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Top things to do in Bath

Posted: Wed, 19th Jul 2023
Roman Baths, Bath

Discover the best things to do in Bath as we take you on a meander around this beautiful city. With its glorious Georgian architecture and classical Roman lines, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has character and charm by the bucketload. Where ancient Roman bathhouses sit alongside the graceful curves of the Royal Crescent, a grand sweep of Georgian townhouses gazes serenely over Royal Victoria Park, and the medieval façade of Bath Abbey has stood guard over the city since the 14th century. Channel your inner Jane Austen, seek out the contemporary arts or get water born on the River Avon.

Bath is a vibrant city where the old and new sit in perfect harmony within its tightly packed streets. Whether you are dipping in for the day, heading for one of the many festivals or embracing the feel-good atmosphere of the celebrated Christmas markets, the best of Bath is waiting to be explored.

Bathing in Bath

Regarded as one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe, the Roman Baths here date back more than 2,000 years. At that time it was one of the most important religious spas in the ancient world. Built upon natural hot springs, which today still bubble up at a toasty 46C, this is an incredible step back into the past. Visitors can see the original Great Bath, wander the atmospheric, pillared walkways and explore the museum, which is dedicated to all things Roman. If you are more of a do, rather than see kind of person, then a visit to the Thermae Bath Spa is a must.  These are the only thermal hot springs you can bathe in here in the UK, but now you can relax, as the Romans did in the warming, mineral-rich waters of Bath.

Bath Buildings

Where to start? Bath is renowned for the magnificent pale Bath stone buildings that line the elegant streets and arcades. The Royal Crescent is arguably one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. Take a stroll and picture yourself promenading during Georgian times…parasols are optional! Peek inside No 1 Royal Crescent for a glimpse of life as one of Bath’s gentrified elite. Towering over the city is the magnificent Bath Abbey. Standing on a site that’s been a place of worship since 781, the cathedral you see today dates from 1499. With impressive architecture and glorious stained-glass windows, the Abbey is truly spectacular. Those with a head for heights should take the 212 steps to the top of the tower for panoramic city views. You also get to see parts of the cathedral inaccessible to others.

Stradling the River Avon is the impressive Pulteney Bridge, this much-loved city landmark has been in situ since the late 18th century. With shops lining both sides, it still enthralls visitors today. For classical literature lovers, the Jane Austen Centre is the font of knowledge for all things Austen. Although she only resided in the city for five years, Bath has become synonymous with the author (including an annual 10-day Jane Austen Festival in September) and featured in novels including Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. After a Regency-inspired tour, head to the suitably period tearoom for cream teas and cake.

Bath by Water

The River Avon winds through the centre of Bath and river-based experiences are in abundance. Hop on a beautifully restored 1960s motor cruiser, take a commentary-led cruise or enjoy a kayak or stand-up paddle board for a unique view of the city.

Bath on Foot

Bath is a delightful city to explore on foot. It’s compact, interesting and crammed with history and architecture. For those who prefer to wander with a guide, there is a range of options available. These include community-focused guides, tours that focus on famous film locations, food and drink, ghost trails, history and self-guided options.

Bath on Screen

The memorable streetscapes of Bath have played their part on both the big and small screen. Most recently as the backdrop for the Netflix hit Bridgerton. The Pump Room is featured in Persuasion, while the weir and Pulteney Bridge can be seen in the 2012 film version of Les Misérables.


Where to Stay

Bolthole Retreats has a lovely selection of holiday homes, all within easy striking distance of Bath. This makes them the perfect place from which to explore the very best of Bath.

Euridge Estate

Magical Euridge is a glorious estate, deep in the countryside yet only 10 miles from the centre of Bath. Choose from the traditional Cotswold cottages of Bluebell, Ivy and Peartree, a unique Christie’s Cabin or perhaps treat yourself with a stay in the utterly charming Orangery.

Dyrham

We have two fabulous properties on this 500-acre farm with 70 acres of private woodland to explore. Middle Barn, which is perfect for families, sleeps up to six guests and the Bull Pen is a romantic hideaway just for two. Both are only 8.5 miles from Bath.

Stables, Batheaston

This lovely holiday home sleeps six and is set high above the River Avon overlooking Bath and the Avon Valley. Bath is just five miles away with other attractions such as Castle Combe, the Kennet & Avon Canal and Longleat close by.

Swangrove House, Badminton

Live to the manor born with a stay in this unique and historic hunting lodge. Lying on the edge of the Badminton Estate spend your nights in 300-year-old splendour after exploring the charms of Bath, which are just 15 miles away.

Read more: Michelin Star restaurants in the Cotswolds

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