12 Best Things to Do in Bath

A World Heritage site with a rich history and culture.

12 Best Things to Do in Bath
12 Best Things to Do in Bath

A rich history dating back to the 7th century and stunning Georgian architecture has made the city of Bath a World Heritage site, attracting millions of tourists every year.

This popular spa town features many renowned museums, noted heritage and cultural sites, and picturesque streets. With no shortage of attractions and places of interest, we round up 12 of the best things to do in the nostalgic city of Bath, Somerset.

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Top Attractions and Places of Interest in Bath

Thermae Bath Spa

1. Thermae Bath Spa

  • Opening Times: 9:00 – 21:30 or 10:00 – 20:00
  • Entry Fee: £36 to £40

In 43AD, the Romans developed the town, ‘Aquae Sulis’, as a sanctuary of rest and relaxation. Outside of Rome, the Thermae Bath Spa was considered to be one of the largest, therefore attracting many visitors from abroad for health-restoring adventures.

Over time, the baths only gained in popularity, as they were believed to be capable of healing any ailments with its pleasantly warm, natural, and healthy waters.

Even after millenniums, these baths still exist. The Thermae Bath Spa is considered Britain’s original natural thermal spa and is also supplied hot, mineral-rich waters from the Kings Spring, the Hetling Spring, and the Cross Spring, therefore providing a relaxing experience that many other places couldn’t compare to.

The Roman Baths

2. The Roman Baths

  • Opening Times: 9:00 – 21:00
  • Entry Fee: £18 to £25 (adults)

Considered one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe, the Roman Baths are made from one of the greatest religious spa’s preserved remains from the ancient world.

There are theories around these baths having been the centre of worship for the celts, as these springs were dedicated to the Goddess, Sulis, who was viewed as a nourishing, life giving Goddess, but also an effective agent of curses by her followers.

At the Roman Baths, you can also visit the Fashion Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery, but it has four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and discoveries from the Roman Bath.

You can admire the historical features of the Roman Baths and immerse yourself in history!

Southgate, Bath

3. Southgate Bath

  • Opening Times: 9:00 – 18:00 (Mon to Wed, Fri to Sat) / 9:00 – 19:00 (Thurs) / 11:00 – 17:00 (Sun)
  • Entry Fee: Free (parking costs from £2 – £14)

What is a city without a shopping centre? SouthGate has all the shops you could possibly want (over 50 shops for you to enjoy!) and 22 restaurants to satisfy your appetite. On top of this, SouthGate is near stations and transport, therefore your journey won’t be a hassle.

This shopping centre features Bath’s classic Georgian-style buildings and modern open spaces, giving you an authentic shopping experience in Bath!

Throughout the year, SouthGate hosts street food markets that will awaken your appetite and make you crave. Whenever Christmas rolls around, you can also expect a Christmas themed food market!

The Royal Crescent

4. The Royal Crescent

  • Opening Times: 10:00 – 17:00
  • Entry Fee: £10.60 (adults)

Not only is the Royal Crescent one of the most iconic landmarks of Bath, it is also one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Britain.

Built between 1767 and 1775, this impressive 500 foot long crescent (which is arranged around a gorgeous lawn that overlooks the Royal Victoria Park) was designed by John Wood the Younger, who also completed the Circus, which his father had started.

Now, the Royal Crescent is a popular filming location for period dramas and films, including Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Initially, the building was for 30 Grade 1 listed terrace houses; however, it is now a five-star hotel, named the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, a luxurious sanctuary of grace and serenity. There are museum sections that are accessible to the public.

Bath Abbey

5. Bath Abbey

  • Opening Times: 9:30 – 17:30 (Mon) / 9:00 – 17:30 (Tues to Fri), 9:00 – 18:00 (Sat) / 13:00 – 14:30 / 16:30 – 18:00 (Sun)
  • Entry Fee: Free (tours cost £8 for adults)

In 1499, Bath Abbey was established by the Bishop King and now remains as England’s last great medieval church. However, before then, it was occupied separately by two other churches : the Anglo-Saxons’ and the Normans’.

Unfortunately, in 1539, Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of monasteries and for 70 years, the abbey laid in ruins. In 1616, the abbey was restored to its glory and since then has been further renovated into the abbey that we know now.

At Bath Abbey, you can marvel the breathtaking architecture, admire the soothing music, and even join in with prayer. Regardless, you will find yourself truly immersed in beauty and history.

Green Park Station

6. Green Park Station

  • Opening Times: Varies with each store
  • Entry Fee: Free

Built in the 1860s, Green Park Station (originally named Queen Square Station) operated as a station until the 1960s. Over time, there were changes to the British Rail which resulted in the closure of the station on 7th March 1966.

Although it was derelict and abandoned, it was restored as a retail and market space in the 1980s – now, it hosts specially-picked, talented traders all under one roof.

Home to independent shops, a blossoming market, local traders, and so forth, Green Park Station is proud to be a thriving market full of culture and diversity.

Here, you can browse a wide range of items, from art pieces to metal work, from an organic drink to an authentic meal. There are unlimited possibilities!

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Upper City, Bath

7. Upper City

  • Opening Times: Varies with each store
  • Entry Fee: Free

From the top of Milsom Street and all the way down along George Street, you can discover a wonderful collection of unique stores.

Just off of George Street, you will find traffic-free Bartlett Street Quarter, which is lined with a number of eccentric stores, authentic restaurants, and quaint cafes.

Enjoy the beautiful architecture that surrounds the area, as you shop for fabrics, try on one-of-a-kind jewellery, bury your nose into an old book, or fill your stomach with a fantastic meal.

The Circus, Bath

8. The Circus

  • Opening Times: N/A
  • Entry Fee: N/A

Marvel at the work of John Wood the Elder, who designed this striking 360 degree masterpiece of Georgian architecture, known as The Circus. From an aerial view, you will see that it forms a circle with three entrances.

Alternatively, when viewed with Queen Square and Gay Street, it is shown as a key, which is a masonic symbol that often appears in Wood’s works.

Inspired by ancient pagan sites, such as Stonehenge and classical Roman architecture, Wood designed this building.

Unfortunately, he died early in the project, therefore his son (John Wood the Younger) completed it.

Over the years, this historic landmark became home to famous people, including the artist, Thomas Gainsborough, and even the Hollywood actor, Nicholas Cage! You, however, can visit and simply enjoy the serenity that this unique building offers.

Pulteney Bridge, Bath

9. Pulteney Bridge

  • Opening Times: All times
  • Entry Fee: Free

As you might have gathered, Bath heavily features Georgian architecture – Pulteney Bridge is yet another grand example of it.

In 1769, this architectural piece (one of four bridges in the world to have shops on both sides) was designed by Robert Adam, but was named Frances Pulteney, William Johnstone Pulteney’s wife.

The bridge was a part of W. Pulteney’s plans to create a new town that could rival John Wood’s on the west side of the city.

Considered one of the world’s most romantic and beautiful bridges, Pulteney Bridge can be viewed best from Parade Gardens or crescent weir.

On the bridge, there are many restaurants that you can try out to suit your taste or you can shop at the small stores on the sides. On top of that, you can also ride a boat that departs from this area.

Alexandra Park, Bath

10. Alexandra Park

  • Opening Times: N/A
  • Entry Fee: Free (free parking too)

On the summit of a wooded hillside, named Beechen Cliff, beyond the river is Alexandra Park, tranquil and verdant. Established in 1902, this 11 acre park was opened in commemoration of Edward VII’s coronation.

From atop the hill, you can have a panoramic view of the city whilst surrounded by mature trees and serene nature. To access this spot, you can either climb a long flight of stairs, known as Jacobs Ladder, or drive up there.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect space for a picnic, a fantastic view of the city, or to simply play at the children’s background, Alexandra’s Park has something to offer for everyone.

Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath

11. Prior Park Landscape Garden

  • Opening Times: 10:00 – 17:30
  • Entry Fee: £7.40 (adult)

Created by Ralph Allen (entrepreneur and philanthropist), advised by Alexander Pope (poet), and designed by Lancelot Brown (landscape artist), Prior Park Landscape Garden is an intimate landscape garden that has something to offer for everyone.

In 1788, Prior Park was described as a ‘noble seat which sees Bath and which was built for all Bath to see’.

There, you can find Georgian architecture from the garden’s past or enjoy the natural play area, where you can climb a tree, look for insects, or simply relax. If you fancy, you can also join a guided walking tour, on which you’ll discover much of Prior Park.

The Assembly Rooms, Bath

12. The Assembly Rooms

  • Opening Times: 10:30 – 6pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

The Assembly Rooms in Bath is yet another building designed by John Wood the Younger, specifically in 1769. When it was completed in 1771, it was described as ‘the most noble and elegant of any in the kingdom’ and quite rightly so. It boasts fantastic architecture, both inside and out.

These public rooms were built for balls, concerts, and other social gatherings and were not separated by gender due to the emphasis on ‘the sake of conversation, gallantry, news and play’.

Now, the Assembly Rooms are host to weddings, business events, celebrations, concerts, and so forth. There are four grand rooms: the Tea Room, Great Octagon, Ball Room, and Card Room, each of which are elaborately designed and beautiful.

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