“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”Anonymous
Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset, England, known for and named after its Roman-built baths. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987. This is one of the most visited place in England.
If you’re looking to see more of England outside of the capital, then I can highly recommend Bath which combines all the necessary factors of history, heritage and countryside charm.
We got a chance to visit this place in December (Winter) 2019. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day with slight showers. I believe this place will be excellent during the Summer.
Bath can be a good day trip from London (may be around 1.5 hours in train from Paddington station or may be around 3+ hours in Bus from Victoria Coach station).
Ubers are easily available in Bath. They tend to be cheaper than normal taxis and are a convenient option.
If you are coming to Bath in car, I would strongly recommend to include ‘Stonehenge’ to your itinerary.
Main Attractions/Must See places in Bath:
1. Roman Bath:
Roman Bath and the temple complex are the real foundation of this city and it is considered as one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world with a history of more than 2000 years. There is an ticket fee of £16 entrance and I believe its worth, given the importance of this place and wealth of information provided via the free audio tour.
The entrance to the Roman Baths is quite a sight to see.
The high domed ceilings with sparkling chandeliers is a great view.
Each area of the Baths that you explore is clearly marked by colour and number, with a brief description of what you will see and a number point guide on the audio handset, which was really child friendly.
Unfortunately, the water is no longer clean so you are unable to touch. If you really love history, you can spend few hours here. Natural spring still surprise the visitors here..
There was also a museum inside the complex which had models of Baths in Roman times, remains of sculptures , Bath areas etc. Try to reach the Roman Bath in the morning before the tourists Crowds start flowing in..
2. Bath Abbey:
The church dominates the city center because of its Gothic architecture.
Large stained glass windows provides an extra beauty to the Bath Abbey (also known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul). It was founded in the 7th century and is perhaps the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in Europe.
You can visit the interior but make sure to check the official website as the opening times change around special holidays in the UK. It’s free to go inside, but you can also take a guided tower tour for £8 that takes you up 212 spiral steps to the abbey roof for a panoramic city view.
3. Parade Gardens and Pulteney Bridge:
Pulteney bridge is built on River Avon. We can get a nice view of the bridge from the Parade Gardens. This covered bridge was built in the 18th century for William Pulteney to connect Bath to land on the other side of the River Avon to help drive up land prices. It’s one of few bridges in the world which have shops built into the sides and this bridge is still really well preserved.
Note: Seems there is also Boating options available during summer, where you can take a short trip along the river Avon. The trips run between April to October and take about an hour. They start just below Pulteney Bridge and cost £9 per adult (£5 for children). The boat travels under the bridge, out past the edge of the city and on into the countryside as far as the pretty little village of Bathampton before returning to Bath.
4. NThe Circus:
The Circus is a historic street of large townhouses in the city of Bath, Somerset, England, forming a circle with three entrances. Large trees stand in the central garden, blocking the view of the buildings and it’s really hard to get a picture of the entire curved facade.
5. Bath Hop on Hop off Tour:
The Bath Hop On Hop Off is another convenient option to get around the city and hit all the attractions at a minimal cost.
6. Walk around the city centre:
The city centre is composed of a network of small streets, dotted with old style boutiques. The houses in Bath are built with a special type of limestone found especially near the city and it is relatively yellowish in colour.
7. Alexandra Park view point:
This is a must see place in Bath.
You should plan you trip to Bath in a way that you reach this place by evening (Before the sunset). This peaceful park is build high above the city, which makes it the most amazing view point to watch as the sun comes down.
This 11-acre park, opened in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII, is situated at the top of Beechen Cliff providing magnificent panoramic views of the city and the surrounding hills.
Don’t forget to take your camera as you will get lot of opportunities to capture some amazing views.
Other interesting places worth visiting:
The Royal Crescent is Bath’s single most impressive piece of architecture, a set of 30 crescent-shaped Georgian houses designed by architect John Wood.
Thermae Bath Spa:
This 21st century rooftop pool cum spa screams luxury along with splendid views of Bath. There’s a small fee to be paid for entry, but it is well worth the experience.
Parking is a nightmare in Bath city centre. One of the best option will be to park in ‘Avon Street Car Park’. There are also a couple of Parking facilities available nearby Avon. The good thing is that there are boards placed across the city providing the real time status of the free car parks available within the different paid parking facilities of the main city.
There are many different options available. We had tried a couple of small shops and food was good.
Summary: Bath is city worth one-time visit. 2 days itinerary should cover all the major attractions of this ancient city.