While in Britain, we decided it was time to get around to taking a Bath….tour. Aren’t I hilarious? What we really did was spend a day in Bath, England.
While walking along Saunton Beach in Devon with a couple of Henry’s friends from grad school, they mentioned we should visit Bath. They said there isn’t anything like it in the U.S., nor elsewhere in the U.K. and it’s not to be missed.
We started planning a trip to Stonehenge and Avebury Neolithic stone circle sights and realized Bath wasn’t too far away. Off we went.
The Roman Baths are the centerpiece of this town and gave it its name. We thought it would be interesting, but it exceeded our expectations. The museum was fascinating. Be sure to take the audio tour, it is included in your entrance fee and makes the baths come alive. There is audio for adults, kids, and a special Bill Bryson tour. I stuck to the kids’ version and learned a lot. Also, make sure you talk to the costumed characters, they have interesting insight that helps you look at the baths the way people of their time period would have.
TIP: You can’t swim or touch the water in the Roman Baths; it’s full of lead. The nearby Therme Bath Spa is a modern spa where you can soak and enjoy a range of spa services.
The Bath Abbey is a beautiful church and well worth a peak inside. The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is an Anglican church and former Benedictine Monastery. It’s one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture. If you are like us, you’ll find yourself spending most of your time staring at the ceiling. We got to speak with a lay-minister for about ten minutes and learned a lot about the church that way.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
I’ve never been on one of these before, but we enjoyed riding the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus. We had a little trouble with the audio, but did learn something about the city as we rode around. There are two routes, one that circles the major sights within bath, and one that goes a little farther out of town. It was an easy way to see The Royal Crescent, The Circus, Pulteney Bridge, and other places we wanted to see, but not spend a lot of time at. We got off the bus near the Royal Victoria Park and wound our way back to the Roman Bath on foot.
TIP: The bus ticket includes a booklet of discount coupons to access the most prominent monuments in the city, so buy that first.
Royal Victoria Park
We love walking through parks, especially during the spring in England. Daffodils abound! The Royal Victoria Park is a great spot for strolling or picnicking, but our main goal was the adventure playground. From zipling, to huge slides, to swinging logs, plus all the usual playground suspects, this place was a great time. It’s always good to break up museums with some outdoor movement.
Jane Austen Centre
Jane Austen lived in Bath on two occasions and her time there inspired some of her writing. At the Jane Austen Centre, we listened to a short talk by a costumed character, which I think would be interesting to Austen fans as well as those who don’t know her work. While the museum is about Jane Austen, it’s also about the time period and what it was like being a woman during Victorian times. Hint: your options were limited; find a husband or relation to support you, or live as a pauper.
TIP: The Regency Tea Room (upstairs) serves cream tea and other delectables, and is open to the public, whether or not you visit the center.
If you are really interested in Jane Austen, check out Jane Austen in Bath: Walking Tours of the Writer’s City (Buy it now on Amazon). This beautifully illustrated book is organized into four walking tours around the city of Bath–where she set both Northanger Abbey and Persuasion–two novels that mirrored her own experience
Where to Stay in Bath, England
We didn’t stay in Bath, because it was a little pricey for us. Instead, we stayed in Swindon and took the 15-minute train into Bath. This was more affordable and very easy.
Did you miss our Stonehenge and Avebury video? Never fear, the replay is here!
More Resources For Planning Your Trip to Bath, England
More Resources For Planning Your Trip to Bath, England
The Cotswolds (Slow Travel): Including Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford & Bath
Organised in such a way to encourage you to slow down and make it easier to discover smaller areas in greater depth, the guide includes features such as interviews with locals who bring character to the region, activities to try with children, personally selected places to eat, drink and stay, coverage of the Arts & Crafts movement, and plenty of options for car-free travel: walking, cycling, river boats and local buses and trains. Includes Bath, England.
Your our passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Ponder the mysteries of Stonehenge, visit Shakespeare’s home town or take in a London show; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of England and begin your journey now!
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18 thoughts on “How to Make the Most of a Day in Bath, England”
I have never heard of Bath but it is worth a trip for shore. The roman bath are really unique, too bad they don’t clean (if that is even possible) it so you can experience it for real. Hop-on-hop-off buses are often an efficient way to explore top sights, glad you enjoyed it.
The Romans thought lead was healthy, so they inscribed hexes to lead sheets and threw them in the bath.
Bath looks so idillic! I would spent as much time as I could looking up at the ceiling of the Bath abbey! Wow that is really beautiful. I’ll add it to the ever expanding British bucketlist. Thanks for the inspiration
So much to see, so little time!
This place seems very peaceful yet beautiful and captivating. The Bath Abbey is picturesque and I love looking at your photos. This place must really be added in the list when visiting England. Cannot wait to see this lovely piece of history.
JM | Man Of Wanders
It is so picturesque. The whole town is like a museum.
I’m from England but have never visited Bath, If I went I think I would go on the train too as it is kinda off the motorway. The Roman Baths look like a worthwhile trip and very photogenic. The Hop on Hop off bus tour is perfect when arriving without transport. Bath looks like it’s worth the effort to go!
It is a bit off the motorway, and it’s fairly crowded, so the train is the way to go!
I must admit, that water doesn’t look too inviting! The abbey looks interesting though. Thanks for the on the bus tickets!
No, it doesn’t! 😉
I watched the video. I liked the part where you took the train. It was fast, convenient and you saw great views.
Britain has so many beautiful cities. I like your photos because it featured the grand architecture of the bathhouses.
Thanks! Great views, indeed.
Bath is such a magical city! I visited a couple of years ago when I still lived in London. Unfortunately I only spent a day there but I really want to go back once I’m back in Europe. Thanks for sharing!
We only had a day, too, and could have used more. But you can see a lot in a day!
Bath looks beautiful. Last time on our trip to UK we hardly had 5 days and everyday it was raining. We had cancel our day trip. Hopefully we get to visit this year 😀
Hope you get some non-rainy weather on your next trip!
This is actually a great idea of a unique travel. Never occur to me to visit bath as a family trip, but this is clearly a great idea! I was shouting in my head “why didn’t any of the tourist bathing there?” before you mentioned that it was full of lead, disappointed well but not really, I wouldn’t want to bath in lead! Hahaha. You guys should come and visit Bali, since it is spring, it is best to get some fun in the sun and Bali is definitely the best place to get that! So come visit and let us provide you guys with the great stay in our resort. With stunning rainforest as the background and the most beautiful infinity pool in the world that you can enjoy! Come to Bali and don’t forget to visit our website, thank you!
We’d love to come to Bali! Take a look at our “Work with Us” page for ways we could make that happen. Cheers!