What to Do in Bath
History, culture, art – there’s no shortage of places to explore and hidden gems to discover in the stunning city of Bath. Whether you’re planning a trip, just moved in, or simply seeking an adventure in your own stomping ground, here’s our top picks for a jam-packed escapade through the city.
Where to Eat
It’s impossible to walk past Chai Walla without getting one of their signature onion bhaji and falafel wraps. Overflowing with flavour and always served with a smile, this Indian-inspired street food is dished up over a colourful counter on the corner of Bath’s Monmouth Street, and is one of the most popular hidden gems in the historical city. A vegan haven, Chai Walla is fresh, cheap, and cheerful, offering samosas, curries, and a selection of wraps and boxes alongside their mouth-watering chai tea.
The Olive Tree
Holding the crown of Bath’s only Michelin Star restaurant, the Olive Tree is home to a wonderful locally-sourced British menu with seasonal offerings and a strong Mediterranean influence, situated on Bath’s Russell Street in an elegant and cosy venue.
Cafe au Lait
A family-run, independent business with a passion for locally-sourced produce, Cafe au Lait is the perfect place to pop in for a pastry, hearty brunch, or cosy cup of coffee while you watch the world go by, tucked into the corner of SouthGate just opposite the city centre’s train station. Travellers even have the option of keeping their luggage safe in the cafe’s storage section while they sample an award-winning tea or a speciality hot chocolate.
Where to Drink
Tucked into the lanes of Bath’s Lilliput Court, the Hideout boasts an upscale cocktail menu that celebrates the best whiskies found around the world (over 300, to be exact), served in a sensual stone-walled setting by some of the best mixologists the city has to offer.
Bread & Jam
An underground dive bar hidden underneath Bath’s Walcot House, Bread & Jam is a vibrant and cosy cocktail haven, serving up mouth-watering drinks to enjoy at two for £12 on the weekends alongside live music and live DJ sets.
Where to Club
Hidden in the depths of George Street is Moles, an underground music venue that has hosted artists including Radiohead, Oasis, and the Smiths (to name a few), alongside DJs such as Annie Mac, Eats Everything, and Groove Armada, since their new year’s eve opening in 1978. With a different club night every day of the week, Moles is the place to go for a good night out in Bath – pop next door to Adventure Club if you want a pre-drink pizza and spritz.
Royal Victoria Park
In 1830, future queen Princess Victoria came for a visit to Bath at just 11 years old to open the Royal Victoria Park. Today, visitors and locals can enjoy the stunning sights of the park’s 57 lush green acres, with its beautiful botanic gardens and Great Dell Aerial Walkway.
Bath Skyline Walk
The stunning panoramic views of the Bath Skyline Walk has earned this trail World Heritage Site status. Starting on Bathwick Hill, the walk winds all the way up to Sham Castle, perfect for an afternoon stroll or dog-walk to take in the local sights and enjoy the wide open spaces.
Kennet & Avon Canal
The city of Bath sits on the edge of the Kennet & Avon Canal, an 87 mile long stretch of water that links London with the Bristol Channel. Passing through the rolling Cotswolds, the canal is perfect for walking along on a hot summer’s day – pack a picnic for a quintessentially Bathonian afternoon tea.
The Roman Baths
Of course, no trip to Bath is complete without visiting the city’s historical namesake – the Roman Baths, the historic city’s preserved thermal spa that sits within the heart of the centre, dating back to around 60/70 AD when the Roman Britons would bathe in its naturally hot springs. Today, the baths are open to explore, complete with a museum that delves into the rich history of the temple. Visitors even have the chance to taste the natural spa water if they so desire (but be warned – it does have a slightly unusual taste due to its mineral-rich formula).
Otherwise known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the Bath Abbey is a parish church of the Church of England, founded in the 7th century and reorganised several times throughout history to become the Grade I listed building it is today. If you’re taking a stroll through Bath’s honey-coloured streets, the striking Gothic architecture of the abbey is definitely worth taking the time to visit.
The Royal Crescent
One of Bath’s most famous landmarks, the Royal Crescent is a stunning curve of 30 Grade I listed terrace houses that demonstrate the absolute best in the world of Georgian architecture. The 500-foot long crescent overlooks a lush green area, perfect for relaxing in to take in the views of the tremendous building.
A quick stroll down from the central train station will lead you to Pulteney Bridge, a Grade I listed 148 foot long bridge that was designed by Robert Adam in a Palladian Style during 1774, offering breathtaking views that attract masses of visitors each day. One of just four bridges worldwide to include shops running across its full expanse on both sides, Pulteney Bridge was famously used in the 2012 musical film Les Misérables as a backdrop for nineteenth-century Paris.
Bath’s very first public art gallery, the Holburne Museum sits in the Sydney Pleasure Gardens, and is home to stunning pieces spanning Renaissance works to creations by Gainsborough, as well as collections from the founder of the museum himself, Sir William Holburne.
The Jane Austen Centre
Situated right in the hustle and bustle of the city, the Jane Austen Centre gives a fascinating insight into the novelist’s works and life spent in Bath’s winding streets during the Regency ages. After exploring the museum, you can even enjoy a pot of afternoon tea in the centre’s Regency Tea Room.
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House
No visit to Bath is complete without grabbing a Bath bunn from Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House. One of the oldest houses in Bath, Sally Lunn’s dates back to 1680, where Ms Lunn herself would bake up batches of bunns in the depths of the very kitchens that still remain today. The house is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also doubles up as a museum, where you can get lost in the culinary history of one of Bath’s most iconic eateries.
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