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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Bath | Attractions and Things to Do

Bath is one of the most visited heritage cities in England, well known for its Roman Baths and Georgian architecture. This spa city has been a popular tourist destination for ages, drawing in around 4 million visitors annually. Over years the city has become a unique blend of the old and the new with the period buildings and streets blending in with the more modern shopping centres and boutique restaurants.


Like any major tourist destination, Bath tends to be more crowded and expensive on Friday and Saturday nights. So, if you are looking to visit Bath, do so during the week. This way you get good deals on accommodation and the attractions are also less crowded.

Getting to Bath from London is very easy. Bath Spa is around 1.5 hours from London Paddington by train. The best way to get around in Bath is by walk(if you are located in central Bath). Almost all the major attractions are accessible by walk. If walking is not your cup of tea, then you can opt for taxis. Or choose the hop-on hop-off buses which are an excellent way to explore the city.


In terms of attractions, Bath has so much to offer. Apart from the famed Roman Baths, undoubtedly the most visited historical attraction in Bath, the city also has numerous museums, art galleries and gardens. Or you could just walk around the city admiring its beautiful architecture or be amazed by the numerous street performers.



The Roman Baths - The top tourist attraction in Bath, the Roman Bath complex is a well preserved public bathing site. The bath and the museum are well preserved and presented. There are two viewing levels: the top level which gives you wonderful views of the bath and the Bath Abbey
nearby. The lower level is perfect to get up close with the bath. You can sit down, relax and listen to the audio guide which is provided along with your entrance ticket. These guides provide comprehensive commentary and help you to understand the attraction better.

Recently the Roman Baths were honoured in UK’s top 10 museums category at the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice® Attractions awards. Coming in at the fourth place, the Roman Baths are indeed not to be missed while in Bath.


Bath Abbey - Located next to the Roman Baths is the Bath Abbey, a Grade 1 listed building. If you have come out of the Roman Baths then you will be facing the West front of the Abbey which was my favourite façade. The interesting 'Ladders of Angels' on the western façade is said to be inspired by Bishop Oliver King's dream of ascending and descending angels.

The abbey is open to all and invites a donation of £2.50 per adult and £1.00 per student. The abbey also has paid tower tours lasting a little less than an hour. These tours take you up the abbey tower from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the city.



The Royal Crescent - Designed by John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent is a semi-circular crescent of 30 terraced houses. The Royal Crescent is undoubtedly amongst the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK and is also a Grade I listed building. The Royal Crescent has been home to many notable people and even now you can see special plaques on some of the houses commemorating its famous residents.

While most of the houses are privately owned and have been converted to offices and flats, the Royal Crescent also houses a museum (No 1) and a hotel(Royal Crescent Hotel - No 15 and 16). The Royal Crescent has been used extensively as a film and television location. It was featured in the 2008 movie 'The Duchess'.


Pulteney Bridge - Designed by Robert Adam, the Pulteney Bridge across the River Avon is one of the handful bridges in the world that have shops across their full span on either side. The Grade 1 listed bridge along with the weir is one of the most photographed attractions in Bath. Best time to visit the bridge is in the early morning when you can beat the crowds and get a lovely picture. You could do a boat trip, stroll along the river or enjoy a lovely tea in one of the many pastry/sweet shops.


Thermal Bath Spa - An award-winning spa, they offer bathing in the warm, mineral-rich waters and a range of spa treatments like Watsu, hot oil and traditional massage, hot stones spa therapy, facials and body wraps all designed to ease the body and relax the mind. The spa sessions last from 2 hours to a full day and if you are planning to visit on a weekend, then it is advisable to book in advance.

Thermae Bath Spa
The Hetling Pump Room
Hot Bath Street
Bath BA1 1SJ
Phone: +44 (0)1225 33 1234


Bath has many well maintained parks if you are interested in a summer picnic in open spaces. The largest park is Victoria Park right in front of the Royal Crescent. Entrance is free. Sydney Gardens is another free park. Frequently visited by Jane Austen this is the oldest park in Bath. Right in the heart of the town near the Pulteney bridge is the Parade Gardens. There is a nominal entrance charge for visitors(Bath residents can enter for free). The park has beautiful floral displays and overlooks the Avon river, so well worth the price.



Other attractions in Bath include Sally Lunn's, Holburne Museum, the Fashion Museum, Herschel Museum of Astronomy and the Great Pulteney Street.





For more information on attractions in Bath and to book accommodation and hotels in Bath, head to VisitBath. The Bath Visitor Information Centre is located next to Bath Abbey and the friendly and knowledgeable staff will help and guide you to make the most of your visit to Bath.

Bath Visitor Information Centre
Abbey Churchyard
Bath  BA1 1LY

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