Is Bath on your UK travel list? If not, why not? When I realised I only had a few more weeks left as a resident of the UK I there was one place in England I knew I HAD to visit before I left. Bath. Even though I only had 24 hours in Bath (I wish I’d had longer) it was just long enough to explore this incredible city.
There are so many reasons why Bath should be on your UK must see list. I think one of the big pulls for a lot of people though is its proximity to London. It’s one a few hours on the train or coach from London and if you book in advance you can get really cheap fairs (I think I paid £7!) so it’s great for a day trip from London, you could easily make it there and back in a day and not feel too rushed.
5 Facts About Bath
- Bath is the only city in the UK to be designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. That the whole city! Not just a part of it.
- The City is the only place in the UK that has natural hot springs.
- There are around 5,000 listed buildings in Bath
- Stonehenge is just an hour’s drive from Bath
- One of Bath’s most famous residents was Jane Austen
There is a lot to do and see in Bath but with limited time I had to prioritise so sadly I didn’t make it to Thermae Spa where you can bathe in the hot spring water. It does look incredible though and they have lots of great packages so do take a look and go if you have the time.
So here is how I spent my day:
I got up early and took a walk through the town centre to orient myself and search for breakfast! Coffee is always my morning priority and when I came across an Italian place called Rosarios I knew I’d found my spot. Served by Hannah, who was a joy to talk to with nothing beeing too much trouble. The coffee was good (did I mention I love coffee) and the veggie breakfast choice was excellent! The cost was around £5-8 for food and £2-3 for coffee.
Free Walking Tour
At 10:30 every day there is a free walking tour that goes from just outside the Roman Baths. This tour is run by the Mayor of Bath and it is completely FREE they do not accept any tips at all. The tour lasts for 2 hours, you don’t need to book and you guide will be a local volunteer. The tour was brilliant, informative and just the right amount of time. You will get to visit all of the important buildings in Bath and have plenty of time for pictures etc. On your tour make a note of anywhere you want to return to later.
If you decide not to do this walking tour and would rather do a self-guided one, then check out this great tour I created on Walkli.
Sadly the weather wasn’t on my side and I was without my DSLR so here is a stock image of two of The Royal Crescent. It’s one of those places you really do have to see as pictures just can’t capture it.
The tour finishes back where you start outside the Roman Baths and this really is the main attraction! Cost is £15.00 for adults and you get a free audio guide. It took me around 1.5 hours to wander round.
At the end, you can even take a drink of the water…It was an interesting taste!
This may not be your thing, but I would recommend taking a wander around the city centre and through the market.
When you come out of the market you will see the river. Follow it round and then turn back into town.
If you are a fan of Jane Austen then take a walk up to the Jane Austen museum. There are fixed times you can go as it starts with an introductory talk and then you are free to look round. If you aren’t a big fan or pushed for time then I’d recommend going there for an afternoon or high tea. Well, you are in Bath and it would be rude not to!
Once you have finished your tea head over to
The Assembly Rooms there are four rooms, the Great Octagon, Tea Room, Ball Room and Card Room as well as a Fashion Museum. After the morning tour, you will have a good idea of the history of Bath and its place in high society during the 18th Century. These rooms really reflect that and the clothes in the fashion museum give you a closer look at some of the popular styles worn during this time and others.
Bath also has a bus tour. If you miss the free walking tour, or you have mobility difficulties then this is a good option. Or if it’s raining, this would be the dryer option! It is also a good way to finish off the day if you still have the time and energy! If you want tickets to the bus tours then I recommend checking out Viator, they always have great discounts so it will save you some money!
There are two routes and both are included in the price. If you have done the walking tour you may not want to do the city centre loop. As well as the city centre loop there is the Skyline Tour. This is the one I would recommend to finish off your day. It takes you out of the city centre and up to Prior Park. On this route, you can get a great view of the city from the high ground.
Finish off with dinner somewhere nice! I decided to eat close to the train station as I was on the 6:30 train home.
Plane – The closest airport is Bristol which is just 20 miles away. The airport is well connected to Bath by public transport. Search for your flight on Skyscanner.
Train – If you are travelling from London it’s on a direct route and takes just 90 minutes from Paddington station. Making rail the fastest and easiest way to get to Bath on public transport. Search for tickets on Red Spotted Hanky.
Road – It’s a short drive from both the M4 and M5 motorways and parking is ok in the city centre. If you need to hire a car then search for the best deals on Skyscanner.
Where to stay
I was on a tight budget and stayed at St Christopher’s Inn which is a Hostel. It cost my £18 and was great value for money. There were a few issues, like only ONE shower, no double glazing so really loud at night and there was no electricity in the morning so no coffee! But it was spotless (not the bathrooms though), the bar downstairs was great and it was right in the City Centre.
My visit to Bath was made possible by Visit Bath so a big thank you to them. If you are planning to visit Bath then make sure to check out their website which is packed with information including events and recommendations.