Elegant Bath has been the spa town of choice for fashionable and even regal personages for over three centuries. Despite the traffic and the tourist traps, the city still manages to exude a gentility and sophistication all its own. Take a turn around the gorgeous sandstone Georgian terraces – the Royal Crescent and the John Wood masterpiece – the Circus, being two of the best. Imagine you are in a Jane Austen novel, looking forward to a season of fun and frivolity in ‘town’ before returning to your country retreat. The fun and frivolity is still here in updated version – the gorgeous Theatre Royal offers world class entertainment, and Gascoyne Place , situated opposite, is perfect for a pre or post theatre meal or drink.
Bath has more heritage listed buildings than any other in the UK, with the entire city declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and as the name suggests, the town was home to one of the world’s finest Roman Baths. The Celts loved Bath, but the world had to wait for the clever Romans to make the place a bathing and hot springs establishment par excellence.
Bath’s Top 10
10. Yee Haa! The American Museum tells the history of the US, from life in the Wild West onwards.
5. The Assembly Rooms Built in 1771 a featuring a card room, ballroom and chandeliers. Bath entertainment at its most refined.
9. Thermae Bath Spa Where contemporary visitors can take the famous curative waters. If it was good enough for the Romans …
4. The Museum of Costume Grimace in sympathy with the poor souls who had to wear whalebone corsets.
8. The Holburne Museum Featuring works by Turner, Stubbs, Gaudi, Gainsborough.
3. Herschel Museum of Astronomy Sir William Hershel and his sister discovered Uranus.
7. Victoria Art Gallery A veritable feast of artistic greatness – Gainsborough, Turner and Sickert to name a few.
2. Jane Austen Centre She loved Bath and took a delight in making fun of the superficial snobs who frequented it. This museum gives a flavour of those Regency times.
6. The Building of Bath Museum Does what it says on the tin and traces the classy city’s evolution from sleepy spa to epitome of Georgian high society.
1. Bath Abbey A Norman Chapel, Heritage Vaults, monuments and memorials a plenty.
Roman Baths by Torchlight As darkness falls see the magnificent ruins in a totally new light in July.
WOMAD festival A celebration of world music, arts and dance which takes place outdoors in July at Charlton Park.
Ladies Day Don your poshest frock and enjoy live music and fireworks, as well as the horses running in six flat races. Takes place in August with tickets from £10.
Bath Folk Festival Make a note if you like great folk music at various venues throughout Bath in August.
The Bath Triathlon Includes a swim in the River Avon, a multi lap bike route and a speedy run through the centre. In August with various starting venues.
The Jane Austen Festival Celebrate the witty writer’s life and work in September at the Jane Austen Centre.
The National Gardening Show In September, a feast for the eyes with some spectacular displays, as well as the odd celebrity and gardening expert to hand. At the Royal Bath & West Showground.
Bath Film Festival Features screenings and events across the city during the month of November.
Bath Mozart Festival No less than nine days of concerts in some of Bath’s most beautiful buildings. In November.
Bath Christmas Market Is a cracker. Over 120 stalls with festive gifts , running for two weeks, from the end of November and adjacent to Bath Abbey.
When To Go
Bath has a generally mild climate, with no real extremes and the four British seasons to get through.
Winter temperatures range between one and 9°C but can drop below freezing, with snow and ice a possibility. Summer temps are on average no more than 23°C, but there are exceptions to the rule and it’s unremarkable for them to rise to 30°C and above on occasion.
Bath gets its fair share of UK showers, at any time of year
Bath is easy to get to, with Bristol International Airport only 20 miles away, for a comprehensive range of domestic and world flight destinations.
London Paddington Railway station is just a 90 minute journey from Bath station, located in the centre of the city – which also connects Bath and many other intercity destinations.
Bath is close to the M4 and M5 motorways, and is 120 miles from London – a journey time which (roads permitting) should take under two hours. National Express operate a service to Bath from any number of UK destinations including London Victoria Coach Station, with astonishingly low prices, from a fiver at off- peak times.
Bath is under protection and special designation. As such, Bath joins an illustrious list that includes Salzburg, Quito and Verona. The city’s name indicates just what it was in the halcyon era of the Roman Empire and indeed, as far back as the Celts – a thermal spa par excellence. Today, Roman ruins and Palladian architecture provide Bath with one of the most spectacular and exceptional cityscapes in Great Britain. The city’s notable 18th century Georgian monuments blend seamlessly with the ancient baths complex and landmarks like the Temple of Sulis Minerva. Bath’s push to become one of the most beautiful towns in England under the reign of George III is evident to visitors today who visit the Royal Crescent, Lansdown Crescent and The Circus. The Roman Baths however, remain the premier attraction in the city.
Bath has a temperate climate, with wet but mild weather throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 1-9°C
- Spring (March to May) 3-17°C
- Summer (June to September) 10-22°C
- Fall (October to November) 4-15°C
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