With its golden Georgian terraces, Roman baths and a general cultural buzz to the city, beautiful Bath is a great destination to visit any time of the year. Here’s how to spend the ideal 48 hours in Bath.
Morning: Bathing in history
You simply have to start your Bath adventure at the city’s famous Roman Baths. Be taken back to Roman times with the fascinating audio guide. Just next door is Bath Abbey which is simply stunning. A good coffee stop is Colonna & Small’s.
Lunch: Keeping with the bygone theme, head to The Chequers gastro pub for lunch in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The pub has served visitors to Bath and locals alike since 1776. These days, its award-winning, inventive British menu is complimented by fine wines and local ales.
Afternoon: Follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps
Walk on to The Jane Austen Centre, dedicated to celebrating Bath’s most famous resident. Here you’ll get an insight into Regency times and Austen’s inspirations. You can even pretend to be a character in Pride and Prejudice and dress up the exhibition’s Regency costumes!
Continue feeling like you’re on a film set as you tour Bath’s architectural landmarks. Walk around the Circus – a complete ring of Georgian terraced houses, and onto the Bath Assembly Rooms, where Austen herself once danced and now also home to the Fashion Museum. Continue to The Royal Crescent, one of Bath’s most-photographed sights. Prefer to put your feet up? Opt for the Bath Sightseeing Tour instead.
Back in the city centre, stroll over Pulteney Bridge with the crashing River Avon below. Then you might still have time for a spot of shopping in the old artisan quarter, lined with independent shops.
Check-in: Get into the vibes of Bath with a stay at Brooks Guesthouse, with affordable Victorian-style accommodation, and a handy location near Royal Victoria Park. Or with small but stylish rooms, The Halcyon is a boutique hotel in a Georgian townhouse, close to the railway station and the Roman Baths.
For a truly luxurious retreat, The Gainsborough 5-star hotel has its own access to the natural thermal waters.
Dinner: Georgian dining with a modern update
Head to one of the most anticipated new restaurant openings in Bath, Henry’s, serving dishes like baked cod on a wild herb risotto with langoustine broth, as well as a full vegan menu.
Sip an after-dinner cocktail or three at cavernous basement cocktail bar Circo, one of Bath’s night-time hot spots.
Morning: See Bath from up high
Take a leisurely walk up to Prior Park Landscape Garden, set in a woodland-bordered valley with an impressive Palladian bridge at its centre, and with wonderful views across the city. If you want to stretch your legs even further, join the 6-mile Bath Skyline circular route through beautiful woodlands and meadows, passing an Iron Age hill fort, Roman ruins and more spectacular views.
Afternoon: Tea, Georgian-style
A visit to Bath would be incomplete without taking traditional afternoon tea in the elegant Georgian surroundings of The Pump Room Restaurant, next to the Roman Baths. A pianist or string trio may even accompany as you enjoy your scones. Visitors in the 1700s used to drink the spa water as it was considered to have health benefits, and you can still sample a glass today – although be prepared, it’s an acquired taste!
Evening: Soak in the spa as the sun goes down
When in Bath, do as the Romans did and bathe in the naturally warm, mineral-rich waters at Thermae Bath Spa. The spa is open late, so you can finish off your day with a twilight soak as you watch the sun set over the city.
Bath is situated in Somerset, south west England, only 90 minutes by train direct from London Paddington station. Bristol is the nearest airport (19 miles/ 30.5km) with regular bus connections.