Visit Bath: Your travel guide

The Romans loved it. Jane Austen swooned over it. Bath has captured imaginations for millennia. This 1st-century spa town was big in the 18th century, and became a standard bearer for Georgian architecture. From Bath Abbey to The Circus, Bath is the very picture of a cosy English idyll.

Things to do in Bath
Parade Gardens
Exclusive picnicking. This cutesy little garden comes with a small entrance fee, though it’s well worth it. It’s a haven of immaculate topiary, manicured lawns and blooming hyacinths. For a classic picnic experience, load up your hamper, pack up your rug and set up camp on the grass. Don’t forget to include a bit of extra bread for the sociable (and hungry) resident ducks!
Grand Parade, Bath BA2 4DF, UK
Bath Abbey
One big, stone history book. This abbey is packed with weathered plaques and hoary carvings that tell the tale of Bath’s great and good. It was originally erected in the 7th century, although most of what you see today is the result of a 19th-century neo-Gothic restoration. Look out for the fan vaulting on the ceiling and the unusual ladder motifs on the façade.
Abbey St, Bath BA1 1LY, UK
Open Monday-Sunday 09:30-17:30
Roman Baths
“Pass the loofah, would you?” These baths date back to the days when Bath was known as “Aquae Sulis”, a Roman outpost that earned a reputation for its healing springs. It was here that ancient bathers soaked in pools and received back-rubs, chatting away in Latin. Costume actors are on hand to spin the Roman yarn and help you picture scenes of communal cleansing.
Stall St, Bath BA1 1LZ, UK
Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-17:00. Changes seasonally.
Pulteney Bridge
Walk over Bath water. This bridge is yet another shining example of Bath’s Georgian architectural heritage. It stretches over the River Avon like a seamless, cross-water continuation of the city’s trademark stonework. Yet, walk along the bridge and you’d never know you were crossing a river – it’s lined with shops like Hampstead Bazaar and the Antique Map Shop.
5 Argyle Street, Avon, Bath BA2 4BA, UK
Queen Square
In 18th-century society, aristocrats took great pleasure from parading their wealth and style in the streets. Architect John Wood designed Queen Square with wide streets and raised pavements, creating a platform for all to admire the frilly dresses and gold lapel linings worn by the gentry. Think of it as a Georgian catwalk! Tellingly, author Jane Austen also resided nearby.
Queen Square, Bath BA1, UK
The Circus
When is a square not a square? When it’s round, of course! This circular residential square is a case in point. Lined with Georgian townhouses, the Circus is a pretty picture of neoclassical grandeur. Doric, Roman and Corinthian columns line the 360-degree row of houses. In the middle stands a cluster of plane trees whose foliage blurs together to form a billowing green cloud.
The Circus, Bath BA1 2EW, UK
The Jane Austen Centre
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is among the English language’s greatest novelists. Her books have inspired generations of readers, with their unmistakably English take on romance. This museum gives you the chance to delve into her life and work. Since the guides are in costume, you can even parlay with characters like Mr Bennett or the Dashwood sisters.
40 Gay Street, Queen Square, Bath BA1 2NT, UK
Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-16:30
Holburne Museum of Art
What’s high culture without a spot of art? This little museum provides the finishing flourish to your trip to Bath. It’s a beautifully rendered building, whose neoclassical portico contrasts curiously with the metal-and-glass extension round the back. This mish-mash of old and new is reflected in the art, which includes Gainsboroughs and Ramsays alongside modern installations.
Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB, UK
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-17:00. Check website for details.
Royal Crescent
A classy curve. This semi-circular sweep of thirty townhouses is the rarefied pinnacle of Georgian architecture. Built in the 1770s, it’s an unbroken line of pricy neoclassical dwellings. Their stately columns and honey-coloured limestone conjure up images of 18th-century gents in felt coats, gold-thread waistcoats and tricorn hats. Time to brush up on your bows and curtseys!
Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LT, UK
Royal Victoria Park
It doesn’t get much more English than the Royal Vic. Lush lawns, dainty flowerbeds and mighty oaks populate this prim and proper park. Glimpses of Bath’s Georgian grandeur always lurk in the background, standing impassively behind bits of foliage. Head down on a balmy summer afternoon to hear music at the bandstand, and watch as hot air balloons slowly float above the rooftops.
Marlborough Lane, Bath BA1 2NQ, UK
Thermae Bath Spa
The ancient Romans really knew how to chill. Way back in 60 AD, they were relaxing in purpose-built public baths that drew from the same hot springs as this luxury spa. Now you can sample the restorative benefits of those mineral-rich waters by soaking in the bubbly Minerva Bath or lolling in the steaming rooftop pool that overlooks the city’s skyline.
The Recreation Ground
A visit to “The Rec” is like a trip back in time. Nestled by the banks of the River Avon, the heritage-listed home of Bath Rugby Club features Edwardian turnstiles and charming pavilions that hark back to the pre-professional era. The jolly, family-friendly vibe in the stands is less evident on the pitch, as players attack rucks, mauls and scrums with ferocious glee.

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Traveller's reviews and photos

8
Very good
Met friends for dinner. Ate at a lovely little tapas bar in John Street called Ola. Great buzz. Then off to the Theatre Royal to see a National Theatre production. All within short distance from the hotel. Bath is a great place to stroll around - and spend money!
Lawrence
United Kingdom
25 March 2017
10
Exceptional
So much to see. Fabulous Spa Day at Thermae Bath Spa. Very compact so easy to reach everywhere on foot. So many really good places to eat and drink. Especially enjoyed the Wine bar Vino Vino. Good atmosphere and exceptional wine list, great service.
Patricia
United Kingdom
25 March 2017
10
Exceptional
Beautiful historic city but I used to live here so it's always a pleasure. Went to the pump room for tea and a bath bun in the afternoon. Would recommend the cinnamon butter. Reason for visit was to see Bruegel exhibition which was beyond expectations.
Felicity
United Kingdom
25 March 2017
8
Very good
Bath is a very beautiful town, however there seems to be little to do there to keep interest up. It's a town to see over a day and an evening but nothing more, unless you use it as a base to visit other locations nearby.
Jonathan
Australia
26 March 2017
8
Very good
Very relaxing place with some great pubs and restaurants. Ideal for a couples weekend away to chill out. Bus tour is good, very easy city to walk around, Roman baths are excellent. Also good for shops
Chris
United Kingdom
26 March 2017

Accommodation and hotels in Bath

Wentworth House

7.1 Good

Score from 346 reviews

£68

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    69 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    49 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    44 related reviews
Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

8.6 Fabulous

Score from 2,462 reviews

£134

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    442 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    390 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    279 related reviews
Holiday Inn Express Bath

8.3 Very good

Score from 2,692 reviews

£65

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    342 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    270 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    203 related reviews
Royal Hotel

8.5 Very good

Score from 1,482 reviews

£80

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    347 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    333 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    170 related reviews
Loch Fyne Hotel and Restaurant Bath

8.4 Very good

Score from 752 reviews

£110

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    205 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    146 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    130 related reviews
Bailbrook House Hotel - a Hand Picked Hotel

9 Superb

Score from 1,516 reviews

£104

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    363 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    211 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    198 related reviews
Villa at Henrietta Park

9.3 Superb

Score from 1,105 reviews

£104

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    225 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    170 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    94 related reviews
Francis Hotel Bath - MGallery by Sofitel

8.8 Fabulous

Score from 1,725 reviews

£119

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    381 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    369 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    185 related reviews
The Royal Crescent

9.5 Exceptional

Score from 662 reviews

£280

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    181 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    139 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    99 related reviews
Discover Bath

Popular neighbourhoods in Bath

Upper Town

23 properties

Upper Town is the essence of novelist Jane Austen’s Bath. Its grand neoclassical façades once looked over the townsfolk that inspired many of her best-loved characters. Adopt a Mr Darcy swagger as you parade round Royal Crescent and The Circus, then retire to the splendid landscape of Royal Victoria Park for a picnic. Jolly good show!

Bath City Centre

20 properties

Bath’s birthplace. Back in Roman times, Bath went by the name of Aquae Sulis, and the town grew up around its thermal springs. Amazingly, the Roman baths are still intact; no trip to Bath is complete without a visit. After the Roman relaxation, pop along to Bath Abbey for an atmospheric evensong, followed by a slap-up meal in Sotto Sotto.

Milsom Quarter

6 properties

Got the urge to splurge? Milsom Quarter’s got you covered. This little district packs a whole lot of retail into a small area. Add a few key pieces to your wardrobe – head to Phase Eight and Grace & Mabel for clothes, and Chanji B and Ezza for bags and shoes. Work up an appetite round the shops, then dine al fresco at Milsom Place’s restaurants.

Artisan Quarter

5 properties

Bath’s artisan quarter does exactly what it says on the tin. The city’s most alternative area is infused with an artsy, Bohemian spirit – especially around Walcot Street. Head to Green Stationery for funky, eco-friendly paper and duck into Fine Grime for modern art. On Saturdays, check out the flea market, which does a roaring trade in miscellanea.

Local tips for Bath

The American Museum in Britain
Kirsten by Kirsten

Kirsten has roots in the USA, and she's a fan of outdoor activities like climbing and hiking.

Hitch a ride on the free shuttle bus to the outskirts of Bath, where you'll find the American Museum. Not only is there an eclectic collection of American art and handicrafts, but the museum’s gardens have amazing views of Limpley Stoke Valley and the River Avon – a perfect picnic spot.

  • Claverton Manor, Bath, BA2 7BD
  • americanmuseum.org
  • Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
The Pig and Fiddle
Ben by Ben

Ben has toured the UK with his band, and knows a thing or two about great live music venues.

This busy pub is great for live music, with all sorts going on, from rock to hip-hop. It's got quirky décor with sporting memorabilia and comic book posters, and it serves a range of tasty local ales. Plus, the beer garden is a great place to relax with a drink.

  • 2, Saracen Street, Bath, BA1 5BR
  • Open Monday–Saturday 11:00–23:30, Sunday 12:00–22:30
Vintage to Vogue
Terrie by Terrie

Terrie is often to be found browsing vintage clothes shops looking for original ball gowns.

Tucked down a side alley off of the main shopping street Milsom Street, Vintage to Vogue is like stepping into another era. Crammed full of original vintage garments and accessories. It is a hidden gem especially if you are after unique pieces for a wedding or special event.

Hall and Woodhouse
Olivia by Olivia

When not walking her dog, Olivia likes to live the high life and hang around the coolest bars.

Whenever I'm in Bath, I always go to this unique bar. It's got a really cool vibe. There's a huge glass staircase that winds up towards the roof terrace. They also do a mean Sunday roast. And you can even bring your dog!

  • Hall & Woodhouse Bar & Restaurant, 1 Old King Street, Bath, BA1 2JW
  • hall-woodhousebath.co.uk
  • Open Monday–Thursday 08:00–23:00, Friday 08:00–00:00, Saturday 09:00–00:00, Sunday 09:00-22:30
Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms
Emily by Emily

After a long day travelling and sightseeing, Emily likes nothing better than a good old cup of tea.

Situated next to Bath assembly rooms, Bea’s has a charming homely feel. It's got vintage tea sets, freshly baked homemade cakes and a menu that's full of traditional English favourites. Whenever I'm in Bath, I stop by for a cuppa!

Opa!
Danielle Robins by Danielle Robins

Danielle loves being whisked off her feet, and landing in exotic places. When not romancing over a candlelit dinner, she can be found in undiscovered bars and clubs with her friends.

For a romantic dinner with excellent views of Bath’s River Avon, check out the Greek restaurant Opa! The restaurant is hidden away inside a series of vaults, but opens onto a riverside terrace where you can sip cocktails in the summer, or huddle under blankets and hot drinks in the winter.

  • 12 N Parade, Bath BA2 4AL, UK
  • www.opabath.com
  • Open Monday–Saturday 12:00–02:15
Read our FAQ on this destination >

Recommendations for Bath

head to the Thermae Spa - you won't be disappointed it's totally worth the money and such an experience! I had a aromatherapy massage, lunch and 2 sessions in the pool and it was wonderful! Roof top pool at sunset was fantastic too. I WILL be returning.

well preserved, Architecture, and great local guides if needed or just chat with the locals they are so friendly and proud of their city.

Granted there are 'tourist shops' but there are a lot of independent retailers too which makes a pleasant change.

Get in early and shop. Then walk round outer places of interest - the circus, Royal Crescent, Park and Gardens.,

LOVELY WALK UPTO ROYAL CRESCENT. TAKE A DRIVE TO BRADFORD ON AVON SEE THE TIGHE BARN USED IN WOLF HALL

ALL USUAL SHOPS AND LOTS OF DESIGNER CHAINS

The Roman Baths, excellent audio tour.

Booking.com asked travellers...

Why would you recommend Bath for food?

Wide choice and good value

Scallop Shell Restaurant

Transport

Bath transport

Air - Bristol International Airport

Bristol International Airport is just 20 miles from Bath. The most direct route into town is via taxi, which takes around 40 minutes and costs around GBP 40. Alternatively, you can catch a Flyer bus to Bristol Temple Meads Train Station and get the train to Bath from there. The Flyer costs around GBP 7 one way, and the train also costs around GBP 7. In total the journey should take about an hour.

Train

Bath Spa is a charming train station on the Great Western Railway, which was designed by the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It's located in the city centre and has regular inter-city train services to places such as Bristol, London, Reading and Cardiff. The train to London terminates at London Paddington and runs around every 30 minutes, taking 90 minutes in total.

Taxi

Bath is a relatively small city, so much of it is walkable if you have the time. However, if you need to travel across town quickly, then taxi is probably the best bet. You can hail one in the street or book one online or over the phone. Costs depend on distance travelled.

Bus

There are regular bus services covering the city of Bath, as well as buses out to the surrounding area. The company operating the buses is called First. Look out for white buses with a pink and purple trim. Single tickets within Bath cost GBP 2.20, while a day pass costs GBP 4.

Car

Bath is a small city, and traffic can easily become congested around rush hour, on Saturdays or when Bath Rugby Club play home matches. There are quite a few one-way streets, bus lanes and restricted, residents-only areas. However, parking is generally easy enough to find, with plenty of car parks in the city centre. Most short-stay car parks charge GBP 1.60 for the first hour, with the hourly fee gradually going down as the car spends more time in the car park.

Food in Bath

Top restaurants in Bath

Good value
International
Colonna & Hunter
Good value
International
Browns
Good value
Spanish
Ponte Vecchio
High-end dining
British
Sally Lunn's
Good value
Spanish
La Tasca
High-end dining
British
Sally Lunn's
Cheap 'n' tasty
Bakery
Ben's Cookies
Good value
Indian
Mai Thai
Good value
Spanish
La Perla
Good value
Indian
Mai Thai
High-end dining
Italian
Ciao Ciao
  • Beau Nash House, Saw Close, Bath, Avon BA1 1EU
  • Open Monday-Saturday 12:00-14:30 and 17:30-00:00
  • 0044 1225 330030
Good value
International
Chandos Deli
Good value
International
Firehouse Rotisseria
Good value
Italian
Menu Gordon Jones
Good value
Mexican
Las Iguanas
High-end dining
Italian
Jamie's Italian
High-end dining
Italian
Aqua Restaurant
High-end dining
International
Menu Gordon Jones
High-end dining
Grill
Jazz Cafe
Find accommodation in Bath