Bath is an ancient city named after its famous Roman Baths that were built almost 2,000 years ago. The Romans named the city Aquae Sulis and were residents for almost 400 years when the baths were flooded by the River Avon. It was not until 1881 that the underground Great Bath was rediscovered. Today, it is impeccably restored to its former glory and represents a fascinating glimpse at ancient life in the region.
Narrow winding streets retain the city's charm, while modernization has become entwined with the old beautifully. Honey-colored limestone buildings from the Georgian era are most common in Bath. Wander around the city center and look up beyond the modern storefronts to take in the intricate designs.
Bath is surrounded by nature, from the winding River Avon to the many parks and the countryside beyond. Take a boat tour, wander through Parade Gardens, or visit Dyrham Park for a look at stunning beauty in the area.
The 2,000 year old baths were built around one of the UK's few natural hot springs. Beautifully preserved, the baths are now part of a museum but still retain an air of serenity. The Great Bath is set below ground level and is overlooked by statues on the Terrace by the Great Abbey.
Bath was an important city for the world-famous author; she lived in the city for several years and also set two of her novels here. The center is located in a Georgian townhouse and is home to the Regency Tea Rooms, as well as information on Austen, recreated rooms, and costumes.
Bath is the first city in England to have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The prestigious title is usually given to individual buildings, bridges, or wonders of nature. The entire city of Bath has been deemed important enough for this honor, due to the plethora of architectural sights available to explore.
Bath embraces its history as a center of relaxation with a plethora of modern spas. Taking inspiration from the Romans, spas, such as Thermae Bath Spa use hot water for their relaxing treatments.
Bath is home to three Michelin-starred restaurants: the Bath Priory, the Bybrook, and the Park Restaurant. The city also offers a selection of cuisines from British to French and Italian, from Nepalese to Caribbean and more.
Summer is the best time to visit Bath for warm days and pleasant evenings. July, August and even into September are the warmest months with little-to-no rain.
The nearest airport is Bristol Airport (BRS), which is just under 20 miles from the city center. The onward journey into Bath takes approximately 45 minutes by road. A taxi will cost around £40 and an Air Decker bus ticket will cost £14 one-way or £20 for a return ticket.
Trains arrive at Bath Spa Railway Station from London stations and around the country. Tickets from London start at around £30, the journey takes approximately 1.5 hours.
Bath is 117 miles from London, and the journey by car takes around 2.5 hours. The route is very simple, just head west on the M4 and then take the A46 into Bath.
Private bus companies, such as Megabus and National Express, run regular services into the city. Buses stop at Bath Spa Railway Station. The route from London takes up to three hours and tickets start at £15.
Bath is a small city, therefore the majority of hotels are in the city center. Many are located on the banks of the River Avon, such as Hilton Bath City and the Royal Hotel Bath at the high end of the scale, while mid-range options include Holiday Inn Express Bath and the Travelodge Bath Waterside.
City Center - right in the heart of the city where everything is within walking distance. Wander the streets and take in the beautiful architecture of the Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey.
Riverside - the River Avon meanders through Bath offering picturesque views and idyllic routes for walking. Pulteney Bridge is lined with quaint stores and restaurants. It is one of only a few of its kind in the world.
North Bath - to the north of the city are extensive gardens and parks, including Royal Victoria Park, which has Botanical Gardens and a replica of a Roman Temple.
An open-top double decker tourist bus offers a 'hop on, hop off' service that allows you to go wherever you want, whenever you want. A single adult ticket starts at £2.20. The City Sightseeing Bus Tour is another way to get around town; tickets cost £14.50 for adults and £9.00 for children aged 5-15.
Traveling within Bath by taxi should cost no more than £10 per journey. Taxis are available from stands at the train station, the Abbey, and several other locations.
A rental car from Hertz and Europcar will typically cost upwards of £75 per day. Driving is not needed in Bath as it is a small city with transport options. The small, twisting roads often become congested, and there is very little parking available in the city. Park and ride services offer free parking at various locations on the outskirts of the city. The 10-minute bus ride into the center costs around £3.00 for a return ticket; children 15 and under go free.
Shopping in Bath offers brand-name, high street stores, as well as independent boutiques selling jewelry, souvenirs and clothes. Prices are generally higher than in the US, but there are bargains to be found starting from £1. The London Road area and Walcott Village are known as the Artisan Quarter, famous for vintage clothes and antiques. Milsom Street is home to designer boutiques, such as Robert Welch Designs and Chanii B.
Larger grocery stores tend to be located on the outskirts of the city center, however, there are several smaller stores in the center, such as Sainsbury's, Tesco Express, and Co-op. Prices in the UK tend to be slightly higher than in the US: expect to spend around £1.50 for a loaf of bread, £2 for eggs, and £1 for milk.
Restaurants in Bath serve a wide variety of cuisine from around Europe and the rest of the world. Sotto Sotto is an Italian restaurant set in a basement near the Roman Baths, while Raphael Restaurant focuses on modern French food. A three-course meal will generally cost around £40 per person. For a cheaper meal, try a classic British cafe, such as Wild Cafe, for a meal for less than £10.