Bath has a rich history centred around its natural hot springs. The city has been a centre for wellbeing since Roman times, with the Roman Baths still standing today. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 to preserve and celebrate its Roman roots and extensive examples of Georgian architecture. You can experience the only thermal waters in the UK at Thermae Bath Spa, where the waters can be bathed in.
Bath’s wellbeing vibes continue through its beautiful winding streets lined with independent shops, restaurants and boutiques. It’s a beautiful city to simply wander around with its Georgian buildings, picturesque parks and countryside and all-over Jane Austen vibes. Uncover more about Bath’s literary or cultural history at one of its many museums and art galleries. If you want to escape the city, head into one of Bath’s many parks and green spaces filled with walking paths, picnic benches and plenty of grass to lie back and relax on. If you are planning on visiting this beautiful slice of Somerset, here are the best things to do in Bath you should not miss.
- Bath, UK
- 20 Things To Do In Bath
- 1- Visit The Roman Baths
- 2- Step Back In History At The Holburne Museum
- 3- Explore Bath Abbey
- 4- Climb Bath Abbey Tower
- 5- Explore Mary Shelly’s House of Frankenstein
- 6- Wander Around The Jane Austen Centre
- 7- Have Afternoon Tea At The Historic Pump Room
- 8- Do The Bath Skyline Walk
- 9- Go On An Architectural Walking Tour
- 10- Soak In The Thermae Bath Spa
- 11- Photograph The Pulteney Bridge
- 12- Taste A Bunn At Sally Lunn’s
- 13- Learn About The Stars At Herschel Museum of Astronomy
- 14- Go Shopping On Green Street
- 15- Wander Around Milsom Place
- 16- Cruise The River Avon
- 17- Shop At The Guildhall Market
- 18- See The Works At The Victoria Art Gallery
- 19- Visit Beckford’s Tower
- 20- Relax In Prior Park
- 20 Things To Do In Bath
20 Things To Do In Bath
1- Visit The Roman Baths
Immerse yourself in Bath’s Roman history at the Roman Baths built in 70AD to serve as a bathing house and social meeting place.
Inside the baths, the waters are naturally heated to 46F and these baths are among the best-preserved Roman sites in the world.
Wander around the ruins on pavements trodden by Romans visiting the baths before stopping by the museum filled with artefacts found from the site and documentation of its use.
While the waters here cannot be bathed in, you can experience the city’s thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa.
The Roman Baths is at Abbey Churchyard, Bath, BA1 1LZ. Skip the line and book your tickets and walking tour here.
2- Step Back In History At The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum is set inside a grand Georgian building surrounded by carefully designed gardens.
The museum building began as a hotel before it was transformed into Bath’s home for fine arts and is now Grade 1 listed.
Much of the museum’s collections come from its founder, Sir William Holburne.
Holburne travelled through Europe extensively and fell in love with works of art by Dutch masters, sculptures cast in bronze and vast landscape paintings.
The most treasured works of art within the museum’s collection are a range of works by Gainsborough.
The Holburne Museum is at Great Pulteney Street, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 4DB.
3- Explore Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey dates back to the 7th century and was once a Benedictine monastery.
The abbey was damaged during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, however thanks to Sir George Gilbert Scott, extensive renovations were carried out in the mid-1800s, saving the abbey from ruin.
Today the abbey is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in religious buildings in England.
Like many Gothic churches, Bath Abbey is laid out as a crucifix and is filled with intricate and colourful stained glass windows, high vaulted ceilings and intricate carvings and sculptures.
Bath Abbey is at Bath, BA1 1LT. You may like this two-hour Bridgerton Experience.
4- Climb Bath Abbey Tower
While at Bath Abbey, brave the climb to the top of its 49m (160ft) high tower, that is the tallest in the city.
There are 212 steps to reach the top, from which there are spectacular views out across the city.
It is possible to visit and climb the tower on your own, but join a Tower Tour for a more in-depth exploration of the tower and some of its secrets.
The tours take in some otherwise closed to the public areas of the abbey and tower, including the clock face and the bells.
Bath Abbey Tower is at Bath Abbey, Bath, BA1 1LT. The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus will get you there.
5- Explore Mary Shelly’s House of Frankenstein
Fans of horror, science fiction and classic literature will love Mary Shelly’s House of Frankenstein.
Mary Shelly lived in Bath in 1816 and penned most of the famous monster stories during her time in the city.
Mary Shelly’s House of Frankenstein celebrates the novel and writer through an award-winning museum.
Inside, each of its four floors is dedicated to the life of Mary Shelly and her time in the city and includes artefacts from her life.
There are plenty of references to Frankenstein and his creature, immersive exhibits and multi-sensory rooms filled with light shows and smells to bring history and fiction to life truly.
Those feeling brave can try their luck at the Frankenstein escape room or immerse themselves in the pop culture that centres around this famous tale.
Mary Shelly’s House of Frankenstein is at 37 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT. Skip the line and book your tickets here.
6- Wander Around The Jane Austen Centre
Only a couple of doors down from Mary Shelly’s House of Frankenstein, The Jane Austen Centre is another perfect destination for bookworms.
The centre is inside a classic Georgian building, typical of much of the city’s architecture.
Once inside, costumed guides will bring your literary experience to life as you explore a range of rooms set out in the Regency style in which many of Austen’s novels were set.
Wander through the period rooms to uncover more about the famous author, the city she lived in, and how it influenced her novels.
Once you have had your fill of literature, visit the Regency Tea Room for a delicate afternoon tea, appropriately named ‘Tea with Mr. Darcy’.
The Jane Austen Centre is at 40 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT. Skip the line and book your tickets here.
7- Have Afternoon Tea At The Historic Pump Room
Bath’s famous Pump Room restaurant is a must-visit when in the city.
The restaurant is neo-classical in design and worth visiting to admire the architecture.
The Pump Room has been open for over two centuries, with literary greats Jane Austen and Charles Dickens among its many diners.
The main dining room is long and airy, with large windows to maximise natural light.
The Pump Room offers diners the option of a simple yet elegant brunch or an exquisitely designed and tasty afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea at the Pump Room includes delicate sandwiches with fillings, including Searcys smoked salmon, caviar, and whipped chive cream cheese and cucumber.
Additional finger items of a traditional Coronation prawn cocktail and flavourful vegetable tarts are included. Round off this British tradition with a homemade buttermilk scone served warm with plenty of jam and clotted cream.
The Pump Room is at Searcys at the Pump Room, Stall Street, Bath, BA1 1LZ.
8- Do The Bath Skyline Walk
The Bath Skyline Walk is a great way to see the city and the rolling hills surrounding it.
The National Trust operates the Bath Skyline Walk and covers a 6-mile (9.66 kilometres) circular walk.
The Bath Skyline Walk takes you through magical wildflower meadows, woodlands and farmland.
If you are visiting with children, there is a play area in the woods and even a fairy trail to follow.
The Bath Skyline Walk crosses many important archeological and historical sites, with many Roman coins discovered in the area.
Climb Little Solsbury Hill and see the Iron Age Hill fort and its breathtaking views over the surrounding area.
Bath Skyline Walk is at Kent House, Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, BA2 5BJ.
9- Go On An Architectural Walking Tour
As Bath is filled with many beautiful examples of Georgian architecture, the best way to see the most important Georgian buildings in the city and uncover their secrets is on an architectural walking tour.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, many of Bath’s buildings have great historical significance.
Self-led walking tours of these buildings are available, however, to get the most out of your time in the city, book one with a knowledgeable and friendly local guide.
On your tour, you will see plenty of the city’s signature limestone buildings, medieval churches, Industrial Revolution sites and, of course, the city’s beautiful bridges.
Take your camera and get lost in the beauty of these buildings.
Architectural Walking Tours of Bath begin in numerous locations across the city. This is a popular tour.
10- Soak In The Thermae Bath Spa
Thermae Bath Spa uses the natural thermal waters below Bath and transforms them into the ultimate wellbeing destination.
At Thermae Bath Spa, several health and wellbeing treatments are available when booking a two-hour spa session.
Choose from various treatments, including hot stone massages, facials and aromatherapy massages.
Take a dip in the warming waters of Thermae Bath Spa’s rooftop thermal pool and take in the stunning views over the city as you relax.
Further thermal baths within the spa can be found at Minerva Bath, which is filled with whirlpools.
Thermae Bath Spa is at The Healing Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath, BA1 1SJ.
11- Photograph The Pulteney Bridge
One of the most iconic sites in Bath is Pulteney Bridge, designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1744 in the Palladian style.
The bridge design is unusual in England as it has shops running across both sides of its full length.
Thanks to its unusual design, the bridge is a photography hotspot, with many choosing the banks of the River Avon as their location to shoot from.
The bridge is packed with shops, and when crossing appears like simply another part of the city, however, there are spaces where pleasant views downriver can be found.
This style of bridge is one of only four in the world, with the others in Italy and Germany.
Pulteney Bridge is at Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT. You may like this guided ghost tour of Bath.
12- Taste A Bunn At Sally Lunn’s
Sally Lunn’s is an iconic restaurant, or Eating House as it is known locally, set inside one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Explore the history of this historic and famous restaurant in Sally Lunn’s Kitchen Museum, where you can see the kitchen used by Lunn herself during her creation of the iconic Bath Bunn.
Sally Lunn opened her eating house in 1680, and since then, it has served up authentic regional food from across the centuries.
Enjoy an authentic Trencher Dinner consisting of a Trencher, a type of bread used before plates were invented, topped with a range of delicious foods.
The Trencher soaks up all of the flavour of the toppings and is enjoyed as part of the meal.
While at Sally Lunn’s, be sure to order a Bunn, served sweet or savoury and with a secret recipe dating back to the eating house’s founding.
Bunns are also available to take away to enjoy at home.
Sally Lunn’s is at Sally Lunn’s House, 4 North Parade Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX.
13- Learn About The Stars At Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Herschel Museum of Astronomy is set inside the former home of famous astronomer William Herschel and was opened in 1981.
The museum celebrates the history of astronomy and the important discoveries William Herschel discovered from inside the home.
In 1781 Herschel discovered Uranus in the gardens of his house using a telescope he made himself.
The museum is filled with interesting and interactive exhibits, including The Workshop that Herschel used to make telescope lenses, a collection of ornate globes and planetaria, and a peaceful garden where you can visit the spot Uranus was discovered.
Herschel Museum of Astronomy is at 19 New King Street, Bath, BA1 2BL.
14- Go Shopping On Green Street
If window shopping, searching for souvenirs or simply looking for something unique to remind you of your trip is on the cards, Green Street is a must-visit location in Bath.
Green Street is Bath’s shopping centre and is filled with a wide variety of sops, cafes and restaurants.
Here you will find many of Bath’s independents all set inside Bath’s traditional Georgian sandstone buildings.
The street is perfect for a wander along, particularly in the morning when it is quieter, creating lovely photography opportunities.
Green Street is at Green Street, Bath.
15- Wander Around Milsom Place
Milsom Place is the perfect destination for shopping in fashionable and historical surroundings.
Milsom Place is a series of Georgian buildings and courtyards on Milsom Street.
Within its buildings, terraces and courtyards are a range of high fashion shops and independent boutiques, beautiful florists, home shops selling beautiful pottery, fabrics and furniture, and some high street favourites.
Milsom Place’s central courtyard is the centre for food and drink, with a wide range of cuisines.
Enjoy Spanish favourites at Vero’s cafe and deli or indulge in aromatics and spices at Brandon Indian Kitchen.
Milsom Place is at 41 Milsom Street, Bath, BA1 1DN.
16- Cruise The River Avon
Bath sits on the banks of the winding River Avon, which travels through many counties in Southwest England.
One of the best ways to take in the city of Bath at a leisurely and relaxing pace is on a boat tour.
Many options are available for those wanting to get out onto the water, from independently punting along the river in search of the perfect picnic spot to a river cruise taking in the sights and rounding off at one of its pub stops.
For the ultimate river cruise indulgence, board the John Ronnie, the only floating restaurant in the city.
Here you can enjoy a range of seasonal dishes with beautiful views of the river and countryside.
Cruises depart from several mooring points throughout the city. Reserve your sightseeing boat cruise here.
17- Shop At The Guildhall Market
Another of Bath’s excellent shopping destinations is Guildhall Market, the centre of Bath’s historic shopping experience.
The market is the oldest retail venue in the city and is packed tightly with more than 20 stalls selling everything from clothing, leather goods and specialist teas.
The market hall has been the home of market traders for more than 800 years.
The building dates back to approximately the 18th century, with its oldest point, a pillar called ‘the nail’ where transactions were paid for, still standing today.
Guildhall Market is at Guildhall Market, Bath, BA2 4AW.
18- See The Works At The Victoria Art Gallery
Victoria Art Gallery has shared works of art from across the globe with residents of the city and beyond for over 100 years.
John McKean Bryson designed the building in 1897, which has recently been designated Grade II status.
The building is grand and ornate, with a statue of Queen Victoria at its entrance, whom the museum was named after.
Inside the museum is an impressive collection of British works of art, including 17th-century oil paintings from greats such as Gainsborough and Sickert.
The gallery opens up its otherwise hidden-from-public-view art stores throughout the year for exclusive tours.
Here you can see some other works of art owned by the gallery that are not currently displayed.
Victoria Art Gallery is at Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT.
19- Visit Beckford’s Tower
Beckford’s Tower is a magnificent architectural structure and a key landmark in Bath.
The neoclassical tower stands atop Lansdown Hill and is Grade I listed.
William Beckford, a writer and collector, had the tower built.
Beckford was also a slave owner, and the tower and attached museum tell the story of Beckford and those he enslaved to ensure their story is told.
While the inside of the tower and its museum are currently closed for renovations, it still makes for an excellent location to walk to for photographs and beautiful views across the Bath countryside from the hilltop.
Beckford’s Tower is at Lansdown Road, Bath, BA1 9BH.
20- Relax In Prior Park
Get out of the city and into nature at National Trust-owned Prior Park.
This beautiful and carefully designed garden is the perfect destination to enjoy a picnic, relax in nature, or explore its many garden rooms.
Alexander Pope, an 18th-century poet, designed the gardens with renowned landscape gardener Capability Brown.
The garden has many winding pathways, vast expanses of water and quaint summer houses.
After thoroughly enjoying the park, grab a bite to eat at The Tea Shed, where a range of light bites, cakes and drinks are available.
Prior Park is at Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, BA2 5AH.
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