Europe

Bath is a “Not to be missed” English experience

Roman baths, Bath, England
Photo credit: Bath Tourism Plus/Colin Hawkins

Bath is a city in the ceremonial county of Somerset in the south west of England, which was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590.

In fact, Bath is the oldest of England’s principal tourism destinations and has been welcoming visitors for centuries. Bath first achieved its status as a sacred spa site with the growth of the Roman settlement Aquae Sulis around the thermal springs. The Roman period saw a vast complex of baths constructed and the remains of these were re-discovered in the 18th century and helped stimulate Bath’s modern revival as a luxury resort.

Situated some 156 km west of London, and just an hour an and half by train, visitors have an opportunity to tour this historic and charming city that was The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”) by the Romans in AD 43, although verbal tradition suggests that Bath was known before then.

The Romans built baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs.

The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. You will have an opportunity to visit a variety of theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues, which have helped to make Bath a major centre for tourism, with over one million visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city each year.

There are many Roman archaeological sites throughout the central area of the city, but the baths themselves are about 6 metres (20 feet) below the present city street level. Around the hot springs, Roman foundations, pillar bases, and baths can still be seen, however all the stonework above the level of the baths is from more recent periods.

But be sure to visit the Bath Abbey. The Abbey was a Norman church built on earlier foundations, although the present building dates from the early 16th century and shows a late Perpendicular style with flying buttresses and crocketed pinnacles decorating a crenellated and pierced parapet. The choir and transepts have a fan vault by Robert and William Vertue. The nave was given a matching vault in the 19th century. The building is lit by 52 windows.

Bath is an eclectic city, with exciting experiences for every taste, style and personality. However, there are some things that make the city unique from other destinations – including its stunning scenery, fascinating history, colourful characters 
and a relaxed yet vibrant ambience.

If you want your visit to be the true Bath experience, here are our top ten things you must see and do in this beautiful city…

Pulteney Bridge, Bath, England
Photo credit: Bath Tourism Plus/Colin Hawkins

Explore the Roman Baths

Fed by the only natural thermal spring in Britain, the Roman Baths are some of the finest examples of remaining Roman architecture in the world, and the museum takes you on a journey of discovery through the story of Bath and its spa.

Bathe at Thermae Bath Spa

Opened in 2006, this modern spa complex, utilising pre-existing Georgian buildings, is the only place in Britain to relax in naturally warm waters. Bathe in the pools, relax in scented steam rooms and experience the thrill of looking out over the city from the roof-top pool.

Take your Seat at a Festival

Bath is known as a cultural hot-spot, and this is evident in the number of festivals that happen throughout the year.  There is something for everyone to enjoy – music, theatre, literature, and comedy – and the hardest part is deciding when to visit and which festival to attend!

Tour the Iconic Sights

Must sees … the Royal Crescent, Circus, Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge are truly awe inspiring and a sights to behold.

Immerse yourself in the World of Jane Austen

Even if Bath’s most famous resident wasn’t enamoured with Bath, the city’s influence cannot be missed. Discover her story at the Jane Austen Centre, walk in her steps along the walking tour, or sit in Georgian splendour and immerse yourself in her novels.

Take Afternoon Tea

There is nothing more British than a good cup of tea. Take the time to indulge in style, as the Georgians did, in the splendid Pump Rooms. Alternatively, enjoy tea in one of Bath’s many tearooms, restaurants and cafés. And, a visit to Bath is would not be complete without sampling a Bath bun or a Sally Lunn bun, or better still both!  You can also savour a pint of Bellringer, by Abbey Ales, Bath’s local brewery.

Watch a Show at Bath’s Theatre Royal

Take your seat and enjoy a show in one of the country’s oldest theatres. Throughout the year the theatre offers a wide range of performances, including dance, drama, music and comedy, as well as many touring west end favourites.

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