The rooftop swimming-pool of the Thermae Bath Spa, a complex built on the site of the original Roman Bath which itself stood on a site used since at least 8,000 BCE. Having closed in 1978, the spa re-opened in 2008 after a major restoration project that cost around £40million.
TRVL Tips

11 reasons why you should make Bath your next weekend getaway

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

TRVL Tips 11 reasons why you should make Bath your next weekend getaway

The city of Bath is one of the most popularly visited cities in the United Kingdom, and with good reason.

James Hiam
James Hiam Editor

From the Georgian architecture and cozy pubs to the indulgent hotels and special local buns, Bath is the perfect weekend getaway for solo travelers, families, couples and groups of friends alike. There are probably a hundred reasons why you should visit Bath, but we thought that eleven would probably do the trick...

Bath is gloriously compact, meaning you don't have to fork out a fortune on public transport during your stay. Instead, you can look forward to spending your pennies and pounds on pints in pubs, not to mention a really super hotel. Speaking of which...

2. Luxurious hotels

Yes, Bath boasts some truly splendid hotels: refined, elegant rooms, unashamedly opulent interiors – and that's the just the start of it. The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa and the Gainsborough Bath Spa both provide not only exquisite rooms but also tea rooms and fabulous spa facilities. More afternoon tea later...

3. Great galleries and museums

Bath looks pretty, but there's substance to match its Bath stone surface, too. The city claims to have more museums and art galleries per square mile than any other in the UK. The highlight is perhaps the Holburne Museum. Housed in a Grade I listed building, the collection features works by Sir Thomas Gainsborough and many others.

4. Incredible Georgian architecture

The Holburne Museum is just one example of Bath's many beautiful Georgian buildings. There are no two ways about it: Bath's city center is a thing of beauty, lined with pale-gold buildings constructed by the Georgians in the 18th century. The Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge are perhaps the best, most spectacular examples, but the rest of them aren't bad, either.

5. Cozy pubs

The British are very proud of their pubs, and quite right too. Whether you just fancy a couple of pints of ale in a no-nonsense, centuries-old watering hole or want to sit down to dinner in a fancy gastropub, Bath does both very well indeed. Some of the best include The Garricks Head, complete with a roaring fire and a fantastic selection of whiskeys; The Griffin Inn, which dates back to 1730; and the Bath Brew House, which brews its own beer on site.

6. Cider country

Speaking of pubs and alcoholic refreshment, Bath is as good a spot as any for sampling cider. Nestled between Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south, Bath is slap bang in the middle of cider country, and there's simply no better accompaniment to a hot summer's day than a pint of scrumpy. Don't drink too much – strong stuff, is cider!

7. Glorious surroundings

Bath is brilliant, but so are its neighboring villages, towns, and cities. The likes of Bristol, Wells, and Glastonbury are all well worth the journey, while The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is exactly that – outstanding. You might want to tag another day or two onto your trip if you want to see the best of Bath as well as its surroundings, of course.

8. Sally Lunn buns

Bath even has its own, unique bun, and it's delicious. Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House is located in one of the city's oldest dwellings, and their famous buns date back to around the 1700s or even a bit before that. Order a Sally Lunn bun slathered in cinnamon butter, and your only regret will be that you haven't got any room for another.

9. Roman Baths and Thermae Bath Spa

The Georgians loved Bath, but so too did the Romans. They built a bathing complex here in 70 AD, which is now considered to be one of the best-preserved Roman sites in the world. Visitors might not be able to bathe here, but they can have a taste of the mineral-rich spa water at the end. Check out the nearby Thermae Bath Spa if you want to soak rather than sip.

10. Jane Austen

Jane Austen spent a lot of time in Bath, eventually moving to the city and living here from 1801 to 1806. Both Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were set in Bath, and in the Jane Austen Center, you can learn all about the author and her works. You can even dress up in regency costume and imagine yourself to be a Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennett...

11. Taking afternoon tea

Jane Austen would no doubt approve of you taking afternoon tea; in fact, she'd probably expect nothing less. Bath has loads of great spots for enjoying pots of tea and cucumber sandwiches, too. If you stay at The Gainsborough Bath Spa or Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, you won't need to look very far at all.

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The English countryside is never far from view in Bath, helping it retain its small-town feel. During the 19th century, it was the most fashionable town in Britain, attracting writers such as Longfellow, Hawthorne, Wordsworth, and Dickens. More recently, it was the home of the late emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Nikon D2X

Aperture
ƒ/6.7
Exposure
1/160
ISO
200
Focal
170 mm

The English countryside is never far from view in Bath, helping it retain its small-town feel. During the 19th century, it was the most fashionable town in Britain, attracting writers such as Longfellow, Hawthorne, Wordsworth, and Dickens. More recently, it was the home of the late emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

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