The city of Bath is hands down one of the most popular in England. Filled with remarkable Georgian architecture, historic landmarks and quirky independent shops, it’s impossible to get bored exploring these cobbled streets. I spent hours scouting out the very best things to do and see thanks to my time living and working here. So without further delay, I hope you enjoy this local’s guide to Bath!
Bath’s Best Landmarks
Though Bath is a city, it doesn’t have a cathedral. Instead, it has Bath Abbey which dates back to the 7th century and marks the city’s centre.
With its location in mind, I recommend choosing the Abbey as your starting point if you’re visiting for the first time, to help you get your bearings. And because it’s a seriously impressive building.
But if the exceptional architecture isn’t enough to lure you in, the atmosphere surely will. The surrounding square often overflows with lively street performers and charming market stalls, ensuring a fun day out for all.
Conveniently located right next to the aforementioned Abbey, is the Roman Baths. Millions of tourists flock to this historic site each year, so you aren’t just taking my word for it that it’s a must-see.
It’s worth noting that the baths have been modified since their inception, though many elements of the original thermae have been well-preserved.
*Tickets must be purchased to explore this attraction, with varied prices depending on peak times and seasons.
Bath’s famous Royal Crescent is a sweeping row of terraced Georgian houses, in front of which lies a vast expanse of verdant grass. This striking 500-foot long crescent includes the homes of notable figures, past and present, as well as a luxury hotel and museum.
The best way to explore the crescent is to walk through Royal Victoria Park and approach the impressive architecture head-on.
Bath’s Best Kept Secrets
Partial to a birds-eye view? Then make your way over the river and up to Alexandra Park.
This thriving green space is a breath of fresh(er) air, providing incredible panoramic views overlooking the city. But be prepared to embark up a rather large flight of stairs (or take the easy way out and park nearby)!
Just 8 miles from Bath you’ll find the exquisite 17th-century mansion, Dyrham Park. This National Trust property is truly a treasure to behold. And its grounds are even more enchanting.
The surrounding estate is home to numerous wild deer for you to marvel at, but try not to get too close! You are in their territory after all.
Wander around to the back of the mansion and you’ll uncover beautifully tendered gardens and a peaceful lake. It’s the perfect place to pretend you’re one of Jane Austen’s comrades… For a few hours, at least.
Other Great Things to do in Bath
Fusing the old with the new, Bath’s famous thermae spa harnesses the warmest geothermal springs in the UK.
I’ve been many times and suggest that you explore all of the facilities but spend the majority of your time on the top floor – home to the large open-air rooftop pool which is, without a doubt, this spa’s best feature. Come winter or summer, the rooftop pool provides impressive views of the city. And you’ll only feel cold when making the mad dash in/out of the water!
If you’ve got time to kill and the weather is good, I highly recommend trying out the adventure golf course in Royal Victoria Park. It’s great fun and suitable for even the most useless golfers.
Opened by 11-year old Princess Victoria in 1830, the aptly named park is a wonderful and picturesque place to peruse for an hour or so. And if mini golf isn’t quite your speed? Fear not! The park has something for everyone, from immaculately manicured flowerbeds to imaginative play areas.
Bath’s Best Eateries
Cafe Lucca is my favourite place to take a break from exploring the city and recuperate with a delicious sit-down lunch.
The Whole Bagel is best if you insist on squeezing your sightseeing into one day and need a grab-and-go lunch option. It’s super fresh and delicious, not to mention far better than any of the mass-market chains.
Clayton’s Kitchen at The Porter is hands down the best restaurant in Bath. It’s actually one of my top three in all of Europe – high praise, but well-deserved. Indulge in dinner at Clayton’s for a meal you won’t forget in a hurry.
The Canary Gin Bar is where you should head for a pre or post-dinner tipple. Located on a charming and typically Bath-esque cobbled street, this gin and martini bar serves up innovative G&Ts to suit all palates.
I hope that this guide has inspired you to visit Bath! If you have any questions or have your own recommendations to suggest, please feel free to share these in the comments section below.
Read More About Bath:
- Where to eat in Bath: your guide to the best restaurants
- Where to drink in Bath: the best cocktail and wine bars