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The city of Bath is a unique and beautiful location in south west England. The city is a Spa town, and has been known for its naturally hot springs since Roman Times, c. 60AD. This popularity was perhaps at its height during the Georgian times and this era has resulted in Bath having a wonderful example of architecture from the period. The whole city is a UNESCO world heritage site which is testament to its importance in the history of the country.
If you are travelling to Bath, there are many options for arriving in the city, as well as exploring it once you’re there. The city centre is easily walkable from the main station so the train is an excellent way to visit Bath. Alternatively there is a Park and Ride facility, which means you can park your car just outside the city centre, but enjoy the convenience of a bus directly into the centre.
Bath is not a large city, with only a population of approximately 90,000. Therefore, unlike other locations, it is doesn’t have distinct quarters or districts. The majority of the city is encompassed by the River Avon, which loops like a horseshoe around the centre.
In addition, the heart of the city is flanked by 4 parks, which act as indications of the boundaries of the centre –Green Park to the South, Royal Victoria Park to the West, Henrietta Park to the East and finally Hedgemead Park to the North.
Roman Baths & Thermae Spa - There are not many places in the world where you can step back in time and live like a Roman, but Bath offers you the unique opportunity to explore the ruins of the old spas, then relax and unwind in the beautiful Thermae Spas.
Walk around the beautifully carved Roman Baths, which are situated below ground level, explore the remains of the changing rooms and plunge pools then stop and stare into the eyes of the fearsome Gorgon’s Head.
After taking in the history of the baths, head to the Pump Room, and enjoy the relaxing thermal waters of the spa. The star of the show is arguably the roof top pool from where you can look across the whole city.
Royal Crescent - One of the most iconic images of Bath is the Royal Crescent. A sweeping row of terrace houses that were built by the architect John Wood the Younger between 1767 &1774. They are considered one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture. In addition, many notable people have lived in the terrace over the years. Keep an eye out for the commemorative plaques that tell you more about the famous residents.
The Jane Austen Centre - For the literature lovers, there is an excellent house dedicated to Jane Austen, and the impact that Bath had on her writing. The museum is interactive with attentive staff, clothes to dress up in, and it is also the perfect place to stop for a cup of tea.
On the second floor of the town house are The Regency themed Tea Rooms, which previously received The Tea Guild’s Award of Excellence. Stop here for a slice of scrumptious cake, or a pot of real leaf tea. Before leaving make sure you don’t miss the roof top terrace with wonderful view across the city.
During your visit to the heart of England’s West Country, it would be rude to leave without trying at least a few local delicacies.
Sally Lunn Bun - In 1680 a Huguenot referee, called Sally Lunn, arrived in Bath. She got a job at a bakery in Lilliput Alley, and during her work there she introduced the baker to her light brioche-style bun. They became a very popular delicacy at the time and are still famous today. Want to try and cook them at home? Well, this could be difficult as the recipe is a closely guarded secret. However, you can sample a delicious bun at the Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum. (4, 4 N Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX, UK)
Bath Chaps - Now for something savoury. The Bath Chaps are not for everyone, but if you feel like living dangerously and trying something different head to The Garrick’s Head. There you’ll find this local delicacy – made from the lower part of pig cheeks! (7-8 St John's Rd, City Centre, Bath BA1 1ET, UK)
Bath Soft Cheese - Finally, for cheese fans we have the Bath Soft Cheese range. There are a variety of cheese in the range, all of which can be found at the Bath Farmer’s Market, on Saturday morning. The recipe is ancient, but why not take a little slice of Bath home with you?
Bath city centre offers many accommodation options, but here are two of our recommendations:
Henrietta House - Bath is renowned for the Georgian architecture, so it seems only fitting to enjoy a night’s stay in a period property. Even though the hotel is in a townhouse that was built in 1780s, Henrietta House has all the modern comforts to give you the best of both past and present.
Enjoy one of the 18 rooms, all of which are elegantly decorated and celebrate the original features of the building, then head downstairs the next day for a full breakfast, cooked to order.
Bath Circle Serviced Apartments - If you are in town for a little longer and prefer to escape the hustle and bustle a little, then try Bath Circle Serviced Apartments. This luxurious accommodation offers you all the convenience of having a home-away-from-home feeling. They have been awarded 5 stars from the Tourist Board, and are furnished to the highest standard.
The kitchenettes are well-equipped and the location is also great – close to the Royal Crescent but in a tranquil hideaway. If you need anything during your stay, there is a friendly and helpful member of staff available day and night.