Bath is a perfect destination for a weekend or short break. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it has impressive Roman remains and many beautiful Georgian buildings. Read my Bath city break guide for the best places to eat, visit and stay and check out my Somerset guide for more tips on places to see in Bath and the surrounding area.
DAY 1 – THERMAE SPA AND ROMAN BATHS
If you are looking to take in the spa waters, Bath has a fantastic attraction, the Thermae Bath Spa. It has a lovely open air rooftop spa which you can access in all weathers.
The spa also has 4 large steam rooms, each with a different aroma – eucalyptus was my favourite. There’s a cafe-restaurant and an indoor pool, the Minerva Bath, with a massage jet and whirlpool. There are flotation aids for those who don’t swim although it’s not deep and you always have your footing. I was a little surprised by the communal changing rooms but there are plenty of changing cubicles so your modesty will remain intact! Children under 16 are not admitted. The spa is quieter on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Thermae Spa also has a separate open air thermal bath, the Cross Bath. It’s an official sacred site as the Celts revered their goddess Sul here.
Of course no visit to Bath would be complete without seeing the Roman Baths. They are unique in Great Britain – our only hot thermal springs. These days you cannot bathe there but you can have afternoon tea or a drink of the mineral water in the Pump Room.
My top tip for the Roman Baths is to go in the evening for the Twilight tour and dinner, which you can do from September to June, Thursdays to Sundays. You get to see the baths when there are hardly any visitors and the torch lights are so atmospheric.
Bath Abbey is an impressive sight – the West Front has two unique ladders with angels ascending and descending into Heaven. There have been 3 churches on this site, and the current Abbey is largely the work of the famous architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.
Bath’s Fashion museum, set within the Assembly Rooms, is well worth a visit. There are some stunning outfits on display and some reproduction pieces that children and adults will have fun dressing up in.
Bath has some delicious local produce. Why not take part in a cookery class to make the most of it. I learnt how to make Turkish fatayer pastries with 3 different fillings at Demuth’s vegetarian cookery school.
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re looking for a country retreat near Bath, then Ston Easton Park is the perfect choice. In town, the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is a hidden gem. It’s so discreet that there isn’t even a sign outside. Located in the centre of possibly the world’s finest crescent, it’s a 5 star Relais & Chateaux property. You can walk into the town but it’s a lovely quiet spot.
It has several cosy reception rooms where you can have a tea or coffee and a bar where you might spot a few celebrities. A well-known actor/tv presenter was there when I stayed, and someone who looked a lot like a famous rock star. There’s also a lovely meeting room with its own terrace.