Did someone say, “spa day”? While the occasional precipitation from the cloud is nice, nothing can compare to the healing spa waters of Bath, England!
Bath is the largest city of Somerset, a rural and hilly southwestern county of England. It sits in the valley of the River Avon and is home to the only hot springs in Britain. The city has made use of this geographical gift since before the arrival of the Romans in Britain and is well known as a spa town.
Peacefully Punting down the River Avon!
Bath is also located about 185km (115 miles) from London. Although these locations are all convenient driving distances, if possible, I would recommend taking one of the many transportation services as opposed to driving for a quicker travel time and to avoid Bath’s congested parking. Trains and buses will depart and arrive in the city centre at the main train station, Bath Spa Railway Station. Should you be flying, Bristol Airport (BRS) is the city’s closest aerodrome about 32km (20 miles) away. Ride shares, The Air Decker bus service, Bristol Airport Flyer express or private bookings are great ways to travel into Bath from Bristol. Bath is a compact city, so walking and biking are recommended ways of traveling around. Otherwise, ride share, and public transport are very convenient.
Here are my ‘must-visits’ in Bath:
The high iron content and algae make the baths red and green!
The Roman Baths – This incredibly well preserved ancient Roman spa at the heart of the city has been utilizing the geothermally heated water from the “Sacred Spring” for two millennia. Although these baths are not available for use, you can taste the healing, mineral-rich spa water from the tap. There is also an on-site museum to view cool artefacts retrieved from the baths and a restaurant called The Pump Room for afternoon tea.
The Bath Abbey is known for its fan vaulting
Thermae Bath Spa –The Thermae Spa Bath offers an opportunity to experience the healing waters with variety of different health and beauty treatments, including an open-air rooftop pool, so that you can relax with these healing waters, just as the Romans did!
Museums – Bath is home to many enticing museums that cover a range of themes and could keep you occupied for days! From the bunch, I’ve selected the best:
- Fashion Museum – Displaying over 400 years of history through fashion trends, this museum is a light and fun experience! Become the artist in the dressing-up room and try on some of the pieces for a photo.
- The Jane Austen Centre – This museum dedicated to Jane Austen and how Bath affected her writing. Here you can try Regency food, write with quill pens and even do some more dressing up!
- Holburne Museum – Bath’s first public art gallery, this stunning museum displays brilliant collections of art from all round the world. The on-site café opens into the Sydney Gardens, one of Jane Austen’s favourite spots.
Pulteney Bridge – Having shops on either side, this bridge is one of only four in the world to be built with this structure! It was constructed in 1774 to connect Bath to Bathwick.
Bath’s treasures are not limited to the city’s architectural and historical masterpieces. The restaurants here are diverse and exciting, ranging from classic British food to new-age vegetarian and vegan delights. Foodies will certainly enjoy the abundance quality plates from around the world! Here are my recommendations:
- The Circus Restaurant – Set in an opulent town house, this family-run gem serves classic British dishes with fresh ingredients.
- Acorn – Proudly vegetarian, this award-winning high-end restaurant is loved by all. Ingredients are local, organic and seasonal.
- Sotto Sotto – A traditional Italian menu with modern twists here and there, this is a local favourite.
Here’s a Pro-Tip: Don’t miss the city’s famous Bath Bun, a sweet local delicacy that visitors have enjoyed for centuries! This is not to be confused with Sally Lunn buns, another Bath tradition worth a try!
Bath buns are traditionally had with crushed sugar on top
Bath conveys a distinct 18th century old-world feel, so your first impression of the city may not take into consideration the vibrant nightlife scene. As soon as the sun goes down you will discover that your list of things to do in Bath will only become longer! From comedy shows to classic pubs, here’s where I like to party like its 1799:
- Sub 13 – Known as Bath’s favourite cocktail bar with three floors, each catering to a different atmosphere: The Vault underground late-night bar, The Champagne lounge for a sophisticated glass of bubbly and the divine Perrier-Jouët Champagne Terrace.
The official dance of Bath: the wave!
- Komedia – A live entertainment venue featuring comedy shows, music concerts and club nights.
- The Bath Brewhouse – Featuring a microbrewery, local and international craft beers and an open kitchen, this centrally located pub is a great place to enjoy a summer day in the garden!
Rest assured that in such an aesthetically appealing city, your stay will be just as dazzling! Here are some Hotels that I love:
- Royal Crescent Hotel – Two 18th century Georgian townhouses have joined forces to create one of the most desirable hotels in Bath. Sophisticated rooms, elegant spa services and historic features create a lavish experience.
- Gainsborough Hotel Bath Spa – Georgian style with modern touches, this luxury bath and spa is an amazing space to relax and unwind in the mineral rich spa waters.
- Eight – A small and contemporary hotel with 8 stylish rooms in a central location.
Bath is the perfect location to retreat to and enjoy healing waters, delicious food and fun evenings. I always leave feeling sparkling!