November 9, 2023
How to Spend a Day in Bath
Bath, a city steeped in history with UNESCO World Heritage status, offers a splendid array of activities that can be achieved in a day.
Known for its hot springs, Roman baths, splendid Georgian architecture, and as the home of Jane Austen, it delights visitors with its quintessentially English charm.
Our itinerary for a day in Bath is pretty gruelling, but there’s just so much to see!
So, if you want to take it slower then use this as a guide to help plan a day itinerary that suits you. Let’s get into it…
1. Roman Baths
Begin your morning with a visit to the Roman Baths, a well-preserved bathing complex above the city’s hot springs.
The Romans built the city around the baths and constructed the temple between 60-70 CE. On your visit, you can walk around the temple, feeling the heat from the water, heated naturally by the hot springs.
Abbey Churchyard, Bath BA1 1LZ. Romanbaths.co.uk.
2. Bath Abbey
Just next to the Roman Baths, visit the stunning Bath Abbey. With its origins in the 7th century, this Gothic church has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,200 years.
Bath Abbey, Bath BA1 1LT, UK.
3. Thermae Bath Spa
If after visiting the Roman Baths you’re hankering after a relaxing dip yourself then for a modern twist, indulge in Britain’s only natural thermal waters as the Romans did over 2000 years ago. The rooftop pool offers a stunning view of the cityscape.
The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath St, Bath BA1 1SJ. Thermaebathspa.com.
Stop for a Spot of Lunch
4. Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum
Enjoy a midday meal in one of the oldest houses in Bath, serving the famous Bath Bun, which is still baked to a secret recipe.
The Bath Bun was invented in the 18th century, by Dr William Oliver, for his patients. It was so tasty that patients ate too many of them, so he had to rework the recipe a little. But the buns are still an iconic sweet treat in Bath.
4 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX. Sallylunns.co.uk.
5. The Bath Skyline Walk
See Bath from a different perspective, with this popular 6-mile (9.6km) circular walk, on the Bath skyline. Follow the marked National Trust trail through the tree-lined hills, soak up the fresh air and the stunning views.
If you want to fit more sights in during your day in Bath, opt for a shorter walk. This 3-mile (5 km) out and back, still reaches the viewpoint but is a great alternative if you’re tight for time.
Prior Park Landscape Garden, Ralph Allen Dr, Bath BA2 5AH, UK. Nationaltrust.org.uk/bath-skyline.
6. Pulteney Bridge
Completed in 1774, five years after construction started, this beautiful bridge is reminiscent of Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, with shops built across its full span on both sides.
Crossing the River Avon, originally it was built to connect the city with the land of the Pulteney family (Sir William Pulteney was the Earl of Bath).
Pulteney Bridge, Bridge Street, Bath, Avon, BA2 4AT.
7. Royal Crescent & No. 1 Royal Crescent
Take a tour of No. 1 Royal Crescent, a museum that’s been decorated and furnished just as it might have been during its late 18th-century heyday.
No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LR, UK.
8. The Circus
Not far from the Royal Crescent, you’ll find The Circus, a striking circular space surrounded by striking Georgian townhouses.
9. Visit a Museum or Art Gallery
Victoria Art Gallery
Featuring an outstanding collection of artworks, it’s a pleasant spot for art lovers to spend an hour or so.
Bridge St, Bath BA2 4AT, UK. Victoriagal.org.uk
American Museum & Gardens
We may be in the UK, but Bath is home to one of the only American Museums outside of the USA.
The four galleries cover a variety of different topics, from popular culture to global consumerism.
Claverton Manor, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7BD. Americanmuseum.org.
10. Jane Austen Centre
Delve into the life of the famous author at this permanent exhibition which explores the effect of Bath on her life and work.
Jane Austen spent several years living in Bath, in the early 1800s. In fact, two of her first novels, ‘Northanger Abbey’, and ‘Persuasion’, are set in the city.
Alongside the exhibition, you can also join the costumed guides on a journey of her life, have a go writing with a quill pen and ink, and even taste some Regency food. There’s also a selection of dresses, bonnets, coats, spencers, and accessories if you fancy looking the part, too.
After the exhibition, enjoy afternoon tea in the Regency Room.
40 Gay St, Bath BA1 2NT. Janeausten.co.uk
11. Dine in Style
The Olive Tree
For an exquisite dining experience, the Olive Tree, located beneath the Queensberry Hotel, offers the city’s only Michelin-starred meal.
4-7 Russell St, Bath BA1 2QF, UK. Olivetreebath.co.uk.
Hall & Woodhouse
If you’re visiting Bath during the summer and fancy dining with a view, Hall & Woodhouse (pictured above) is a stylish pub with a roof terrace right in the heart of the city.
Unwind above the city streets, with traditional pub food and a good ale (or cocktail).
1 Old King Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2JW. Hall-woodhousebath.co.uk.
12. Theatre Royal, Bath
If time allows, catch an evening performance at one of the oldest theatres in Britain. Made in a distinctive Georgian style, it’s also one of the most beautiful.
There are regular shows at the theatre, so if you can get tickets, we highly recommend booking a seat.
Saw Cl, Bath BA1 1ET. Theatreroyal.org.uk.
If you decide that a day in Bath just isn’t long enough, don’t miss the many landscaped parks and markets…
13. Explore Bath’s Parks and Gardens
Just because Bath’s a city, doesn’t mean it lacks green space.
Take a stroll around Prior Park and admire the wonderful landscaped gardens; the Royal Victoria Park is home to a botanical garden, and also has a great kid’s play area with activities like crazy golf; Alexandra Park is an 11-acre woodland escape and a great spot for a picnic.
14. Take a Stroll through the Markets
Bath holds weekly markets where you can find local produce and goods from independent traders.
Once Bath’s main railway station, Green Park Station in West Bath is home to the Bath Farmer’s Market (Saturdays), and Bath Flea Market (Sundays).
If you’re visiting over the festive period, make sure you visit the Christmas markets.
Green Park Station, Bath, BA1 1JB. Greenparkstation.co.uk.
How to Get to Bath
Bath is in the county of Somerset in the West of England. The city is easily accessible by train from London with a journey time of approximately 90 minutes from London Paddington Station to Bath Spa Railway Station. Direct services are frequent, providing a convenient option for travellers.
If you prefer to drive, Bath is about 100 miles west of London, taking around 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic. There’s a Park & Ride (Firstbus.co.uk/bath-park-and-ride) service if you’re visiting by car and don’t want to contend with the city traffic.
Thinking of a trip to Bath? Consider making your way there through the Cotswolds on one of our guided walking tours.
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