Set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, the city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its Roman bath houses and honey-colored Georgian architecture. Only a one and half hour train journey from London Paddington station, or quick fifteen minute ride from Bristol, Bath makes a great day trip destination that is compact and can easily be seen on foot. Here’s my guide on how to spend a day in Bath.
Once you’ve arrived at Bath Spa station, it’s a short walk over to the Pulteney Bridge and Weir. The Pulteney Bridge is notable because it is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides. Designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1773, it overlooks the impressive Pulteney Weir. In warmer months, boats leave from the Weir for rides along the River Avon.
From Pulteney Bridge, head to Sally Lunn’s Eating House, publicized as “The Oldest House in Bath”. Dating back to 1483, it is Bath’s oldest house and more famously known as the home of the Sally Lunn bun.
The legend goes that Sally Lunn was a Huguenot refugee who fled France for Bath in 1680 to escape persecution. She found work in the kitchen of the bakery, and began baking a rich, generous brioche bun similar to the French breads that she would have been familiar with at home – what we now know as Sally Lunn’s buns today.
A Sally Lunn bun is comprised of a sweet top bun, and a bottom savory bun. You’re able to order a sweet top bun, savory bottom bun, or full bun to experience both!
The menus for Sally Lunn’s Eating House can be seen here.
An absolute must-do in Bath is a visit to The Roman Baths. Built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, and later rediscovered by the Victorians, the baths are fueled by hot springs that output over a million liters of hot water each day. You can wander the rooms that made up the baths, including the large open air ‘Great Bath’, and learn about the history of Bath Spa. Make sure you get a taste of the “bath” water served at the end of the tour. Prices for entry into the Roman Baths can be found here.
As a striking crescent of houses designed by John Wood and completed in 1774, the Royal Crescent is a prime example of architecture that shows off Bath’s rise to fame as a Georgian spa city.
While most of the houses remain residences today, No. 1 Royal Crescent is a home along the Royal Crescent that has been turned into a heritage museum. It is redecorated and furnished to show how it might have appeared in the late 18th century. Entry to the museum is £10 per adult (£7 for seniors/students, £4 for children).
If you have more than a day…
- Admire the beauty of Bath Abbey and take a Tower Tour
- Learn more about the life and times of Jane Austen at the Jane Austen Centre
- Bathe in natural hot waters at Thermae Bath Spa
- Indulge in afternoon tea at the Roman Bath’s Pump Room Restaurant
Have you been to Bath? What was your favorite attraction?