Top 10 Things Not to Miss in Bath

By Izzy Fitzharris


We may be biased, but we think Bath is a fantastic place to visit for a few days - or longer. There are endless amounts of things to see and do, and there’s definitely something for everyone. We’ve made a (far from exhaustive!) list of things not to miss for anyone visiting:

1. The Roman Baths & Pump Rooms

The reason behind the city’s name, no visit to Bath is complete without a trip to the Roman Baths. Reputedly discovered in 836 BC, these natural hot springs were converted into a bathing complex by the Romans. While a great deal of the Roman architecture has been lost, many artefacts and features from the original Roman Baths can still be seen inside the beautiful 18th-century buildings. Once you’ve taken in the history of the Baths, it’s well worth a trip to the neighbouring Pump Rooms, where you can stop for afternoon tea or a meal, and even try some of the hot spa water from the spa water fountain – an acquired taste!


2. Thermae Bath Spa

It’s been several decades since the water in the Roman Baths was deemed safe for swimming, but in 2006, the Thermae Bath Spa was opened as a new way to enjoy the thermal waters. Located just a few minutes’ walk away from the original baths, the rooftop pool is an especially fantastic way to benefit from Britain’s only natural thermal waters while also enjoying views over the whole of Bath!

3. Bath  Abbey

One of Bath’s most recognisable sights, Bath Abbey is both hard to miss and not to be missed. Located just adjacent to the original Roman Baths, the Abbey has a rich history, with the first religious building on the site dating back to the 7th Century. For a suggested donation, you can see inside the building, and its incredible architecture. Be sure to look up at the spectacular vaulted ceiling.

4. Great Pulteney Street and Pulteney Bridge

Arguably the most beautiful street in Bath, Great Pulteney Street is certainly one of the grandest. Finished in 1789, it leads from the Holburne Museum down to Laura Place, and onto Pulteney Bridge. A fantastic photo spot, you may also recognise it from films such as Vanity Fair and The Duchess. Pulteney Bridge itself is another of Bath’s notable sights, as one of the only bridges in the world lined by shops. Beneath it lies the weir used in the film adaptation of Les Misérables – less recognisable without the Parisian skyline behind it, perhaps, but the same one nonetheless!


5. The Holburne Museum

At the other end of Great Pulteney Street from Pulteney Bridge lies the Holburne Museum; the city’s first public art gallery. The Holburne collection is home to works by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Nathaniel Hone, in a beautiful building fusing old and new. A cup of tea in the grounds, which back onto Sydney Gardens, is also highly recommended!

6. The Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum

A beautiful building, with Bath’s largest Georgian interior, the Assembly Rooms were originally used for balls and concerts, and frequented by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. While the ground floor of the building is still used for concerts, the basement of the building has been converted into the Fashion Museum. For anyone interested in fashion through the 

ages, this is a must-see; ranging from the 16th century to the present day, changing fashions are presented chronologically throughout the museum. Look out for the Dress of the Year, which is selected by a notable fashion journalist each year.

7. Bath Skyline Walk

For those looking for something a little less urban, the Bath Skyline Walk is the perfect day out. As the name suggests, this walk takes you along some of the highest points around Bath, before bringing you back down into the centre. With views of Bath and the Mendips, there are many sites of interest all along this route, including glimpses of history in the form of an Iron Age fort and Roman settlements.


8. The Royal Crescent & The Circus

Perhaps Bath’s most popular postcard image, The Royal Crescent is a set of terraced houses laid out in (as you may have guessed) a crescent shape. Just a few streets away from the Assembly Rooms, it offers beautiful views over Bath. Those wishing to find out more about this spectacular crescent, and Bath in general, will benefit from a visit to the No. 1 Royal Crescent museum. Just a few minutes away lies The Circus, which was designed by John Wood, the Elder – the father of John Wood, the Younger, who built The Royal Crescent, and finished The Circus. It’s well worth visiting both at the same time.


9. Explore Bath’s Independent Spirit

Bath is home to a number of fantastic independent shops. All of the following are great spots for sampling these. Margaret’s Buildings lie between The Royal Crescent and the Circus, and make an excellent stop between the two, for a browse of the antique books and quirky gifts. The Corridor, Union Passage and The Guildhall Market are all within a stone’s throw of The Abbey, and well worth a look, while Walcot Street and Widcombe Parade are both a few minutes further away, but equally worth seeking out.

10. Green Park Station Markets

Depending on what time of month you’re in Bath, Green Park Station holds excellent markets. It’s well worth having a wander around the Bath Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Saturday morning, in conjunction with the GPS Saturday Market, and sampling some of the local produce. On the 1st and last Sunday of every month, the converted station is home to a Vintage & Antiques Market, while every 2nd Sunday sees the Bath Artisan Market setting up its stalls.

 
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