Best of Britain: Bath, Come Rain or Shine
Bath has been a popular travel destination since the Roman times, when the elite traveled to the city to bathe in the natural hot springs. Centuries later, both the thermal springs and the city continue to be as desirable as ever – particularly for those seeking a destination which pairs pampering with top attractions. Come rain or shine, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in Somerset’s top city.
We say sunny, but there are those who will love nothing more than sitting in the thermal rooftop pools while the rain pours down. However, on sunny days, visitors will be rewarded with the clearest views out over the city – spires and all. The temperature in Bath’s thermal pools reaches around 33.5°C and it isn’t just relaxing. The waters here are said to contain over 42 different minerals and trace elements. Pair your visit with a watsu treatment, where a therapist guides your body through a series of flowing movements in the waters.
Roman Bath House
The Romans weren’t the first to discover Bath’s famous waters – that was Prince Bladud in 863 BC, who was cured from his skin disease after bathing here. However, the agnomen are perhaps Bath’s most notorious former residents, and more can be found out about how they lived, and used the waters of the city, on a tour of the Roman Bath House. Visitors will have the chance to taste some of the natural spa water and take in displays of Roman and Celtic artefacts discovered locally.
Spectacular Bath Abbey has been visited by both pilgrims and tourists for hundreds of years. Many come to gaze upon the architecture of the church, which at the time was home to a Benedictine Monastery, while others simply visit for quiet contemplation. More recently, the Abbey’s tower tours have taken off. These take an average of 45-minutes and see guests climbing 212 steps to enjoy stunning views of Bath, passing a ringing chamber and getting the chance to sit behind a giant clock face on the way up.
Jane Austen Museum
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Jane Austen made two long trips to Bath, before spending the last years of her life living here. The Georgian city even acts as the backdrop to two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and at the Jane Austen Centre costumed guides will be only too happy to take you around and explain the effect that Bath had on her writing. Finish up your visit with ‘Tea with Mr. Darcy’ at the Regency Tea Room, where staff dress in full Regency regalia.
Sally Lunn Tea Shop
The Sally Lunn Tea Shop dates all the way back to 1482 and serves up the Sally Lunn buns that are synonymous with the Somerset city. According to local legend, Sally was a French refugee who established her bakery in 1680, quickly becoming popular for her brioche-like teacakes made from eggs, cream and spices and served with lashings of butter. A museum on the premises shows the original kitchen Sally used.
Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass
In the artisan quarter of Bath, this working museum showcases pieces by glassblowers and stained glass artists. Visitors also have the chance to try the crafts out for themselves: every Saturday morning a small workshop runs where you can hand-blow your own paperweight. Stained glass taster days also take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Where to Stay
In our opinion, Abbey Hotel is the best located tourist hotel in Bath. It’s situated in the oldest part of the city and a mere stone’s throw from the Roman Baths, Thermae Spa and Sally Lunn’s. If you want to fit in more sightseeing, guided tours leave from outside the comfortable Georgian hotel every 10 minutes.
Rooms from £123.50 per night.
Francis Hotel Bath – MGallery Collection
This four-star hotel is situated on the south side of Queen Square close to the main attractions. A recent £6 million refurbishment has seen rooms restored to their former glory. Each room features a Plasma HD TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Rooms from £93.50 per night.
Why not book your pampering break to Bath now!
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