selection of mid-to-upper range clothing chains plus some pretty good places to eat. It is opposite the railway and bus station but offers little of interest for the tourist as it provides predominantly mainstream retailers available in many high streets in Britain. This was a historic area up until the 1960s when it was demolished due to persistent flooding problems.
Boutique shopping can be found in the North part of the centre, notable for its art and antique showrooms. Head up Milsom Street to George Street and beyond. Bath claims to have one of the highest percentages of independent shops in any British high-street.
Walcot Street to the north-east of the centre has been designated the "artisan quarter" by the Council and has a number of independent stores.
- 51.383561 -2.362248 2 Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights , 14-15 John St , ☏ +44 01225 331155 , [email protected] . M–Sa 9:30AM–5:30PM, Su 11AM–5PM . Slightly quirky indie bookshop with a particularly interesting selection. Don't forget to go upstairs to see the sections on the first floor. ( updated Oct 2021 )
Eat [ edit ]
For its size, Bath has an excellent choice of eateries for any budget and taste. Mainstream restaurant chains are present as well as many independents. Within the city centre there are Italian, French, Thai, Nepali, Indian, Spanish, Turkish, Japanese and fusion restaurants. There are also specialist fish, steak, and gourmet restaurants. Most pubs sell food at lunchtime and in the evening.
Budget [ edit ]
Head to Kingsmead Square for burgers, kebabs, etc..
- 51.380729 -2.358241 1 Sally Lunn's Refreshment House & Museum , 4 North Parade Passage , ☏ +44 1225 461634 . Taste the original Sally Lunn Bun made without sugar, not to be confused with the more famous Bath Bun, a small round bun containing sugar and currants. Good lunch time fare - and very popular so you may have to queue at peak times. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.38146 -2.36302 2 Boston Tea Party , 19 Kingsmead Square, BA1 2AE , ☏ +44 1225 313901 . Bustling little cafe with great sandwiches and what is possibly the best coffee in Bath. It can be difficult to get somewhere to sit. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.381618 -2.362295 3 Schwartz Bros , 4 Saw Cl . Excellent veggie burgers. Highly recommended. Take away only- eat on the benches in Kingsmead Square. They also have an outlet in Walcot Street. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.38149 -2.36341 4 Seafoods , 38 Kingsmead St, BA1 2AA . M-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su noon-8PM . Has been serving traditional fish and chips for over 50 years. Eat in or take-away- seats 60. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.38367 -2.369959 5 Mr. D's , 8, St George's place . A small McDonald's-like burger stand, whose burgers and shakes are quite like how they used to taste in the 1960s. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.38138 -2.36026 6 La Baguette , 3 Stall St, BA1 1QL ( This tiny shop can often be identified by the queue trailing out of the door. ). A popular sandwich shop on Stall Street, a minute walk from the Abbey. Sandwiches are handmade using crunchy baguettes usually for cheaper than a convenience store sandwich. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.382708 -2.360194 7 The Whole Bagel , Upper Borough Walls ( just off the High Street ). An excellent place to get a quick lunchtime snack. They have a large variety of bagels which are 'freshly baked everyday' filled with fresh local ingredients. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.381239 -2.363622 8 Mission Burrito , 4 New St . 10AM-10PM . Based on a Californian franchise, it offers much more flavour than the usual foreign attempts at Mexican. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.384275 -2.360042 9 Taka Taka , 34 Broad St, BA1 5LP , ☏ +44 1225 470088 . Daily 11AM-3AM . Greek fast food serving great souvlaki with chips and mixed vegetables, along with a variety of other Greek specialties in large portions. No indoor seating available. £4.50 (July 2019) . ( updated Feb 2023 )
Mid-range [ edit ]
- 51.38236 -2.36204 10 Raphael , Upper Borough Walls, Kingsmead, BA1 1RN , ☏ +44 1225 480042 . Open M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10:30PM . Reinvented as a classy nouveau French restaurant. Situated near Theatre Royal. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.380229 -2.357226 11 Yak Yeti Yak , 12 Pierrepont St , ☏ +44 1225 442299 . Open for lunch noon-2PM Sa Su, dinner Tu-Su 5PM–10PM . A unique family-run Nepalese restaurant in an ornately decked out basement. Reasonably priced and delicious. In keeping with the atmosphere the service can be rather laid back (or some have said, inconsistent). They offer an extensive vegetarian/vegan selection. Book in advance for a Friday or Saturday dinner. £20-30 . ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.38191 -2.358142 12 Browns , Orange Grove ( over the road from Bath Abbey ), ☏ +44 1225 461199 . One of a reliable chain of middle-market restaurants with branches in many of the most attractive towns in southern England including Bristol , Cambridge , Oxford , and Windsor . £20-35 . ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.380199 -2.356331 13 The Elder , 2-8 S Parade . W-Su 12:30-2:30PM, 6-9PM . Opened in 2021, is British cooking especially game. ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.380588 -2.357028 14 The Green Rocket , 1 Pierrepont St , ☏ +44 01225 420084 . M Tu 9AM–4:30PM, W–Sa 9AM–4:30PM and 6–9:30PM, Su 10AM–4:30PM . Large vegan cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. £14-25 . ( updated Feb 2023 )
International [ edit ]
Bath is well served in this department.
- 51.383276 -2.361618 15 The Eastern Eye , 8A Quiet St , ☏ +44 1225 422323 . 8A Quiet Street, City centre restaurant set in a huge Georgian room. Excellent food and service. Highly recommended. Book ahead unless you're going very early evening. Service charge (tip) is included in the bill. £20-30 . ( updated Feb 2023 )
- 51.386265 -2.359476 16 Thai Basil Restaurant , 90a Walcot St , ☏ +44 1225 462463 . Authentic Thai food in pleasant surroundings and at a reasonable price. ( updated Feb 2023 )
Splurge [ edit ]
- 51.38924 -2.35872 17 Hudson Bar & Grill , 14 London St, BA1 5BU , ☏ +44 1225 332323 . Great steak and seafood in stylish surroundings. ( updated Feb 2023 )
Sweet [ edit ]
Local specialities are:
- Bath Buns are buttery buns with large bits of sugar and raisins on top and can be bought at any bakers.
- Sally Lunn's Buns are bigger, with no sugar and raisins, and can be enjoyed at Sally Lunn's Refreshment House with sweet or savoury fillings
- Bath Oliver Biscuits are available worldwide from supermarkets and delis.
- 51.38141 2.36 19 Fudge Kitchen , 110 Abbey Churchyard, BA1 1LY , ☏ +44 1225 462277 . Some of the best fudge you'll eat, and a discount for school children. Watch the different fudge flavours being made and then try a piece before you buy. You certainly won't regret going in there. The shop also caters for special occasions like weddings and offers a range of gifts. ( updated Nov 2020 )
- 51.38204 -2.36009 20 Ben's Cookies , 21 Union Passage, BA1 1RD , ☏ +44 1225 460 983 . Popular with young locals, not exactly cheap but definitely worth it for a wide selection of melt-in-the-mouth cookies. ( updated Nov 2020 )
Drink [ edit ]
Bath, has a huge array of pubs and bars to choose from, ranging from the very traditional pubs serving real ale to the typical trendy bars:
The most notable pubs :
- 51.38343 -2.36212 1 The Salamander , 3 John St, BA1 2JL , ☏ +44 1225 428 889 . A tithe house of Bath Ales.
- 51.38302 -2.36194 2 The Raven , 7 Queen St, BA1 1HE ( a short crawl from The Salamander ), ☏ +44 1225 425 045 . Friendly pub with a good selection of real ales. Famous for its hearty pies 'n' mash and for having a good selection of less traditional board games (ask at the upstairs bar).
- 51.38339 -2.36026 3 The Old Green Tree , 12 Green St, BA1 2JZ , ☏ +44 1225 448 259 . Very small, characterful old pub. Squeeze through the door, elbow your way to the bar and order some real ale or cider.
- 51.38758 -2.35957 4 The Bell , 103 Walcot St, BA1 5BW , ☏ +44 1225 460 426 . The heartbeat of Bath's bohemian quarter. With a superb array of real ale, regular live music and a great atmosphere. A large pub garden at the rear.
- 51.38695 -2.36019 5 The Star Inn , 23 Vineyards, BA1 5NA ( on the Paragon ), ☏ +44 1225 425 072 . noon-9:30 . A tithe house for Abbey Ales. The same now as it was 100 years ago. The small rooms, wooden benches, and old coin games offer a genuine atmosphere. This very much a locals pub, but a very friendly one... just try not to let yourself get hustled at the games!
- 51.38389 -2.3574 6 The Rising Sun Inn , 3-4, Grove St, Bathwick, BA2 6PJ , ☏ +44 1225 425 918 . Just across the river from the centre, this pub's only stand-out feature is the traditional skittles alley at the back of the pub.
Other notable pubs are:
- 51.3843 -2.36005 7 Pig and Fiddle , 2 Saracen St, BA1 5BR ( off Broad Street ), ☏ +44 1225 330 190 . A large popular pub, with a less traditional approach and clientèle (mainly students) than those listed above. Space to enjoy your pint outdoors, which is well heated on cold nights.
- Gascoyne Place , 1 Saw Close . Serves food and has a wide selection of quality European and UK Beers. Has live Jazz on Sunday Evenings.
- 51.38383 -2.35976 9 Saracen's Head , 42 Broad St, BA1 5LP , ☏ +44 1225 426 518 . Bath's oldest pub can be found in Broad Street. Legend/misconception has it that Charles Dickens stayed here. A large commercial pub, with little atmosphere compared with Baths other pubs.
- 51.38326 -2.35683 10 The Boater , 9 Argyle St, Bathwick, BA2 4BQ , ☏ +44 1225 464 211 . A large beer garden by the river, which is popular with university students as soon as the sun comes out. Nice in the summer evenings.
- 51.37662 -2.35448 11 The Ram , 20 Claverton St, BA2 4LD , ☏ +44 1225 426 456 . Offers a handful of local ales and ciders. Just to the south of the centre of Bath on Widcombe highstreet, a short walk from the train station.
Notable bars are:
- 51.38065 -2.35695 12 Lambrettas ( Parade Park ), 8-10 North Parade, BA2 4AL , ☏ +44 1225 463 384 . Scooter-themed pub along North Parade (near train station and Parade Gardens).
- RSVP , George St ( opposite Revolution ). Overpriced Bar with huge, intimidating steroid junkie bouncers. Popular with large parties before they head off to a local nightclub.
- 51.38483 -2.3614 13 Revolution , The Old Post Office, 1 George St . Two-floor vodka bar with live DJ sets on weekends; very busy, magnet for fashion victims and dolly birds.
- Grappa Bar . A bit of class on the road towards Lansdown. Intimate, metro-style bar - quite romantic.
- 51.38084 -2.36363 14 The Trinity , James St W, BA1 2DA , ☏ +44 1225 469 456 . Friendly, 'real' pub situated in the city centre. Welcoming and inexpensive.
Country pubs near Bath [ edit ]
There are many great pubs in the countryside around Bath. The following have been selected based on a real sense of history and/or a great place to sit outside in the summer months:
- 51.30145 -2.32542 18 The George , High St, Norton St Philip, BA2 7LH , ☏ +44 1373 834 224 . With 700 years of hospitality, the George is positively oozing with history, with flagstone floors and antique furniture you'll be transported back in time. If you go in winter you'll be glad of the open fire to keep you warm.
- 51.382 -2.394 20 Locksbrook Inn , 103 Locksbrook Rd, Bath BA1 3EN , ☏ +44 1225 427119 . Daily 8:30AM-11PM . Charming old pub by the river locks, gets great reviews for its Sunday lunch. Dog-friendly. ( updated Nov 2021 )
Nightclubs [ edit ]
Considering the size of this small city there are a reasonable number of nightclubs to be found, in no small part helped by the city's substantial student population. Most club nights cater to mainstream tastes, while serious clubbers tend to travel further afield to the larger cities of Bristol and London. Posters and fliers advertising more specialist nights can be found in locations such as the walls inside the town's independent fast food outlets. A unique aspect (for better or for worse) of Bath's nightclubs is that many of them are located in the cellars of old Georgian buildings and can weave through the ground like mazes.
- 51.37895 -2.35722 21 The Second Bridge , 10 Manvers St, BA1 1JQ ( Bottom of town near the police station ), ☏ +44 1225 464 449 . One of the city's most popular destinations after pre-drinking around town. Popular with students.
- 51.38067 -2.35565 22 OPA , 14 North Parade ( near Parade Gardens next to Crossover Bridge ), ☏ +44 1225 317 900 . A classy bar perfect for chilled drinks, it does have a small dance floor. Opa has Bath's only Spanish Night on a Wednesday and a Gay night on Thursdays.
- Po Na Na , 8/9 North Parade, BA2 4AL , ☏ +44 2034 751 603 . Wednesday night hosts Discord, the city's most famous rock night. Thursday is also very popular. Very young crowd.
- Club XL . To the north of the town centre on Walcot Street. Popular with students.
- The Weir Lounge ( Below Pultney Bridge, by the Weir. ).
- 51.384878 -2.36315 23 Moles , 14 George St, BA1 2EN , ☏ +44 1225 437 537 . Famous club on George St, hosting gigs and club nights. Friendly crowd and reasonably priced drinks. Locals generally head for a drink in The Porter (next door) before heading to Moles later in the evening. Tuesday's 'The Big Cheese' (known as 'cheesy Tuesdays') is Bath's longest running club night.
Water [ edit ]
You can drink the hot Bath mineral water in the Roman Baths, towards the end of the exhibition, and it is included in the cost of admission. Otherwise, one can purchase a sip of the mineral water from the Pump Rooms in the Abbey Churchyard, served from a fountain in the restaurant area for about 50p. Both water sources are filtered. The experience is unforgettable: it has a unique taste due to the minerals that the Romans believed had health benefits for the drinker.
Sleep [ edit ]
Accommodation in and around Bath ranges from budget hostels and smart, comfortable self-catering homes, through elegant bed and breakfast and guest houses, hospitable farms and inns, to top-of-the-range hotels.
- Bath Backpackers , 13 Pierrepont St, BA1 1LA , ☏ +44 1225 446787 , [email protected] . Multi-bed dorm rooms available. £12-16/dorm bed .
- St Christopher’s Bath Hostel ( Bath Hostel ), 9 Green Street, BA1 2JY , ☏ +44 1225 481444 , fax : +44 20 7247 7114 , [email protected] . Check-in: 2PM , check-out: 11AM . A well known youth hostel located in the centre of the city. Part of the St Christopher's hostel chain. £9.50 with breakfast included .
- 51.384962 -2.360166 1 Bath YMCA , International House, Broad St Pl , ☏ +44 1225 325900 . Check-in: 2PM , check-out: 10AM . Ordinary, well-maintained hostel. WiFI is iffy and doesn't reach the rooms. Breakfast is available for an extra charge. If travelling by yourself, try to book the "leader's room" (intended for the chaperone when a school group stays at the hostel); it gives you the privacy of a private room at roughly the price of a dorm bed. £29/single, £45-47/twin, £49-65/double, £16-25/dorm bed . ( updated Oct 2021 )
- YHA Bath , Bathwick Hill, BA2 6JZ , ☏ +44 870 770 5688 . Decent youth hostel accommodation from £12.95 a night in an Italianate mansion on the outskirts of the city. Frequent bus service serves between the Youth Hostel and city centre.
- Travelodges . There are 2 in Bath- One relatively near the station ( Bath Waterside ) and one on George Street ( Bath Central ). Both give excellent rates (between £19-59) if you book far enough in advance. Walk-in rates tend to be extremely high (~£80) due to being in Bath! Waterside tends to be cheaper than Central. Beware if booking Bath Central- there is a nightclub beneath the hotel. Ask for a room on the top floor if you want a good night's sleep!
- Express by Holiday Inn , Lower Bristol Rd , ☏ +44 1225 303000 . About 1 mile from city center. From £59 for a double room with basic breakfast.
- University of Bath , Claverton Down , ☏ +44 1225 386622 . The university has 30 double rooms available year round (prices from £60 per night) and fromn June to September has 2,300 rooms available to suit all budgets.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Bath ( formerly Hilton Bath City ), Walcot St ( city centre ), ☏ +44 1225 463411 , fax : +44 1225 464393 , [email protected] . Check-in: 4PM , check-out: 11AM . The rooms are small, but with comfortable beds, work station, 32-inch HDTV and WiFi. ( updated Sep 2020 )
- 51.380645 -2.357726 2 The Abbey Hotel , North Parade , ☏ +44 1225 807161 , fax : +44 1225 447758 , [email protected] . Comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, well-equipped rooms, great breakfasts, reasonable rates.
- Three Abbey Green , 3 Abbey Green BA1 1NW , ☏ +44 1225 428558 . Closed for refurbishment until 2021. Stylish B&B with 10 rooms in knock-through of two Georgian town houses. No dogs. ( updated Aug 2020 )
- Harington's Hotel , 8 Queen St BA1 1HE , ☏ +44 1225 461728 . Hotel with original Georgian character - that means no lift to the upper floors. Assistance dogs only. B&B double £80 . ( updated Aug 2020 )
- Pratt's Hotel , South Parade, BA2 4AB , ☏ +44 1225 460441 . Check-in: 2PM , check-out: 11AM . From £45 .
- Royal Hotel Bath , Manvers St , ☏ +44 844 544 9246 . Located in the heart of the city, the hotel was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was opened over 150 years ago.
- Bailbrook Lodge , 35-37 London Road West , ☏ +44 844 544 4997 . Bailbrook Lodge is a splendid Georgian Mansion designed by the famous architect John Everleigh
- Purbeck Holiday Lets ( Bath Self Catering ), Purbeck House, Bridge Place Road, Camerton, Bath, BA2 0PD , ☏ +44 1761 471358 , [email protected] . Purbeck Holiday lets is the perfect location and setting if you are visit the beautiful Roman city of Bath, whether on family holiday, romantic break for two or enjoying the company of friend and colleagues.
- Tasburgh House , Warminster Rd, BA2 6SH , ☏ +44 1225 425096 , [email protected] . Check-in: 2PM , check-out: 11AM . A stunning boutique hotel where luxury is affordable (and the views are free). As seen on The Hotel Inspector (Channel Five, 2006), Sue Keeling daughter Toni provide a relaxing and enjoyable stay. 130 .
- 51.375 -2.37 3 Gray's , 9 Upper Oldfield Park BA2 3JX , ☏ +44 1225 403020 . Opulent B&B in a Victorian villa. No children under 12 or dogs. B&B double £120 . ( updated Aug 2020 )
- 51.387 -2.363 4 The Queensberry , 4 Russell Street BA1 2QF , ☏ +44 1225 447928 . Georgian townhouses with modern decor. Their Olive Tree restaurant gets great reviews but is only F-Su. Assistance dogs only. B&B double from £130 . ( updated Jul 2020 )
- 51.384 -2.355 5 No 15 Great Pulteney , 15 Great Pulteney St BA2 4BR , ☏ +44 1225 807015 . Quirky hotel and spa in a Georgian terrace, full of antiques and curios. Stylish and comfy. B&B double from £120 . ( updated Jul 2020 )
- 51.388 -2.396 6 Apsley House , 141 Newbridge Hill BA1 3PT , ☏ +44 1225 336966 . Comfortable stylish Georgian manor, 30 min walk to town, buses pass the door. Assistance dogs only. B&B double from £100 . ( updated Jul 2020 )
- 51.387444 -2.368069 7 The Royal Crescent Hotel , 16 Royal Crescent BA1 2LS , ☏ +44 1225 823333 . Grand but not intimidating, this top-rank elegant hotel and spa forms the keystone of Royal Crescent, all Grade I listed. Pricey, but it earns great reviews for comfort, service, facilities and cuisine. B&B double £330 . ( updated Jul 2020 )
- 51.385868 -2.344539 8 Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel , Sydney Rd , ☏ +44 870 400 8222 , fax : +44 1225 444006 , [email protected] . One of Bath's flagship hotels - 5-star luxury with fine decor and amenities. Bath Spa Hotel is the celebrity's favorite: Joan Collins and Felicity Kendall have been spotted there. A nice grotto is a feature of the large front lawn. Adjacent to the attractive Sydney Gardens - a great starting point for the mile-long canal walk to Bathampton village. ( updated Mar 2016 )
- 51.386 -2.357 9 Roseate Villa , Henrietta Rd BA2 6LX , ☏ +44 1225 466329 . Comfy B&B in Victorian villa by Henrietta Park. B&B double £150 . ( updated Aug 2020 )
- 51.355 -2.507 10 Pig near Bath , Hunstrete House, Pensford BS39 4NS ( off A368 ), ☏ +44 1761 490490 . Exceptional country hotel in Georgian country manor, gets rave reviews for comfort, service, decor and dining. Assistance dogs only. B&B double from £170 . ( updated Jun 2020 )
Stay safe [ edit ]
Overall Bath is a very safe city to visit; the large number of tourists and university students generates a friendly and vigorous feel to the city. Bath city centre is lively and bustling until late on Friday and Saturday evenings, although things get rougher around kicking out time late at night. Women would be well advised to avoid wandering around alone at night. The common problem for tourists is the occasional groups of homeless beggars around the parks and abbey - you may see them drinking lager and shouting abuse, which can surprise many first-time visitors. However, they're not pushy when asking for money, and argue amongst themselves rather than getting passers-by involved. Accept it as a byproduct of a city that attracts tourism (and therefore money), and it's no problem.
The river between Pultney Bridge and the weir looks good for a spot of swimming when you're young and fit. It is actually very dangerous, and every year people die doing it. Warleigh weir is good if you're looking for a swim - about 3 miles along the canal.
If you're a keen cyclist, there's a wonderful Bath-to-Bristol cycle path at your disposal. However, please be aware that there have been robberies and attacks on this stretch of cycle path in 2008. Police have made arrests, but it's something you should consider if planning to make the journey.
Connect [ edit ]
As of April 2022, Bath has 5G from EE and Three, and 4G from O2 and Vodafone. Wifi is widely available in public places.
Bath Library (in the Podium Shopping Centre) offers Internet access at £3.60 an hour for non members.
Go next [ edit ]
- Bradford on Avon — a beautiful, picture-postcard small town near Bath; it's accessible by rail and there's a lovely 30-minute walk along the canal to Avoncliff where the Cross Guns pub provides good food in an excellent riverside setting - and you can catch the train back to Bath from there. Trains between Bath Spa and Bradford on Avon take 15-20 minutes and run 2-3 times an hour.
- Bristol — with its many attractions situated around the floating harbour and Avon Gorge, is 12 miles drive or 15 minutes train journey away, and makes an excellent day trip from Bath.
- Swindon — known for its history as the heart of the Great Western Railway, 20 minutes on the train, or an hour by car on A46 and M4 motorway.
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Just twelve miles from Bristol, Bath has a very different feel from its neighbour – more harmonious, compact, leisurely and complacent. The city’s elegant crescents and Georgian buildings are studded with plaques naming Bath’s eminent inhabitants from its heyday as a spa resort. It was here that Jane Austen set Persuasion and Northanger Abbey , and where Gainsborough established himself as a portraitist and landscape painter.
The Roman Baths
The royal crescent and around, bath’s festivals.
Bath owes its name and fame to its hot springs – the only ones in the country – which made it a place of reverence for the local Celtic population, though it took Roman technology to turn it into a fully fledged bathing establishment. The baths fell into decline with the departure of the Romans, but the town later regained its importance under the Saxons, its abbey seeing the coronation of the first king of all England, Edgar, in 973. A new bathing complex was built in the sixteenth century, popularized by the visit of Elizabeth I in 1574, and the city reached its fashionable zenith in the eighteenth century, when Beau Nash ruled the town’s social scene. It was at this time that Bath acquired its ranks of Palladian mansions and Regency townhouses , all of them built in the local Bath stone.
Although Bath could easily be seen on a day-trip from Bristol , it really deserves a stay of a couple of days. There’s a rich concentration of museums to take in, but some of the greatest enjoyment comes simply from wandering the streets, with their pale gold architecture and sweeping vistas.
Bath is also part of the Great West Way route – find out more about outdoor activities and tips for your stay .
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There are hours’ worth of entertainment in Bath’s premier attraction, the Roman Baths , with commentary provided by hourly guided tours and audioguides (both free). Highlights include the Sacred Spring, part of the temple of the local deity Sulis Minerva, where water still bubbles up at a constant 46.5°C; the open-air (but originally covered) Great Bath, its vaporous waters surrounded by nineteenth-century pillars, terraces and statues of famous Romans; the Circular Bath, where bathers cooled off, and the Norman King’s Bath.
Among a quantity of coins, jewellery and sculpture exhibited are the gilt bronze head of Sulis Minerva and a grand, Celtic-inspired gorgon’s head from the temple’s pediment. Models of the complex at its greatest extent give some idea of the awe which it must have inspired, while the graffiti salvaged from the Roman era – mainly curses and boasts – offer a personal slant on this antique leisure centre.
You can get a free glimpse into the baths from the next door Pump Room , the social hub of the Georgian spa community and still redolent of that era, which houses a formal tearoom and restaurant.
At the top of Gay Street, the elder John Wood’s masterpiece, the Circus , consists of three crescents arranged in a tight circle of three-storey houses, with a carved frieze running round the entire circle. Wood died soon after laying the foundation stone for this enterprise, and the job was finished by his son, John Wood the Younger (1727–81), who was as instrumental as his father in defining Bath’s elegant Georgian appearance. The painter Thomas Gainsborough lived at no. 17 from 1760 to 1774.
The Circus is connected by Brock Street to the Royal Crescent , grandest of Bath’s crescents, begun by the younger John Wood in 1767. The stately arc of thirty houses is set off by a spacious sloping lawn from which a magnificent vista extends to green hills and distant ribbons of honey-coloured stone. The interior of No. 1 Royal Crescent , on the corner with Brock Street, has been restored to reflect as nearly as possible its original Georgian appearance.
At the bottom of the Crescent, Royal Avenue leads onto Royal Victoria Park , the city’s largest open space, containing an aviary and botanical gardens.
Richard “Beau” Nash was an ex-army officer, ex-lawyer, dandy and gambler, who became Bath’s Master of Ceremonies in 1704 , conducting public balls of an unprecedented splendour. Wielding dictatorial powers over dress and behaviour, Nash orchestrated the social manners of the city and even extended his influence to cover road improvements and the design of buildings.
In an early example of health awareness, he banned smoking in Bath’s public rooms at a time when pipe-smoking was generally enjoyed among men, women and children. Less philanthropically, he also encouraged gambling and even took a percentage of the bank’s takings. According to his rules, balls were always to begin at 6pm and end at 11pm and each one had to open with a minuet “danced by two persons of the highest distinction present”. White aprons were banned, gossipers and scandalmongers were shunned, and, most radical of all, the wearing of swords in public places was forbidden.
There’s a great range of festivals throughout the year, notably the Bath International Music Festival , held between mid-May and June and featuring jazz, classical and world music; the Bath Fringe Festival , with the accent on art and performance; and Bath Literature Festival .
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Get Lost In The USA
Complete Guide to Historic Bath, NC
Posted: November 13, 2023 | Last updated: November 13, 2023
Bath, North Carolina is a town steeped in history. As the oldest town in NC , Bath carries with it a legacy of early American settlement and maritime lore. Here, amidst the tranquil waters of the Inner Banks, Blackbeard, the infamous pirate, found his final home. So, join me as we explore the top things to do in Bath, NC .
Hit the Highlights
I’ve got lots of detail on the best things to do in Bath NC below, but if you’re short on time and can only see a few things, here are the must-see attractions :
- Take a guided tour of the Palmer-Marsh House , the oldest standing home in Bath.
- Take a guided tour of the Bonner House .
- Peek in St. Thomas Episcopal Church , the oldest standing church in North Carolina.
Keep reading for specific details on these highlights and lots more info on Bath NC (Blackbeard and beyond.)
Where is Bath NC?
Nestled along the picturesque shores of the Pamlico River in the eastern part of the state (where I live!), Bath, North Carolina, resides in Beaufort County, approximately 20 minutes from Washington NC , and about 45 minutes from Greenville NC ..
More Fun in the Region:
- Washington NC – Hidden Gem of the Inner Banks
- Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum
- Turnage Theatre – Why You Need to Visit This Historic Theatre in Washington NC
- PirateFest Greenville NC – A Swashbuckler’s Paradise
What’s the Bath NC Blackbeard Connection?
Blackbeard (Edward Teach) lived in Bath near the end of his life when Governor Eden offered him a pardon for his piracy. Local legend suggests he might have resided on the peninsula, yet all homes from that era have disappeared, leaving the truth unknown. Regrettably, he reverted to piracy, meeting his demise just a few months later in Ocracoke.
Fascinated with Blackbeard? One of the best information sources on Blackbeard is the book General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates , so if you love pirate lore, pick up a copy of the book!
Things to Do in Bath NC
Bath, NC, founded in 1705, is a tiny little town with just over 250 residents. The town’s historical significance, including ties to Blackbeard, the Pirate, can be explored by touring its well-preserved homes and structures.
This guide is designed to give you an overview of the historic sites in Bath , allowing you to decide how you’d like to immerse yourself in its rich history, be it through guided or self-guided exploration . (I did a little of both!)
Map of Bath NC Historic District
As you can see on the map, historic Bath, North Carolina is a very small, walkable area—just over 1 square mile—encompassing the original town limits. You can easily see everything in a half day , making it a great day trip!
Parking is available next to the Van Der Veer House and across from the historic Bath School (where the NEW visitor center is.)
Start at the Visitor and Exhibit Center (Tickets for Guided Tours Are Here)
Historic Bath School
Corner of King and Carteret Streets
Hours: Tues-Sat 9-5, except holidays
Inside the visitor center, guests may watch a short 2-minute introductory film, visit the exhibits, pick up a map and walking tour brochure , and sign up for guided tours of the Palmer-Marsh House and the Bonner House. ($2 per person, per house + tax.)
Note: A guided tour is the only way to see inside the Palmer-Marsh House and the Bonner House . I highly recommend it. Tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday at 10:30 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. If you want to tour both houses—yes, you do!—you’ll walk to the Palmer-Marsh House and then ride in a golf cart to and from the Bonner House.
Be sure to allow enough time before or after your tour to explore the exhibit center where you’ll uncover Bath’s history. Its past is woven with tales of political corruption, yellow fever epidemics, piracy (Blackbeard!), and wars with Native Americans.
The visitor center used to play a looping 15-minute overview film. It’s still available to view on YouTube if you’d like more of Bath’s history. Fair warning: it’s very dated and… well, I’ll leave it at that.
South Main Street
(Guided tours are available through the visitor center.)
Although named the Palmer-Marsh House, Captain Michael Coutanch, whose grave rests in the cemetery behind the home, was its actual builder. The tour commences in the cemetery, where our guide unravels the stories of Captain Coutanch, Robert Palmer, and Jonathan Marsh, the most notable homeowners. Subsequently, we are led to the house itself, meticulously arranged to reflect the time period of Robert Palmer.
The most interesting architectural feature of the Palmer-Marsh House is the massive double chimney . The two windows lead to small external closets, and the house is painted in its original Spanish brown color.
Captain Coutanch constructed the home north-south to capture the breezes and maintain a cool interior and utilized the main central hallway for business and political meetings.
Captain Coutanch likely built the large room facing Main Street as a storefront, although it’s currently set up as a parlor. He brought in goods on his schooner and sold them here. The unusually large fireplace, more common in taverns and public houses, is another indicator of this.
After viewing the first floor, we went upstairs to see the bed chambers and the home’s private spaces. The Palmers had three children but also entertained high-ranking officials including William Tryon.
Finally, our tour took us down into the cellar kitchen. There’s very little light in the cellar, so the walls were whitewashed to help reflect whatever artificial light they used. The lime in the whitewash also helped prevent bugs from getting in.
The Bonner House
Following our tour of the Palmer-Marsh House, we hopped on a golf cart for a ride to the Bonner House. Our tour guide shared information about other historic locations along the way including the waterfront area of Bonner Point.
Early settlers chose Bath as the first port city in North Carolina because of its access to water for trade. However, due to its limitations as a shallow port, Bath remained small and did not experience the growth seen by other major port cities at the time.
John Lawson was among the first Europeans to travel extensively through North and South Carolina. He founded two settlements in North Carolina, New Bern and Bath; he built his home in Bath.
At the onset of the Tuscarora War, John Lawson met his demise, leaving the house to his wife. Subsequently, she passed it on to their daughter, Isabella. When Isabella leaves town, the house changes hands several times, eventually falling into ruins. The Bonners purchased the lot in the 1830s and built the current home.
On our way inside, the tour guide pointed out the chimney foundation from the original Lawson house. That’s all that remains!
The Bonner House strategically aligns north-south, capitalizing on coastal breezes for ventilation. The tour predominantly showcases its period furnishings and artifacts, highlighting some particularly intriguing items.
When you enter the house, turn around and look at the window panes by the front door. The Bonner family etched their names into the glass. (I tried to take photos, but capturing the engravings proved to be impossible.)
An interesting cane backrest in the parlor was designed to “air condition” seated guests by allowing airflow through the sides. I’ve never seen anything like that before! OUr guide also pointed out the portable writing desk which he jokingly referred to as an 1800s laptop.
In the dining room, the artwork was especially interesting. The piece over the fireplace is part painting and part embroidery. Be sure to look at it up close! Also, check out the Tree of Virtue and Tree of Vices paintings on the wall. Guess which one has more fruit!
We also toured the upstairs bed chambers. There were several interesting features in the main bedroom.
- Woodgrain painting on the door and dresser mimics the appearance of exotic wood, with the dresser also featuring intricate stamping.
- Pickle painting – Notice the peeling paint along the chair rail, door, and window frames. That was intentional! It was a fad in the 1800s.
- Baseboard – Compare the difference in the striped marbling from one side of the room to the other. Either they got better as they moved around the room or got lazier. Just a fun thing to notice!
Finally, we went out to the reproduction kitchen . It’s set up to illustrate how both enslaved quarters and a working-class home would have looked like at the time.
St. Thomas Church
Usually open during the day to visitors.
Built in 1734, St. Thomas Episcopal Church is the oldest church in North Carolina and is still active. The “St. Thomas parish in Pamplico”, pre-dating Bath Town’s incorporation, possessed a valuable library of 1,050 books acquired by Dr. Thomas Bray. The books were a source for worship services and the only connection to the established church for years. When Reverend John Garzia agreed to become the rector, he initiated the construction of the brick church.
One-Mile Historic Walking Tour of Bath
Pick up a Historic Bath Walking Tour map at the visitor center and enjoy a leisurely one-mile stroll past 24 historically significant locations. The brochure provides brief info about each of the tour stops. You’ll also see several historical markers along the way that aren’t on the printed map, so keep your eyes open!
We walked the entire route, but you could certainly drive it if you wanted. I took pictures of everything on the tour, but I’ll include just a handful of them below as an idea of what you can see.
James Adams Floating Theatre
In the early 1900s, the James Adams Floating Theatre, founded by James Adams and his wife Gertrude, cruised the Chesapeake Bay, bringing live performances to towns from Maryland to North Carolina. Edna Ferber even hopped on board in Bath, NC, to write her 1926 novel that inspired the Broadway hit Show Boat .
Traveling from venue to venue, the showboat provided entertainment for isolated communities, staying six nights in one spot before moving on. Despite a decline in the 1930s, the theater persisted until 1941 when it tragically burned while being towed to Savannah, Georgia for repairs.
Williams (Glebe) House
Built for Joseph Bonner’s business partner, Samuel Lucas, the home now serves as the glebe/rectory for St. Thomas Church.
The Carrow House is a good example of the modest one-story residences that once peppered the town of Bath. It was very common for local fishermen and their families in the late 19th century.
Van Der Veer House
South Harding Street
Open for self-guided tours Tues-Sat 9 am-4:30 pm.
This home is a museum for the Bath State Historic Site and features exhibits about Historic Bath.
Bath AME Zion Church Site and Cemetery
This site was where the Bath African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church once stood. The AME Zion denomination, officially established in New York City in 1801, traces its roots back to the 1790s when African-American Christians, facing discrimination, found it necessary to establish their own churches. The cast iron bell is the only remaining artifact from the church. A memorial marker in the adjacent cemetery lists the parishioners buried there.
This charming pathway, named for John Lawson, shaded by a canopy of trees, marks the northern edge of the Bath Historic District. Along this route, you’ll encounter informative panels and recreational stations. Lawson’s Walk is perfect for a relaxing stroll or bike ride.
Where to Stay in Historic Bath, North Carolina
For the ultimate Bath experience, stay in the midst of the historic district at The Inn on Bath Creek . Choose one of four ensuite rooms and enjoy a full home-cooked breakfast each morning. Check Rates and Dates .
More Eastern NC Travel Ideas
- Unforgettable Things to Do in Beaufort NC (and Along the Crystal Coast)
- 19 Fun Things to Do in Goldsboro NC (and Wayne County)
- Taking a Shrimping Excursion with Reel Livin’ Fishing Charters in Onslow County NC
- Shopping in Edenton NC – What Makes it a Must-Shop Destination
- Things to Do in Jacksonville NC Near Camp Lejeune
The post Complete Guide to Historic Bath, NC appeared first on Get Lost In The USA .
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Bath travel guide
Bath tourism | bath guide, you're going to love bath.
With a population of 8 514, Bath is a must-see destination in Maine, United States. It is among the most popular tourist destinations in the country. We recommend you stay at least 2 days in order to fully appreciate everything Bath has to offer.
Where to Eat in Bath
If you’re looking for affordable options, Admiral Steakhouse (798 Washington Street) and Salt Pine Social (244 Front St) are great picks.
When to visit Bath
How to get to bath.
Although Bath doesn’t have its own airport, you can fly to Augusta (AUG), which is located 46 km from Bath. The shortest domestic flight to Bath departs from Orlando and takes around 3h 01m.
Amtrak is the most popular train carrier serving Bath, followed by Train. The train journey from Bath to Boston takes 2h 30m and costs around $24 for a one-way ticket. When coming by train from New York, expect to pay about $143 for a 7h 47m trip.
Another option to get to Bath is to pick up a car rental from Boston, which is about 199 km from Bath. You’ll find branches of Advantage and Kyte, among others, in Boston.
Several bus lines operate bus routes to Bath, including Concord Coach Lines, Empire Coach Line and Greyhound. From Boston, the bus ride to Bath takes 185 km and will cost you around $32. From Bangor, the ticket costs about $32 for a journey of 233 km. Bath’s bus station is located 1.0 km from the city center.
Airports near Bath
Airlines serving bath, where to stay in popular areas of bath, most booked hotels in bath, renting a car in bath.
Expect to pay $3.67 per gallon in Bath (average price from the past 30 days). Depending on the size of your rental car, filling up the tank will cost between $44.06 and $58.75. Economy (Mitsubishi Mirage or similar) is the most popular car type to rent in Bath, while also 42% cheaper than other types, on average.
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The Roman Baths
The Royal Crescent
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The Jane Austen Centre
Thermae Bath Spa
St Mary Redcliffe Church
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Bathampton Mill Bath
Nata & Co
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Portofino Oyster bar & Mediterranean Restaurant
Discover the Real Bath With a Local Expert
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Krowd Keepers Magic Theatre
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Chapel Arts Centre
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American Museum in Britain
Bath Postal Museum
Herschel Museum of Astronomy
No. 1 Royal Crescent
The Museum of East Asian Art
Museum of Bath Architecture
Local history in bath.
Important Religious Institutions in Bath
Bath Guildhall Market
Great urban parks in bath.
Royal Victoria Park
National Trust - Prior Park Landscape Garden
Alexandra Park Play Area
Best boutique hotels in bath.
Saco Bath - St James's Parade
Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath
Henrietta House, A Member of Radisson Individuals
Abbey Hotel Bath, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
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The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
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Francis Hotel Bath
Top 16 luxury hotels near bath.
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London Marriott Hotel County Hall
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Cheval Three Quays at The Tower of London
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Black Friday 2023: The Best Early Black Friday Deals We’ve Found (So Far)
Black Friday 2023 isn't until November 24, but that hasn’t discouraged retailers from launching their sales early.
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Deal spotlight: hisense u6k series google tv (55-inch), deal spotlight: dyson supersonic origin hair dryer, deal spotlight: breville smart oven pizzaiolo, apple deals, gaming deals, appliance deals, amazon deals, walmart deals, best buy deals, costco deals, other great early black friday deals, what about amazon’s black friday plans, what retailers don’t have black friday sales, emerging black friday 2023 trends.
Hisense U6K Series Google TV (55-inch) — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $350 ; street price: $450
What we like: Our top pick for the best 4K TV on a budget. We can already tell that the U6K is one of 2023's better 4K TV values. Same picture-enhancing hardware as our favorite premium LCD/LED TVs. Very solid performance.
Other things to know: Foregoes extremely high brightness and skips some of the fancier trimmings (like Wi-Fi 6E compatibility) to keep costs low. Limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate (sorry, gamers). Doesn't have HDMI 2.1 inputs. Deal is for the 55-inch size. Matches low.
Read our review of the best 4K TV on a budget .
Dyson Supersonic Origin Hair Dryer — Upgrade Pick Dyson deal price: $300 ; street price: $430
What we like: Our upgrade hair dryer pick since 2016. Vibration-free and quieter than other high-end models. Short nozzle is ultra-maneuverable. Simple-to-switch magnetic attachments for easy styling.
Other things to know: Doesn't make your hair look substantively better than cheaper dryers. Only available in black/nickel finish. When purchasing from Dyson Direct, make sure to add the offer of two additional accessories to your cart. The additional accessories make this deal better than we typically see for the Supersonic Origin.
Read our review of the best hair dryer .
Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo — Also Great Best Buy deal price: $800 ; street price: $1,000
What we like: Our pick for the best indoor countertop pizza oven. Fully preheats up to 750 °F in 15 minutes and can cook a pizza in just over 90 seconds. Comes with preset cooking functions, precise temperature control, a timer, and included accessories.
Other things to know: A costly, specific-use appliance. Almost twice the price of our top outdoor pizza oven pick when not on sale. Doesn't get as hot as our outdoor oven picks. Deal matches previous low.
Read our review of the best pizza oven .
Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2023, 15-Inch, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) — Upgrade Pick Amazon deal price: $1,050 ; street price: $1,200
What we like: Our upgrade pick for the best MacBook. Same general design features we love in the smaller version, but with a larger, beautiful screen, better sound, and slightly cooler temperatures.
Other things to know: Comes with M2 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. You'll need more RAM if you plan on lots of photo and video editing, coding, or other intensive tasks.
Read our review of the best MacBooks .
Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) — Budget Pick Amazon deal price: $750 with clipped on-page coupon; street price: $850
What we like: Our budget MacBook pick. Enough memory and storage for most day-to-day work. Approximate 14-hour battery life. Lightweight with solid construction, a comfy keyboard, and industry-leading customer support.
Other things to know: Apple's proprietary M1 processor is still good enough for most people, but not as fast as the newer M2 and M3 chips. Comes with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 13.3-inch Retina display, one 3.5mm jack, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. All three colors are on sale. Clip the on-page coupon.
Sony PlayStation 5 + Spider-Man 2 Game Bundle — Our Pick Walmart deal price: $500 ; street price: $570
What we like: Our PlayStation game console pick, plus the new Spider-man 2 game we loved in our recent review. Has a disc drive so you can watch UHD Blu-ray movies, as well as play new or used PS5 and PS4 game discs.
Other things to know: Playstation 5 consoles are often bundled with extraneous accessories that are rarely worth the combined price. However, this is a rare exception where we recommend the game included and we haven't seen a deal on it yet.
Read our review of the best game consoles .
Meta Quest 2 VR Headset (128 GB) — Budget Pick Walmart deal price: $250 ; street price: $300
What we like: Our budget pick for the best standalone VR headset. Cord-free design allows for standalone play. Solid visuals and tracking. Doesn't require a high-spec computer. Easy to set up and play. Can connect to a PC for use with Steam.
Other things to know: 128 GB storage. Formerly our top pick, which has recently been replaced by the new Meta Quest 3. Third party head straps and controller grips can improve comfort.
Read our review of the best vr headset .
Asus ROG Strix XG349C Monitor (34-inch) — Also Great Walmart deal price: $700 ; street price: $780
What we like: A great monitor for gaming. High refresh rate and a deeply curved, ultrawide screen for a more immersive feel. Good color accuracy, a solid stand, and a refresh rate that can reach 180 Hz.
Other things to know: Monitor’s USB-C port doesn’t supply enough power to charge most laptops. Curved screen is less-than-ideal choice for photo or design work.
Read our review of the best ultrawide monitors .
Sony X90L 4K TV (75-inch) — Another Good Option Best Buy deal price: $1,500 ; street price: $1,700
What we like: Another good option for PS5 users in our guide to the best gaming TV. Ideal for use with Sony’s cinematic first-party exclusives. Automatically syncs with the PS5 to calibrate HDR.
Other things to know: X90L is a bit on the expensive side. A mid-range TV in Sony's line, but offers surprising color accuracy.
Read our review of the best gaming TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X .
PlayStation Store $100 Gift Card + $15 Target Gift Card (Email Delivery) — Pick Accessory Target deal price: $100 ; street price: $115
What we like: Great for those who own one of our PlayStation game console picks or are interested in some of our favorite video games. Can be used to purchase games and subscriptions from the PlayStation Store. $15 Target gift card is essentially free money for Target shoppers when you purchase a $100 PlayStore Store gift card.
Other things to know: Digital code sent via email within 4 hours. Redeemable only by users aged 18 or older holding an adult account for PSN. Limit of one Target Gift Card per customer.
Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker — Our Pick Home Depot deal price: $50 (price reflects in-cart); street price: $80
What we like: Our pick for the best small electric pressure cooker for college dorms. One of the most affordable electric cookers we tried. Makes the perfect amount for one to two people. Easy to store in a small kitchen. Makes hands-off cooking easy.
Other things to know: The smallest version of our former top electric pressure cooker pick. Deal price reflects in-cart.
Read our review of the best electric pressure cooker is an instant pot .
Bissell Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner 1400B — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $89 ; street price: $120
What we like: Our top pick for the best portable carpet and upholstery cleaner. Great for small messes. Ideal for pet owners and parents of young kids. Completely removed wine and chocolate stains with handheld suction brush, hot tap water, and cleaning formula.
Other things to know: Designed to tackle small areas only. Water tank is difficult to clean. One-year warranty is shorter than competition.
Read our review of the best portable carpet and upholstery cleaner .
Whirlpool WFG320M0M Gas Range — Budget Pick Deal price: $600 ; street price: $820
What we like: Our budget pick for the best gas range. For the price, this range has especially good functionality and quality. Recently updated with edge-to-edge, cast iron grates that are dishwasher safe. Large oven size should easily fit the largest Thanksgiving turkey.
Other things to know: Doesn’t have convection. Doesn’t have self-cleaning modes or a number pad for inputting oven temperatures or times. Broiler is located in the bottom drawer beneath the oven. Deal price for the stainless steel finish does not include parts and installation which is different depending on location.
Read our review of the best gas stoves and ranges .
GE JGBS30 Electric Stove — Another Good Option Home Depot deal price: $580 ; street price: $675
What we like: An electric stove we like as a cheaper alternative to our budget pick. Similar specs, but has a bigger oven and self-cleaning mode.
Other things to know: Deal price only available for the black or white finishes. Price includes delivery, necessary parts and professional installation.
Dyson V12 Detect Slim Stick Vacuum — Top Pick Dyson deal price: $400 ; street price: $630
What we like: Our top pick for the best cordless stick vacuum. Light, powerful, and easy to maneuver. Rivals more expensive vacuums in suction, airflow, and cleaning power. Comes with multiple brushes and attachments. 45 minutes runtime. Washable filter.
Other things to know: Tiny 12-ounce dustbin. Takes four hours to recharge—longer than most other models. Doesn’t stand up on its own. 5.2 lbs. Includes Dyson 2-year warranty. Many parts are replaceable. Converts to handheld vacuum with attachments.
Read our review of the best cordless stick vacuum .
iRobot Roomba i4+ EVO Robot Vacuum — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $350 ; street price: $550
What we like: Our self-emptying pick for the best robot vacuum. Better than competitors at getting pet hair out of rugs. Nimble navigation system. Consistently and thoroughly cleans large or small spaces. Sturdy and repairable.
Other things to know: Charging dock automatically empties the robot. Stores debris in a disposable bag.
Read our review of the best robot vacuums .
OnePlus Nord N30 5G Android Phone — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $230 ; street price: $285
What we like: Our top pick for the best budget Android phone. Delivers solid performance and has a bright, fast LCD screen with a high refresh rate. Comes with a side-mounted fingerprint reader and Verizon 5G support. Guaranteed to support one software update to Android 14 and security updates until June 2026.
Other things to know: Camera quality isn’t the best, even in good lighting. Plastic body makes it feel like a budget phone. New low price.
Read our review of the best budget Android phones .
Roku Streaming Stick 4K — Runner-Up Amazon deal price: $30 ; street price: $45
What we like: Our runner-up pick for the best media streaming device. Supports almost every major service. Clean, simple interface. Affordable 4K resolution.
Other things to know: Search and discovery features are more limited than our top pick. New low deal price year to date.
Read our review of the best media streaming devices .
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $320 ; street price: $400
What we like: Our pick for the best air fryer toaster oven. Performs just as well as an air fryer as it does a toaster oven. Specific settings for dehydrating, proofing, and slow cooking. Crisps up food faster than traditional toaster ovens. Large two-rack capacity. Multiple fan speeds.
Other things to know: Significantly more expensive than our runner-up pick.
Read our review of the best air fryer toaster oven .
Cuisinart CPT-142 4-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $40 ; street price: $50
What we like: Our longtime top pick for the best four-slot toaster. Consistently produces four slices of perfect, golden brown toast. Offers a wide range of settings and easy-to-use controls. Housing remains cool to the touch, even after multiple batches.
Other things to know: Heating element wires of modern toasters are subject to corrosion over time. Three-year warranty. Only available in white.
Read our review of the best toaster .
Cuckoo CRP-P1009SW 10-Cup Electric Pressure Rice Cooker — Upgrade Pick Deal price: $214 with clipped on-page coupon ; street price: $260
What we like: Our upgrade pick for the best rice cooker is a pressurized model. High-quality construction. Lightning-fast and produces delicious results. Made the best sushi rice of all the models we tested.
Other things to know: Pressurized cooking is fast but can make long-grain rice come out a bit mushy (we suggest using high-heat mode). Not as convenient if you’re only cooking for one or two people due to 10-cup size. Comes with one-year limited warranty. On sale in white, clip the on-page coupon.
Read our review of the best rice cooker .
Hisense U8K Series 4K QLED TV (75-Inch) — Runner-Up Amazon deal price: $1,300 ; street price: $1,500
What we like: The runner-up pick in our guide to the best LCD/LED TVs. A premium model with Google TV smart platform. Has mini-LED backlighting and quantum color dot. Stellar HDR TV with high contrast and rich colors. Good in a bright room with no light control.
Other things to know: Native 120 Hz refresh rates, 4k resolution, plus Wi-Fi 6E capabilities. Audio performance isn’t top-notch. Available in the smaller, 55-inch screen size, which our top pick is not. Deal for the 75-inch size.
Read our review of the best LCD/LED TV .
Delta Cycle Michelangelo Two-Bike Gravity Stand — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $45 ; street price: $65
What we like: Our top bike rack pick for storing one or two bikes in a small apartment. Simple to set up. Lightweight yet sturdy. It only needs a single hole drilled in the wall. Has a couple of extra hooks for accessories.
Other things to know: While a single extra tall bike will fit, two taller bikes may not. Only requires a Phillips screwdriver and a drill to assemble in our testing.
Read our review of the best bike storage ideas .
Catit Flower Fountain — Top Pick Amazon deal price: $17 ; street price: $25
What we like: Our top pick for the best water fountain for cats and small dogs. Easiest to operate. Very quiet. Smooth surfaces and few parts make cleaning and reassembly a breeze.
Other things to know: Large water tank needs to be refilled only once or twice a week. Filter needs to be replaced once a month. Emits obnoxious hum when low on water.
Read our review of the best water fountain for cats and dogs .
Dell S2722QC 27-Inch Monitor — Budget Pick Amazon deal price: $280 ; street price: $370
What we like: Our budget pick for the best 4K monitor. Great image quality with color-accurate display. Balances high-end features with competitive price. One-year Dell warranty (typically reserved for higher-end models).
Other things to know: Includes USB hub with two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two HDMI ports, and one USB-C port. Refresh rate not ideal for gaming.
Read our review of the best 4K monitors .
Peloton Bike — Our Pick Amazon deal price: $1,095 ; street price: $1,445
What we like: One of our top picks for an exercise bike. Smooth and sturdy ride. Immersive experience. Community emphasis. Engaging instructors. Good alternative to a monthly spin class membership.
Other things to know: Expensive and requires a subscription ($44 a month) to function maximally. Smaller riders may struggle to find a perfect fit. Limited warranty covers the tablet, mechanics, parts, and service (from issues related to normal wear and tear for one year and the bike frame for five years).
Read our review of the Peloton bike .
Amazon Echo Smart Speaker (4th Gen, 2-Pack) — Our Pick Amazon deal price: $110 (Add 2 to cart, use promo code ECHO2PK); street price: $180
What we like: Our top Alexa smart speaker pick for listening to audio sources, chatting with Alexa. Impressive sound for size and and price (though more expensive Echo Studio is far better). Enables setup and control of smart-home devices—also has built-in Zigbee support. Good listening capability for voice-activated commands.
Other things to know: Can be paired with other Echo speakers to create multiroom audio system. Sound quality is good but not excellent. Add two to cart and use code ECHO2PK for the deal price of $110.
Read our review of the best Alexa smart speakers .
Puleo 7.5-foot Pre-Lit Aspen Fir Tree (277-APG-75C7) — Budget Pick Walmart deal price: $221 ; street price: $240
What we like: Our budget pick for the best artificial Christmas tree has 700 UL-listed warm-white incandescent lights—not LEDs— and 1,319 branch tips. Looks especially good once fluffed. Ornaments stand out better than on densely foliaged trees. Sturdily built.
Other things to know: You have to manually plug the light strings together, a fussier method than with the in-pole connections we favor. Finding the plugs among the foliage is a bit challenging.
Read our review of the best artificial Christmas tree .
Fitbit Charge 6 Fitness Tracker — Upcoming Pick Best Buy deal price: $100 ; street price: $140
What we like: Our upcoming runner-up fitness tracker pick has the same excellent activity tracking as the Charge 5. Performed well across our step count and heart rate tests.
Other things to know: Requires Google account integration. 40 sport modes (versus the 5's six modes).
Read our review of the best fitness trackers .
LEGO Architecture Taj Mahal 21056 — Our Pick Best Buy deal price: $96 ; street price: $110
What we like: Our adult Lego set pick that is an iconic symbol of everlasting love. Pleasantly simple build. Top dome lifts to reveal central chamber; lift a second dome to reveal the crypt and tiny sarcophagi.
Other things to know: 2,022 pieces. Informative, historical tidbits are peppered throughout the instruction booklet.
Read our review of the best "the best Lego sets for adults, according to our staff" .
Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) with Nest Temperature Sensor — Runner-Up Deal price: $180 with Costco membership ; street price: $285
What we like: Our runner-up pick for the best smart thermostat is larger, crisper, and has a more useful display than its predecessors. Wide compatibility with HVAC systems. Learns heating and cooling preferences to create an optimized schedule.
Other things to know: Includes a Nest Temperature Sensor. Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings. Available in three colors. Comes with two-year manufacturer’s warranty. Costco membership required.
Read our review of the best smart thermostat .
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 (40 mm) and two fast chargers — Top Pick Deal price: $220 with Costco membership ; street price: $300
What we like: Our top Android smartwatch pick runs the latest version of Google Wear OS. Speedy performance, bright 40 mm OLED screen, and a well-organized interface. Ample app support and a more durable build than competing watches.
Other things to know: Works best with Samsung devices, but still the best choice overall if you use Android. Bixby voice assistant is changeable but annoying to do so. Not a significant upgrade over the Watch5. Deal comes with two fast chargers. Costco membership required.
Read our review of the best smartwatch for Android phones .
GE Profile Opal 2.0 with Side Tank and four filters — Also Great Deal price: $470 with Costco membership ; street price: $600
What we like: Our pick for the best nugget ice maker produces high-quality ice that’s soft and chewable. Has a sleek design, with a transparent, illuminated reservoir for the ice.
Other things to know: Expensive and large. Able to connect to Wi-Fi and can be programmed to respond to voice commands. Comes with four additional filters, typically selling for about $20 each. We’ve seen this ice maker sell for less, but the addition of the filters makes this deal a better overall value. Costco membership required.
Read our review of the best countertop ice maker .
Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 Fire Pit with Stand — Our Pick Solo Stove deal price: $220 ; street price: $345
What we like: Our lightweight smokeless fire pit pick for moving in and out of storage. Recommended in multiple Wirecutter gift guides. Simple and easy to load. Half the weight of our other picks. This model has a stand, removable base plate, and ash pan.
Other things to know: Plain aesthetic not appealing to everyone. Reduces smoke by 70% to 80%. Radiates less heat than other heavier models. Use code PARKS20.
Read our review of the best smokeless fire pits .
AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press — Also Great REI deal price: $32 ; street price: $40
What we like: Our more portable AeroPress coffee maker pick. Lightweight, compact design produces full-bodied, flavorful coffee in about two minutes. Great for camping and other travel. Easy-to-use. Dishwasher-safe. Comes in an adorable compact container that doubles as a cup.
Other things to know: Only brews one cup at a time. Some recipes for brewing a standard cup of coffee will need to be modified. Sale price reflects in-cart. Opt for store pick-up or use REI membership to avoid shipping fees.
Read our review of the best why we love the aeropress coffee maker .
Amazon has formally announced its Black Friday promotional plans. The online retailer will kick off its yearly Black Friday event Friday, November 17, with promised sales from YETI, Peloton, Ruggable, and Bissell (all brands that offer at least one product recommended by Wirecutter’s experts).
Black Friday deals, when they arrive, can be found here , while November 27 will bring Cyber Monday offerings here .
As in recent years, Amazon will offer the opportunity to shop, “Black-owned, woman-owned, military family-owned, Hispanic-owned, Asian & Pacific Islander-owned, and LGBTQIA-owned businesses…” as well as the opportunity to find deals from other small businesses via a dedicated small business deals page .
Nearly all retailers have Black Friday sales and promotions, but there are a few notable exceptions. REI and Patagonia both close their doors on Black Friday and forgo the post-Thanksgiving sales blitz, at least for a day.
We recommend checking out pre and post-Black Friday offerings from these retailers if you’re angling to find outdoor clothing and gear. REI’s Gear Up Get Out sale launched November 10. We’ve rounded up our favorite deals on Wirecutter’s expert-recommended gear from REI’s sale here .
As you can see from the deals we’ve posted above, we’re already noting a glut of early sales. We’d anticipate more sales earlier than ever before as online retailers jockey for your attention.
Retailers are also pushing paid member programs harder than ever in 2023, with both Best Buy and Walmart offering early access sales for Best Buy Plus and Total members and Walmart+ members respectively. We don’t recommend these programs unless you are a devoted, regular shopper of either retailer as we don’t think the early access sales and additional discounts offer enough to offset the long-term costs of membership.
Finally, we’re seeing more gift cards included in early promotions than ever before, with retailers like Best Buy and Target sweetening existing deals with store credit. We consider these deals viable for fans of the retailers in question, as they’re as good as cash for those shoppers.
Editor’s note: The photos at the top of this article may reflect previous deals that are no longer valid and have been removed. Check out our Deals page for more great discounts on Wirecutter’s expert-approved picks.
This article was edited by Nathan Burrow and Dan Kim.
Meet your guide
Kaitlin Mahar is a staff writer for Wirecutter’s Deals team. Her byline has appeared in Delish, Esquire, and Town & Country. When she’s not hunting for deals and fiercely defending the Oxford comma, she’s a proud cat parent, an avid yogi, and a co-producer and co-host of the podcast Crime Culture . Please tell your pets and grandparents she says hi.
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