If you’ve come to spend one day in Bath, you’ve made an excellent choice! This amazing English city has an incredible amount of history to offer, and wonderful examples of Roman and Georgian architecture are pretty much wherever you look. It’s no surprise then that Bath as a whole was declared a World Heritage Site. Just make sure you have this itinerary close by because your time around here should be carefully planned. Oh, and make sure you have a camera or a phone ready – there will be plenty of chances for some spectacular photos!
What’s the best time to visit Bath, England?
The best time to visit Bath is definitely summer. The temperatures are usually pleasant and not too high (although hot days can happen), and July is the sunniest month of the year. May is also a pretty good time to visit because it’s still relatively sunny, although the temperatures are a bit lower. Do keep in mind, though, that this is Britain, so rain is always a possibility.
As far as the events are concerned, there’s always something going on here. Bath Festival, for example, an event that celebrates the city and everything that makes it unique, takes place in May, Bath Carnival is in July, and the Jane Austen Festival is in September. The illustrious writer spent several years of her life in Bath, and the city remembers that well.
Another thing worth mentioning is Glastonbury and its famous music festival – given that Bath is less than an hour away, it could be an ideal place to stay before you head out.
A few facts about Bath
The city of Bath has a long history that goes back almost two millennia – the Romans set up a spa here because of the natural hot springs in the area. That’s also how the city got its name – it started out as a Roman bath.
Bath became immensely popular in the 18th and early 19th century, precisely because of the hot springs, which made the city a resort and attracted “celebrities” from all over Britain at that time. One of these people was Jane Austen, a fact Bath is incredibly proud of.
Jane Austen spent five of her years in Bath, from 1801 to 1806, and the city inspired two of her six novels – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
Even today, despite it not being a very large city (approximately 100,000 people live here), Bath is considered very posh, as the English say it. There are plenty of quite beautiful neighborhoods all over the place, and the rent is among the highest, if not the highest in the country.
Bath belongs to the county of Somerset and is its largest city.
One day in Bath Itinerary
Welcome to Bath, one of the most charming cities in Great Britain! Its streets are gateways to the centuries past, and the architecture and sights you see here will leave you speechless. However, to have the best possible day in Bath, you will need to do a bit of planning. With the help of this itinerary, you should be able to see all the most important places in the city without too much stress, so let’s start and see how you should proceed.
Start your day with the Roman Baths
The Roman Baths are, without a doubt, the city’s biggest attraction, and you’d do well to come here first thing in the morning to avoid long lines that form as the day goes on. There’s a wonderful museum here, and you can also see the Temple of Sulis Minerva for a complete experience. Guided tours are available, but you can also get an audioguide and check out this amazing place at your own pace.
It really is amazing how well preserved this place is after all these centuries, and a very impressive amount of artifacts have been discovered here. You can see them displayed all over the Roman Baths, and you will also get to see the changing rooms, the pump rooms, and the hot springs. A word of caution – booking your tickets ahead of time can prove a very wise move!
Visit the Jane Austen Centre
Just northwest of the Roman Baths is the Jane Austen Centre (get a ticket here), a true testament to how much this city is proud of the fact that the famous writer lived here. The Centre is located in a lovely Georgian building with plenty of exhibits, many of which are interactive. Actors dressed in clothes from the period only add to the wonderful experience.
There is a great gift shop here, a fantastic place to pick up a souvenir or two, and you can also enjoy a cup of tea or lunch in the Regency Tea Room. Truly, this is a complete Jane Austen experience.
Move on to the Royal Crescent
Apart from the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent has to be the most famous and recognizable place in Bath. This exquisite piece of Georgian architecture is actually a collection of completely uniform houses, and you’d certainly be forgiven for thinking that you’re looking at some kind of a palace.
What is especially amazing is the fact that most of these houses are privately owned, but the house under number 1 is open to the public and vividly shows what life was like in the latter half of the 18th century. It’s an amazing place to visit and a must during your one day in Bath.
Have lunch in an amazing setting
At this point, it will be a great time to have lunch, and you’ll be happy to know that Bath has some incredibly beautiful restaurants with an amazing setting. Sotto is an excellent example of that because this Italian restaurant is located in a cellar and is kept bright by candles that reflect perfectly off the stone walls. Oh, and the food is amazing, too.
The Elder Restaurant is another amazing place because it’s located in a mansion from the 18th century, so you will have a completely unique dining experience here. Clayton’s Kitchen is in a four-story Georgian building, and Hudson Steakhouse used to be a Victorian pub. Of course, there are more modern, classic options, but restaurants like these really add to the whole experience of exploring Bath.
Marvel at the architecture of Bath Abbey
When you were visiting the Roman Baths, you must’ve noticed the huge cathedral standing right next to them. Well, that’s Bath Abbey, and the legend has it that this building was built after Bishop Oliver King had a dream of angels climbing a ladder to heaven and back. You can see this legend carved into the west side of the cathedral.
The interior looks amazing, with tall stained-glass windows and mesmerizing ceilings. Additionally, you can take the tour up the church’s tower which ends on the roof of the building and rewards you with an incredible view of the city. Be advised, though, there are more than 200 steps on the way.
Cross Pulteney Bridge
Once you’re done with lunch, it’s time to go sightseeing again and the perfect stop on our itinerary is Pulteney Bridge. If you’ve ever spent some time in Florence, you will immediately be reminded of Ponte Vecchio because this bridge is closed up and lined with stores and restaurants. So, not a bad place to pick up something to remember Bath by or even sit down for lunch if none of the places mentioned earlier suit you.
Anyway, the bridge was built in 1774, and once you cross it, an area of beautiful Georgian houses will open up in front of you. Stay for a while and explore – the place has quite a special vibe and you will find yourself being pulled in by Bath’s beauty.
Take a dip in Bath’s thermal waters
A very Bath thing to do at the end of the day of sightseeing is to go and enjoy a spa. And there are two main options to do that: Thermae Bath Spa and Cross Bath. The first one is right next to the Roman Baths and has a number of amazing features, including a rooftop pool from which you can enjoy the sunset, a beautiful garden and an array of different treatments.
The second location, however, is set in an 18th-century building and can be booked by couples who would like to relax all by themselves. An ideal way to finish off the day in Bath if you’re here with your significant other!
Dinner and evening
The last thing to do on this itinerary is to enjoy a lovely evening. I’ve already mentioned several great options when it comes to restaurants, so we won’t mention them again, but when it comes to pubs and bars, there are plenty of great options, too!
The Raven is an excellent family-run venue with fairly reasonable prices located in two Georgian houses that offers great beer and pies, whereas The Bell Inn emphasizes its relaxing atmosphere with a garden full of games and great music. The Salamader puts a modern twist on things, and The Huntsman boasts wonderful decoration. Choose your pub and enjoy a fantastic evening in Bath!
Where to stay in Bath?
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
Beau Street, Bath, BA1 1QY
The Gainsborough Bath Spa has absolutely everything you could want from a hotel – it’s literally steps away from the most important attractions in the city, looks quite impressive, has a great bar and a great restaurant, offers an excellent fitness centre and impeccable rooms. But the most important feature of this Bath hotel is that it is the only one with naturally heated thermal water in the entire UK! That makes this hotel’s Spa Village VERY special. Small, luxurious and very special, The Gainsborough Baths Spa is quite an experience.
Hotel Indigo – Bath, an IHG Hotel
2-8 South Parade, Bath, BA2 4AB
As soon as you lay your eyes on Hotel Indigo – Bath, you will want to stay there for the night because this hotel is located in a beautiful 18th-century building. The interior is amazing too, and the rooms are exceptionally well equipped with things like Nespresso machines, Egyptian cotton linen on your beds, and big flat-screen TVs. In addition, the location is right in the heart of Bath, so you will be able to start exploring all the major sights in the city as soon as you step out of the hotel. Very much worth your attention!
The Rising Sun Inn
3 – 4 Grove Street, Bath, BA2 6PJ
The Rising Sun Inn offers excellent value to its every guest. It’s a very charming place located in the centre of Bath and the rooms have everything you need to feel comfortable and get a good night’s rest. There’s a very lovely garden in the back, and the food they serve here is nothing short of excellent, no matter if you’re having breakfast or dinner. Very clean, very welcoming, and very pleasant – everything in this hotel works splendidly, so if you want a great place to stay at a reasonable price, this is most certainly it.
Bathwick Hill, Bath, BA2 6LA
YHA Bath is without a doubt the best hostel in Bath! The fact that it’s located in a beautiful mansion that will immediately remind you of Italy and the Mediterranean says a lot, but there’s a lot more inside this place. The garden is amazing, the breakfast served here is incredibly delicious, and even home-cooked dinner is served here every night. Add to that a great bar with plenty of local ales and other drinks, and you have a place that’s going to satisfy every backpacker.
Day trips from Bath
The county of Somerset, in which Bath is located, offers plenty of amazing places you can visit. So, if you’re spending more than one day here, why not set up a day trip from Bath? Or maybe two, I won’t judge. Here are some of the locations you really should at least consider when visiting this amazing part of England.
If you’ve never visited Stonehenge before, this is your chance! Just an hour away from Bath, the most famous stone circle in the world is waiting to be discovered. There are also some houses from the stone age nearby too, and you can learn all the mysteries and fascinating facts about this incredible monument in the nearby visitor centre. It really would be a shame to miss this!
Just half an hour away from Bath lies the city of Bristol (you can even cycle your way there!), a town of ships and seafarers. You will learn a lot about this country’s history here, but you can also enjoy some great restaurants and the spectacular view of Avon Gorge. Yes, one day in Bristol has just about everything you need for a memorable day trip.
Going to the Cotswolds is the day trip you take when you want to get away from it all a bit and just relax. The beauty of this region is known throughout the whole world, and the charming villages that are scattered there will make you want to stay here forever. It really is quite enchanting, and you will feel completely rejuvenated by the time this day trip is over.
While you may know it for its huge music festival, the town of Glastonbury is actually an immensely fascinating place. Primarily, the town features prominently in the legends of King Arthur, and it is believed that this is where the mythical land of Avalon is. The whole place looks the part too, so you will easily be able to imagine fairies and wizards running around in a distant past.
Extra tips for visiting Bath
- This is England, so don’t expect the weather to be very stable. Be prepared for rain!
- Comfortable shoes are very much recommended because Bath is full of hills, so walking around in inappropriate shoes may take a toll on your feet.
- Look for blue plaques on the houses in Bath. They will tell you a few tidbits about the famous people who lived in them. There are dozens of these things all over the city.
- Bath has a reputation of being a fairly expensive city, so don’t let some of the prices here surprise you. Investigate and plan ahead to get the best deals – Bath Tourist Information Office has a Visitor Card that can help with that.
- Guides on the free tours you can find in the city centre do not take tips, so you don’t have to worry or feel bad about not handing out something to them.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.