One of the most stunning cities in the United Kingdom, Bath is steeped in history and is a famous Unesco World Heritage Site. Dating back to Roman times, you’ll find incredible Roman architecture as well as modern-day beauties. It’s not just the buildings that makes this such a cool place to visit, there are plenty of great spots to wine and dine, or simply just hang out in cool hipster bars! That is of course, if you can drag yourself away from dipping in the therapeutic waters of the Thermae Bath Spa.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the best places to visit in Bath. From the Roman Baths to museums and landscaped gardens, you’ll know exactly where to head in city to bask in Bath’s history as well as shopping, eating and drinking.
Let’s get into it!
NEED A PLACE QUICK? HERE’S THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN BATH:
The centre of Bath is where you’ll find the vast majority of the city’s major historic and cultural tourist attractions. One of the oldest districts in town, Bath City Centre is famous for its striking Georgian architecture, impressive and innovative buildings, and its enchanting atmosphere.
- Walk across and admire the architecturally exquisite 18th century Pulteney Bridge
- Browse 20th century works of art by British and International artists at the Adam Gallery
- Shop painting by local contemporary artists at the Fine Sight Fine Art gallery
These are the BEST places to visit in Bath
Knowing where to stay in Bath is the start of any good plan. The majority of these places to visit are in the centre of the city, with lots of accommodations nearby. However, there are so many incredible areas to stay, you don’t want to miss out!
Bus networks are extensive across Bath. You can easily get from one spot to another on public transportation without breaking the bank – and you will get incredible views out the windows! Cheers Drive!
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#1 – The Roman Baths – The Most Important Place to Visit in Bath
- Finest Roman architecture in Britain
- Attracts over a million visitors each year
- One of the top landmarks in Bath
Why it’s awesome: Voted the most romantic buildings in the UK, no trip to Bath is complete without visiting its namesake. Dating all the way back to 75BC, the baths were also intended as a temple to the Goddess Minerva, and built around the largest of the city’s three hot springs.
The Great Bath is the highlight, but there’s more to this cool place than that. In the attached museum, you’ll see artefacts found in and around the area during archaeological digs. Some that go all the way back to Roman times!
What to do there: The hot springs are no longer actively used. However, if you want to relax in some baths, keep on reading!
Exploring the Roman Baths and Temple will take a couple of hours, and you can spot some fascinating finds at the museum. This part of Bath is often incorporated in tours, so you’re unlikely to miss them!
#2 – Bath Abbey – Stunning Gothic Architecture
- Another example of magnificent architecture
- Dates back to the 7th century
- Often holds concerts and public lectures
Why it’s awesome: If you love architecture, you’ve come to the right place – Bath Abbey is stunning! The Gothic façade’s design came in a dream to the Bishop at the time, Oliver King. He thought that he could see angels climbing up and down from heaven, and you can see an interpretation of this dream in stone on the west side of the building.
What to do there: You might think that it’s just a church, and doesn’t require much time to look around, but you’d be wrong!
Want to get a great view of the city skyline and surrounding countryside? Of course you do! Climb the 212 steps for stunning views and don’t forget to bring your camera! There are even after-dark tower visits for a bit of romance. Check out the events calendar on the abbey’s website, there are regular events such as concerts and lectures here.
We suggest joining a walking tour of Bath Abbey to get amazing local insight and the extensive history.
#3 – Pulteney Bridge- A Must-See!
- One of the most iconic bridges in the world
- Lined with shops and restaurants
Why it’s awesome: You might recognise Pulteney Bridge from Les Miserables! If not, you’ll be suitably impressed by this beautiful arched bridge, one of the few remaining in the world that is still topped with buildings.
Like the Golden Gate in California and the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Pulteney Bridge is considered one of the most iconic in the world, let alone of the coolest landmarks in Bath. Great Pulteney Street, which the bridge opens out onto, is very pretty too!
This is an easy stop-by on your way to another spot, or the start to a River Avon cruise.
What to do there: If you’re planning on going kayaking, punting, or even just taking a tour on the River Avon, then the chances are you’ll be starting off from Pulteney Bridge. Arrive a little before your tour and take in the beauty construction and quaint local shops.
Insider tip: The cosy restaurants on the bridge are some of the best places to eat in Bath. Pulteney Kitchen sits in the middle with beautiful views of the river.
#4 – Bath Skyline Walk – A Hidden Gem
- Panoramic views of the city
- Hike through valleys and woodlands
- 6 mile long walk
Why it’s awesome: Sometimes you might want to escape the hordes of tourists, and enjoy some countryside air – introducing the Bath Skyline Walk. This 6-mile loop is just a short distance from the city centre, but you’ll feel like it’s taken you far, far away! You’ll pass through green meadows, peaceful valleys, and wonderful woodlands.
Make sure you take a camera to capture some images of the area’s flora and fauna!
What to do there: This option is a dream for both hikers and photographers. You will get jaw-dropping shots of the city, and natural landscapes that surround it! You can do the walk in half a day, but we recommend taking a picnic and spending the entire day out in the fresh air of the Somerset countryside – bliss.
#5 – Thermae Bath Spa – Time to Relax!
- Relax and unwind in natural hot springs
- Enjoy stunning rooftop views
- A Bath must do!
Why it’s awesome: Just because you can’t take a bath in the Roman Baths, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the warm and cleansing waters of the city’s hot springs. The Thermae Bath Spa is a spa complex with a thoroughly unique take on relaxation. If you’re travelling with your other half, or just want a moment of self-care, this is a must-do!
What to do there: There’s more to do than just soak in the water at this incredible spa. You can enjoy the steam rooms, saunas, massage options, and even a rooftop pool! Come away feeling totally relaxed, de-stressed, and revived – its healing water after all.
Insider tip: Secure the twilight package for a magnificent, romantic evening with views out over the city from the rooftop pool. Their onsite restaurant is delicious too!
#6 – Herschel Museum of Astronomy – This Place is Out of this World!
- Learn about the man who discovered Uranus
- Check out the Georgian gardens
- One of the most famous spots in Bath
Why it’s awesome: The Herschel Museum of Astronomy is dedicated to the German-British astronomer Frederick William Herschel, who discovered Uranus back in the 18th century. It was with a telescope that he had designed, and built in this very building, that is now the museum!
He was also a musician, and there are plenty of artefacts throughout the museum from Herschel’s lifetime. There’s also a beautiful Georgian garden which is a lovely place to walk around.
What to do there: You can take a self-guided audio tour of the museum. You won’t miss a single fact, and come out full of new knowledge! Check the events programme in advance as the museum also offers a lot of fun and educational workshops – these would be great for a travelling family looking for something unique and unusual to keep the kids entertained!
#7 – Jane Austen Centre – Step Back in History
- Home of one of the UK’s greatest authors
- High-tea experience in the museum tea room
- A Bath must-see for literature lovers
Why it’s awesome: The city had a vibrant social scene in the late 18th century, which was one of the things that led Jane Austen to holiday here. In 1801, she relocated and lived in Bath for 5 years, and her former home is now one a must-see for any lover of literature!
The museum is packed with displays relating to Jane Austen’s life in Bath. There’s even a waxwork which is meant to look like her. Pretty tricky though, as there are no images of her in existence to work from!
What to do there: Be led around the centre by a guide in period costume and soak in the history and romance of her life.
If you’re a super fan, head to Bath in September for the 10 day Jane Austen festival. Thousands of visitors and fans descend on the city from all over the world, most of them dressed in said period costumes. You can get involved in one of the more unusual things to do in Bath. If dressing up isn’t for you, just enjoy high tea in the museum’s café.
#8 – Prior Park Landscape Garden – A Quiet Place to Visit in Bath
- 2 miles southeast of Bath
- Picturesque rural landscape
- 18th century garden
- A bridge, Serpentine lake, and temple
Why it’s awesome: If you’re looking for a quiet, park day out within walking distance of the city centre, put this place on your Bath itinerary.
The National Trust operated Prior Park Landscape Garden is absolutely beautiful, and dates back to the early 18th century. The featured Palladian bridge is a unique style, with only 4 of its kind around the world. It’s a true Bath landmark!
The gardens were designed by famous architect Capability Brown, and poet Alexander Pope.
What to do there: Depending on the time of year you visit, there are a number of seasonal events and walks through the gardens.
If you want to combine a visit to the gardens with the Bath Skyline Walk, the trail passes nearby, so you can easily hop in. However, if you want to just relax in the gardens, visit the Tea Shed Café for a traditional pot of English tea!
#9 – The Holbourne Museum – For the Art Lovers
- Huge collection of British art
- UK’s only surviving 18th-century pleasure gardens
Why it’s awesome: For the art lovers among us, The Holbourne Museum has one of the best collections in all of Britain. As well as paintings by famous artists such as Stubbs, Reynolds, and Gainsborough, there are examples of Wedgwood porcelain, early period furniture, and 18th-century silver.
The museum used to be the Sydney Hotel, and has the only surviving 18th-century pleasure gardens in the UK.
What to do there: Even if you’re not an art connoisseur, you will still be impressed at the collection in this incredible museum.
However, there’s more on offer than just art. The Holbourne Museum regularly holds events, including educational programs, classical music concerts, and informative lectures. Check out the events programme to see if there’s anything of interest during your Bath visit. Another cool thing to do is visit the museum’s ‘after hours’ programme, where you can explore after dark!
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#10 – The Royal Crescent – Most Lavish Spot in Bath
- Best place in Bath for admiring architecture
- 18th century houses arranged around a lush park
Why it’s awesome: These Grade-I listed buildings are one of the best examples of Georgian architecture found anywhere in the UK. Dating back to the 18th century, the homes are now mostly privately owned, but there is a five-star luxury hotel here!
Obviously, private living quarters are off-limits to the public, but you can do a tour of one of the houses to learn more about The Royal Crescent and its rich history!
There is a huge park surrounding the impressive buildings where you can relax with a picnic – weather permitting – or you can explore the area to find the spots used in movies and TV shows (including Bridgerton!)
What to do there: Number 1 Royal Crescent is open to tours and included in many Bath tours. You can see what life was like for the wealthy in the 18th century, and the servants too. Who doesn’t love a look into luxury?
#11 – Museum of East Asian Art
- Take a trip to the Far East without leaving Bath
- More than 2,000 items throughout the museum
- On-site shop with cool Asian products
Why it’s awesome: There are 2,000+ items in the Museum of East Asian Art, some dating back more than 7,000 years! This impressive collection has artefacts from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asian history, all within a gorgeous Georgian townhouse. It’s refreshing to find something that isn’t antique British furniture or art inside!
What to do there: The museum has an impressive permanent collection, but there are a number of temporary exhibits that come through too. Make sure you check out what’s on when you’re in town as there’s bound to be something cool and interesting! Stop by the gift shop to see loads of cool Asian products!
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FAQ on the Best Places to Visit in Bath
Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Bath
That concludes the list of the best places to visit in Bath. We hope that you’ve found it useful, as well as giving you plenty of Bath holiday ideas.
You’ll find everything you could want from a British city break when you travel to Bath – fascinating culture, intricate architecture, and a great food and drink scene!
Keep our must-see spots on hand to make sure you don’t miss out on anything!
Want to visit some more places in the region? Have a look at where to stay in the Cotswolds if you decide to head to this beautiful area close to Bath.
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