This lovely and historic city in Somerset, England, is iconified by the signature honey-colored Bath stone which is used to construct so many of the city’s buildings, many of which typify the elaborate and beautiful Georgian style of architecture. Bath has a storied history as the one time home of writer Jane Austen, Louis XIII, Mary Shelley, and more, but it’s probably most famous for its ancient Roman Baths, which were built as a temple by the Roman Empire in the first century AD. Bath is a cultural landmark in England, with many art museums, galleries, Bath Abbey, and beautiful architecture, but these days, it’s also home to some excellent spas, and shopping and restaurant opportunities that make for a great vacation. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
Beckford’s Tower is a seasonally-open attraction in Bath. This tall building is classified as an architectural folly, and was constructed between the years 1826 and 1827 by William Beckford, and today is in fact the only surviving architectural structure of his left standing. In the past, the Beckford Tower housed many amazing collections of artifacts, including literature and art, and it is an excellent example of Georgian architecture. The tower and museum are open today for visitors between the months of March and November, on weekends and bank holiday Mondays. Visitors can purchase a ticket solely for the tower, or a combination ticket that will get them access to several other museums in Bath.
Lansdown Rd, Bath BA1 9BH, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-46-07-05
2.The Beazer Maze
Located in the heart of the city of Bath, the Beazer Maze is a small but scenic paved garden maze near Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon. The Beazer Maze is important because it was designed by Randoll Coate, a famous “labyrinthologist” whose mazes can be found all over the UK, each of them containing some hidden symbol or message. The Beazer Maze is no exception, and its design was inspired by the long and storied history of the city of Bath. The maze is technically a labyrinth, as there are no true dead ends and every path will eventually take you to the center, and it is a favorite destination for families with children.
Spring Gardens Rd, Bath BA2 6PW, United Kingdom
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© Alexey Fedorenko/stock.adobe.com
Pictures of Bath tend to show images of a few major landmarks, and the Circus is one of these. This famous street culminates in a circle of gorgeous Georgian townhouses, built in three curving sections with three entrances between them onto the street. The Circus was designed by John Wood, the Elder, and construction, which started in 1754, took over a decade to complete. From above, The Circus, along with adjoining Gay Street and Queen’s Square, combine to form the unmistakeable shape of a skeleton key, a common masonic symbol and one that Wood used as a trademark, of sorts.
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4.The Theatre Royal
Productions at the Theatre Royal have been thrilling audiences since 1805, and the architecture of the building itself has been impressing everyone who has seen it for the past several centuries. The theatre is built in the Georgian style, like much of Bath, and it has been called one of the most important examples of Georgian theatre architecture that has survived to this day. Visitors to the Theatre Royal can take a backstage tour of the theatre and its three auditoriums to learn about the building’s long history, or check out the calendar of events to see what’s on and catch a show.
Saw Cl, Bath BA1 1ET, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-44-88-44
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Milsom Street is located in the charming, historic center of Bath. Like many buildings in the city, those that line Milsom Street are built from the world famous Bath limestone, which has a warm, gold-colored appearance that can be found all over the city. The buildings on Milsom Street were mostly constructed as townhouses, but these days, most of the buildings are home to small shops, boutiques, and designer fashion retailers. There is also quite a selection of bookshops, cafes, and more, including Jolly’s the oldest department store in the UK, and Milsom Place, a lively courtyard. Milsom Street is a great place to spend an afternoon, browsing, walking, seeing the sights, and perhaps picking out a souvenir.
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6.Victoria Art Gallery
The art on display at the Victoria Art Gallery is constantly changing, with an ever-rotating selection of traveling or temporary exhibits, but there are also quite a few treasures among the collection that are always on display. At the Victoria Art Gallery, visitors can see paintings, sculptures, pottery, and more from over two thousand artists, from Thomas Gainesborough to John Nash. The gallery includes thousands of artworks, and is housed in a historic building that was designed in 1897. The Victoria Art Gallery is open to visitors every day from 10:30am until 5pm, with the exception of major holidays like Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day.
Bridge St, Bath BA2 4AT, United Kingdom
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7.Bath Fashion Museum
© Bath Fashion Museum
In 1963, Doris Langley Moore donated her collection of historic textiles and clothing to the city of Bath, and the Bath Fashion Museum was born. This unique and incredible museum has an extensive collection of clothing and accessories dating back centuries. A trip to the Bath Fashion Museum will teach visitors about men’s and women’s clothing—everything from how they put it on to the names of all the unique pieces it contained—and allow them to see for themselves the way that clothing has progressed and changed over the years to become the style and fashions that we wear today.
Assembly Rooms, Bennett St, Bath BA1 2QH, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-47-77-89
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8.Kennet and Avon Canal
The Kennet and Avon Canal winds for 87 miles from the Bristol Channel to the Thames River in Reading, UK. Its route passes through some of the most beautiful parts of England, including Bath. Along the Bath portion of the Kennet and Avon Canal there is a beautiful and peaceful walkway along either side, called the towpath. Here, visitors can go for a leisurely stroll, take a jog, or ride their bike along the canal. For those who are looking for an educational experience to go with their walk, there are two audio trails located along the Kennet and Avon Canal that can teach visitors about the history and importance of the waterway.
9.The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum’s collection was originally built around the art obtained and collected by Sir William Holburne, who died in 1874 and left his extensive personal gallery of sculptures, paintings, and fine art to the city of Bath. Holburne was a former naval officer who spent much of his life traveling and collecting art, particularly pieces made of silver or porcelain as well as landscape paintings and unique sculptures. Since his death, the museum has also added several thousand more items to its collection, and the result is a beautiful fine art museum, and the first public art gallery in the city of Bath.
Great Pulteney St, Bath BA2 4DB, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-38-85-69
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10.Thermae Bath Spa
© Thermae Bath Spa
Bath is named for the historic Roman baths which were built upon the natural hot springs in the area. The Roman baths are an attraction unto themselves, but visitors to Bath would be remiss if they didn’t make time for a relaxing soak in a thermal pool while visiting the city. At Thermae Bath Spa, there is an open air rooftop pool filled with naturally heated mineral waters, with a gorgeous view overlooking the city. Here, visitors can relax, swim, and play. The spa is also home to a restaurant, where bath and meal packages can be purchased, as well as an indoor Minerva bath, and a wellness suite where visitors can partake in a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment.
The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath St, Bath BA1 1SJ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-33-12-34
© Anthony Brown/stock.adobe.com
There’s nothing quite like visiting a new city and seeing it from above, especially if you’ve already taken the time to see a bit of it from below. Hot air balloon rides offer a brand new perspective on a place, and with Bath Balloons, guests will have the opportunity to see the unique and famous Georgian architecture of Bath from an eagle’s perspective. Due to the nature of ballooning, each ride will be completely unique, with destinations depending on the weather, and pilot of the balloon will point out features on the ground. Whether you’re taking a ride as a couple, as a group of friends, as a family, or even solo, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Royal Victoria Park, Weston Road, Bath BA1 2DS, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-46-68-88
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12.Pulteney Bridge and Weir
The terraced steps of Pulteney Weir make for a unique sight—water flows over the squat dam-like feature in a scenic and beautiful way, and the arched 18th century Palladian style bridge that spans the river just behind it completes the image. Pulteney Bridge is a beautiful and unique icon in the city of Bath, with shops that span both sides of the bridge and no car traffic except for buses and taxis. The area is popular with tourists and locals alike, and it’s a great spot to snap an Instagram-worthy pic or sit and relax on a bench with a steaming cup of hot cocoa or coffee.
Bridge St, Bath BA2 4AT, United Kingdom
13.Jane Austen Centre
© Jane Austen Centre
The famous writer of classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Sense and Sensibility lived in Bath for several years at the start of the 19th century, and it is the setting of several of her books. At The Jane Austen Centre, located in a converted original townhouse, visitors can learn about the esteemed novelist and her life and works, with a particular emphasis on her time in Bath. The museum is staffed by costumed character guides and even contains a lovely tea room where visitors can take part in a traditional English high tea.
40 Gay St, Bath BA1 2NT, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-44-30-00
In the first century AD, when the presence of the Roman Empire in England was still very young, the Romans began construction in Bath on a temple. The settlement which grew around it, known as Aquae Sulis, grew into what is now an iconic part of the city: the Roman Baths. If there’s only one major attraction you visit in Bath, the Roman Baths should probably be it. The baths are incredibly well preserved, with the original pavement walkways, the remains of the temple, and a small museum full of artifacts like a bronze sculpture of the head of Minerva.
Stall St, Bath BA1 1LZ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-47-77-85
Similar to The Circus, the Royal Crescent is a curved complex of buildings with a distinct Georgian style of architecture. Where the Circus was built by John Wood the Elder, the Royal Crescent was built by his son, John Wood the Younger, in 1774. The Royal Crescent is beautiful to see from the street or, if you can manage it, from above. There is a luxury hotel of the same name within the crescent, and this hotel has beautiful accommodations for visitors as well as a full spa, and a delicious restaurant on the premises. The Royal Crescent building complex contains 30 houses and is an amazing example of both Georgian architecture and the distinct look of buildings in Bath.
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16.Royal Victoria Park
© Kevin Eaves/stock.adobe.com
In 1830, Queen Victoria was still Princess Victoria; in fact, she was only 11 years old and wouldn’t become queen for another seven years. But it didn’t stop her from opening Royal Victoria Park in Bath—it was the first park ever to be named for her, and to this day it contains an obelisk dedicated to the famous monarch. Royal Victoria Park is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend some time, containing 57 acres of green lawns, stately trees, and gorgeous seasonal botanical gardens. There is also the Great Dell Aerial Walkway, which allows visitors to stroll amongst the trees on a well-maintained wooden boardwalk.
Marlborough Ln, Bath BA1 2NQ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-47-77-77
17.Museum of East Asian Art
© Museum of East Asian Art
The museum of East Asian Art in bath is the only museum of its kind in the United Kingdom. No other UK museum dedicates itself so entirely to the collection and display of art depicting the history and cultures of Asian countries. Located in the heart of Bath, just a short walk from attractions like the Royal Crescent or The Circus, the Museum of East Asian Art has a massive collection that spans over seven thousand years of history in Asia. It is located within a historic Georgian house and is open year round from Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays.
12 Bennett St, Bath BA1 2QJ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-46-46-40
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18.The Boater Pub
© The Boater Pub
Just a few short steps from Pulteney Bridge, The Boater is a traditional pub that offers incredible river views and a large, outdoor beer garden (the largest in Bath!) that is perfect for enjoying a drink or a meal on a lovely day along the river. The pub has four bars which serve a wide variety of beers, from traditional cask ales to standard favorites down to obscure craft brews. The kitchen serves great traditional pub food with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and produce, which are delivered every day. The Boater is open to the public seven days a week from 11am until 11pm, and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
9 Argyle St, Bath BA2 4BQ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-46-42-11
19.Bath Christmas Market
Every year around Christmas time, the streets of bath are transformed into a Dickensian winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights illuminating the Georgian architecture, and the bath Christmas Market, which has over one hundred and fifty traditional chalets full of vendors. At the Bath Christmas Market, visitors can enjoy a snack of candied nuts with a cup of steaming mulled spiced wine while they stroll through the rows of vendors and merchants, who sell everything from roast hog to handmade jewelry and everything in between. The market is an amazing place to find souvenirs or go Christmas shopping for loved ones, and is generally open from the end of November through mid-December.
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The Bath Abbey we see today has been rebuilt and expanded upon several times, but it doesn’t change the fact that its history stretches back to the 7th century, when it was first founded. This beautiful structure has aspects that were rebuilt and restored in the 10th, 12th, 16th, and 19th centuries, and the final result is a beautiful abbey with many Gothic details. Visitors to Bath Abbey can tour the cavernous interior, light a candle for a loved one, or attend a service to hear the echoing power of the choir with the acoustics of the church.
Bath BA1 1LT, United Kingdom
21.The Jazz Cafe
Live music, good food, and great company can all be found in spades at the Jazz Cafe, located in Bath’s vibrant city centre. This lovely little cafe serves up some great food, including home baked goods, creative salads, mouthwatering burgers, and traditional English breakfasts. The Jazz Cafe has a wonderful corner location and several outdoor tables covered by umbrellas, and customers come back again and again for some of the best food in town. On occasion, The Jazz Cafe also hosts live jazz sessions by local and touring artists, making it a great spot to sit back and relax as you listen to some great tunes and talent.
1 Kingsmead St, Bath BA1 2AA, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-32-90-02
© Peking Restaurant
Traditional Cantonese dishes, Szechuan food, and Pekingese cuisine are all on the menu at Peking Restaurant in Bath. This charming family-run Asian restaurant offers white tablecloth service, serves amazing food, and prides itself on being the longest-running Chinese restaurant in the entire city. Food is made with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and healthy options, and many of the ingredients in the dishes come from local farmers. The Peking Restaurant is closed on Sundays each week, but is open Monday through Saturday from 12pm until 2pm, and from 6pm until 10:30pm.
1-2 New St, Bath BA1 2AF, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-46-63-77
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23.Yak Yeti Yak
© Yak Yeti Yak
At Yak Yeti Yak, customers will find authentic Nepalese food and some unique decor. The bar has carved pillars of dark wood, and the walls are adorned with traditional Nepalese art, yak bells, and colorful Tibetan prayer flags. Yak Yeti Yak is a family run restaurant that tries to give its guests the traditional Nepalese experience by seating everyone on floor cushions at low tables (though traditional tables and chairs are also available), and by bringing family traditions of food from Nepal to the restaurant. The menu changes seasonally and features a variety of ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers.
12 Pierrepont St, Bath BA1 1LA, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-44-22-99
© Sotto Sotto
Sotto Sotto isn’t like every other Italian restaurant out there. First of all, it’s located in a low, stone basement with rounded, vaulted walls and ceilings made of warm yellow stone. The bare walls lend an air of sophistication and austere elegance to the dining room. At Sotto Sotto, that austere elegance translates into the simplicity of their menu, which avoids some of the elaborate presentation that other gourmet restaurants feature and focuses instead on using the highest quality ingredients and making sure every dish tastes incredible. Since Sotto Sotto is such a small restaurant, it is recommended that visitors call ahead and make a reservation, especially for larger groups of up to eight.
10 N Parade, Bath BA2 4AL, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-33-02-36
25.Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen
© Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen
Being a vegetarian used to mean having to make a lot of sacrifices, like having to settle for a boring house salad or a collection of side dishes when out to dinner because the restaurant didn’t offer any meat free options. But these days, vegetarian food is in, and at Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, sustainability and great food are the name of the game. Guests at Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen will find affordable prices on divine food, from a light lunch of soup and sourdough bread to a full dinner paired with wine and a fantastic dessert dish at the end.
2 N Parade, Passage, Bath BA1 1NX, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-12-25-44-60-59
25 Best Things to Do in Bath, UK
- Beckford’s Tower, Photo: iredding01/stock.adobe.com
- The Beazer Maze, Photo: Dreamer4787/stock.adobe.com
- The Circus, Photo: Alexey Fedorenko/stock.adobe.com
- The Theatre Royal, Photo: JeremyRichards/stock.adobe.com
- Milsom Street, Photo: iredding01/stock.adobe.com
- Victoria Art Gallery, Photo: jaceksphotos/stock.adobe.com
- Bath Fashion Museum, Photo: Bath Fashion Museum
- Kennet and Avon Canal, Photo: Pitamaha/stock.adobe.com
- The Holburne Museum, Photo: free2trip/stock.adobe.com
- Thermae Bath Spa, Photo: Thermae Bath Spa
- Bath Balloons, Photo: Anthony Brown/stock.adobe.com
- Pulteney Bridge and Weir, Photo: photomic/stock.adobe.com
- Jane Austen Centre, Photo: Jane Austen Centre
- Roman Baths, Photo: pcalapre/stock.adobe.com
- Royal Crescent, Photo: Craig/stock.adobe.com
- Royal Victoria Park, Photo: Kevin Eaves/stock.adobe.com
- Museum of East Asian Art, Photo: Museum of East Asian Art
- The Boater Pub, Photo: The Boater Pub
- Bath Christmas Market, Photo: Enticksnaps/stock.adobe.com
- Bath Abbey, Photo: alice_photo/stock.adobe.com
- The Jazz Cafe, Photo: LoloStock/stock.adobe.com
- Peking Restaurant, Photo: Peking Restaurant
- Yak Yeti Yak, Photo: Yak Yeti Yak
- Sotto Sotto, Photo: Sotto Sotto
- Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, Photo: Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen
- Cover Photo: valdisskudre/stock.adobe.com
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