Bath, England has been near the top of my bucket list for most of my life. Over 25 years ago at a summer camp, I met a young woman from Bath. She told me stories about a beautiful town in the west of England that had hot springs and looked like it was right out of a movie set. Now, nearly three decades later, we visited to see for ourselves. It turns out she wasn’t lying. It’s a beautiful town and there are lots of amazing things to do in Bath.
Bath sits in the west of England. It’s small population of less than 90,000 welcomes more than four million people every year. Being roughly 100 miles west of London, it’s possible to do as a day trip from the capital; however, overnighting or spending a weekend in Bath is a smart decision.
The town’s history goes back thousands of years – it was actually the Roman outpost of Aquae Sulis. Founded on the banks of the Avon River where hot springs bubble up to the surface. The springs gave birth to the town. Traders and religious pilgrims would bath in the waters. These days, the pilgrims are the tourists and spa goers who seek out the healing waters.
Seven Things To do In Bath
See the Roman Baths
Bath’s legacy was pioneered by the Celts and then built by the Romans, who took the natural bubbling hot water and channeled them into a beautiful bath house and temple complex. These days, visitors can see the sacred spring, a Roman temple and the bath house. The Roman Baths have a first rate museum that explains the importance of the site and its preservation. The Roman Baths made Bath a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Soak in the Thermae Bath Spa
However, if you actually want to dip into the water, you need to head two blocks down the street to the Thermae Bath Spa. The Thermae Spa re-opened in 2006 after a decade’s long absence. The modern spa has a stunningly beautiful open-air rooftop pool to look out on the city, steam rooms, spa treatment rooms and a giant bath. A visitor could spend hours pampering themselves in the waters.
Eat a Sally Lunn Bun
We didn’t quite get the idea of the bun…until we tried it. Situated in Bath’s oldest house is Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House. They claim themselves to be “one of the world’s most famous eating houses.” That’s a lot of hype, but Sally Lunn’s actually delivers. The focus is the bun: a massive teacake. The warm buns are served as a half bun, with the tops served with sweet delights and the bottoms are served with savory goodness. Whether you get a half or a whole, the buns were amazing! Our favorite was the cinnamon butter, which was like a giant cinnamon roll. We ended getting a couple of buns to take with us.
Gaze Upon The Bath Abbey
The skyline of Bath is dominated by the beautiful Bath Abbey. Given the city’s history of religious pilgrimage, it would make sense that it had a first rate church. And the Bath Abbey is one of the finest churches we’ve ever seen. Tracing its roots back to the year 757, the current church was constructed in 1499. The Bath Abbey is noted for the fact that the very first King of England, Kind Edgar, had his coronation here in 973.
Be a Hopeless Romantic at the Jane Austen Center
Bath’s most famous resident was the novelist Jane Austen. Austen was already an accomplished writer when her family moved to the city, however, Austen didn’t write much during her time here. Bath did provide deep inspiration for elements that would later be included in her two most famous works: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. At the Jane Austen Center, you can experience a bit of Austen’s life in Bath.
See The Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is one of the most famous streets in England. This row of Georgian Townhouses looks out on Victoria Park. Seeing the Royal Crescent is one of the top things to do in Bath.
Enjoy the Culinary Scene
For a small town, Bath has a robust culinary scene. There’s far more than Sally Lunn’s buns in Bath. Head to the tough-to-find Sub 13 lounge for amazing cocktails and first-rate mixology. If you like meat, the Cowshed serves world-class steaks with a beautiful view of the surrounding hillsides. For lighter fare (or a late-night dessert), head to Bill’s, which has a broad menu and a kitschy ambiance.
While in Bath, we were the guests of the Thermae Bath Spa. All opinions of the beautiful, delicious and relaxing are our own. All photos are our own unless otherwise noted. Note: Some links may be affiliate links, which means Travel Addicts may earn a few pennies if you buy something at no additional cost to you.