Things To Do In Bath, England
Bath, Somerset, UK
Why Visit Bath?
Bath is one of the most interesting cities in the United Kingdom, with a rich history and vibrant culture. I lived in Bath for a summer and experienced first hand all that it had to offer. Located in Somerset, in South West England, Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is known for its beautiful and uniform Georgian Architecture and stone. The city was established by the Romans, as a spa town, due to it's hot springs, and the baths were still widely popular during the Georgian Era. In fact, Bath is the setting for two of Jane Austen's novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, as the author lived there for some time with her family.
Bath has remained a lively city, and this hub will highlight some fun things to do there, as well as some great places to eat and stay.
Sightseeing in Bath
Here a list of some wonderful things to do and see in Bath:
1. Open Top Bus Tour
This may seem mega touristy, but actually it is a great and cheap way to not only see the city, but also get around. The bus is hop on/hop off and your pass lasts all day! Although Bath is not big, the hills are steep so sometimes a ride is nice at the end of the day. It also passes all of the sights on this list, so you can easily decide which you want to go back and explore more, or which you may feel like skipping.
2. Milsom St.
Milsom St. is one of the oldest streets in Bath, and showcases the incredible Georgian architecture that Bath is known for. It is also quite famous for its chic shopping, and is home to such famous British retailers as House of Fraser and L.K. Bennet. Milsom St. is also the setting for multiple scenes in both Jane Austen's Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.
3. The Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is a must on your list of things to do in Bath. Designed by the younger John Wood, the Crescent is a magnificent feat of architecture. It is also a lovely place to spend an afternoon, as it is fronted by a beautiful lawn and gardens. Locals gather here on sunny days to picnic, walk their dogs, and enjoy the weather. If you have a nice day and are in the mood for a lazy afternoon then grab a bottle of wine and some nice cheese and do as the locals do!
Prior Park is a lovely garden a bit outside of the main city, but well worth the walk. Home to one of only four Palladian Bridges in the world, the park was designed and built in the late 18th century by local businessman Ralph Allen. Here you can see one of the best views of the city and surrounding countryside.
5. The Circus
Situated right around the corner from the Royal Crescent, the Circus is another lovely architectural feature of Bath. It was designed by John Wood the Elder in the 18th Century, and was considered the highpoint of his career, although he did not live to see it finished. It has always been home to Bath's most prominent citizens, and is currently rumoured to be home to a few celebrities.
6. Bath Abbey
The Abbey, which dates back to the 7th century, commands the center of the city, and is a beautiful example of Gothic Architecture. Located right next to the Roman Bath, it would be easy to check out both in just a few hours. Alternatively, as the Abbey is still an active place of worship, you could attend a service on sunday morning!
Bath Tip: Pack the Right Shoes
Bath is not a very big city and is very walkable, in fact most of these sights are easy to get to by foot. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes though, as it is hilly, and the cobbled streets may hurt your feet if you aren't wearing the right footwear! If you get tired of walking, there are always cabbies available as well.
7. Victoria Art Gallery
The Victoria Art Gallery is a lovely little gallery near the heart of Bath. It's collection ranges from the 15th century to the current day, and boasts some lovely pieces. The best part? It's free!
8. The Sydney Gardens
Right across from one of the houses that Jane Austen lived in when she was in Bath, the Sydney Gardens are a beautifully maintained example of the pleasure gardens that were so popular during her lifetime. Spend a few hours wandering the garden paths, admiring the variety of species that grow there, and the different tea and pleasure pavilions.
9. Pulteney Bridge
This lovely bridge spans the River Avon near the center of the city. Built in the Palladian style, It is one of the only covered bridges in the world that has shops on it.
10. The Roman Baths
Although they are no longer actually used to bathe in, the Baths are definitely worth a visit. The museum is fascinating and sheds light on the wonder that attracted the English gentry to Bath in the first place. The admission lines can get long though, so pop over to the Pump Rooms (attached to the museum) for tea and crumpets while you wait for a nice little afternoon snack.
Places to Eat and Drink in Bath
There are many delightful places to eat in Bath, whether you are looking to have an afternoon tea, early supper, or a hearty dinner and drink out on the town. These are just a few highlights, but places I thoroughly enjoyed while there.
1. The Pump Rooms
Located right next to the Roman Baths, the Pump Rooms have been serving High Tea since Jane Austen frequented the city. Stop in for a classic English tea experience.
2. Sally Luns
Sally Luns serves a lovely breakfast, and is famous for their "Sally Lun Buns," a delicious sweet bread.
3. The Pig and Fiddle
The Pig and Fiddle is a great authentic British Pub. It is a must if you are in the mood for a hearty meal and a real local experience.
4. The Canary
This swanky gin bar is a great place for cocktail before or after dinner cocktails. If you are a gin person I suggest their sloe or damson gin, but if not they have plenty of other great cocktails!
Bath, Somerset, England
What About You?
Have you been to Bath?
I hope that after reading this article you are considering adding Bath to your next trip to England! It truly is a lovely city with so much to offer, and is close to many other major English attractions, such as the Cottswalds, and Stonehenge.
Please feel free to comment below with your experience of Bath or if you have any questions!
Want to check out another part of England? Check out my weekend itinerary in Cornwall!
- Spend a Weekend in Cornwall, England
A weekend itinerary for a lovely get away to Cornwall!