City guide,  Destinations,  England

City guide: Bath

 


 

Once again welcome to ToscaTravels

This time I’m going to share with you people my whole experience about a city you must visit if England is on your bucket list: BATH.

 

Here’s what you’ll find in this guide: useful and concrete information about the city, how to get there, what to see and where to have your foodie break. Of course you’ll find a section about where to sip your tea and eat your pastries, don’t worry. 

 

 

So the big question is: why should you visit Bath? I think the right thing do to is answering with another question: why should you not visit Bath? This would be way shorter.


– USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT BATH –

 

Let’s start with some information to give you a clearer picture about the city and why I’ve deeply fallen in love with this honey-coloured georgian gem:

 

  • Location: Bath is located in the ceremonial county of Somerset, South West England.
  • The whole city is a world heritage site since 1987.
  • Annual mean temperature: approximately 10 °C (50.0 °F).
  • The Roman-built baths are Britain’s only natural thermal spa.
  • The river Avon flows through the city.
  • Population: 90.000
  • Currency: Pound Sterling.
  • Distance from London: 152 km (94 miles).

– HOW TO GET THERE –

 

 

  • FROM LONDON

Bath is located 152km (94 miles) west of London and getting there is incredibly simple.

There are around 35 trains per day between Bath and London. The service is operated by Great Western Railways and runs from London Paddington to Bath spa.

About the journey:

  1. Duration: 1h 30m.
  2. Cost: from £15 one way  (approximately 18€-19$) if you book in advance.
  3. Changes: No.

The view of the English countryside from your window will be priceless.

Getting there by bus is also an option but you need to consider the duration will be about twice the train journey 2h 50m). On the other side this is a great way to save some money as a one way ticket from London Victoria bus station will cost you as little as 5£ (approximately 5.5€-6$). The service is operated by National Express and Bath bus station is a 1 minute walk from Bath spa rail station. 

 

  • FROM BRISTOL

 A great way to save time is flying straight to the nearest airport: Bristol, located 30km (19 miles) from Bath.

Bristol airport offers direct scheduled flights from 122 locations across 30 countries and you can find low cost companies such as Ryanair operating here.

You won’t need any train here as the Bath Bus Company operates the service to and from Bath.

About the journey:

  1. Duration: 1h 10m.
  2. Cost: 14£ one way (approximately 15€-16£) or 20£ return.
  3. Timetable: every 30 minutes from 4:00 to 24:00.

 


 

– WHAT TO SEE –

 

So here we are. The heart and the soul of the guide. What to see in this quintessentially English town.

The distance of 1h 30m from London makes Bath a perfect day trip from England’s capital but in just one day you will only scratch the surface of what the town has to offer. That’s why I recommend at least an overnight stay to enjoy Bath and explore its quaint sights. 

So let’s start:

  1.  The Roman baths 

  • The Roman Baths is one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, where 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water, reaching 46°C, still fills the bathing site every single day. From mid-June to the end of August, the Roman Baths are open until 10pm, illuminated by torchlight; be sure not to miss this experience.
  • Cost: Adult £16.50; Student and seniors (65+) £14.50; Children (age 6-16) 10.25£.
  • Opening times: Winter-spring time: 9am-6pm (last entry 5pm).                                  16 Jun – 31 Aug 9:30am-10pm (last entry 9pm)

 

     2.  Sally Lunn’s house

  • Dating to 1482, Sally Lunn’s is one of the oldest houses in Bath and it’s the place where you can taste one of the most famous local delicacies, the Sally Lunn bun.
  • Cost: free (outside)
  • Opening times: 10am-10pm (inside)

 

    3.   Pultney bridge

  • As one of Bath’s main symbols, Pultney Bridge is definitely something you can’t miss. Completed in 1774, it crosses the river Avon. Pultney Bridge is a rare surviving example of a bridge with shops built across its full span on both sides, such as Ponte Vecchio in Florence or Ponte Rialto in Venice. 
  • Cost: free.

 

    4.  No.1 Royal Crescent 

  • Designed as luxurious accommodation for visiting aristocrats and royalty, No.1 Royal Crescent offers a fascinating insight into 18th-century life.
  • Cost: Adult £10.30; Seniors (65+) and students £8.80; Children (age 6-16) £5.10. 
  • Opening times: 10am-5pm

 

    5. Bath Retro Store

  •  Definitely not a monument or a historic site but Bath Retro Store is something you should to check out, especially if you grew up playing board games.
  • Opening times: 11am-5pm.

 

   6. Bath Abbey 

  • Bath Abbey has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,200 years. It worth a visit just for its magnificent stained-glass windows and columns of honey-gold stone. I recommend to take a Tower Tour to experience the view of Bath’s Georgian heritage.
  • Tower tours: Monday to Friday (10am-4pm)
  • Cost: mandatory donation for visiting the Abbey, Tower tours cost 8£ for adults and 4£ for children (age 5-15).
  • Opening times: Approximately 9am-5:30pm. (Sunday: 1pm-2.30pm & 4.30pm-6pm)

 

 7 . The Circus 

  • The Circus is a historic street of large townhouses forming a circle with three main entrances. Designed by the architect John Wood, the Circus is a gorgeous example of Georgian architecture with a diameter of 97m.      
  • Cost: free. 

 

8.   “Little Theatre” Cinema.

  • You probably won’t find it in any other guide but, as I am, I wanted every Wes Anderson’s fan to know this. The “Little Theatre” building that is seen in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox (minute 1:15:15), is actually a real location and it’s in Bath. 
  • Cost: free. 

 


 

– WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK – 

 

 Is there something more annoying than not having a clue of where to eat? I don’t think so, especially when you’re hungry and tired after hours of walking.

Here’s where I recommend to go for your lunch, dinner or just a break.

  1. Garrick’s head 

  • Garrick’s Head is a great place to have your lunch or dinner since they’re open from midday to midnight (food is served until 10pm). If you’re visiting Bath on a sunny day you’ll have a lovely time seating outside, where floral displays in hanging baskets and window boxes take the scene.
  • Cost: £££

 

   2. Society café

  • Society Café is the perfect place to grab a coffee on the go while you’re visiting the city or just to chill a bit, standing at the window and watching the hustle and bustle of Bath going by. 
  • Cost: £££

 

   3. The Huntsman

  • Behind the lovely façade of The Huntsman lies some of the finest food  in Bath. Everything is made more enjoyable by the Georgian surroundings but if you’re visiting Bath on a rainy day, you’ll find the coziest atmosphere inside.
  • Cost: £££

 

   4. The Bridge coffee shop

  • What’s better than a cozy café where you can sip something hot and enjoy a bite to eat? The Bridge coffee shop is located right on Pultney Bridge and I had a banana porridge here. I recommend the window view on river Avon!
  • Cost: £££

 


 

– WHERE TO HAVE TEA –

 

Okay it’s now time for serious things. Tea time.

You arrived here. You deserve this.

Just because everybody know there’s nothing better than sip a cup of tea in England, here’s my top choices to have your tea and eat your scones in Bath: 

 

  1. The Bath Bun tea shoppe

 

  • Serving over 18 different teas from around the world, The Bath Bun Tea Shoppe will make you step back in time. It’s a lovely place to experience this quintessentially English ritual while tasting the finest Somerset cream teas.
  • Cost: £££

 

   2. The pump room

  • With its Corinthian columns, glittering chandelier and spa fountain, The Pump Tea Room is the heart of Bath Georgian social scene. It is absolutely the poshest place I’ve seen in Bath. You obviously pay for what you get and I bet listening to the pianist while having your tea won’t make you regret spending a bit more.
  • Cost: £££

  


 

I hope this guide will help during your stay in Bath or maybe inspiring you to book your next trip right here.

Don’t forget to visit my Instagram feed and hit the follow button to see all of my pictures.

See you next time with a new city guide!

 

 

 

 

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