8 Things You Must do in Bath, England
Updated: Nov 20, 2021
Bath is one of my favourite cities in the UK - I've been several times, and I genuinely don't think I could ever tire of it. I always say that it'll be where I retire, but until that time comes, I'm content with visiting it as often as I can. These are all of my favorite things to do there, and I hope you enjoy them, too!
1. Walk the Bath Skyline
One of my favorite things to do in Bath is to walk the Bath Skyline. Starting from the city centre, you walk across the river and about a kilometer uphill to get the absolute best views of the city. The whole thing is a 6 mile circular walk, but my recommendation is to grab a couple drinks from BeerCraft on Pulteney Bridge (the staff there are super helpful and they've got a bunch of local craft brews) and a picnic and watch the sunset over the city.
2. Visit the Abbey
Bath Abbey is absolutely beautiful. Construction for the current Abbey began in 1499, took 117 years to complete, and is a stunning example of English Gothic architecture. From the impressive vaulted ceilings to the massive stained glass windows, it's all a must-see. Plus, in normal (read: non-Covid) times, you can book to go up the tower to see how the Abbey bells work and see a birds-eye view of the city.
3. Spend the Day at Thermae Bath Spa
You can't come to Bath without experiencing firsthand the thermal spring spas for which the city is named! Thermae Spa is Britain's only natural thermal spa, and has thermal baths, steam rooms, a surprisingly intense ice chamber, and - my personal favorite - an open air rooftop pool with 360-degree views of the city.
4. Explore the Roman Bath Museum
A good accompaniment to your own spa experience is learning about the history of the Roman Baths and their importance to the city. It's absolutely fascinating to learn that the first temple was built onsite 60-70 CE, and to see the preserved ruins of Aquae Sulis (the city's original Roman name) within the museum. I've actually been to this museum twice in the last few years, and I still found it super interesting and re-read all of the placards the second time around. Not only that, but the view of The Great Bath and its greenish blue water is easily the most recognizable image associated with the city even today.
5. Taste the Local Delicacies
On Church Street, you'll find the Bath Bun and Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House, both famous for their respective buns. The Bath Bun is a sticky, sweet bun with crystalized sugar and fruit on top, whereas the Sally Lunn bun is a brioche bun that can be served either sweet or savory. Bath is one of my favorite cities for food - I'll definitely be writing a eater's guide to Bath sometime in the near future.
6. Walk the Royal Crescent
Bath's Royal Crescent is one of England's most iconic streets. Completed in 1775, the street is a classic example of Georgian architecture, and has famously been used as a filming location for many English period tv shows and movies, including Persuasian (2007), The Duchess (2008), and most recently Bridgerton (2020). It suffered significant damage due to raids during the second world war, but has been since been restored. No.1 Royal Crescent has also been turned into a museum where you can see how the Georgian aristocracy would have lived.
7. Visit Prior Park Landscape Garden
Prior Park's stately house, Palladian bridge, and gardens are some of my favorite parts of Bath, and ones I only discovered on my last trip to the city. Take the long uphill walk to the park (or the bus from the center of town, if you're a bit smarter than I am and don't want to walk uphill for half an hour!), bring a picnic, and spend an afternoon exploring the gardens. Admission is free for National Trust members, and £5 for adults.
8. Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge crosses the River Avon that splits the city, and is one of only four bridges in the WORLD that has shops spanning the entire length of the bridge on both sides. I mentioned it in a previous point, but BeerCraft on the bridge is a great place to stop and grab a local pint, or grab a takeaway coffee from the Bridge Coffee shop and explore the interesting shops for perusing. Equally as lovely is the view of the bridge from the river bank, near the Parade Gardens or even the North Parade bridge. From this angle, you can get a good look at the Pulteney weir, which is a small dam built in a horseshoe shape that controls the level of water in the river.
Have you ever been to Bath? Is it on your bucket list? (It should be!) Let me know! And make sure to follow along with my adventures both inside the UK and out, at @elise.abroad on Instagram.