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 public baths that drew from the same hot springs as this luxury spa. Now you can experience the restorative benefits of those mineral-rich waters by soaking in the bubbly Minerva Bath or relaxing in the steamy rooftop pool overlooking 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 Avon River, this heritage-listed home of Bath Rugby Club features Edwardian turnstiles and charming pavilions that harken back to the pre-professional era. The jolly, family-friendly vibe in the stands is less evident on the field, as players attack rucks, mauls and scrums with serious determination.

When to Go to Bath

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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19 %
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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
We found Bath so enchanting. It offers a wide scope for activities - art galleries and museums, history, the river and canal, roman baths, numerous shops and eateries, stunning scenery and friendly people
Alexander
Australia
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
Bath is wonderful, so full of history but also very modern. So many fantastic eateries, lots of people, a very lively atmosphere and a great night life . Ate at Las Iguanas and went to the Theatre Royal.
Lesley
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
6
Review score
Beautiful city but lasting impression was the filthy car parks with homeless camping in the bays and using the stairwells as toilets. Spoiled my visit. Roman Baths fascinating and a must for every visitor.
Clare
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
8
Very Good
So much to see & do- beautiful buildings everywhere you look. Walked everywhere as it was easy- although the hills can be a bit of a challenge if you aren't fit!
Janelle
Australia
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
A great Tourist location to visit, nil issues with queues while we were there. Plenty of well sign posted car parking close to town and great food options.
Ian
New Zealand
May 21, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Bath

Wentworth House

7.1 Good

Score from 372 reviews

$117

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

8.5 Very Good

Score from 2,501 reviews

$156

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    442 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    390 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    279 related reviews
Royal Hotel

8.4 Very Good

Score from 1,486 reviews

$104

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    347 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    333 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    170 related reviews
Holiday Inn Express Bath

8.3 Very Good

Score from 2,840 reviews

$117

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    342 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    270 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    203 related reviews
Bailbrook House Hotel - a Hand Picked Hotel

9 Wonderful

Score from 1,535 reviews

$151

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    363 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    211 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    198 related reviews
Lansdown Grove Hotel

7.9 Good

Score from 812 reviews

$77

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    186 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    121 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    107 related reviews
Villa at Henrietta Park

9.3 Wonderful

Score from 1,148 reviews

$148

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

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1,697 reviews

$141

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    381 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    369 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    185 related reviews
Abbey Hotel

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2,847 reviews

$141

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    804 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    673 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    273 related reviews
Discover Bath

Popular Neighborhoods in Bath

Upper Town

26 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

21 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

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 travelers...

Why do you recommend Bath for food?

Wide choice and good value

Scallop Shell Restaurant

Transportation

Bath Transportation

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

Mid-Range Fare
International
Colonna & Hunter
Mid-Range Fare
International
Browns
Mid-Range Fare
Spanish
Ponte Vecchio
Upscale Dining
British
Sally Lunn's
Mid-Range Fare
Spanish
La Tasca
Upscale Dining
British
Sally Lunn's
Cheap Eats
Bakery
Ben's Cookies
Mid-Range Fare
Indian
Mai Thai
Mid-Range Fare
Spanish
La Perla
Mid-Range Fare
Indian
Mai Thai
Upscale 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
Mid-Range Fare
International
Chandos Deli
Mid-Range Fare
International
Firehouse Rotisseria
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Menu Gordon Jones
Mid-Range Fare
Mexican
Las Iguanas
Upscale Dining
Italian
Jamie's Italian
Upscale Dining
Italian
Aqua Restaurant
Upscale Dining
International
Menu Gordon Jones
Upscale Dining
Grill
Jazz Cafe
Find accommodations in Bath

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