Today I’m bringing you a guest post from a young travel blogger, Max Lami, who is currently exploring Barcelona. She is sharing with you her experience of visiting the beautiful English town of Bath in the hope of inspiring your next trip.
If you’re looking into England as a vacation spot or are just looking for a weekend escapade, Bath will be perfect. Small enough to charm but big enough to fill an entire weekend of activities, this historic town has much to offer.
Getting to Bath by Train
The train ticket from London is £40 for a return, with a railcard, less if you’re coming from closer cities like Bristol (£12). I arrived Friday afternoon, around 7pm. I was staying at my friends house, however, there are plenty of hotels around the city of Bath with a lot to offer.
For something affordable yet classy I recommend the Harrington’s Hotel, located in the centre but on a discreet street it is a short walk away from all the main sights. For a luxurious stay, try The Royal Crescent. Located at the heart of one of Bath’s most renowned sights, the views to the city are spectacular and will surely start your mornings right.
I start my first afternoon at the Parade Gardens, found straight down Manvers Street from the train station. The gardens give you a perfect view of the Pulteney bridge, completed in 1774, and the bustling river Avon. Take the footpath found through the right side of the gardens for a pleasant walk by the riverside.
Reunited with my friend in the evening, we decide, in honour of my visit, to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. Don’t worry about restaurant distances, everything in Bath is walking distance so the most you’re likely to walk is 15 minutes.
We choose Sotto Sotto, located next to the Parade Gardens. A small Italian restaurant, the menu is varied enough to be family friendly, whilst allowing the adults to enjoy “gourmet” food. I have the pasta with butternut squash sauce, pistachios, smoked Parma ham, and ricotta cheese. We enjoy wine with our dinner, because we’re fancy, and treat ourselves to dessert. All in all it comes to about £20 per head.
Being the tourist that I am I want to see all of the main landmarks. We wake up early and get the climb out of the way early, we start from the top-down. Head upwards through the centre turning left at George street to get to Gay street. Keep heading upwards to reach “The Circus” roundabout. Take the first left, and you will shortly arrive at the Royal crescent. Completed in 1774, the Royal Crescent is one of the finest Georgian architecture structures in England. We enjoy the views of the city and then head down.
The Roman Baths
We then head to the city centre to find the main attraction of the city, The Roman Baths. Arriving at the square, I am first stunned by the Bath Abbey. This Gothic Style church is free to enter and is worth a a quick visit before you leave the city. Fun fact, it is also where graduation ceremonies for The University of Bath take place.
A £12 entry fee with concessions available for families, students, and children, the Baths are definitely the main thing to do. They are incredibly well preserved and impressive to say the least. With a didactic listening tour, available also for children, I found the visit insightful, awe-inspiring, and quite the history lesson.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat close by, we head to the Victoria Art Gallery behind the Abbey. This free public gallery offers a quick but pleasant look at art. And if art isn’t an area of interest, you can always visit the fashion museum, which offers expositions like “A History of Fashion in 100 objects”, or the Jane Austen Centre for literature fans.
After I have had my cultural fix, we spend what’s left of the evening walking around the city. I recommend taking the time to discover the small streets behind the Roman Baths or upwards from the Abbey square. Here you will find stores with true personality and quirk, but you may also shop some commercial stores through the centre.
We have dinner at home, but head out for some evening drinks. If you’re travelling without children there are plenty of bars or chill-out lounges to choose from. You can even make a date night out of it! If gin is your thing, check out The Canary Gin bar located in Queen Street, a change from the loud student bars.
We wake up later today, and decide instead to enjoy brunch at the Wild Café, a favourite spot for locals. The menu, affordable even to students, has everything from American style pancakes, to eggs royal.
My friend recommends we take a walk towards Sham castle, located at the very top of the city next to the University. We take a bus up to the University of Bath and walk from there. It’s a short walk through nature to get to Sham Castle but it is the perfect goodbye to this city. With a last look at the views, I head down to catch my early train, knowing Bath still has more to offer.
If you are planning a trip to this city with family you might also enjoy our things to do in Bath with kids post.
Written by Max Lami