Eight Things to Do in Bath

What do you need for girls getaway? Pampering, eye popping architecture, history, culture and cake.  Bath ticked all these boxes, with added Jane Austen, here is our list of Things to do in Bath.

EIGHT THINGS TO DO IN BATH

One of the Godmothers and I decided that we needed a mini-break after the school holidays.  Not long, just a night.  Long enough to laugh, see interesting stuff and float in spring water.  Bath, easy to get to and lots of things for a girl to do, was where we chose.  Here is what we managed to fit in.

Sulis Goddess Roman bath

BATH THERMAE SPA

Early morning rooftop pool Thermae Bath Spa

People have been going for a spa break in Bath to since before the Romans.  We saw no reason why we should be any different and luxuriating in warm natural spring water in the roof top pool at Bath Thermae Spa was top of our list.  You can read all about our morning Taking the Waters in Bath here.

ROMAN BATHS

Right next door to the modern spa are the Roman Baths.  Well, we call them Roman but in actual fact it was the Celts that first started wallowing in the waters at Bath, it was the Romans that built  the impressive complex bath complex.  Roman bathers progressed from the caldarium (hot bath) to the tepidarium (cool) and into the frigidarium (you’ve guessed it, cold!).  Nowadays you can see the excavated remains of all these.

Bath Roman baths excavations

Much rebuilding has occurred since the Romans.  The elegant surroundings on the main pool that we see today were built in the 18th century.  However tempting the water looks …. do not touch and certainly don’t drink it as the water quality today is not what it was in centuries gone by.

Bath Roman baths

You enter the Roman bath complex via a Victorian concert hall.  Make sure you look up as you snake round in the queue to buy tickets.

Bath Roman baths entrance ceiliing

TOP TIP: The Roman baths are on many levels and making a visit with a buggy tricky, don't worry though as the Baths have a stash baby carriers little ones.

COST: Adult £17.50, Child £10.25.

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE PUMP ROOMS

Georgian visitors to Bath would flock to the Pump Rooms to drink the spring water.  Nowadays you can sip the curiously warm waters from a special tap at the Roman baths but step next door for afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms.  Dainty sandwiches, scones, cream and tea …. what more could a girl want.

Bath Pump Room sign

COST: Afternoon Tea starts at £26 per person and get more expensive if you want champagne.

BATH ABBEY

Turn right as you exit the Pump Rooms and the west from of Bath Abbey rears up in front of you.  Look carefully at the carvings that tell the tale of how Bishop Oliver King had a dream that led him to restore the Norman Abbey in 1499.  Make sure that you go inside as the interior is stunning.

Bath Abbey west front

Once you are in, look up.  The whole ceiling is covered with the most stunning fan vaulting.  In the aisles the vaulting is from the sixteenth century and in the nave a Victorian restoration, can you tell the difference?  Take advantage of the mirrors that let you examine the vaulting without getting a crick in your neck.

Bath Abbey fan vaulting

Also Victorian, is the great east window above the altar.

Bath Abbey east window

James Montagu has a very impressive tomb, he was Bishop of Bath of Wells for a time and wanted to be buried in Bath Abbey to encourage others to donate to the Abbey.  Entrance to the Abbey is free, so maybe take inspiration from James and make a donation toward the upkeep of the Abbey.

Bath Abbey James Montagu tomb

TOP TIP: You can join a tower tour, climbing up 212 steps for stunning views over Bath and a close up peek at the fan vaulting.  COST: Adult £8, Child £4

COST: Visiting the Abbey is free but a donation would be nice.

TAKE A STROLL

Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Strolling around taking in the stunning Georgian architecture is a joy …. and free.  Three men; John Wood, Ralph Allen and Richard ‘Beau’ Nash joined together with the aim of making Bath one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.  They designed buildings in the Palladian style and built them of the local honey coloured stone, hoping that people of fashion would flock to take the water’s.  Everywhere you look there are beautiful terraces.  The Circus forms a circle, as you would expect.

The Circus Bath

Just around the corner is the Royal Cresent, a stunning sweep that was too long for any of my camera lens to take in fully!

Royal Cresent Bath

COST: Taking a stroll is free!

STOP FOR COFFEE AND CAKE

Bath is awash with tempting coffee shops.  Sitting in a coffee shop with a cake is one life’s big pleasures for me, the only problem in Bath was to decide which of the many on offer to visit!

Bath Cake Shop window

BATH ASSEMBLY ROOMS

Any smart Georgian holiday resort needed a set of Assembly Rooms and Bath was no exception.  John Wood the Younger designed the Bath Assembly Rooms in 1769 as a place for dancing and music, the Fabric of its day.

Bath Assembly Rooms exterior

There are four rooms, the Ball Room, the Card Room, the Great Octagon and the Tea Room.  It is still possible to take tea in the tea room.  Jane Austen would have attended the Assembly Rooms and used them as settings for scenes in both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.  All the rooms are graced with the most enormous chandliers.

Bath Assembly rooms

COST: Free

BATH FASHION MUSEUM

Bath Fashion Museum can be found in the basement of the Assembly Rooms.  If you love textiles, do not miss the fashion museum.  It skilfully tells the History of Fashion in 100 objects starting in the 1600’s and ending at the present day.  Everything from extravagantly embroidered waistcoats, through delicate pin-tucked undergarments to velvet trousers are on show.  Currently there is a special exhibition showcasing the Royal style of Queen Consort’s Alexandra, Mary and Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.  Most thrillingly of all, the dress up clothes come in grown up size.  The God Mother and I loved this and laughed so much as we chose ever more extravagant accessories.

Bath Fashion Museum dressing up

COST: Adult £9, Child £7

WHERE TO STAY IN BATH

Bath has been welcoming visitors for centuries and is awash with hotels.  We chose the Francis Hotel that takes up one entire side of Queen Square, one of those Regency squares, right in the centre of town, most important for us it was an hotel in Bath city centre with parking.  Once parked we were within distance of every where that we visited.

HOW TO GET TO BATH

We both drove down the M4, the journey from Surrey took me about two and half hours.  Bath is close the M4 and M5 making it easily accessible from the West Country, Wales and the Midlands.  Trains with Great Western Railway from London Paddington take an hour and half, making Bath perfect for a day trip from London.

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Eight Things to do in Bath

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Disclosurer:  Visit Bath provided us with a Press Pass to get into the paid attractions and we were guests of Thermae Bath Spa, all opinions and cake consumption are my own.

51 Comments

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 7, 2018 / 9:33 am

      Next time ….. we spent too much time eating cake and not enough wandering round galleries!

      • July 7, 2018 / 10:22 am

        Holburne THAT was going to be my question! Yet, thanks for the photos of the cathedral. I’ve always been distracted by the Romans to go but now your photographs realise I must make another trip …

        • Catherine
          Author
          July 7, 2018 / 11:28 am

          Abbey is amazing …. promise to go to the Holburne next time ….. and to take a trip on the river …. and do the skyline walk

  1. July 7, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Wow! Incredible photos! You’ve definitely inspired me to add this to the travel list—what a perfect girls-only escape idea!

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 7, 2018 / 12:26 pm

      Sometimes you just need ro be girls together!

  2. wanderingchocobo
    July 7, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    I would have never thought of Bath for a girls weekend, but it really does look like it has the right recipe for a great getaway! The baths are so cool1

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      Just wonderful to be able to bathe like a Roman!

  3. July 8, 2018 / 7:20 am

    Love this post. It looks like you had SO much fun. I’m desperate to go to bath.

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      So much fun, highly recommend Bath!

  4. July 10, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    Bath really is the perfect place for a girls’ weekend – especially of the grown-up variety. My sister-in-law had her hen do in the city, which was more about exploring than dodgy veils, and no less fun for that. It is a while since I was there, I’d been plotting whether I could squeeze a day trip on to a planned visit to Bristol, even if I can’t quite see my daughter appreciating the spa as much yet. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  5. July 12, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    I so regret not going inside Bath Abbey. I’ve seen it in a blog post before, and it is stunning! #farawayfiles

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 13, 2018 / 7:09 am

      The interior is stunning and somehow not expected from the exterior

  6. July 12, 2018 / 11:01 pm

    Looks like you packed a lot in. I’ll have to add some of these to the list next time I’m in bath. Lovely photos too.

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 12, 2018 / 11:15 pm

      Thank you …. we packed lots in with frequent breaks for cake!

  7. July 13, 2018 / 6:49 am

    What a great girls weekend! I haven’t been to Bath in ages and missed the Abbey and baths when I did – so must go back. I’d like to visit the Assembly rooms too and step into Jane Austen’s shoes for a bit. I liked the Jane Austen Museum there too! Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 13, 2018 / 7:33 am

      So easy to get to as well

  8. July 13, 2018 / 9:36 am

    You had me at “cake” haha – where there’s tea (or coffee for me) and cake, I’ll be there! I’ve read so many blog posts about making day trips from London to Bath but after reading your post, I’m convinced that I should stay in Bath for a night to truly appreciate the town. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 13, 2018 / 9:44 am

      Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon for me!

  9. July 13, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    Bath is a lovely place for a girls weekend. Sounds like you had lots of fun soaking in the sights and the waters!

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 13, 2018 / 3:32 pm

      Not sure what was the greater tonic the dressing up or floating around in the pool!

  10. July 13, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    Bath is such a lovely city! Your list is great for trip planning. I went once and want to return, next time we are in the London area. I did sip the curiously warm waters, though I couldn’t get my daughter to try a taste!

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 13, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Not sure the teens would try either!

  11. July 14, 2018 / 3:26 am

    Can’t believe we didnt make it there while we were “in the area” I have been to Bath many moons ago but I wasnt sufficiently cashed up to take the waters in my student days. So it goes back on the list for another time! #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 14, 2018 / 7:02 am

      Always good to have a list!

  12. Beth
    July 14, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    Just so you know, I am still thinking about my spa visit…not sure yet when it will happen, but I am determined! These are great suggestions. I will add that a stop at The Old Green Tree pub was fun, they had some great ciders and it’s quaint off of a side street (for when you need a break from the tea and cakes, haha). x
    #FarawayFiles

  13. Ladies what travel
    July 15, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    A great guide to my local city – happy to say I’ve almost ticked all these off since moving nearby almost a decade ago – although I still haven’t been inside the Abbey lol! #CityTripping

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 15, 2018 / 4:11 pm

      Something to do next time you are in town!

  14. pigeonpairandme
    July 16, 2018 / 2:09 pm

    You look perfect in your costumes! That rooftop pool really is delicious, isn’t it. I need to go back – it’s been years since I took a dip there.

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 17, 2018 / 7:59 am

      I confess that when the dressing up clothes only comes in child sizes I feel a little bit sad!

  15. September 3, 2018 / 10:47 am

    I love Bath! Very occasionally I have work near there for a week at a time, so one of my treats is to take off there for the afternoon and simply wander about. No shortage of things to see.

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 3, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Lucky you, it the perfect place to wander

  16. September 17, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Sounds like a great weekend! And those costumes look good on you!
    #MondayEscapes

  17. September 17, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    We are planning a girls (mums!) weekend away before Chirstmas and Bath was one of our options so great to be reminded of what’s there as it’s been a few years since I last went #MondayEscapes

  18. September 17, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    Oh lovely! My husband and I visited Bath for our mini-moon and I loved it! Your post has made me want to go back (but maybe with my girlfriends this time!) Fab photos too! #MondayEscapes

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 5:04 pm

      Wha5 a fantastic destination for a mini moon!

  19. September 17, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    The spa looks lovely. It’s that long since I’ve been in Bath it wasn’t open the last time I was there and I’ve been planning to go back ever since. (The cakes looked pretty good too!) #MondayEscapes

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      Spa is amazing and cakes excellent!

  20. September 17, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Right, I think Bath is going to be our next break sans kids. I’m planning ahead as our break for this year hasn’t happened yet! The abbey ceiling looks amazing, how considerate to provide mirrors to use it with! #Mondayescapes

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      Always good to have travel.plans to look forward to!

  21. Mama Travels Earth
    September 18, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    I really should go to Bath more often – it’s only down the road. LOVE the idea of a post-summer holidays mini break! I’m going to remember that one 🙂 #MondayEscapes

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 18, 2018 / 5:49 pm

      It’s our wedding anniversary time of year and so it would be rude not too!

  22. September 19, 2018 / 8:31 am

    You really managed to pack so much in! It looks like everything is in great walking distance from each other. I love the look of the roof top pool at the spa and the tower tour at the Abbey sounds interesting – i’d love to see that ceiling up close.
    Sounds like you had a fab girls weekend!
    Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 20, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      I’m plotting a return to that rooftop pool!

  23. September 20, 2018 / 5:58 am

    I have wanted to visit Bath for so long but have always put it off as wasn’t sure the children would enjoy it. The idea of a girls weekend is one I hadn’t even thought of! I love it. Beautiful photos.

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 20, 2018 / 1:20 pm

      Thank you! I think mine would struggle with the spa and the fashion museum but the Romans would be fine

  24. September 20, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    The only time I’ve visited Bath was on a school trip. I’d love to go back…this is a really useful and concise guide! Really useful…and is now on my ‘must-visit’ list! #MondayEscapes

  25. September 24, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    You have reminded me how beautiful Bath is I really need to visit again soon. I visited over Christmas and the Christmas markets are so lovely. The Bath Thermae spa is definitely a must too, and now I have to add an afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms to my list 🙂 Thanks for linking up to Monday Escapes.

    • Catherine
      Author
      September 27, 2018 / 3:24 pm

      Not been to the Christmas markets, will just have to return!

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