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Beautiful Bath is a slice of 18th-century elegance
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.
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!Accommodations near Parade Gardens
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.Accommodations near Bath Abbey
“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.Accommodations near Roman Baths
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.Accommodations near Pulteney Bridge
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.Accommodations near Queen Square
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.Accommodations near The Circus
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.Accommodations near The Jane Austen Centre
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.Accommodations near Holburne Museum of Art
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!Accommodations near Royal Crescent
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.Accommodations near Royal Victoria Park
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!Accommodations in Upper Town
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.Accommodations in Bath City Centre
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.Accommodations in Milsom Quarter
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.Accommodations in Artisan Quarter
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.Accommodations near The American Museum in Britain
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.Accommodations near The Pig and Fiddle
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.Accommodations near Vintage to Vogue
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!Accommodations near Hall and Woodhouse
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!Accommodations near Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms
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.Accommodations near Opa!
Booking.com asked travelers...What is it in Bath that makes history come to life?
well preserved, Architecture, and great local guides if needed or just chat with the locals they are so friendly and proud of their city.See all 72 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Which spa or what treatment is worth pampering yourself with in 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.See all 45 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in Bath.
ALL USUAL SHOPS AND LOTS OF DESIGNER CHAINSSee all 40 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Bath while avoiding the crowds?
Go midweekSee all 22 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Where should people go if they don't want to eat in a tourist trap?
Scallop Shell RestaurantSee all 20 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What did you discover about the museums in Bath that wasn't in the guidebooks?
The Herschel Astronomy Museum is a hidden gem.See all 14 answers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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