Across the globe, several locations are home to impressive Roman landmarks and ruins. English city of Bath is one of them. This picturesque city is famous for imposing honey-coloured Georgian architecture and mineral-rich hot springs, which also attracted the Romans. It’s no surprise that the city of Bath is fast becoming a must-see place to visit in England. Bath, nestled in the Avon Valley in the southwest of hilly English countryside, is also the kind of place you will fall in love immediately. The preserved remains of the Roman baths and the vibrant green colour of the River Avon are, without doubt, most travellers’ first impressions of Bath. But if you dig deeper into the city, you will find another side of Bath – packed with museums, galleries and charming cafes. With that in mind, you will be spoilt for choice when looking for the best things to do in Bath.
SECRETS OF BATH:
Bath is an iconic city bursting with a rich history stretching back thousands of years. It is the only destination in the UK, where the entire town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides, the world’s first stamp was sent from here and the planet Uranus was also discovered in Bath.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN BATH
The city of Bath’s got many attractions and activities – so we sifted and sorted to bring you the very finest Bath has to offer.
If you’ve ever wanted to walk where the Romans have walked before you, the Roman Baths are the perfect place. Step back in time and visit the Roman Baths. It’s the ancient religious spas with steaming spring water named after the goddess Sulis. Hence, the town’s ancient name of Aquae Sulis (“waters of Sulis”).
A magnificent Roman temple and bathing complex was built around Britain’s only hot spring. What’s more, the Roman Baths are among the most excellent examples of Roman architecture in England. With 43 different minerals and a constant 46 degrees Celsius (115 °F), it is easy to understand why the Romans settled in the city. Also, the Romans built mechanisms to control these unique thermal springs.
For centuries, a Roman masterpiece was lost, forgotten in history until rediscovered in the late 18th century. The Roman Bath is a must-visit attraction of Bath, and also one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world. Besides, it is the city’s best-known tourist magnet.
Start your journey on the second floor of the Roman Baths. Have a view of the bath where the Romans would have washed. Nowadays, the ancient baths are closed off for preservation and health and safety.
Overflowing with steaming water directly from the Sacred Spring at the corner of the bath, the Great Bath is the main feature of the ancient bath. The 1.6 metres deep steaming pool once covered with a roof over the bath is a centrepiece of the Roman Baths complex.
TEMPLE OF COURTYARD, MINERVA AND MUSEUM
The Roman Bath is so much more than just the bathing complex. It is also home to the Sulis Minerva Temple, numerous statues and the museum with Roman finds. Walkthrough the suspended passage above the Temple courtyard and explore what once was the sacred area for the Romans.
CHANGING ROOMS AND SAUNAS
Heated Rooms, Swimming pools and changing rooms
After that, discover the Roman Baths as they would have looked like in the past. Interactive displays are here for your help you to better understand how the area looked like once.
THE EAST BATH
The East Bath, located next to the famous Great Bath, was considered to be the women’s quarters of the Roman Baths.
GOOD TO KNOW
There is no need to worry about the language barrier. Audio guides are available in 12 languages (included in the admission price).
- Super off-peak 2019 tickets from £14.40 for Adults,
- off-peak 2019 tickets from £16.20 for adults,
- standard 2020 tickets from £18.90 for Adults,
- peak 2020 tickets from £20.70 per Adults.
Therefore, consider visiting the Roman bath during off-peak times.
OPENING TIMES: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm (exit at 6 pm)
To avoid the queues, get to the Roman Baths early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Alternatively, book a skip the line ticket to the Roman Baths.
Finally, those in search of the magical atmosphere should consider visiting the Roman Bath late in the evening. Torchlight illuminates the bath this time of the day.
THERMAE BATH SPA
After wandering the Roman Baths, head to Thermae Bath Spa for the bathing experience. Take a dip in the thermal waters located across the street from the ancient baths. Enjoy the treated waters as the Romans and Celts did over 2,000 years ago. A two-hour session at the spa with a heated open-air rooftop swimming pool is an unmissable thing to do in Bath. The rooftop of thermae spa also offers spectacular views over the city. The Thermae Bath Spa also provides an indoor pool, steam rooms and two thermal baths. For those who need to remove the stress and reduce pain and muscle tension, numerous spa treatments and therapies are also available.
GOOD TO KNOW:
ADMISSION FEE to New Royal Bath: 2-hour slot:
- Monday – Friday: £36, Saturday – Sunday £40.
- Each additional hour: £10
- Children under 16 are not permitted.
As a result, consider visiting the spa during the weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days at the spa. For a quieter experience, visit the spa when it opens or consider an evening dip (Tuesday -Thursday).
The Roman baths and the Thermae Bath Spa may be among the most famous attractions of Bath. But there is no shortage of other things to do for those who would like to explore the city a little bit deeper.
Bath Abbey is one of the top places to visit in Bath to make your stay here even more memorable. The honey-coloured Gothic cathedral, dominating the skyline of Bath, is a masterpiece. Rebuilt and reorganized several times, the Abbey, founded as a Benedictine monastery, saw the coronation of the very first king of England. The picturesque Abbey is just next to the Roman Baths.
After exploring the inside, don’t forget to climb the Abbey for the superb views of the city. The 45-minute tour offers the chance to see the bells as well as an opportunity to sit behind the cathedral’s giant clock face.
After that, wander cute cobblestone streets and get lost in the historic centre Bath is famous for. Redeveloped by the Georgians after the Romans left, the stylish Georgian architecture is incredibly picturesque. With its impressive yellow limestone architecture and iconic Georgian buildings such as the Assembly Rooms or the Circus, it is no wonder why is the city considered Britain’s most attractive small town.
Except for the three top attractions of Bath, there are other things to see in this city. The Royal Crescent, designed as a luxurious accommodation for visiting members of the aristocracy and royalty, is an iconic landmark. What’s more, it is an architectural masterpiece. A semi-circular Georgian building with a palace-like façade is probably the most famous street in Bath. It is also one of the unmissable attractions in the city.
If you would like to experience the taste of Georgian beauty, then a visit to Number 1 Royal Crescent is worth it. No.1 Royal Crescent, with its living museum, takes its visitors to 18th-century life.
No trip to the city of Bath would be complete without a visit to Pulteney Bridge. Make time for a stroll alongside the River Avon. Admire the stone bridge inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. The iconic elegant bridge is a city’s famous landmark. It is also one of the four bridges in the world lined with quaint shops and restaurants on both sides.
SALLY LUNN’S HISTORIC EATING HOUSE AND MUSEUM
Located just a short walk from the Abbey, Sally Lunn’s draws visitors from near and far. The Bath’s oldest standing house is a living museum. It offers a taste of local cuisine: “the Sally Lunn bun” – the city’s famous brioche based delicacy made from a traditional recipe.
Here you can also find a little museum showing the original kitchen where the baker used to bake the famous buns over 300 years ago as well as the visible excavations of the medieval city.
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
Thanks to Bath’s rich history, the city is home to various museums and galleries. Some of the best museums are:
JANE AUSTEN CENTRE
Discover how Jane Austen, one of the most famous UK`s writers, lived. Jane Austen Centre – a museum dedicated to Jane’s work and life transports visitors back to the Georgian times. The museum situated at the city’s most iconic address is, without doubt, a must-visit for any Jane Austen fans visiting the city.
Finally, those travelling to the city in autumn should aim to visit the city during the annual 10-day Jane Austen Festival. The festival draws hundreds of Austen lovers dressed in authentic period costumes wandering the historic streets of Bath.
Bath’s Fashion Museum shows off a collection of modern and historical clothing. The exhibition includes different fashionable trends, including the collections of clothes that are 500 years old.
ADMISSION FEE: £9 per adult, £7 per child (6-16), family tickets are also available.
TIP: Buy your tickets to the Fashion Museum online and receive a 10% discount.
HERSCHEL MUSEUM OF ASTRONOMY
Last but not least, those interested in astronomy should consider visiting the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. The restored middle-class home of William Herschel, the first person who pointed a telescope at the planet Uranus, is home to the museum. The museum is showcasing the collections of telescopes and other assortments of scientific instruments.
ADMISSION FEE: £6.90 per adult, £3.50 per child (6-16), saver tickets are also available
BATH SKYLINE WALK
The Bath Skyline walk, the National Trust’s popular walk surrounded by gentle hills and meadows, is an unmissable thing to do in Bath for active visitors of all ages and fitness levels. A 6-mile circular walk (9.6 km) offers spectacular views of the city. It also allows seeing the city from a different angle.
BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET
Those planning a getaway to the city during the festive season (end of November – mid-December) can enjoy a romantic atmosphere of the Bath Christmas Market. The award-winning Christmas Market with beautifully decorated chalets lining the picturesque Georgians streets of the centre of Bath attracts thousands of visitors across the UK. The Christmas market with local food, mulled wine, handmade gifts and also Christmas spirit will not disappoint.
HOW TO GET TO BATH:
The coach company National Express runs services to Bath from London and many other British cities (Bristol, Birmingham and others). The company also offers cheaper fares compared to the train ride. However, the journey takes much longer – also, book tickets in advance for the cheapest fares.
With direct trains running from London Paddington station, Bath has excellent connections with the capital. Only a 90-minute train ride brings you to Bath. Therefore, the city is an excellent option for a trip from London. Lastly, those flying to Bristol can get to Bath with a 12-minute train ride.
GOOD TO KNOW:
The Bath train station is in the centre of the town. Also, book your tickets in advance. Get single tickets from London, starting at £15.50 (limited availability), compared to return ticket to London starting at £61.50 (super off-peak return ticket).
Thank you for reading! Have you been to the city of Bath in England? Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments below 🙂
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