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18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Bath

Written by Bryan Dearsley Updated Dec 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Widely considered one of England's most attractive cities , Bath is famous for the archeological attraction from which it takes its name: its 2,000-year-old Roman baths.

Nestled in the Avon Valley between the Cotswolds and the Mendip Hills in the beautiful county of Somerset , Bath is also well known for its perfectly preserved honey-colored Georgian houses .

River Avon in Bath

Today, some 500 of the city's buildings are considered of historical or architectural importance. Bath was granted World Heritage Site status in 1987, one of only a handful of such locations in the UK.

In addition to enjoying the city's spectacular architecture, parks, and gardens, popular things to do include exploring Bath's many museums, entertainment venues, and tourist attractions. And don't worry about getting lost. Handy maps and signage are located in most public areas and major intersections, making the job of finding your favorite points of interest that much easier.

Bath is well known for its many festivals and events, including the Bath Christmas Market , held mid-November to mid-December. Also noteworthy is the Bath International Music Festival , held over two weeks each May.

Learn more about what to see, as well as popular sightseeing opportunities and tours, with our list of the top things to do in Bath, England.

1. Visit the Historic Roman Baths

2. explore bath's georgian roots in royal crescent, 3. take a tour of bath abbey, 4. pulteney bridge, 5. get pampered at thermae bath spa, 6. take a peek inside the cross bath, 7. get your art fix (and more) at the holburne museum, 8. get dressed up at the fashion museum bath, 9. sally lunn's historic eating house, 10. herschel museum of astronomy, 11. the jane austen centre, 12. mary shelley's house of frankenstein, 13. see a show at theatre royal, 14. the museum of east asian art, 15. take a trip to the american museum and gardens, 16. explore the victoria art gallery, 17. the bath festival, 18. prior park landscape garden, where to stay in bath for sightseeing, map of tourist attractions in bath, bath - climate chart.

View of Bath's historic Roman Baths

While the ancient Romans are credited for having established Bath's ancient hot springs as a place of relaxation and rejuvenation, legend has it their healing powers were discovered some 500 years earlier by a British king.

But it was the Romans who left their mark, building the city's famous Roman Baths and Temple of Sulis Minerva in 75 BCE around the largest of the city's three hot springs. It's not difficult to see the attraction: the water contains 43 different minerals, gushes from a depth of nearly 10,000 feet at a rate of 275,000 gallons a day, and is a constant 46.5 degrees Celsius.

Voted Britain's most romantic buildings, the award-winning Roman Baths and Temple are among the finest examples of Roman architecture remaining in England and attract more than 1.3 million visitors each year. Many of the artifacts found during various archeological digs, including altar stones and exquisite mosaics, are on display in the museum or around the Great Bath itself.

Roman Baths

While regular free guided tours are available, those wanting to go at their own pace can pick up an excellent audioguide with their tickets. A version of this handy guide is also available for children, who are encouraged to engage with staff dressed in authentic period costumes. Tickets for the Roman Baths are timed and need to be booked in advance.

Feeling peckish after all that sightseeing? Book a table at the elegant Pump Room Restaurant in a setting that has been serving great meals and afternoon teas for over 200 years. Past guests have included no less than Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. Live music and samples of fresh spring water are included.

If you're looking to combine the Roman Baths with a tour of other city attractions, consider joining a fun two-hour Bath city walking tour . Highlights of these morning or afternoon tours include the best parts of the baths, including the hot springs, the Great Bath, the pump rooms, and the changing rooms, plus a walk to Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey.

Address: Abbey Churchyard, Bath, England

Official site: www.romanbaths.co.uk

Bath's Royal Crescent

Exploring Bath's perfectly preserved Georgian architecture is probably the second best excuse to visit this beautiful city. A great place to start your adventure is the Museum of Bath Architecture . This unique facility located in a former private chapel perfectly demonstrates how classical design influenced the city's buildings. It's also home to the incredibly detailed Bath Model , a magnificent 1:500 scale architectural model of the historic city center.

Next, walk to the northwest section of the city, where most of the best architectural examples are found. Check out Queen Square and Gay Street, with their beautifully symmetrical façades dating from the early 18th century. Next, head to the Royal Circus , a perfect circle of three-story homes with different classical orders (column types) on each level.

Finally, there's Royal Crescent . This monumental semicircular sweep of residential townhouses is famous for its breathtakingly uniform, palace-like façade. While most homes on the crescent remain privately owned, No.1 Royal Crescent is open to the public and provides a rare glimpse into what life was like for the wealthy, along with their not-so-wealthy servants, in the 1770s.

A variety of guided tours, educational events, and themed itineraries are available.

Address: 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, England

Official site: http://no1royalcrescent.org.uk/

Bath Abbey

The Gothic cathedral of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, traditionally referred to as the Bath Abbey, was founded in 1499. According to legend, it was built after Bishop Oliver King experienced a vivid dream of angels climbing up and down ladders to and from heaven. He also heard a voice declaring: "The crown should plant an olive tree and the king restore the church."

Interpreted as a sign to rebuild the church, the site of which had been used by Christians as a place of worship since 757 CE, the dream was intricately immortalized in stone on the building's west side. A good time to visit for those with flexible itineraries is during one of the frequent music concerts or public lectures (check the abbey's website for dates and details).

There's also a guided tower tour program, which takes in the bell chamber, clock face, and roof. From here, you'll get a superb view over the city and the neighboring Roman Baths. However, it's a 212-step climb, but a rest area is available halfway up. For a truly memorable experience, an after-dark private tower visit is also available for couples.

While admission to the abbey itself is free, there is a charge to climb the tower. For those wanting a keepsake from their visit, be sure to check out the on-site gift shop.

Address: 11a York Street, Bath, England

Official site: www.bathabbey.org

Pulteney Bridge

One of the most recognizable pieces of architecture in Bath, Pulteney Bridge is one of only a handful of bridges with buildings atop them that still exists. Completed in 1774 to connect central Bath to undeveloped land on the opposite side of the River Avon, it's considered one of the most iconic such bridges in the world, and even played a starring role in the film version of Les Misérables ).

Three arches support a variety of quaint little shops and restaurants, and the bridge opens onto Great Pulteney Street with its beautiful Georgian-era homes . The bridge also acts as the departure point for a variety of fun river excursions.

Address: Bridge Street, Bath, England

Thermae Bath Spa

If you'd like to enjoy the same bathing experience as the ancient Romans who built the original baths here, you're in luck. A dip in the waters of Thermae Bath Spa, located across the street from the Roman Baths, is a unique opportunity to experience the same thermal waters that have drawn people as far back as the Celts to the area for thousands of years.

The facility itself is a pleasing architectural blend of a new modern glass-faced structure built in 2006 and original Georgian-era buildings. The main bathing area, the New Royal Bath , consists of a stunning open-air rooftop swimming pool plus an indoor pool, two thermal baths, two steam rooms, as well as an ice chamber. Also worth checking out are the original 18th-century "hot bath" and the delightful garden-side wellness suite.

A number of spa treatments are available, including water massages and hot stone therapies. A fun thing for couples to do is to book one of the romantic twilight packages, including dinner (there's an on-site restaurant), a spa treatment, and a rooftop pool session at sunset.

Address: The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath, England

Official site: www.thermaebathspa.com

Cross Bath

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Thermae Bath Spa, and operated by the same company, is the Cross Bath . This historic spa facility provides a unique opportunity to take a dip in the city's ancient waters.

A highlight of a visit to this fully-renovated 18th-century building includes having access to the original open-air thermal bath. Adding to the fun is the fact that only 10 guests are permitted at a time.

For a truly memorable experience, your 1.5-hour experience can be booked for private sessions, too – a great option for couples and small groups of friends. As with the Thermae Bath Spa, robes and towels are included with your visit. When not in use, a new glass door allows curious passersby to take a peek into the facility.

Address: 9, 10 Hot Bath Street, Bath, England

Official site: www.thermaebathspa.com/spa-sessions-cross-bath/

Holburne Museum

The mainstay of the Holburne Museum's excellent collection of art includes paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Stubbs. There's also a large collection of 18th-century silver, Wedgwood porcelain, Renaissance bronzes, and early period furniture.

Housed in the former Sydney Hotel, the museum now includes a garden café overlooking lovely Sydney Gardens , famous as Britain's only surviving 18th-century pleasure gardens.

A variety of events and educational programs are held frequently, including classical music performances and lectures. If you time it right, a fun thing to do is participate in the museum's "late night" programs, which allows you to explore its many exhibits after hours. A café and shop are located on the premises.

Address: Great Pulteney Street, Bathwick, Bath, England

Official site: www.holburne.org

Fashion Museum Bath

After taking in Bath's splendid architecture, you'll no doubt want to learn a little more about the styles and fashions that would have adorned the residents of the city's many exquisite homes. Housed in the architecturally stunning Assembly Rooms , the Fashion Museum contains a world-class collection of contemporary and historical clothing, including 150 dressed figures and more than 30,000 original items dating from the late 16th century to the present day.

Established in 1963, the museum's displays cover a variety of themes such as men's and women's wear, day and evening dress, as well as modern alternative fashion.

Highlights include a unique "dress of the year" wardrobe of dresses from the best-known dressmakers and designers, which have been collected since the museum's opening, with one new example being added each year. Examples can be seen from such leading brands as Mary Quant, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren.

For kids who enjoy dressing up, a fun thing to do is to try on some of the reproduction garments made available for visitors. The museum also has a good café, as well as a gift shop. Informative audioguides are included with the price of admission.

Address: Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, England

Official site: www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/

Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House

Dating from 1482 and rebuilt in 1622, this living museum and historic eating house is famous for its delicious Sally Lunn's Buns, made from secret traditional recipes. Actor Nicolas Cage is reportedly a fan of their cinnamon butter topping. And he's right: they're delicious.

Also try the homemade lemon curd with clotted cream bun. So popular are they, you'll more than likely find yourself lining up with people from across the globe, and versions of the bun are popular in places like Williamsburg, Virginia, and New Zealand.

Just steps from Bath Abbey, the cellar museum demonstrates how the site has been used to refresh weary travelers since Roman times. Highlights include the original kitchen, an old oven dating from 1140, along with the only visible remains of medieval Bath.

The museum also features a fascinating display portraying how parts of the old city were raised an entire story to save it from flooding, and, of course, to allow posh Georgians a better place to promenade.

The best times to visit and avoid the crowds are around 10am or late afternoon near dinnertime; tables can be reserved for the latter. Alternatively, grab a bun or two as a takeaway.

Address: 4 North Parade Passage, Bath, England

Official site: www.sallylunns.co.uk

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

Housed in a beautifully restored Georgian townhouse, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy contains numerous artifacts related to the acclaimed musician and astronomer, William Herschel.

Notable things to do at the museum include viewing original pieces of music and numerous instruments, as well as many references to his greatest achievement, the discovery of the planet Uranus in 1781. This groundbreaking feat was made using a telescope Herschel designed and constructed himself in this very building.

Self-guided audio tours are available, with many replicas of Herschel's equipment being available for visitors to handle and experience. A variety of fun educational programs are also available in the museum and its workshop. An authentic Georgian-era garden is also available to explore.

Another itinerary-worthy attraction is the Museum of Bath at Work . Showcasing 2,000 years of Bath's commercial development, the museum's highlights include a reconstruction of a Victorian engineering and mineral water business that ran unchanged through to the 1960s, a stone quarry and crane, as well as a fully functioning cabinet maker's workshop.

Of interest to philatelists is the Bath Postal Museum , a fun diversion with displays of related materials and numerous antique postboxes.

Address: 19 New King Street, Bath, England

Official site: https://herschelmuseum.org.uk

The Jane Austen Centre

Fans of English literature, and Georgian-era literature in particular, will want to make sure a visit to the Jane Austen Centre on historic Gay Street is included in their Bath travel itinerary. Austen famously vacationed in Bath before living here full-time from 1801 to 1806, a city that, at the time, was a gathering place for the country's upper classes, drawn by its famous baths, rural setting, and vibrant social scene.

Highlights of a visit include touring the well-preserved former townhome with a period-costumed guide (guided tours of other city landmarks are also available), and enjoying a wide variety of displays and materials relating to the author's time in Bath. There's even a waxwork of the author, constructed over a two-year period with guidance from forensic scientists to ensure it resembles Austen (of whom no realistic images exist) as closely as possible.

Another worthwhile place to visit is the center's tearoom, where you can enjoy an authentic high tea experience. There and there's also a well-stocked shop carrying the author's works and other souvenirs.

If traveling to Bath in the autumn, try to time your visit to coincide with the annual Jane Austen Festival . Held each September, this 10-day celebration culminates in a parade, which draws thousands of visitors and fans, most dressed in authentic period costumes. There's also a much-anticipated Masked Ball, something Austen herself would no doubt have enjoyed.

Address: 40 Gay Street, Bath, England

Official site: www.janeausten.co.uk

Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein

Located just a few steps up from The Jane Austen Centre is one of Bath's newest places to visit: Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein. Opened in 2021, this one-of-a-kind attraction is an interesting mix of museum and immersive fun.

In addition to the informative displays outlining Shelley's sometimes tumultuous relationships and at times tragic life, it also offers a fascinating look at how her famous story sparked a virtual industry of monster-related literature and, ultimately, cinema.

As you make your way, you'll see, and in some cases have a chance to play with, a variety of interactive devices that help drive the story along until, eventually, you find yourself face-to-face with the monster Frankenstein just as Shelley wrote him.

You'll then have a chance to sit in an authentic silent-era movie house to watch cinematic incarnations of the famous monster. Afterwards, try your hand at the monster-themed escape room and, if you dare, enter the building's basement for a spooky walk-through experience. A gift shop selling related souvenirs is also on-site.

Address: 37 Gay Street, Bath

Official site: www.houseoffrankenstein.com

Theatre Royal

Opened in 1805 and host to some of the biggest stars of live theater ever since, the spectacular Theatre Royal was completely renovated in 2010. Today, it's considered one of the finest examples of surviving Georgian-era architecture in England.

In addition to the opportunity to enjoy first-rate theatrical and musical performances, a visit will expose you to the building's stunningly decorated interior. Highlights include the ornate plasterwork, plush seating, and large chandelier in the 900-seat auditorium, notable for its three separate galleries. It's also rumored to be haunted, its most famous ghost being the perfumed Grey Lady.

In addition to its ever-changing roster of visiting and locally produced performances, a number of annual events are also held here, including the popular Shakespeare Unplugged Festival. Theatre Royal also houses a second stage, the Ustinov Studio . This studio theater opened in 1997 and offers an eclectic mix of theater, dance, music, and comedy.

Theatre Royal is also home to a dedicated children's theater. The Egg opened in 2005 and hosts numerous kid-focused productions, educational programs and workshops, as well as the fun Family Theatre Festival. In addition to The Egg's café, two restaurants serve both lunch and dinner.

Address: Saw Close, Bath, England

Official site: www.theatreroyal.org.uk

Museum of East Asian Art

Be sure to add the Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA) to your list of Bath attractions to explore. Housed in another of the city's gorgeous old Georgian townhomes, this fascinating museum opened in 1993 and contains many fine collections of carvings made from jade and bamboo.

There are also many bronze sculptures and ceramics from across East and Southeast Asia, including Korea, Japan, and China, in the collection. Some of the 2,000-plus items you'll enjoy seeing in this one-of-a-kind museum date back more than 7,000 years.

In addition to its permanent displays, the museum hosts a variety of interesting visiting exhibits throughout the year, as well as educational programs and events, ensuring a return visit is worthwhile. The museum shop is well worth visiting, too, and stocks a sizable range of Asian-inspired products.

Address: 12 Bennett Street, Bath, England

Official site: https://meaa.org.uk

American Museum and Gardens

Set amid 120 acres of stunning Somerset countryside just three miles outside of Bath, the American Museum and Gardens is home to a superb collection of antiquities from colonial times right up to the Civil War years. Set in a majestic 19th-century manor house, this fascinating museum was founded by a couple of antique collectors to house their vast collection of American decorative arts, and is the only museum of its kind to be located outside the US.

Highlights include authentic American-styled rooms and furnishings representing various regions and periods from the country's history, along with original quilts, maps, textiles, and folk art. Exhibits dealing with contemporary events are also held and are rotated annually.

Be sure to also allow time to explore the museum's magnificent gardens and grounds. A particularly fun thing to do is to wander the replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon garden. There is also an arboretum to explore, as well as a pleasant trail that takes you past a wide variety of trees native to the US.

The museum's recent addition is the New American Garden, which includes an impressive rose collection along with shrubs and perennials. Time your visit right, and you can participate in a variety of living history programs, including reenactments of battles and events from America's rich history. There's also an on-site gift shop selling a range of related souvenirs.

Location: Claverton Manor, Claverton Down, Claverton, Bath, England

Official site: http://americanmuseum.org/

Victoria Art Gallery

Since throwing open its doors to the public for the first time in 1900, the world-class Victoria Art Gallery has remained one of Bath's most-visited museums. Named after Queen Victoria, who that same year celebrated her diamond jubilee, the museum contains superb collections of works by the likes of such well-respected artists as Gainsborough, Turner, and Sickert.

Additional exhibitions may feature items from the gallery's impressive collections of pottery, porcelain, glass, and watches, and are rotated frequently. As well as being of interest to adult visitors, there are also plenty of fun things for kids to do here, including popular activities such as crafts and drawing.

Of special interest for art fans are the Art Store Tours. These fun behind-the-scenes tours offer a look at areas and artworks not normally available to the public. Be sure to also pick up your handy guide (a charge applies) from the museum shop.

Official site: www.victoriagal.org.uk

The Bath Festival

Picking up where the old Bath International Music Festival, established in 1948, left off, the 17-day-long Bath Festival is an exciting multi-arts event that continues to draw huge crowds of festival-goers to the city each May. Music, of course, continues to play a large role in the festival, with everything from jazz to classical to folk and international music being included.

A must-attend highlight is the Party in the City event. This exciting evening of music is free to enjoy, with upwards of 2,000 performers in attendance from various music genres playing at multiple venues across Bath. There's also a strong literary component, which includes everything from poetry to contemporary fiction.

For those traveling with kids, consider a visit in the autumn for the Bath Children's Literature Festival , billed as the largest such festival in Europe. Highlights include author readings; illustration workshops; and plenty of family-friendly fun activities, including arts, crafts, and games.

Address: 9-10 Bath Street, Bath, England

Official site: https://bathfestivals.org.uk

Palladian Bridge, Prior Park Landscape Garden

Just two miles southeast of Bath is one of the most picturesque rural settings to be found anywhere in England: Prior Park Landscape Garden. Built between 1735 and 1750, Prior Park itself was the creation of renowned architect John Wood, whose design is considered to be one of the best examples of the Palladian-style mansions so popular during the period.

But it's the beautiful gardens, designed by poet Alexander Pope and famed garden architect Capability Brown, that so define this National Trust property, and which make it a must for any Somerset itinerary.

A focus of any visit should be exploring the magnificent and extremely photogenic Palladian bridge, one of only four such bridges still standing worldwide. Other features of note include a picturesque Gothic temple, a grotto, and a good-sized serpentine lake.

In fact, so pleasing an experience is wandering this property that you'll certainly want to take your time. This is especially true if you combine it with a walk along the Bath Skyline pathway , which can be joined close by.

Also worth doing is taking one of the park's first-rate free guided tours. These 90-minute walking tours include wildlife and fungi excursions, a head gardener option, as well as seasonal explorations. Autumn is a good time to visit for the colors and the smaller crowds.

And if all that walking makes you thirsty, pay a visit to the fun "tea shed" for a hot beverage.

Address: Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, England

Official site: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/prior-park-landscape-garden

Thanks to its status as one of the most visited small cities in England, Bath offers no end of choices when it comes to finding top-rated accommodations close to the city's attractions, most of which are located in the heart of this ancient city. Here are some highly rated and conveniently located hotels we recommend that are close to the Roman Baths and the city's other top cultural attractions.

Luxury Hotels :

  • A favorite for those seeking a high-end experience is The Gainsborough Bath Spa , a sumptuously decorated heritage hotel that offers thermal pools, turndown service, and a delightful afternoon tea – all just steps away from the Roman Baths.
  • Situated on Bath's most famous street, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa offers guests a truly luxury experience in an authentic Georgian-era building, all just a few minutes' walk away from top attractions such as Bath Abbey. A full English breakfast is provided.
  • A luxurious stay can also be enjoyed at the intimate boutique-style hotel No.15 Great Pulteney , located a short stroll from historic Pulteney Bridge.

Mid-Range Hotels :

  • A comfortable stay can be had at The Roseate Villa , a charming, mid-range boutique hotel boasting welcoming staff and an amazing English breakfast, and which is located on a quiet road close to the city's top points of interest.
  • Also worth considering are Pulteney House , a delightful bed-and-breakfast close to Bath Abbey, which offers a free breakfast and parking (a real plus), and SACO Bath , a great choice for those traveling with kids, as it offers larger one- and two-bedroom suites, and is located on St. James Parade just a short walk away from the top things to see and do in Bath.

Budget Hotels :

  • For those seeking a centrally located place to stay, the Dukes Bath , a boutique guesthouse located in a beautiful old Georgian townhome, is an elegant yet affordable option worth considering. Breakfast is included.
  • Also worthy of a look is Premier Inn Bath City Centre Hotel , a pleasant budget hotel that's conveniently located and offers modern décor and comfortable beds.
  • Finally, be sure to check out Harington's Hotel , a charming 300-year-old property situated on a quiet, old cobbled street, which provides easy access to the city's top attractions.

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Easy Day Trips : A great excursion from Bath is to make the 40-minute drive northwest to the larger and equally interesting city of Bristol . The country's oldest harbor is found here and is the place from which John Cabot began his epic voyage to the New World in the late 15th century. A visit should also include Bristol Cathedral, SS Great Britain, the world's first-ever iron-hulled passenger ship, and the historic city center.

Another port city to visit is Southampton, located a 90-minute drive southeast of Bath. Here, you'll want to explore the still intact medieval walls and historic homes, as well as the city's maritime connections along the Titanic Trail.

The tourist attractions of Salisbury are an hour's drive in the same direction. This historic city is famous for its magnificent cathedral and its many well-preserved historic buildings.

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Easy Day Trips (Part Two) : The lovely city of Winchester is a popular spot to visit from Bath, just 90 minutes east by car. You'll of course want to visit Winchester Cathedral, as well as nearby Highclere Castle, forever immortalized as the ancestral home of the fictional Crawley family of Downton Abbey fame.

Just a little farther beyond Winchester is Portsmouth , home port of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory , perhaps the country's most famous warship.

Another important naval town is Plymouth , a two-hour drive southwest and worth a visit for its fortifications and the Mayflower Museum, which commemorates the journey of the Pilgrims to North America.

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Wales Watching : Thanks to its location, it's easy to cross the Bristol Channel and explore all the highlights of Wales from Bath (it's just over 30 minutes' drive away). Make your first stop Cardiff , a popular destination for the majestic Cardiff Castle and the reconstructed Cardiff Bay area. From here, you're only a few miles from one of the most beautiful parts of South Wales : Brecon Beacons National Park.

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12 Best Things to do in Bath, UK

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on May 4, 2024

One of the prettiest and most pleasant cities to visit in the UK, Bath has impressively been attracting visitors for millennia thanks to the breath-taking, Roman-built baths after which it is named. While many people still come for its soothing spas and springs, the city is now also noted for its gorgeous Georgian architecture and wealth of picturesque parks.

Set in the southwest of the country, Bath lies in the vast valley of the River Avon amidst the rolling countryside of Somerset. As well as beautiful buildings and lovely green spaces, other things to do in Bath include visiting some of its great museums and galleries which mainly focus on the Georgian period. With an exciting and diverse dining scene to check out alongside a packed schedule of concerts, cultural events and other tourist attractions, Bath certainly has something for everyone to enjoy.

12. Herschel Museum of Astronomy

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

Once the home of William and Caroline Herschel, this fantastic museum now protects their historic house and highlights their significant astronomical achievements. As well as having rooms full of their original possessions and period pieces to explore, the well-restored Georgian townhouse also contains terrific old telescopes and equipment they used for experiments.

Opened in 1981, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy has lots of interesting artifacts and exhibits to check out on the brother and sister British astronomers. While they both studied the starry night’s sky, it is William who is famed for having discovered Uranus through his home-made telescope in 1781. Besides perusing their musical instruments, you can also watch a short film on the Herschels and wander around their charming garden.

11. Jane Austen Centre

Jane Austen Centre

A short stroll from the museum is the lovely Jane Austen Centre which is located just to the north of the city center. The permanent exhibition offers up a fascinating look into the life and legacy of the renowned author as well as her connection to the city and the impact it had on her writing.

Although she only lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806, its vibrant social scene and rural setting had a profound impact on her later novels such as Persuasion and Northanger Abbey being based in the city. Housed within the grand Georgian townhouse you can now find displays and memorabilia that relate to her time in town as well as costumed guides and a waxwork of Jane Austen herself.

10. Prior Park

Prior Park

A very popular and picturesque place, Prior Park is set in a small steep valley overlooking Bath, just five minutes’ drive from the center of town. Built between 1735 and 1750, the lovingly landscaped gardens, their pockets of woods and phenomenal Palladian bridge are a treat to wander around with stupendous scenery and nature wherever you look.

Once part of a deer park, the expansive estate was later turned into a gorgeous garden by the poet Alexander Pope and the landscape gardener Capability Brown. It was these two men who designed its cascading lakes and lush green spaces with grottos, a Gothic temple and ornamental vases also dotted about. The undoubted highlight, however, is its graceful Palladian bridge – just one of four of its kind in the world.

9. Holburne Museum

Holburne Museum

Home to a huge collection of fine and decorative arts is the excellent Holburne Museum which lies just a short walk from the city center. Surrounded by the pretty Sydney Pleasure Gardens, it boasts an astounding array of artworks with everything from bronzes and ceramics to paintings, portraits and Roman glassworks on display.

Opened in 1882, the city’s first public art gallery is named after Sir William Holburne, an aristocrat and art fanatic whose extensive collection now makes up the core of the museum’s holdings. While ambling about the superb Neoclassical building, you’ll come across masterpieces by famous British artists such as Turner, Stubbs and Gainsborough among others. In addition to exploring its attractive gardens, you can also attend concerts, lectures and cultural events at the museum.

8. The Circus

The Circus

Curving their way around the tree-studded lawn at their center is the Circus – a ring of handsome historic townhouses that all exhibit the same exquisite Georgian architecture. Built between 1754 and 1768, the striking circle was designed by the architect John Wood, the Elder with its oval layout being based on that of Stonehenge.

Divided into three equal segments, the beautiful three-storey buildings all sport a fabulous facade with each layer representing a different Classical order. Its friezes, for instance, are decorated with triglyphs, serpents and masonic symbols among others while detailed stone acorn finials adorn its parapets. Located just ten minutes’ walk to the north of the center, the Circus is certainly well worth checking out as it represents one of the best examples of Georgian architecture.

7. Fashion Museum Bath

Fashion Museum Bath

Just a stone’s throw away from the Circus you can find the Fashion Museum Bath which has a huge collection of clothes and costumes to peruse. These date from the end of the sixteenth century to the present day with elegant dresses and gowns on display alongside embroidered shirts and tail-coats from the Georgian times.

Founded in 1963, the museum’s extensive collection of contemporary and historical clothing is now housed in the city’s arresting Assembly Rooms. In their grand galleries you can find fashionable wear for men, women and children with over 30,000 items on show. Besides wandering around its rooms full of impeccably dressed mannequins, you can also dress up in Georgian attire yourself and have your photo taken in front of a backdrop of the Royal Crescent.

6. No. 1 Royal Crescent

No. 1 Royal Crescent

Not far from both the Circus and the museum is the Royal Crescent – one of the most popular and photographed places in Bath. At the eastern end of the beautiful row of buildings, you’ll find No. 1 – an historic house museum that illustrates what domestic life and living quarters were like back in Georgian times.

Built between 1767 and 1774, it exhibits some of the finest Palladian architecture in the UK with ionic columns on show alongside a central Doric doorcase. Inside is just as alluring as its restored rooms replete with fine furnishings and period pieces highlight how the wealthy and their servants lived in the eighteenth century. A truly immersive experience, visiting No. 1 Royal Crescent is a must for anyone interested in learning about the city’s history and heritage.

5. Royal Victoria Park

Royal Victoria Park

Located right next to the Royal Crescent is one of the prettiest places in the city – the Royal Victoria Park. Opened in 1830 by a then eleven-year-old Princess Victoria, it sprawls over a huge area with paths, flowerbeds and playgrounds to be found alongside lush green spaces and magnificent old monuments.

Popular with both locals and tourists alike, the park offers up all kinds of recreational opportunities with everything from tennis and golf to running, jogging and cycling for you to enjoy. Besides the splendid scenery and nature, there is also a lovely botanical garden to wander around and a replica of a Roman Temple to check out. In addition, it also hosts several cultural events and festivals over the course of the year.

4. Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent

As aforementioned, the Royal Crescent is one of the city’s standout sights with the sweeping semi-circular terrace of townhouses now almost being synonymous with Bath. One of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the UK, the thirty historic houses make for some great photos thanks to their uniform facades, ionic columns and Palladian style entablature.

Built between 1767 and 1774, the charming crescent was designed by John Wood, the Younger and has a large lawn before it. While many remain full-size townhouses, others have been converted into flats with a hotel and spa also to be found among them. To gain an insight into the history of the area, its architecture and residents, it is well worth heading to No.1 which now acts as an historic house museum.

3. Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge

One of only four such bridges in the world to have shops spanning both sides of it, the phenomenal Pulteney Bridge can be found right in the historic heart of town. Stretching 45 meters in length, the sturdy stone structure crosses the River Avon and exhibits some striking Palladian style architecture.

Named after the wealthy family who commissioned it, the beautiful bridge was completed in 1774 with the architect Robert Adam having been inspired by both the Ponte Vecchio and Ponte di Rialto in Italy. Besides taking in its fine features and snapping photos of the bridge with the weir below it, visitors can also stop by the shops and cafes that line its route. In addition, boat trips along the river depart from the bridge during the sunny summer months.

2. Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

Another of Bath’s top attractions is the breath-taking Bath Abbey which lies in the center of the city, right next to the Roman Baths. The last major medieval church to be constructed in the country, it showcases some stunning Gothic architecture with towers and turrets looming above its sculpture-studded western facade.

Although a church has occupied the same site since the seventh century, the current cathedral was only built between 1499 and 1616. While its buttresses and battlements, pinnacles and parapets all look very impressive, it is its elegant interior that is the real showstopper. This is because sparkling stained-glass windows and touching wall memorials line its nave with the abbey being particularly known for its fabulous fan vaulting.

1. Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Lying in the heart of town are the remarkably well-preserved Roman Baths after which the city is named. Now one of its main tourist attractions, the baths were first built by the Romans around two thousand years ago with the current buildings surrounding the hot springs dating to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

While exploring the incredible complex, visitors will come across pretty pools and amazing old mosaics with sacred springs, statues and an exposed caldarium also on show. Besides enjoying the astounding architecture and taking photos of the majestic baths, you can also learn about its history at its excellent on-site museum. This has lots of ancient artifacts for you to check out with engaging exhibits explaining the significance of the archaeological findings and that of the bathhouses too.

Best Time to Visit Bath

As the sun is shining, the weather is warmest and people are on holiday, summer is the most popular time to visit Bath. In July and August, temperatures average 20 to 21°C (68 to 70°F); perfect for seeing its Roman-built baths or relaxing in its pretty parks and soothing spas.

This though is the busiest and most expensive period of the year with all its hotels, bars and restaurants packed with people. There is a lovely lively atmosphere in the city thanks to colourful events like Bath Carnival. You can also hike about the scenic Somerset countryside surrounding Bath.

Spring and autumn are arguably even better times to visit with April to June and September and October averaging temperatures of 12 to 19°C (53 to 66°F). With fewer crowds around, you can make the most of your time in town and enjoy exciting events like the Bath Festival and Jane Austen Festival. Prices rise again around this time as well as at Easter, other public holidays and weekends.

Outside of these months, the city is relatively quiet as the dark, rainy days of winter set in. There is a spike in visitors in December as its gorgeous Georgian architecture and twinkling Christmas lights create a magical ambience.

Map of Things to do in Bath, UK

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Heather on her travels

21 Best things to do in Bath (2024) – a local’s guide

With hot springs, heritage attractions and honey stone Palladian architecture, Bath in the south west of England has been a magnet for visitors over the centuries. We bring you the best things to do in Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Roman Baths, elegant Georgian buildings, and many fine museums, parks and restaurants.

Pulteney Bridge Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

If it was good enough for the Romans pilgrims to Aquae Sulis or Georgian high society as depicted by Jane Austen and Bridgerton, there must be plenty to enjoy for any culture lover! Since I live in nearby Bristol, I’ve visited this gorgeous heritage city on numerous occasions, to bring you the latest and most fun things to do in Bath.

This article may contain affiliate links that provide commission on purchases you make at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Table of Contents

Top things to do in Bath

While there’s plenty to keep you busy for a few days, here are the top places to visit in Bath if you’re short of time.

  • Visit the Roman Baths and museum that bring alive the city in Roman times.
  • Enjoy the waters of the thermal springs during a 2 hour session at the Thermae Bath Spa .
  • Visit Bath Abbey , founded in Medieval time and climb the tower for views over the city.
  • Dip into Georgian society portrayed in Jane Austen and Bridgerton at No 1 Royal Crescent , the Circus and other locations like the Assembly Rooms , Holburne Museum and Jane Austen Centre .
  • Wander over Pulteney Bridge where you can take a boat tour on the River Avon or have a picnic by the river in the Parade Gardens .

Great Bath and Bath Abbey Photo: Roman Baths

1. Roman Baths

The Roman Baths are Bath’s top tourist attraction, combining a re-creation of the original Roman bathing pools, with a museum that covers 2000 years of history.

During Roman times, the baths fed by hot springs were a cross between a public leisure centre and a place of devotion at the temple of the Goddess Sulis Minerva. While the Roman Baths are now enclosed by Bath Abbey and rows of shops, they originally stretched over a much larger area beyond the surrounding buildings.

Roman Baths Bath - Museums in Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

An audioguide is available to walk you round the baths and museum at your own pace, with explanations for children as well as adults. You’ll see the spring water bubbling up in the original King’s Bath and the Great Baths, which were built in 1897 to show what the Roman Baths would have looked like.

Also on display are the archaeological remains of Roman changing rooms, plunge pools and gym, with video illustrations of what might have happened in each part of the baths.

Where to stay in Bath – discover the best hotels and neighbourhoods

Roman Baths in Bath Photo Visit Bath

The Museum of the Roman Baths

Through the museum displays you can learn about life in the Roman town of Bath at the temple of the Goddess Sulis Minerva, whose golden head is on display. See the models of the temple and bath complex, with its impressive stone pediment and Gorgon’s head.

Roman Baths Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Walk around the spaces where everyday Romans bathed and threw their prayers to the Goddess into the spring, inscribed on clay tablets. The museum and Roman Baths are presented in an interactive way, with different Roman characters projected onto the walls, and real life re-enactors sitting around to tell you their stories.

This is a world class attraction for all ages and one that you shouldn’t miss on your visit to Bath. At the end of your visit you can drink a cup of the mineral laden spa water, that fashionable Georgian society hoped would cure all their ills. You can also book for lunch or afternoon tea at the elegant Pump Room restaurant, with classical music from a string ensemble.

This is Bath’s most popular attraction, so at holiday times and weekends it’s advisable to book tickets online in advance. This Bath City walking tour includes the option of entry to the Roman Baths, enabling you to skip the line (which can be quite long!).

Read my article: The Roman Baths in Bath – what to see when you visit

Roman Baths Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Open: Daily all year round. Opening hours: 9am – 6pm (variable with day and season)

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £21.50

Website: Romanbaths.co.uk Address: Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LZ

2. Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey, the city’s imposing cathedral, is located right beside the Roman Baths. The courtyard in front of the Abbey and Roman Baths is tourist central, with performances by musicians and street entertainers. There was a monastery on this spot from the 1st century AD, with the Abbey as we see it today being completed in the 15th century.

Bath Abbey Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

As one of the leading attractions in Bath, you’ll want to take a look at the beautiful stained glass, vaulted stone ceiling and tombs dating back to the 15th century. You could also join a tour to climb to the top of the tower and see the clock, bell tower and city views.

Bath Abbey Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The Discovery Centre at Bath Abbey

Once you’ve visited the main church, head downstairs to the Discovery Centre, located in the crypt of Bath Abbey. On display are artefacts discovered in the Abbey that bring to life the history of the Medieval monastery. The Discovery Centre is family friendly, with plenty of videos, interactive exhibits and costumes, if you fancy dressing up as a monk.

Museums in Bath - Bath Abbey Discovery Centre Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Open: Daily all year round. Opening hours: 10am – 5.30pm (closed during services and special events)

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £7.50 (includes Abbey and Discovery Centre). You can buy your ticket in advance here .

Website: Bathabbey.org Address: Bath Abbey, Bath, BA1 1LT

Tip: Right beside the Abbey is the Bath World Heritage Centre , which is free to visit for information, city maps and self guided walking tours.

If you are short of time, you may enjoy this 2 hour guided walking tour of Bath , with explanations of the city’s history and major sights.

Bath Abbey Discovery Centre Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

3. Thermae Bath Spa

This unique spa enables visitors to Bath to bathe in mineral waters fed from the original hot springs, that were considered by the Georgians to have healing properties. The Thermae Bath Spa opened in 2006 after a complex redevelopment that included archaeological investigations, restoration of Georgian listed buildings and the construction of a modern glass spa building.

Thermae Baths, Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Highlights of the spa include:

  • The Minerva Bath , a curving pool fed by the thermal waters, with whirlpool and jets
  • A multi-sensory Wellness suite with ice chamber, infrared room, aroma steam rooms and relaxation areas
  • Rooftop pool , with warm mineral waters where you can waft in the fresh air, with views over Bath’s rooftops

Thermae Bath Spa Photo Visit Bath

Visits to the Thermae Bath Spa are normally for a 2 hour session, with opportunity to book additional treatments if you wish. While the session is timed using your electronic wrist band, there is some extra time allowed for changing, treatments and use of the cafe.

As the spa is very popular, it’s better to book your session online in advance, although some walk in sessions are available each day. There is also a small cafe, open for drinks and light dishes.

Minerva Bath, Thermae Bath Spa Photo Visit Bath

The Cross Bath

In a separate location near the Thermae Bath Spa is the Cross Bath. It’s a small enclosed open-air bath that’s also fed from the thermal spring water, and is one of the original Georgian baths.

You can book a session in the Cross Bath on the Thermae Bath Spa website and it is available for exclusive hire by small groups. The Cross Bath is located at the end of Bath Street, where you can glimpse the bath through a glass window.

Hotel Indigo Bath

Hotel Indigo in Bath is a boutique style mid range hotel close to the sights

4. The Royal Crescent and Georgian Bath

Built in the 1770s, the Royal Crescent is a sweeping terrace of Georgian townhouses, overlooking Victoria Park. When first built, these houses would have overlooked parkland, so a haha or concealed ditch was built to keep sheep away from the houses.

Royal Crescent in Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The idea behind Bath’s Palladian building style, was that wealthy visitors could rent somewhere just as grand as their own country mansions, while being a practical location to spend a social season in Bath. Most of the houses on Royal Crescent are privately owned, but you may like to visit or even stay at the 5 star Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa at No 15, which offers lunch or afternoon tea in their gardens.

The Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is Bath’s ultimate 5 star luxury stay in the heart of the Georgian Royal Crescent

It’s also worth walking down Brock Street to The Circus , which is a similarly grand ring of Palladian style houses, built around a circle with a large plane tree in the centre. From here, continue your walk to see the nearby Assembly Rooms (open by the National Trust for pre-booked tours), used as a place for balls and parties in Georgian times.

No 1 Royal Crescent

At one end of the Royal Crescent, is a museum designed to show how the wealthy visitor to Bath would have lived. No 1 Royal Crescent is furnished as it might have been at the end of the 18th century, when Bath was the destination for fashionable society. The front of the house is featured in the series Bridgerton , doubling for the London residence of the Featherington family.

Bridgerton fans can also take this tour of all the Bridgerton filming locations in Bath .

No 1 Royal Crescent Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

As you move around the house on a self guided tour, the rooms are brought to life in an immersive experience, through the voices of a wealthy family who have rented the house for the season.

No 1 Royal Crescent Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

In each room the pictures and mirrors come to life, as different characters from the family talk about their daily life during a season in Bath. We eavesdrop as they gossip about the balls and parties they plan to attend and their hopes to improve their social standing.

Below stairs, in the kitchen and housekeeper’s rooms, we hear the voices of the household servants, and something of their lives. The final room in the exhibition tells us about the real family on whom the characters we hear from are based.

No 1 Royal Crescent - Museums in Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Open: Tuesday – Sunday (Closed in January) Opening hours: 10am – 5.30pm

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £15.50

Website: No1royalcrescent.org.uk Address: 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LR

The Queensberry Hotel Bath

The Queensberry Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in a Georgian townhouse with award winning restaurant

5. Pulteney Bridge

This picturesque stone bridge over the River Avon is one of the most photographed spots in Bath. Pulteney Bridge is unusual for being built with shops on top of the bridge itself, hence it’s often compared to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Pulteney Bridge Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The bridge was completed in 1774 by William Johnstone Pulteney, a wealthy landowner who wanted to promote the area of Bath on the other side of the river, that he was developing. He commissioned architect Robert Adam to create a grand Palladian design that would encourage high society to cross the river.

Pulteney Bridge leads the visitor up Great Pulteney Street to the Sydney Gardens and Holburne Museum, which in Georgian times was a fashionable hotel. It was in this neighbourhood at 4 Sydney Place, that Jane Austen resided with her family for 3 years between 1801 and 1804.

Pulteney Bridge Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

As you cross the bridge, you can browse or window shop in the small independent shops on either side. There are a couple of cafes on the bridge, where you may be able to bag a coveted window table, overlooking the river.

To take one of the popular river boat tours, you should cross the bridge to the Great Pulteney Street side and then head down the steps, to the river bank at Pulteney Weir.

Tip: In fine weather we can recommend lunch on the terrace of the Thai Weir restaurant. The food is good value and it’s located right under Pulteney Bridge, so you’ll get the best river views.

6. Take a Bath boat trip on the river Avon

With the River Avon flowing through Bath, a boat trip is a chance to relax and see the city from a different angle. These boat trips are especially popular in summer and as well as buying individual tickets, you can arrange a boat trip just for your group of friends.

Parade Gardens Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Pulteney Cruisers – 1 hour trip to Bathampton

This 1 hour boat trip leaves from Pulteney Weir just below Pulteney Bridge and heads upstream to Bathampton. On the way you can relax and look out for wildlife on the River Avon, including swans, herons and kingfishers.

They don’t take pre-bookings, so just turn up and take the next trip, with boats holding up to 70 people on a lower and upper deck. There are normally several sailing a day starting from 10am.

The schedule may change depending on weather conditions and river levels, so check the website or social media in advance for latest information. With adult tickets costing from £12, this is the most affordable way to see the river.

1 hour Sightseeing boat cruise with Prosecco

This 1 hour cruise on a classic wooden pleasure craft is suitable for up to 8 people, including a couple of glasses of Prosecco each. You can book an individual ticket, but if you prefer a private tour for your group, there’s the option to choose from a gin tasting or bottomless Prosecco cruise.

The cruise leaves from close to Bath Spa Railway station and takes you up to the weir below Pulteney Bridge for some nice photos. Book the boat trip here .

Book a private boat trip for your group

If you are arranging a group trip such as a hen party, there are boat tours available from Sir John Knill Boat Trips and Bath City Boat Trips

SUP on River Avon in Bath Photo Visit Bath

Kayak and SUP tours in Bath

If you fancy something a bit more adventurous, you can also take a kayak or stand up paddle-board experience on the River Avon at Bath.

Original Wild offer both kayak and SUP tours for groups of 10 + people. These 2 hour tours with an instructor take you from the lower part of the Avon up to Pulteney Bridge and back.

CK SUP & Paddle hire kayaks and SUP for a 2 hour self guided tour from The Boathouse at Newbridge, just outside Bath.

The Griffin Inn Bath

The Griffin Inn in Bath features affordable bedrooms above a comfortable and stylish Georgian pub

7. Take a sightseeing bus tour

Hop-on-hop-off bus tours are ideal for first time visitors to Bath, to get a quick overview of the top things to see. These sightseeing tours are especially valuable for those with limited time, or for those who don’t want to walk a lot.

Sightseeing Bus Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

There are two Hop on Hop off bus companies operating in Bath: Tootbus and City Sightseeing . Both offer similar tours on the same two routes. The City Tour runs around the main sites of interest in Bath city centre, while the Skyline tour covers the countryside areas and attractions just outside Bath.

With both companies, you can use your ticket for both the City and Skyline tour. The tours operate daily, with the exceptions of a couple of public holidays, audioguides are available in multiple languages and tickets can be purchased online in advance or on the bus. Cost is around £24 for a 1 day ticket.

Tip: Before booking check both providers tickets below as they sometimes offer online discounts on their normal rates, making one cheaper than the other.

Buy tickets in advance here

Other benefits: You can download the Tootbus App for live bus times. The app includes 2 Tootwalk audio tours that cover Pride and Promenade: Jane Austen locations or Bath: home of film and TV

More information on Tootbus Website

City Sightseeing

Other benefits: Free booklet with deals and discounts for museums, restaurants, and local attractions

More information on City Sightseeing Website

Sightseeing bus tour in Bath Photo Visit Bath

Stops on the Bath City Tour

There are around 16 stops on the City Tour. The main places stops on this route are: The Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, The Royal Crescent, The Assembly Rooms, The Guildhall, Grand Parade, Pulteney Weir, Parade Gardens, Royal Victoria Park, Jane Austen Centre, Mary Shelley “House of Frankenstein”.

City Tour is ideal for: First time visitors to Bath who want to get an overview of the sights, or those who have mobility issues and want an easy way to get around.

Frequency: Every 15 mins Duration for uninterrupted tour: 50 mins

Sightseeing bus tour in Bath Photo Visit Bath

Stops on the Bath Skyline Tour

There are around 21 stops on the Skyline Tour. The main places to go in Bath on the Skyline tour are: Prior Park and Landscape Gardens, The American Museum, The University of Bath, Rainbow Woods, Holburne Museum, Skyline Walk.

Skyline Tour is ideal for : Visitors who want a car free way to visit some of the sites just outside Bath, or who want to relax and enjoy countryside views.

Frequency: 30 mins Duration for uninterrupted tour: 45 mins

8. Jane Austen Centre

For Jane Austen fans, the Jane Austen Centre is an excellent place to learn more about the celebrated author’s writings and visits to Bath. Your visit starts with a video about Georgian life in Bath and a short talk from one of the costumed characters from Jane’s novels.

Exhibitions continue on the lower ground floors, with more information about the places Jane lived in Bath and costumes that her characters might have worn.

Jane Austen Centre Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

We had fun dressing up as a Regency lady for a photo, in the famous film scene where actor Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, emerges wet from a swim in the lake. Or try your hand at writing with a quill pen in Mr Bennet’s study. There’s a life size wax model on display, that gives the best impression of what Jane Austen might have looked like.

In the small top floor Regency tea room, you can enjoy formal afternoon teas, with menu options named after Jane Austen characters, such as Mr Darcy, Lady Catherine and Miss Dashwood. The centre organises the Jane Austen festival held in September, with Jane Austen themed events, a costumed ball and promenade through the city.

Jane Austen Centre Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Open: Daily all year round Opening hours: 9.45am – 6pm (Shorter hours in winter)

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £15.75. Buy your Jane Austen Centre ticket in advance here .

Website: Janeausten.co.uk Address: 40 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT

9. Sally Lunn tea house

The picturesque Sally Lunn tea house is home to the famous Sally Lunn bun. The large brioche style roll is served here at lunch or teatime with sweet or savoury toppings. It’s named after a French Huguenot baker, Sally Lunn, who set up a bakery here in the 17th century.

Sally Lunn Museum Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

She built a reputation for her Bath buns and the teahouse still bakes to the bakery’s original recipe, which they keep a closely guarded secret. Jane Austen wrote mischievously in a letter about “disordering my stomach with Bath Bunns” , since they were often served at breakfast parties in Georgian Bath.

Sally Lunn Bath buns in Bath Photo Visit Bath

Sally Lunn’s claims to be one of the oldest houses in Bath and there is evidence of a food premises on this site in Roman times. Perhaps the bakery served visitors to the nearby Temple of Sulis Minerva and Roman baths.

The Sally Lunn tea house has tables on three floors and does not take bookings during the day. It’s a popular visitor spot but although you may have to queue a little in the hall before being seated, there’s normally a table to be found before too long.

In the evenings, bookings are taken and the menu has some more substantial dishes, although a slice of the Sally Lunn Bath bun is included with the meal.

The Sally Lunn Museum

To visit the small Sally Lunn museum, pass by anyone queuing for a table and head straight downstairs to the cellar. Here you’ll find a couple of small rooms, to show how the original bakery would have looked, with its wood fired oven.

On the other side of the cellar is an excavated area, with some sections that show there was a building here in Roman times, as well as a later Medieval monastery complex. The museum can be visited by anyone and is free for anyone who takes refreshments, but otherwise you may be charged 30p. More information on the Sally Lunn website .

Sally Lunn Museum Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

10. Bath Guildhall Market

Tucked away between Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge, it’s easy to miss Bath Guildhall Market. This covered market has an old fashioned feel and houses around 20 different stalls and cafes. Some of the stalls are craft oriented, others offering refreshingly normal products (think hardware and pet supplies), giving the market a local feel.

Guildhall Market Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

This is Bath’s oldest market, with trading taking place on this spot over many centuries, although the current building dates back to the 19th century. The market takes its name from the impressive Guildhall next door and has a pretty ironwork dome at its centre.

Enter from either of the two different entrances, from the Grand Parade opposite Pulteney Bridge or the High Street by the Guildhall.

Our favourite stalls in Bath Guildhall Market

  • Guildhall Delicatessen and Nibbles cheese – good places to pick up picnic items to eat in the Parade Gardens overlooking the river.
  • Guildhall Market Cafe – a well priced traditional cafe serving English breakfasts, jacket potatoes and a fine cup of tea with home made cake.
  • Bath humbug – selling traditional sweets in jars like the ones I used to spend my pocket money on as a child.
  • Not Cartiers – affordable vintage costume jewellery, for when you need a bit of bling!
  • Bath leather goods – hand made leather belts, journals and bags, made in a local workshop.
  • Guillards – an emporium of specialty tea blends, freshly roasted coffee beans and pretty china tea cups and pots.

Tip: Look out for the 18th century market pillar, a stone table known as “The Nail” which is said to have given rise to the saying “to pay on the nail”.

Guildhall Market Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Open: Monday – Saturday Opening hours: 8am – 5.30pm (shops may have their own opening hours) Free entry

Website: Bathguildhallmarket.co.uk Address: 32 High Street, Bath, BA2 4AW

The Z Hotel Bath

The Z Hotel in Bath is a modern budget hotel with compact rooms but central location

11. Picnic in the Parade Gardens

This small park has a prime position near Bath Abbey and overlooking the river, making it the ideal spot for a picnic lunch in fine weather. The Parade Gardens are run by the local council, who charge a small fee for entry, which is well worth paying for access to this lovely spot.

Parade Gardens Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The pleasure gardens, originally known as St James’s Park, were laid out in 1709 for the use of visitors to Bath. After visiting the nearby pump rooms, Georgian society could come here to promenade and socialise. The colourful bedding displays and floral sculptures are much admired, with a bandstand where concerts and children’s entertainment take place in summer.

Parade Gardens Bath England Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Visitors can wander round the well kept paths, admire the herbaceous borders and bedding displays, or sit on the clipped lawns to take in the river views towards Pulteney Bridge. Facilities include a small cafe with open air seating, toilets and wheelchair / pushchair access via a ramp.

Open: Daily, subject to weather conditions Opening hours: 10am – 6pm

Ticket Price: Adults £2.50, Child aged 5-16 £1.50 (under 5 free)

Website: Parade Gardens Address: Grand Parade, Bath, BA2 4DF

12. Shopping in the Lanes

Bath is the ideal place to combine sightseeing with shopping, with a wide range of upscale fashion boutiques and smaller independent shops. It’s great fun exploring some of the narrow lanes, where you can imagine bumping into a Jane Austen or Bridgerton heroine, out shopping to look her best for the social season.

Northumberland Place Bath Photo Visit Bath

Our favourite lanes to soak up the atmosphere are:

Northumberland Place – this lane is especially atmospheric at the Broad street end, where you’ll find the friendly Rosario’s Italian coffee shop and traditional Coeur de Lyon pub, both good spots for lunch.

The Corridor – running parallel to Northumberland Place, this covered arcade is worth walking through to admire its attractive Victoria glazed roof and traditional shopfronts.

North Parade Passage, Abbey Street, Abbey Green – in the heart of Bath’s Medieval city, this is where you’ll find the Sally Lunn teashop to try their famous Bath Buns. Abbey Green is a charming cobbled square with a plane tree at its centre, used in many Bridgerton scenes, where the characters visit the Modiste dress shop (in real life the Abbey Deli).

Milsom Place Bath Photo Visit Bath

Milsom Place – a large complex of independent shops and cafes, set around a series of internal courtyards. You can enter from either Milsom Street or Broad Street. Check out the Milsom Place website for more information.

13. Discover the Bridgerton Film locations

Since the Bridgerton film series is set in a colourful and stylised version of Georgian England, Bath’s elegant architecture makes the ideal backdrop, doubling for scenes that are set in London.

Bridgerton fans might like to take this tour of all the Bridgerton filming locations in Bath . The 1.5 hour tour covers all the places to see in Bath that were used as Bridgerton film locations, using a headset so that you can not only hear the guide’s commentary, but listen to music from the Bridgerton series.

Bridgerton film locations in Bath © Netflix

Top Bridgerton locations from Season 1 and 2 include:

  • At the end of the Royal Crescent is No 1 Royal Crescent, a Georgian museum that doubles as the London home of the Featherington family in the series.
  • The picturesque cobbled square of Abbey Green was used in Bridgerton for several street scenes and the Abbey Deli was transformed into the fashionable Modiste dress shop.
  • The Assembly Rooms was used in a Bridgerton ballroom scene, where visitors in Georgian times would gather to dance, play cards and socialise.

Bridgerton film locations in Bath © Netflix

  • The Holburne Museum features as the grand home of Lady Danbury, society leader and friend of Queen Charlotte.
  • The colonnaded Bath Street is the location of the original Georgian Cross Bath, where the Duke of Hastings first arrives on horseback.
  • For Bridgerton Season 3, filming took place in Bath in January 2023. More scenes were shot around Great Pulteney Street and Edward Street near the Holburne Museum, as well as at the Royal Crescent.

14. Royal Victoria Park

Bath’s largest public park starts close to the city centre and extends for some 57 acres to the west. The park is named after Princess (later Queen) Victoria, who visited in 1830 to open the park as a child of 11 years old. If you enter the park along Royal Avenue from the Queen’s Square end, here are a few things to look out for.

Royal Victoria Park Bath Photo Visit Bath

  • On the left is a large area, which is often used for festivals , such as the Bath food festival, Oktoberfest and Bath on Ice at Christmas. Check for events on the Bath Council website .
  • Just beyond the festival area is the Victoria Park Crazy golf and tennis courts, which can be booked on the Excel website. Look out for the floral bedding displays on the other side of Royal Avenue, below Brock Street.
  • The path opens up past a Victoria bandstand, with views up to the Royal Crescent on the slope above. There’s a grassy area here that is ideal for a picnic, and in summer hot air balloons take off below the Royal Crescent.
  • Crossing Marlborough Lane, you’ll pass The Urban Garden , a social enterprise garden centre set in a glasshouse and selling everything you need for your indoor and outdoor garden.
  • On the other side of Marlborough Lane, the park continues with a large children’s playground and skatepark that will keep families happy for hours. On the slopes above the playground is a large duckpond.
  • Also in this part of Royal Victoria Park are the Botanical Gardens , which are free to visit and include ornamental trees, sculptures and a pond.

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15. Holburne Museum

Without realising it, you may have admired the Holburne Museum featuring as Lady Danbury’s flower covered townhouse in the series of Bridgerton. Fans can take this tour of all the Bridgerton filming locations in Bath .

This elegant Georgian mansion was built in 1799 as the Sydney Hotel, surrounded by the Sydney Gardens, where visitors to Bath could promenade, take refreshments and attend dances in the hotel’s first floor ballroom.

Holburne Museum Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The heart of the museum’s collection came from Sir William Holburne, after whom the museum is named. Living in Bath, he amassed a large collection of objects, artworks and books, which were bequeathed on his death to the City of Bath.

The Museum has reopened after a long renovation, including a modern glass extension at the rear. It’s designed to reflect the surrounding mature garden and houses a ground floor cafe and 1st floor exhibition space.

Holburne Museum Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com-

In the new extension is Sir William’s ‘cabinet of curiosities,’ with a selection of small objects he collected and information about his life. At the front of the mansion is the spacious ballroom, while the top floor is used for temporary exhibitions from contemporary and past artists.

Holburne Museum Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com-

This is one of the most beautiful art galleries in Bath, with elegant portraits hung up the stairs, hosting regular musical and art events.

Tip: The ground floor cafe has a pretty outdoor terrace in the Sydney Gardens, which can be visited independently of the museum.

Open: Daily all year round Opening hours: 10am – 5pm

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £11

Website: Holburne.org Address: Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB

16. Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein

Located in a Georgian townhouse, the Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein is dedicated to the life of Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein. The museum’s decor echoes the Frankenstein story’s dark Gothic horror theme.

Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Mary Shelley wrote her novel in 1816, while resident in Bath, based on ghost stories that she and her friends told each other on a rainy holiday in Switzerland. Each room of the museum is dedicated to a different part of Mary Shelley’s tragic life, with the loss of her young children and the death by drowning of her husband, the poet Percy Shelley.

Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Mary Shelley’s imaginary creature, who was named after its creator Dr Frankenstein, breathes and moves in an eerie way within the museum’s walls. The attic rooms display memorabilia from stage plays and films, showing the cartoon like monster of Frankenstein that we would recognise from old movie posters.

Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Take care if you visit the basement, where creatures lurk in the darkness to jump out and make you scream. This part of the museum is an optional extra, but if you scare easily (like me!), just stick to the more traditional museum information and exhibits.

Escape rooms are available in the basement and attic, that can be hired separately for groups of up to 7 people.

Read more in my article on 18 Exciting museums in Bath to visit

Open: Daily all year round. Opening hours: 11am – 5pm (longer opening Saturday and holidays)

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £15.50. Buy your entrance ticket in advance here .

Website: Houseoffrankenstein.com Address: 37 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT

17. Visit the smaller quirky museums

While the bigger museums in Bath get plenty of attention, it’s worth checking out some of the smaller quirky museums if you have time. Here are some of my favourite small museums in Bath that cast a spotlight on some less known aspects of life in Bath.

Herschel Museum of Astronomy Bath © Visit Bath

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

This Georgian house on a quiet street in Bath, was the home of brother and sister, William and Caroline Herschel. They both had a passion for astronomy, and it was here in 1781 that they discovered the previously unknown planet of Uranus.

The Herschel Museum is furnished as it would have been when the Herschels lived there, with a music room and basement workshop where William made astronomical instruments. Telescopes and globes from the period are on display, and the exhibition space tells the story of the Herschels and their discoveries.

Museum of Bath at Work Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Museum of Bath at Work

While many of Bath’s museum celebrate the lives of high society and wealthy collectors, the Museum of Bath at Work offers up the everyday lives of the average man or woman. Here are the packed shelves of the grocer’s shop, tools crammed into a workshops for making and mending, or the typesettings of a printing press from the pre-digital age.

At the core of the museum’s collection is the Bowler engineering and soft drinks factory, with the entire contents of the old factory reconstructed here. There are numerous other displays about Bath’s trade and industry up to the present day.

Museum of East Asian Art Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

Museum of East Asian Art

Close to Bath’s Royal Crescent is the Georgian townhouse containing the privately owned Museum of East Asian Art . Its collection consists of 2,000 objects from East and South East Asia, covering jade, bronzes, ceramics and small collectables.

Many objects are from the personal collection of Brian McElney OBE, who was born and resided in Hong Kong for many years. There are many small and exquisite items in the permanent collection, while the ground floor has changing exhibitions that are connected to or inspired by items from the collection.

Museum of Bath Architecture © Visit Bath

Museum of Bath Architecture

This museum celebrates the rich architectural history of Bath, as it was transformed from a small medieval town, to a fashionable spa in Georgian times. The museum is housed in a old chapel, built in the Gothic revival style in 1765 for the Countess of Hastings, who was an ardent Methodist.

Following a restoration, the Museum of Bath Architecture now houses a collection of maps, models, building fragments and architectural drawings. They show how 18th century architects and craftsmen turned Bath into an elegant location for Georgian high society. A scale model of Bath, gives a bird’s eye view of how the city developed.

18. Bath Skyline Walk

The Bath Skyline Walk is a 6 mile 3-4 hour circular walk on Bathwick Hill, which gives some lovely views over the city of Bath. This free walking trail is maintained by the National Trust, and you can download a walking map and route description from their website.

The start of the trail at the foot of Bathwick Hill, is around 20 minutes walk from Bath Abbey. Halfway through the walk, you can take a short detour to the American Museum, which has beautiful gardens and a cafe.

Bath Skyline Walk Photo Visit Bath

There’s also a shorter circular “Walk to the view” over the city of Bath which will take around 1.5 hours if you start at Bath Abbey. This 3 mile version of the walk takes you over Pulteney Bridge, past the Holburne Museum and Sydney Gardens and along the canal, before you climb the Bathwick Hill to the viewpoint and return via the Parade Gardens.

Read about more walks from Bath: Walking on the Cotswold Way from Bath to Wotton-under-edge

19. Prior Park Landscape Gardens

Set on the hill above Bath is Prior Park Landscape Garden, a beautiful 18th century Landscape Garden, with lake and famous Palladian bridge. The mansion to which the garden belongs is a school (Prior Park College) and not open to the public, although you can get a view of it from the gardens.

Prior Park Landscape Garden sits in a steep wooded valley above Bath, offering magnificent views over the city. Both the mansion and gardens were built in 1734 by a wealthy local businessman Ralph Allen, in the style made popular by famous landscape gardener “Capability Brown”.

Prior Park in Bath Photo Visit Bath

Don’t expect colourful flower borders in this garden, which is all about the hillside paths, woodland walks, cascades and vistas over the lakes and towards Bath. The garden epitomises the English landscape style which was popular in the 18th century, creating an idealised version of natural parkland.

Prior Park in Bath Photo Visit Bath

How to get to Prior Park

There is no on site parking at Prior Park, so it is best reached by No 2 bus from the city centre, or by walking a mile uphill from the station. The hop on hop off bus Skyline Route also stops at Prior Park.

If you’re taking the Bath Skyline Walk, it passes close by Prior Park which can be visited with a short detour.

Open: All year round at weekend, daily from Easter to end October. Opening hours: 10am – 5pm

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £10 (free for National Trust Members).

Website: National Trust Prior Park Landscape Garden Address: Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, BA2 5AH

20. American Museum & Gardens

Located in a beautiful Georgian manor house just outside Bath, the museum features American decorative arts and temporary exhibitions with links to American culture. The permanent collections tell the stories of America, through quilts, folk art and furnishings, spanning 2000 years of American history.

American Museum and Gardens © Visit Bath

This Grade II listed house is surrounded by 125 acres of beautifully maintained gardens, with an arboretum, wilderness trails and children’s garden. For coffee or lunch overlooking the gardens, stop by the American Garden deli with its outdoor terrace, serving American inspired food from produce grown in the gardens or sourced from local suppliers.

How to get to the American Museum & Gardens

The American Museum & Gardens can be reached on the U1 or U2 bus from Bath’s bus and railway stations to the University of Bath campus, then walking 15 minutes to the Museum. It’s also a short detour from the Bath Skyline walk, if you wish to combine your visit with the walking trail. If travelling by car, there is free onsite visitor parking.

Open: From mid March – end December Tuesday – Sunday Opening hours: 10am – 5pm

Ticket Price: Standard adult ticket from £16.50

Website: Americanmuseum.org Address: Claverton Manor, Bath, BA2 7BD

21. Bath Christmas Market

The Bath Christmas Market is one of the largest and prettiest in the UK, with over 200 market stalls set in the squares and cobbled streets around Bath Abbey. For from end of November to mid December each year, the city is taken over by local artisans, festive foods, twinkling lights and Christmas music.

Abbey Yard Christmas market in Bath Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The heart of the market is the square beside Bath Abbey, where you’ll find stalls from local makers selling handmade gifts and foodie treats. In front of the Abbey stands an enormous Christmas tree, where street musicians perform to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Abbey Green Bath at Christmas Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The market extends into nearby Abbey Green, surrounded by old Georgian houses and a little tucked away in the oldest quarter of Bath. In the cobbled square, the stalls make a circle around the central plane tree, which is lit up with gently changing colours. You may catch one of the choirs singing carols in the square, creating a festive atmosphere.

Check the Bath Christmas Market website for details of stalls and entertainment during the Christmas market period.

Read more in my article: Christmas in Bath – Christmas markets and more!

Free things to do in Bath

If you’re on a budget and want to know what you can do for free in Bath, here are a few suggestions, some of which are also mentioned above.

Bath World Heritage Centre – This visitor centre about Bath’s Heritage attractions is free to visit. You can pick up a leaflet or download the app, to make a self guided tour.

Art Galleries – The Victoria Art Gallery’s upstairs space (closed for renovations until Autumn 2024) housing the permanent collection is free to visit, although there is a charge for special exhibitions.

Free Museum entry – The Holburne Museum has free entry to their main collections after 3pm every Wednesday. The Sally Lunn Tea Rooms have a nominal 30p charge to visit the small basement museum, although free for seniors, children and anyone taking refreshments at the tea shop.

Free walking tours – The Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides give a free daily tours of Bath . No need to book, you can just turn up. Unlike most “free” tours, no tips are sought, so these tours are genuinely free, delivered by passionate volunteers.

Self guided audio tours of Bath – Also try the free audio walking tours available on the Bath World Heritage App and the free self guided Jane Austen walking tour offered by Visit Bath

Parks and gardens – there are many parks, gardens and green spaces in Bath, notably Victoria Park, Sydney Gardens and Henrietta Park.

Walk the Bath skyline – try the “Walk to the view” covering some of Bath’s sights as well as the views from Bathwick Hill, or the longer Skyline walk passing the American Museum and Prior Park.

Bath Skyline Walk Photo Visit Bath

Take a day trip from Bath

There are many more places to visit near Bath, that can be reached in under an hour and often easy to get to by train.

One of my favourites as I live there! Larger and more lively than Bath, there’s so much to see in Bristol, from the buzzing Harbourside to the village atmosphere and suspension bridge in Clifton. Regular direct trains take you there from Bath in around 20 minutes.

Read my article: 25 fun things to do in Bristol with your friends

Bristol harbourside

Bradford-on-Avon

Closest of the things to do near Bath is the pretty small town of Bradford-on-Avon, with its Medieval stone bridge crossing the River Avon. Regular direct trains take you there from Bath in around 15 minutes.

Bradford Upon Avon Photo Visit Bath

The picturesque Medieval village and Augustinian abbey are managed by the National Trust, featuring in many films from Downton Abbey to Harry Potter. Lacock is around 45 minutes from Bath by car, or you can get there by bus with a change at Chippenham. For an easy day out, take this day tour to Lacock that also incudes Stonehenge and Castle Combe.

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar village is set in a steep sided gorge and is the home to the famous Cheddar cheese. Visit the Cheddar caves and take an easy cliff top walk around the edge of the gorge. Cheddar is around an hour’s drive from Bath

Ilford Manor Gardens

These romantic 19th century gardens are close to Bradford-upon-Avon, and can be reached on the No 54 bus from Bath.

Castle Combe Photo Visit Bath

Castle Combe

This honey stone Cotswold Village is often used as a film location. Nearby is Castle Combe race circuit, a car racing track set on an old airfield. Castle Combe is 45 minutes by car from Bath, or visit on this day tour that also includes Stonehenge and Lacock.

The ancient stone circle was created 4000 years ago, with a visitor centre to tell you about its history and legends. It’s around 1 hour by car or take this day tour to Stonehenge from Bath .

map of bath tourist attractions

Recommended hotels in Bath

Here are some of our recommended hotels in Bath, with something for all budgets. I’ve ordered them from the affordable but stylish to the spoil-yourself luxurious.

The Griffin Inn in Bath features asffordable bedrooms above a comfortable and stylish Georgian pub

How to get to Bath

Bath is easy to reach by train, and this is probably faster than either coach or car. Bath Spa is on the mainline from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Mead. You can also access Bath from many other UK locations by changing at Swindon or Bristol. The train from London to Bath takes around 1hr 20 mins, making it easily feasible as a day trip.

There is good access to Bath by coach from Bristol, London, Cardiff and many other major cities. Check out coach providers National Express and Flixbus for routes and timetables.

The central part of Bath has restricted car access and limited parking. It is better to leave your car at one of the three main Park & Ride car parks at Lansdown (if coming from the M4 and north), Newbridge (if coming from Bristol and the west) or Odd Down (if coming from the south). You park for free but pay for the return bus ride into town.

If you prefer to park closer to the Bath city centre, there is a large car park at Charlotte Street Car Park which is close to Victoria Park and the Royal Crescent, as well as a few smaller car parks around the city perimeter.

If you need to rent a car, compare the best deals on Rentalcars – we recommend always checking the ratings and reviews before you book.

The closest airport to Bath is Bristol Airport, which is around 30km away and takes about 45 minutes by car or 1 hour by bus. You can take the frequent Airport Flyer bus from the airport to Bristol Temple Mead Station and from there take one of the regular trains between Bristol and Bath. Direct buses also operate between Bristol Airport and Bath city centre.

The alternative airports for Bath are Exeter, Cardiff or London Heathrow.

For more about Bath read my article on the 18 Best Museums in Bath

Best museums in Bath England

Plan your trip

For more information on what to do in Bath, check out the Visit Bath official tourism website

Some of the experiences in Bath were hosted* by Visit Bath

* More info on my policies page

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com

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Wednesday 1st of May 2024

The Royal Crescent is my dream of a perfect terrace of Georgian townhouses (1770s), symmetrical, sweeping, gracious on the outside and facing a lovely park. But they must have cost a fortune at the time, and my family never had any money. So the Queensberry Hotel is the closest I got to seeing an interior.

Heather Cowper

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

@Hels Bath is quite unique in having so much Georgian architecture, with hotels that allow us to glimpse behind the facade and live the dream for a day or two.

Map of Bath — Best attractions, restaurants, and transportation info

What’s on this map.

We’ve made the ultimate tourist map of Bath, United Kingdom for travelers! Check out Bath’s top things to do, attractions, restaurants, and major transportation hubs all in one interactive map.

Visiting Bath? See our Bath Trip Planner.

How to use the map

Use this interactive map to plan your trip before and while in Bath. Learn about each place by clicking it on the map or read more in the article below. Here’s more ways to perfect your trip using our Bath map:

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Top 20 attractions in Bath

The roman baths.

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No. 1 Royal Crescent

Pulteney bridge, fashion museum bath, the holburne museum, victoria art gallery, royal victoria park bath, thermae bath spa, the jane austen centre, queen square, museum of bath architecture, theatre royal, bath, herschel museum of astronomy, national trust - bath assembly rooms, 1 royal cres, top 10 restaurants in bath, corkage bath.

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Colonna & Small's

The scallop shell, green park brasserie, olive tree restaurant.

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Sotto Sotto

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Noya's Kitchen

Beckford canteen, the pump room restaurant, sally lunn’s historic eating house & museum, transportation in bath, nearby airports, bristol airport, bournemouth airport, highways and major roads.

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  • Tourist Attractions

map of bath tourist attractions

Tourist Attractions in Bath

This guide is sponsored by Longleat Safari Park

Longleat

There are many Tourist Attractions in Bath and visitors to Bath are able to enjoy access to some of the most iconic and exciting tourist attractions that the South West has to offer. From architectural delights such as the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and the Roman Baths, to irresistible points of interest like the Thermae Bath Spa, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery.

Bath is a cultural and visual mecca, brimming with museums, attractions and amusements. Here's our guide to Tourist Attractions in Bath to help you make the most of the incredible sights on offer.

Thermae Bath Spa

Thermae Bath Spa

About: Located in the heart of the World Heritage Site, Thermae is an award-winning Natural Spa, where visitors can enjoy bathing in the thermal waters of the Minerva Bath and open-air rooftop pool, refresh their senses in the Wellness Suite and choose from over 50 spa treatments and packages.

Address:  Hot Bath Street, Bath, BA1 1SJ

Telephone: 01225 33 1234

No.1 Royal Crescent

No.1 Royal Crescent

About: No.1 Royal Crescent reveals how our Georgian ancestors lived, worked, socialised and what their interests were, with the building decorated and furnished as it might have been during the period 1776-1796. Hands-on items and knowledgeable guides help bring the period to life and you’ll discover some intriguing secrets of the times - both upstairs and downstairs!

Address:  Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LR 

Telephone:  01225 428126 

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy

About:  The Herschel Museum of Astronomy is the former home of Astronomer William Herschel and is a Museum dedicated to him and his family's achievements. Explore the magic behind astronomy and the fascinating discoveries made by the Herschel family.

There are plenty of things to see and do at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, such as:

  • The Caroline Lucretia Gallery
  • Globes and Planetaria 
  • The Herschel Family Tree
  • The Music Room
  • The Workshop
  • William Herschel's Travel Diary
  • Mirror Polishing Machine
  • Dress worn by Caroline Herschel
  • Caroline Herschel's Visitor's Book
  • Miniature portrait group of Margaret Bryan and her daughters

Address:  19 New King Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2BL

Telephone:  01225 446865

The Museum of Bath Architecture

The Museum of Bath Architecture

About:  The Museum of Bath Architecture shows you the history behind all the eighteenth century buildings and impressive architecture.

This is a great family friendly day out that lets you explore and learn the rich architectural history of Bath as it was turned from a small medieval town to the world famous Georgian city.

Address:  The Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel, The Paragon, The Vineyards, Bath, Somerset, BA1 5NA

Telephone:  01225 333895

Beckford's Tower & Museum

Beckford's Tower & Museum

About: Beckford's Tower is the only surviving example of William Beckford's fantastic architectural achievements. This popular museum explores William Beckford's life and gives you an insight into what his life was like when he was an owner of Jamaican sugar plantations. 

Address:  Beckford's Tower and Museum, Lansdown Road, Bath, Somerset, BA1 9BH

Telephone:  01225 422212

The Roman Baths

The Roman Baths

About: Based around Britain's only hot spring, the Romans built a magnificent bathing complex that still flows with natural hot water today. The ruins and extensive treasures from the spring are beautifully preserved and presented, allowing visitors to see the water's source and walk where Romans walked on the ancient stone pavements around the simmering pool. 

Address: Stall Street, Bath, BA1 1LZ

Telephone:  01225 477785

Bath Abbey

About: Bath Abbey stands in the centre of the city and is the last of the great medieval churches of England. One of the most visited attractions in the South West, this beautiful place of worship has been welcoming pilgrims and visitors for hundreds of years. Whether visiting to explore the stunning interior of the Abbey, to enjoy the choral music or to have a private moment with God, Bath Abbey is a truly unique attraction worth experiencing first hand.

Address: 12 Kingston Buildings Bath Somerset BA1 1LT

Telephone: 01225 422462

The Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent

About: The Royal Crescent is one of the city's best known landmarks and is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the UK. Designed by John Wood the younger, the Grade I listed building was built between 1767 and 1775. Of the 30 houses found in the crescent, one is now the Royal Crescent Hotel, while another is open to the public.

Address: Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS

Telephone:  01225 428126

Fashion Museum

Fashion Museum

About: A must visit for fashionistas - Bath Fashion Museum is home to a world-class collection of contemporary and historical clothes and costumes from yesteryear. The displays include 150 dressed figures to illustrate the changing styles in fashionable clothes from the late 16th century right up to the present day. 

Address:  Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, BA1 2QH

Telephone: 01225 477173

The Jane Austen Centre

The Jane Austen Centre

About: The Jane Austen Centre tells the story of one of Bath's most famous residents and the effect that living and working in the city had on her writing. Packed full with fascinating exhibitions and displays, ‘live’ guides, costumes and exclusive films, a trip to the Jane Austen Centre is guaranteed to excite literary fanatics and history lovers alike.

Address:  40 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT

Telephone:  01225 443000

Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge

About: Spanning the River Avon, Pulteney Bridge, is often described as one of the UK's most beautiful bridges. Much like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Pulteney is one of only four bridges in the world to be lined with shops on both sides. Designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1773 the bridge was constructed to create a new town at Bathwick, just across the river from Bath.

Address:  Bridge Street, Bath, Avon, BA2 4AT

Telephone: NA

Victoria Art Gallery

Victoria Art Gallery

About: The Victoria Art Gallery is a free public art museum with an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts spanning from the 15th century to present day. As well as housing permanent art exhibitions, the gallery regularly displays national touring exhibitions and major retrospectives. Works by artists including Gainsborough, Sickert, Zoffan can all be found in the museum.

Address: Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT

Telephone: 01225 477232

The Circus

About:  Built in the eighteenth century and designed by John Wood the elder, The Circus is yet another example of the city's striking Georgian architecture complete with fine detailed Bath stone carvings.  An astonishing creation, The Circus is one of the key reasons Bath was awarded the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Address: The Circus, Bath, BA1 2

Parade Gardens

Parade Gardens

About: Located on the banks of the River Avon, Parade Gardens provide spectacular views overlooking Pulteney Bridge and Pulteney Weir. Band concerts are held regularly over of the course of the Summer and the park's floral bedding displays are some of the best in Britain. 

Address:  Grand Parade, Bath, BA1 1DF

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Home » Europe » United Kingdom » England » Bath

11 BEST Places to Visit in Bath (2024)

One of the most stunning cities in the United Kingdom, Bath is steeped in history and is a famous Unesco World Heritage Site. Dating back to Roman times, you’ll find incredible Roman architecture as well as modern-day beauties. It’s not just the buildings that makes this such a cool place to visit, there are plenty of great spots to wine and dine, or simply just hang out in cool hipster bars! That is of course, if you can drag yourself away from dipping in the therapeutic waters of the Thermae Bath Spa.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the best places to visit in Bath. From the Roman Baths to museums and landscaped gardens, you’ll know exactly where to head in city to bask in Bath’s history as well as shopping, eating and drinking.

Let’s get into it!

NEED A PLACE QUICK? HERE’S THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN BATH:

These are the best places to visit in bath, faq on the best places to visit in bath.

City Centre Bath

City Centre

The centre of Bath is where you’ll find the vast majority of the city’s major historic and cultural tourist attractions. One of the oldest districts in town, Bath City Centre is famous for its striking Georgian architecture, impressive and innovative buildings, and its enchanting atmosphere.

  • Walk across and admire the architecturally exquisite 18th century Pulteney Bridge
  • Browse 20th century works of art by British and International artists at the Adam Gallery
  • Shop painting by local contemporary artists at the Fine Sight Fine Art gallery

Knowing where to stay in Bath is the start of any good plan. The majority of these places to visit are in the centre of the city, with lots of accommodations nearby. However, there are so many incredible areas to stay, you don’t want to miss out!

Bus networks are extensive across Bath. You can easily get from one spot to another on public transportation without breaking the bank – and you will get incredible views out the windows! Cheers Drive!

map of bath tourist attractions

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#1 – The Roman Baths – The Most Important Place to Visit in Bath

The Roman Baths

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  • Finest Roman architecture in Britain
  • Attracts over a million visitors each year
  • One of the top landmarks in Bath

Why it’s awesome: Voted the most romantic buildings in the UK, no trip to Bath is complete without visiting its namesake. Dating all the way back to 75BC, the baths were also intended as a temple to the Goddess Minerva, and built around the largest of the city’s three hot springs.

The Great Bath is the highlight, but there’s more to this cool place than that. In the attached museum, you’ll see artefacts found in and around the area during archaeological digs. Some that go all the way back to Roman times!

What to do there: The hot springs are no longer actively used. However, if you want to relax in some baths, keep on reading!

Exploring the Roman Baths and Temple will take a couple of hours, and you can spot some fascinating finds at the museum. This part of Bath is often incorporated in tours, so you’re unlikely to miss them!

#2 – Bath Abbey – Stunning Gothic Architecture

Bath Abbey

  • Another example of magnificent architecture
  • Dates back to the 7th century
  • Often holds concerts and public lectures

Why it’s awesome: If you love architecture, you’ve come to the right place – Bath Abbey is stunning! The Gothic façade’s design came in a dream to the Bishop at the time, Oliver King. He thought that he could see angels climbing up and down from heaven, and you can see an interpretation of this dream in stone on the west side of the building.

What to do there: You might think that it’s just a church, and doesn’t require much time to look around, but you’d be wrong!

Want to get a great view of the city skyline and surrounding countryside? Of course you do! Climb the 212 steps for stunning views and don’t forget to bring your camera! There are even after-dark tower visits for a bit of romance. Check out the events calendar on the abbey’s website, there are regular events such as concerts and lectures here.

We suggest joining a walking tour of Bath Abbey to get amazing local insight and the extensive history.

#3 – Pulteney Bridge- A Must-See!

Pulteney Bridge

  • One of the most iconic bridges in the world
  • Lined with shops and restaurants

Why it’s awesome: You might recognise Pulteney Bridge from Les Miserables! If not, you’ll be suitably impressed by this beautiful arched bridge, one of the few remaining in the world that is still topped with buildings.

Like the Golden Gate in California and the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Pulteney Bridge is considered one of the most iconic in the world, let alone of the coolest landmarks in Bath. Great Pulteney Street, which the bridge opens out onto, is very pretty too!

This is an easy stop-by on your way to another spot, or the start to a River Avon cruise .

What to do there: If you’re planning on going kayaking, punting, or even just taking a tour on the River Avon, then the chances are you’ll be starting off from Pulteney Bridge. Arrive a little before your tour and take in the beauty construction and quaint local shops.

Insider tip: The cosy restaurants on the bridge are some of the best places to eat in Bath. Pulteney Kitchen sits in the middle with beautiful views of the river.

#4 – Bath Skyline Walk – A Hidden Gem

Bath Skyline Walk

  • Panoramic views of the city
  • Hike through valleys and woodlands
  • 6 mile long walk

Why it’s awesome: Sometimes you might want to escape the hordes of tourists, and enjoy some countryside air – introducing the Bath Skyline Walk. This 6-mile loop is just a short distance from the city centre, but you’ll feel like it’s taken you far, far away! You’ll pass through green meadows, peaceful valleys, and wonderful woodlands.

Make sure you take a camera to capture some images of the area’s flora and fauna!

What to do there: This option is a dream for both hikers and photographers. You will get jaw-dropping shots of the city, and natural landscapes that surround it! You can do the walk in half a day, but we recommend taking a picnic and spending the entire day out in the fresh air of the Somerset countryside – bliss.

#5 – Thermae Bath Spa – Time to Relax!

Thermae Bath Spa

  • Relax and unwind in natural hot springs
  • Enjoy stunning rooftop views
  • A Bath must do!

Why it’s awesome: Just because you can’t take a bath in the Roman Baths, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the warm and cleansing waters of the city’s hot springs. The Thermae Bath Spa is a spa complex with a thoroughly unique take on relaxation. If you’re travelling with your other half, or just want a moment of self-care, this is a must-do!

What to do there: There’s more to do than just soak in the water at this incredible spa. You can enjoy the steam rooms, saunas, massage options, and even a rooftop pool! Come away feeling totally relaxed, de-stressed, and revived – its healing water after all.

Insider tip: Secure the twilight package for a magnificent, romantic evening with views out over the city from the rooftop pool. Their onsite restaurant is delicious too!

#6 – Herschel Museum of Astronomy – This Place is Out of this World!

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

  • Learn about the man who discovered Uranus
  • Check out the Georgian gardens
  • One of the most famous spots in Bath

Why it’s awesome: The Herschel Museum of Astronomy is dedicated to the German-British astronomer Frederick William Herschel, who discovered Uranus back in the 18 th century. It was with a telescope that he had designed, and built in this very building, that is now the museum!

He was also a musician, and there are plenty of artefacts throughout the museum from Herschel’s lifetime. There’s also a beautiful Georgian garden which is a lovely place to walk around.

What to do there: You can take a self-guided audio tour of the museum. You won’t miss a single fact, and come out full of new knowledge! Check the events programme in advance as the museum also offers a lot of fun and educational workshops – these would be great for a travelling family looking for something unique and unusual to keep the kids entertained!

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#7 – Jane Austen Centre – Step Back in History

Jane Austen Centre

  • Home of one of the UK’s greatest authors
  • High-tea experience in the museum tea room
  • A Bath must-see for literature lovers

Why it’s awesome: The city had a vibrant social scene in the late 18 th century, which was one of the things that led Jane Austen to holiday here. In 1801, she relocated and lived in Bath for 5 years, and her former home is now one a must-see for any lover of literature!

The museum is packed with displays relating to Jane Austen’s life in Bath. There’s even a waxwork which is meant to look like her. Pretty tricky though, as there are no images of her in existence to work from!

What to do there: Be led around the centre by a guide in period costume and soak in the history and romance of her life.

If you’re a super fan, head to Bath in September for the 10 day Jane Austen festival. Thousands of visitors and fans descend on the city from all over the world, most of them dressed in said period costumes. You can get involved in one of the more unusual things to do in Bath . If dressing up isn’t for you, just enjoy high tea in the museum’s café.

#8 – Prior Park Landscape Garden – A Quiet Place to Visit in Bath

Prior Park Landscape Garden

  • 2 miles southeast of Bath
  • Picturesque rural landscape
  • 18 th century garden
  • A bridge, Serpentine lake, and temple

Why it’s awesome: If you’re looking for a quiet, park day out within walking distance of the city centre, put this place on your Bath itinerary.

The National Trust operated Prior Park Landscape Garden is absolutely beautiful, and dates back to the early 18 th century. The featured Palladian bridge is a unique style, with only 4 of its kind around the world. It’s a true Bath landmark!

The gardens were designed by famous architect Capability Brown, and poet Alexander Pope.

What to do there: Depending on the time of year you visit, there are a number of seasonal events and walks through the gardens.

If you want to combine a visit to the gardens with the Bath Skyline Walk, the trail passes nearby, so you can easily hop in. However, if you want to just relax in the gardens, visit the Tea Shed Café for a traditional pot of English tea!

#9 – The Holbourne Museum – For the Art Lovers

The Holbourne Museum

  • Huge collection of British art
  • UK’s only surviving 18th-century pleasure gardens

Why it’s awesome: For the art lovers among us, The Holbourne Museum has one of the best collections in all of Britain. As well as paintings by famous artists such as Stubbs, Reynolds, and Gainsborough, there are examples of Wedgwood porcelain, early period furniture, and 18th-century silver.

The museum used to be the Sydney Hotel, and has the only surviving 18th-century pleasure gardens in the UK.

What to do there: Even if you’re not an art connoisseur, you will still be impressed at the collection in this incredible museum.

However, there’s more on offer than just art. The Holbourne Museum regularly holds events, including educational programs, classical music concerts, and informative lectures. Check out the events programme to see if there’s anything of interest during your Bath visit. Another cool thing to do is visit the museum’s ‘after hours’ programme, where you can explore after dark!

#10 – The Royal Crescent – Most Lavish Spot in Bath

The Royal Crescent

  • Best place in Bath for admiring architecture
  • 18 th century houses arranged around a lush park

Why it’s awesome: These Grade-I listed buildings are one of the best examples of Georgian architecture found anywhere in the UK. Dating back to the 18 th century, the homes are now mostly privately owned, but there is a five-star luxury hotel here!

Obviously, private living quarters are off-limits to the public, but you can do a tour of one of the houses to learn more about The Royal Crescent and its rich history!

There is a huge park surrounding the impressive buildings where you can relax with a picnic – weather permitting – or you can explore the area to find the spots used in movies and TV shows (including Bridgerton !)

What to do there: Number 1 Royal Crescent is open to tours and included in many Bath tours . You can see what life was like for the wealthy in the 18 th century, and the servants too. Who doesn’t love a look into luxury?

#11 – Museum of East Asian Art

Museum of East Asian Art

  • Take a trip to the Far East without leaving Bath
  • More than 2,000 items throughout the museum
  • On-site shop with cool Asian products

Why it’s awesome: There are 2,000+ items in the Museum of East Asian Art, some dating back more than 7,000 years! This impressive collection has artefacts from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asian history, all within a gorgeous Georgian townhouse. It’s refreshing to find something that isn’t antique British furniture or art inside!

What to do there: The museum has an impressive permanent collection, but there are a number of temporary exhibits that come through too. Make sure you check out what’s on when you’re in town as there’s bound to be something cool and interesting! Stop by the gift shop to see loads of cool Asian products!

map of bath tourist attractions

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Bath

What should I do in Bath for a day?

If you only have a day, you should definitely visit The Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge and The Royal Crescent.

What are free places to visit in Bath?

Luckily, some of Bath’s historical sites are free such as The Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge. You can also take a stroll around Bath Skyline Walk.

What places should I avoid in Bath?

While Bath is a relatively safe city, you should avoid Manvers Street which is said to be the hotspot for crime .

What are the 7 hills of Bath?

Bath is built on seven hills, they are Combe Down, Lansdowne, Odd Down, Claverton Down, Bathwick Hill, Bathampton Down, and Salisbury Hill.

Final Thoughts

That concludes the list of the best places to visit in Bath. We hope that you’ve found it useful, as well as giving you plenty of Bath holiday ideas.

You’ll find everything you could want from a British city break when you travel to Bath – fascinating culture, intricate architecture, and a great food and drink scene!

Keep our must-see spots on hand to make sure you don’t miss out on anything!

Want to visit some more places in the region? Have a look at where to stay in the Cotswolds if you decide to head to this beautiful area close to Bath.

map of bath tourist attractions

Sophie Steinebach

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16 Top Places to Visit in Bath You Can’t Miss – Travel Guide to the charming English town

Set amongst the hilly English countryside, Bath, the only place in the UK with natural hot springs and honey-colored architecture is packed with historic sites, museums, cute cafes, and rewarding walks. Explore the best places to visit in Bath on a day trip or on a weekend. 

Best places to visit in Bath - Bath day trip

Bath has always been on my UK travel list. When I was still living in Scotland , I frequently travelled to London and wanted to discover more of what England has to offer , not only focusing on its capital. I managed to visit more English cities, including Brighton , Winchester, Portsmouth , and Oxford.  I’ve heard stories about Bath’s remarkable Georgian architecture and, of course, the Roman Baths with the only natural hot spring in the UK. When I finally managed to spend part of my weekend in Bath in October this year, I was very happy to be able to explore this charming English town.

Bath is located in South West England, in the country of Somerset. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the only place in the UK where you can bathe in the natural hot spa water.

Top Bath places to visit

There are a lot of interesting places to visit in Bath. You can go deep into the history of the town and country by visiting the Roman Baths and various museums, admire the architectural masterpieces, take a stroll along the Avon River or have afternoon tea in several great restaurants. You can even go on a walk onto the skyline hills above Bath. Even though for its fame, Bath still managed to keep the feel of a peaceful town, where people are not in rush and most of the sights can be visited on foot.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More details here .

places to visit in Bath on a day trip to Bath - Bath Abbey

Bath day trip or weekend in Bath?

Bath is a short train ride from Oxford or London with frequent train and bus services. You can take a day trip to  Bath  or spend the whole weekend in Bath and you won’t be bored. I only managed to go for Bath day trip and I really wished I could stay longer. The weekend in Bath would be the optimal time for visiting most of the city’s attractions.

Looking for a day trip to Bath from London? Visit Stonehenge and Bath on a day trip from London. Check the prices and book here .

Here is the list of places to visit in Bath with the suggestions on where to eat and where to stay in Bath. I’m sure you will like it as much as I did!

Places to visit in Bath

The best places to visit in Bath

# the roman baths – is the most famous place to visit in bath.

Any trip to Bath wouldn’t be complete without stepping back into the history of the Roman Baths . The Roman-built magnificent temple and bathing complex created around the UK’s only hot spring still flows with over a million liters of 46°C water every day. 

In the original place of the Baths coming from the Roman area, now there is an extensive museum with the Great Bath, smaller baths and springs, temples, including the Sulis Minerva temple, statues, and exhibitions. One of the finest ancient spas in Europe allows the experience of a world dating from the 1st to the 4th century AD. The first Baths were built here in 70 AD. 

Unfortunately, the water in the Roman Baths can’t be consumed or even touched, because of the bacteria developing in the water. However, before exiting the museum you have a chance to try clean and safe hot spring water from the fountain. It contains 43 minerals and with its metallic smell, it has quite an acquired taste. Spa water has been used for curative treatments for centuries. It originally included bathing in the hot waters and in the late 17th century drinking the spa water was recognized to treat certain health conditions. Want to be healthier? Gulp some spa water!

After visiting the Roman Baths, you can indulge yourself in modern local cuisine in an elegant way and try afternoon tea in the Pump Rooms restaurant. During your visit there, you can also try the hot spa water at the fountain.

Get to the Baths early to avoid the queue, or book a Roman Baths and City Walking Tour (entry ticket included) to learn more about Bath’s history.

Roman Baths opening times: Vary with the season, check the Roman Baths website.

Price: £16.50 with saver options available

places to visit in Bath - Roman Baths

# The Bath Abbey and the Tower tour

The Bath Abbey is a popular Bath’s attraction. Made from the honey-coloured Bath stone, in the typical Georgian way, it towers over the square, just next to the Roman Baths. While admiring the structure from the outside is worth it, I recommend going inside. The entrance is free and from there you can see the large stained-glass windows and the beautiful ceiling. However, the best part of visiting the Abbey is taking the Bath Abbey Tower tour.

This tour was one of the highlights of my time in Bath, I loved it so much, that I didn’t want to go back down. As I was the last one descending from the tower on the steep stairs, I’ve heard worried voices calling for me when I wasn’t making my appearance for a while 😉 But, y’all know, those vieeeews !

The Bath Abbey Tower tour leads you up 212 narrow spiral steps to the highest point of the building. Fortunately, you don’t do the whole climbing at once (it might make you feel a bit claustrophobic), but you stop on the way. You have an opportunity to see the backside of the operating room for the Tower Bell, look at the Bell itself, and stand behind the Tower clock. You also learn a lot about the history of the Abbey, the bells and the city. And I must say, the guys running the tour, really know how to make you interested. Their witty stories and enthusiasm will make you enjoy the tour a lot.

Bath Abbey Tower tour running times: Every 45 minutes, for exact times check the Bath Abbey website

places to visit in Bath - Bath Abbey

# Bath Skyline Walk

Bath Skyline Walk  is a great idea for a rewarding morning or afternoon activity. One of the unique things to do in Bath, the 6-mile walk is accessible for all fitness levels and allows you to enter another world, beyond the city. The spectacular views of the Bath Skyline are worth the effort!

# Avon river cruise

The river Avon meanders around Bath. To see the scenery around the town, y ou can take a river cruise in one of the small boats. The trips run between April and October and they start just next to Pulteney Bridge. The boat takes you down the river into the countryside until the little village of Bathampton, where you can get off and explore and then take a boat back. I was very tempted to do it, but I run out of time and the weather was very cold already.

Boat cruise running times: from April to October

# Pulteney Bridge

The covered Pulteney Bridge was built in 18th century for William Pulteney to connect Bath to the other side of the River Avon. Thanks to the small damn, the water creates a beautiful shape that can be admired from the shore. You can stop on the bridge or literally “in the bridge” since as one of a few bridges in the world, it has shops built into its sides. There are many cute little cafes located inside the bridge, from where you can look at the water below you. 

Places to visit in Bath - Pulteney Bridge and River Avon, Bath

# Various museums and galleries

One thing that Bath is not short of is the number of museums and galleries. The good news is that some of them are free of charge, For others, you need to pay, but they are all very interesting.

Some of the best museums in Bath include:

Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum

I really enjoyed my visit to the Fashion Museum . I’m not a fashion blogger or not even a fashion travel blogger. I should probably leave the talk about fashion to them, but, well, I liked the displays in the Fashion Museum. The exhibitions go through different epochs and types of dresses that were worn by people at that time.

I was lucky enough to attend a temporary exhibition with dresses coming from the Royal family. Every dress was telling a story and was well connected to the lives of the Royals, who wore them. I could only dream to own one of the dresses displayed there. Maybe in my next life. When I’m a princess (the one in the hiking shoes, you know ).

Fashion Museum Opening times: 10.30am-5pm

Price:  £9

Places to visit in Bath in a day - Fashion Museum

Jane Austen Centre

Jane Austen Centre created in honour of the Bath’s most famous resident, is a great place to get an insight into Jane Austen’s life. You can learn about Jane’s time in Bath and the effect it had on her writing. It’s worth a visit if you are Jane Austen fan. You can also meet there Martin Salter, one of Bath’s best-known characters. Martin is a man standing in front of Jane Austen Centre and greeting the visitors for over 10 years! And he always has a smile for everyone 😉

Opening times: 10am – 4pm

Price: £5.20-£28

Jane Austen Center in Bath - visit Bath in a weekend

# Royal Crescent and Circus

Built in the 18th century, the Royal Crescent is Bath’s world-famous landmark. The set of thirty identical Georgian townhouses curves around the lush park and a perfectly cut lawn. Next to the Royal Crescent you can find a similar set of terraced houses, lied out in a perfectly circular shape, which gave the street the name “The Circus”. Both the Circus and Royal Crescent are great locations for photos and a good opportunity to discover more of Bath’s history.

Places to visit in Bath, day trip to Bath Royal Crescent

No. 1 Royal Crescent

No.1 Royal Crescent , the first house in Bath’s Royal Crescent, was designed as a luxurious accommodation for aristocrats and royalty visiting the city. Now, it has been turned into a museum and it’s the only house in the Royal Crescent that is open to the public. You can step into the past and experience a bit of the Georgian splendour, with the authentic furniture and decoration of the rooms.

Opening times: 10 am -5 pm .

Price: From £5.10-£10.30

Places to visit in Bath, No. 1 Royal Crescent

# Relax in the Bath Spa

Bath has been famous as a spa destination thanks to the natural hot springs running through the city. You can try them yourself at the Bath’s original natural thermal spa Thermae Bath Spa . The heated rooftop pool with stunning views of the Bath’s landscape looks like a dream.

I haven’t tried the spa, as it was a bit out of my budget, and I didn’t have much time ( Ya know, my type of spa is more like the natural hot springs in Iceland or local hammam in Morocco ). But if you spend a weekend in Bath and want to indulge in the local hot springs, you should definitely try it. And then tell me how it was 😉

Where to eat and drink in Bath?

Have dinner in one of the “secret” restaurants.

In between the Royal Crescent and the Circus, lies the Circus Restaurant . It was voted No.4 in the UK by “The Times” in the article about “20 secret restaurants that foodies love”. The menu changes frequently and the restaurant uses only seasonal and local produce. I can confirm that the food is really good, and the atmosphere is relaxed. I stopped there for early dinner and even though I was by myself and the restaurant was quite busy, I was served well and sat at a nice table by the window. 

Have a bite in a green cafe

I love vegan products, especially raw cakes, but I am not a vegan myself. This doesn’t prevent me from searching for healthy, yummy vegan treats everywhere I go. I’ve learned that those types of restaurants normally have raw cakes, that are pretty much guilt-free. They’re made from fruit with no sugar and they are so delicious.

When I found the Green Rocket vegan cafe  in Bath, I was very eager to try their cakes. Hmmm , it turned out their food was so good and I ordered so much that there was no more space for the cake. Well, next time. I can highly recommend visiting the Green Rocket cafe for its great coffee, matcha latte, and wide selection of healthy vegan food (they even have vegan cheese and vegan mayo – yum!).

Green Corner Cafe food in Bath

Try Sally Lunn bun in the Historic Eating House

The most famous local delicacy from Bath, the Sally bunn, can only be tasted in Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House . The bun is a kind of brioche spread with butter or cream. The building dates all the way back to 1482, which makes it one of the oldest ones in Bath. You can visit the historic kitchen and the museum to learn how the house was serving refreshments to travellers since Roman times. Sally Lunn’s is also open for lunches and dinner, but do make a reservation as it’s always very busy.

Stock up with local products in Guildhall

I love buying local produce anywhere I travel. The Bath Guildhall Market is a perfect place for that.  It has been in operation since the Middle Ages, which makes it well over 800 years. Today, on the market you can find everything from the local cheeses, meats, jams, pastries, and pies, and also non-food items, clothes, and souvenirs.

Bath Guidhall market, places to visit in Bath in weekend

Have a take-away-mulled-cider

This probably made me happier than I should admit. When you live in Norway , where alcohol prices are outrageous and drinking on the street is illegal, small things like these can make your day. I’ve seen the sign about take-away mulled cider in the Stables on the street (apparently the home to the cider, pies, and pizza). I went in and took my mulled alcoholic cider in a paper cup for £3.5 to warm myself up on the way to the station. A perfect end to the perfect day they say ;-). If you’re in Bath – stop by for the cider treat.

Visit Bath Gin Distillery

Bath Gin Distillery  is Bath’s first distillery in over 250 years. If you love gin, the visit to the distillery and the Canary Gin Bar is a must. Very popular on weekend nights!

Where to stay in Bath?

Bath can be a city more on the pricey side when it comes to accommodation, especially in the historic centre.

Budget accommodation in Bath:

If you are on a budget, you can find one of the best deals on Bath’s University student accommodation. The biggest availability of rooms is during the summer when the students are gone, but you can also find some of the rooms throughout the year. The campus is located around a mile from the city center but there are buses running between the two. Rooms start at £36 per night. Check the availability here.

Read more about UK destinations:

Best places to visit in Portsmouth

Brighton in a day

London New Year’s Eve on a budget

London Street art Brick Lane

Visit Scotland

Disclaimer: This post was created as a collaboration with Visit Bath Tourist Board.

Published: december 2018, updated: june 2019.

Would you like to visit Bath? Do you know any other things to do in Bath? Would you like to do a day trip to Bath or rather stay the whole weekend in Bath? Let me know in the comments!

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The best things to do in Bath, England, UK. Visit Roman Baths, Jane Austen Museum, Royal Crescent, Georgian architecture, River Avon, Bath Abbey and more! | Worldering around #bath #england #uk #visitbath #bathengland

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2 thoughts on “ 16 Top Places to Visit in Bath You Can’t Miss – Travel Guide to the charming English town ”

Shame you only mentioned the places in the town centre! (Tourist traps!!!) try getting out and about to some of the cities hidden gems where the really beauty lies… beckfords tower, American museum and gardens, victoria park … take the time to explore places that aren’t always mentioned by every tourist blogger!!!

Fiona, thanks for your advice. This post is about top attractions in Bath, which naturally includes the most popular ones (with some added ones that I discovered when walking around, like a vegan cafe that I loved). I wouldn’t call them tourist traps, though – I think they are well worth a visit. As I mention in the post, I’ve only been to Bath on a day trip, so, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to venture too far out of the city center. I would love to visit more of the hidden gems on my next trip, and I would certainly share them here 🙂

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Things To Do In Bath

Top hotel collections.

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Near University of Bath

Near Thermae Bath Spa

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  • Filter (27)
  • Sightseeing (4)
  • Landmark (3)
  • Spa & Wellness (3)

1. Roman Baths

Roman Baths

1 km from city center 1 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Roman Baths was built by the Romans around 2000 years ago and it was later discovered by the Victorians. It is one of the must see tourist attractions in Bath. These are fuelled by England's only hot springs and it outputs over a million litres of hot water per day.æ

2. Thermae Bath Spa

Thermae Bath Spa

1 km from city center 2 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The only place in Britain where one can bathe in the hot and natural water. The Thermae Bath Spa is a modern spa located in the heart of the city which uses the healing waters to soothe and relax people.æ

3. Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

1 km from city center 3 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The last Gothic Church in England, Bath Abbey was started in 1499 and built on the ruins of the Norman Cathedral. It is a huge church and located next to the Roman Baths. One can get a wonderful view of Bath from the Abbey Tower.æ

4. The Circus

The Circus

1 km from city center 4 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The perfect example of Georgian architecture in Bath, The Circus is a popular building. The name is derived from Latin word circus that means a ring or circle.æ

5. Jane Austen Centre

Jane Austen Centre

1 km from city center 5 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Jane Austen Centre is located in the Queens Square and it is a popular museum in Bath. It is a fascinating testament to the last appeal of Jane Austen.æ

6. Pulteney Bridge and Pulteney Weir

Pulteney Bridge and Pulteney Weir

1 km from city center 6 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Pulteney Bridge is a famous bridge built over the River Avon in Bath. It connects the city with the new Georgian town of Bathwick. Constructed in a Palladian style, the best thing about the bridge is that it has shops built across its both sides. It is now designated as a Grade 1 building in Bath.

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7. Great Pulteney Street

Great Pulteney Street

1 km from city center 7 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

It is a Georgian street located on the other side of the Pulteney Bridge. It is made for casual strolling and is one of the best places to spend some time in the city.æ

8. Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent

1 km from city center 8 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

A semi elliptical crescent house, the Royal Crescent was designed by John Wood and was completed in 1774. It was the first of the eight crescents in Bath and the shape is the most unique one among all.æ

9. Sion Hill

Sion Hill

2 km from city center 9 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Sion Hill is a wealthy neighbourhood that is located on the upper part of the city. It is the perfect place to go and have a pleasant stoll and get a view of the attractive stone buildings in Bath.æ

10. Holburne Museum of Art

Holburne Museum of Art

1 km from city center 10 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

This museum is located on the Great Pulteney Street which displays the treasures collected by Sir William Holburne. There are works by many famous artists and painters.æ

11. Theatre Royal, Bath

Theatre Royal, Bath

1 km from city center 11 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

One of the former, oldest and presently functioning theatres of ancient Bath, the Theatre Royal was inaugurated in 1805 with a Shakespearean play; Richard III. Located on Sawclose, the theatre is a 4-minute walk from the Bath city centre. With an accommodation of 900 visitors, the preserved Theatre Royal is one of the limited models of the architecture of the era.

12. Assembly Rooms

Assembly Rooms

1 km from city center 12 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Designed by John Wood, the younger Bath Assembly rooms are Grade 1 listed buildings in Bath which are now a major public attraction.æ

13. Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park

20 km from city center 13 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Alexandra Park, located in Somerset County of England, is one of the major attractions of the ancient city of Bath. The park is equipped with lavish greenery and acts as a tower giving the visitor an eyeful picture of the old town of Bath. Situated on Shakespeare Avenue, the Alexandra park is set on top of Beechen Cliff and can be reached easily through different modes. It is a dominant local hangout spot, as it provides a whiff of the atmosphere built upon peaceful nature while giving a wholesome perspective of Bath.

14. Prior Park Landscape Garden

Prior Park Landscape Garden

1 km from city center 14 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Prior Park Landscape Garden, a former deer park turned agricultural farm is now a tourist attraction. Located on the Ralph Allen drive, south Bath, the park is at a convenient distance from the city centre. It houses some of Europe’s long lost Palladian architectural styles and ancient English ruins, gravitating history and nature lovers towards it. Adding to the heritage value of the ancient city of Bath, the park is more of a monument than a park.

15. Sally Lunns House

Sally Lunns House

1 km from city center 15 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Sally Lunn’s House is the oldest building of Bath dating back to the 13th century. Located on the North Parade Passage, it is an archaic restaurant serving the Bath bun, an age-old delight of the region. The exclusive Bath bun or Sally Lunn is a big, fluffy and light savoury that is a mixture of a muffin, bread and cake made with flour, cream and eggs, relished with warm or burnt butter. The Sally Lunn’s House also has a room dedicated to Jane Austen, who held the Sally Lunn buns as one of her favourites. Today, visitors and Jane Austen fans can pay a visit and dine at the same place their idol took delight in the Bath Bun.

16. Fashion Museum, Bath

Fashion Museum, Bath

16 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Fashion Museum, Bath has an immense collection of over 100,000 objects of clothing and fashion from the Shakespearean era to our era; roughly from the 14th century to the 21st century. Established in the year 1963, the Fashion Museum Bath is set within the walls of the Assembly Rooms of Bath. One of their exciting collections, “Glove Stories” is a collection of a range of gloves from different ages, preserved and up for exhibition. This exhibition is said to be for display only until March 2020, which may want you to double your chances of visiting!

17. Museum of East Asian Art

Museum of East Asian Art

1 km from city center 17 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Established in 1993, the Museum of East Asian Art is the only museum of the United Kingdom preserving collections of East Asian art and other artefacts. Located on Bennett Street, the museum is a 12-minute walk from the city centre. The museum has an array of over 2000 items of jade, ceramic, bronze, wood and bamboo carvings from Korea, China, Japan and Southeast Asian. The art items conserved in the museum are as old as 5000 BCE.

18. Victorian Art Gallery

Victorian Art Gallery

2 km from city center 18 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Victorian Art Gallery of Bath was named in the honour of celebrating 60 years of Victorian Reign. A former public library turned contemporary art gallery, this art gallery of Bath was devised in the year 1897 by John McKean Brydon. The extensive collections of art objects preserved by the museum also include oil paintings belonging to 17th century Britain. Situated along Bridge Street, the Victorian Art Gallery is approximately an 8-minute distance from the city centre on foot and a 7-minute drive. It is the perfect attraction for art lovers.

19. Herschel Museum of Astronomy

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

1 km from city center 19 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

This former house turned present astronomical attraction was the residence of one of the leading astronomers and musicians of the 16th Century, William Herschel. The man behind the discovery of the planet Uranus. A five storied building, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy is located on the New King Street at a walkable distance from the city centre.

20. Bath Festival

Bath Festival

20 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

This wide-scale celebration of music and literature has been in vogue since 1668 but came to be defined as the “Bath International Music Festival” only in the year 1948. Since the name was limiting just to music, it was reinitiated as the “Bath Festival” in 2017. Usually held for two weeks between late May and early June, the Bath Festival features a wide range of locally and globally renowned artists from different art fields.

21. Have Afternoon Tea at Bath Tearooms

Have Afternoon Tea at Bath Tearooms

21 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Visitors can enjoy afternoon tea from some of the Bath's famous tea rooms like the Pump Room, the Bath Priory, the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Bath Tea House or the Sweet Little Things etc which offers an unforgettable experience delightful and respite from the bustling street of Bath.

22. Spend Family Time at Bath City Farm

Spend  Family Time at Bath City Farm

22 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Bath City Farm located in Kelston View, Whiteway, Bath BA2 1NW, United Kingdom, offers some of the most picturesque landscapes in England. Enjoy serenity and peace of mind while beholding a spectacular view of the wide expanse of the rural countryside and the rural life.

23. Picnic at Royal Victoria Park

Picnic at Royal Victoria Park

23 km from city center 23 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Royal Victoria Park located at Marlborough Ln, Bath, United Kingdom is a unique blend of picturesque landscapes and serene beauty enjoying the sport of kite flying, frisbee throwing and beautiful natural surroundings at one of England's largest urban parks.

24. Skyline Walk

Skyline Walk

0 km from city center 24 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

Popular for its gorgeous visuals, Bath Skyline Walk is a 6-mile-long circular walk around the Bath Skyline starting from Bath city centre. The walk is done on an elevated and well-maintained footpath. It takes you through several wildflower meadows and farmlands with hidden valleys and woodlands.

25. Bridgerton Themed Walking Tour

Bridgerton Themed Walking Tour

5 km from city center 25 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Bridgerton Themed Walking Tour Bath is dedicated to the hit Netflix show that was known for its drama and romance. You get to see several locations where the show was filmed. So, get transported to the Ragner house and relive your favourite scenes from the show.

26. Canoe in Kennet and Avon Canal

Canoe in Kennet and Avon Canal

16 km from city center 26 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

A magnificent work of engineering, the Kennet and Avon canal links The River Thames in London with the Bristol Channel. You can choose to explore all the views by canoeing or walking. You can sit back and relax in the boat while paddling through the simple and easy route.

27. Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

5 km from city center 27 out of 27 Things To Do in Bath

The Bath Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour is the best way to go through all the tourist attractions in Bath. The has two routes- the City Tour and the Bath Skyline Tour. The City Tour takes you through several popular attractions within the city. The tour includes the audioguide in several languages.

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