Chic, charming Bath is quintessential England. It seduces visitors with its warm thermal waters and elegant, symmetrical Georgian architecture! With elements like these, there’s no question that Bath weekend breaks are among the most indulgent and refreshing in the world. If you’re in doubt, go ahead and book your weekend in Bath — we’re confident you’ll be convinced as soon as you arrive!
Any visit to Bath, UK is a rich cultural experience as you walk in the footsteps of the Romans, Celts and Georgians, all of whom have bequeathed lavish landmarks to the city.
Despite Bath’s obvious elegance, it’s also a vibrant modern city that offers more discerning visitors some niche attractions. From Rugby matches at The Rec to shows at the Theater Royal, your weekend in Bath will show that the graceful city caters to all tastes as generously as any society host should!
Insider Tips for an AMAZING Weekend in Bath
Visiting Bath, England should be as relaxing an experience as possible so we’ve taken the hard work out of planning your weekend in Bath with our comprehensive guide.
Keep reading for the perfect accommodation, and transport tips!
Bath, in the beautiful county of Somerset, England, is only home to 88 000 residents but over 4,4 million people visit Bath (UK) so there’s plenty of accommodation options! If you only have a weekend in Bath then you may wish to stay in the city center.
The city center has the majority of Bath attractions, such as the Thermae Bath Spa and the Georgian Promenade. As the oldest part of the city of Bath, this area is also home to some of the most elegant buildings! If you stay in this part of Bath, you’ll also be able to lower your transport costs!
Find out more about the various neighborhoods of Bath, England in our EPIC guide to where to stay in Bath, England!
Our Favorite Hostel – St Christopher’s Inn Bath
- This lovely hostel in Bath, UK, is nestled in the heart of Bath City Center!
- There’s an in-house party bar, Belushi’s, that hosts pub crawls and has great discounts for guests!
- It consistently receives top ratings for cleanliness and staff friendliness!
St Christopher’s Inn Bath is a comfy home away from home for those visiting Bath! While there are modern features, the interior maintains a rustic feel. The reception arranges tours and day trips, and the hostel hosts plenty of social events so you’re sure to make friends on your trip!
Our Favorite Airbnb – Elegant central Georgian apartment
Enjoy the best of Bath by staying in this charming and elegant one-bedroom apartment. Located in the centre of Bath, this flat is in a beautiful and historic Georgian Townhouse.
A short walk to the train and bus station, this Airbnb is in close proximity to all the city’s top attractions.
Perfect for small families or couples, this flat features two beds, a full kitchen, spacious rooms and modern conveniences.
Our Favorite Budget Hotel – Z Hotel Bath
- Ideally located in the city center, Z Hotel Bath is right opposite the Bath Theater Royal!
- It has a glamorous in-house bar for you to celebrate your time in Bath!
- The rooms are minimally-decorated and are incredibly comfortable so that you’re well-rested to explore the city!
Z Hotel Bath is located in a beautiful Georgian building that blends right in with the other surrounding Bath landmarks! Inside, the rooms are small but bright and comfortable. The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from the railway station if you’re using the train to get into Bath, United Kingdom. The Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and Royal Crescent are all within a 5-minute walk!
Our Favorite Splurge Hotel – The Gainsborough Bath Spa – YTL Classic Hotel
- Situated on Beau Street, the Gainsborough has a top-notch central location!
- It’s the only hotel in the UK that has naturally-heated thermal waters in its spa!
- This boutique-style hotel offers deluxe luxury for your weekend break!
The Gainsborough Bath Spa – YTL Classic Hotel is the best place to stay in Bath if you have some extra money to splurge! It’s a 5-star facility that’s decorated in a lavish combination of modern features and antique styles. It’s within walking distance from the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. There’s an in-house spa facility to keep you refreshed on your weekend in Bath!
Know How to Get Around in Bath
Once you’re in the city center of Bath, it’s pretty easy to get around all the major attractions on foot — that’s why we recommend you stay in Bath City Center! You can find maps at the Bath Tourist Information Center.
If you need to use transport to navigate the city, Bath has a reliable bus service, First. You can get single tickets but day passes are much more affordable options! There are also plenty of taxi companies in Bath. Uber and other rideshare services are also operational in Bath.
If you visit Bath as part of a larger trip around the UK, then you may want to hire a car. You really don’t need a car in Bath and driving in the city center is quite a hassle. However, if you do bring a car along, the city has ‘Park and Ride’ parking lots where you can park your car and catch a bus to the city center.
To hire a car, you generally need to have a credit card, a driver’s license and proof of address. You may be asked to have an International Driving Permit but if your license is in English, it’s generally acceptable.
A final option for getting around Bath is cycling! Bike in Bath is an on-street bike hire service with four stations in the city. You must have a Bike in Bath card to use this. The first half an hour is free!
You may also be interested to know that the city of Bristol is a quick 15 minute train ride from Bath so you can combine your weekend visit to Bath with a quick visit to Bristol.
Bath may be a small city but it does boast a wide variety of nightlife options to keep you entertained on your weekend in Bath! It’s difficult to pin down a particular district for nightlife but here are some of the best nightlife options.
Po Na Na
- This is the most popular club in Bath!
- It runs themed events nightly from Monday to Saturday: from dubstep to rock, there’ll be something for you!
- It’s particularly well frequented by university students and a generally younger demographic.
You may think elegant Bath quietens down come nightfall but it’s actually just the opposite! Much of the noise comes from Po Na Na, one of the best clubbing spots in the city. It also serves a mean cocktail: look out for vodka-based Jelly Baby and rum-based Dark and Stormy!
The Bath Pub Tour
- Bath once had more pubs per square mile than any other city in the world! It may not hold the title anymore but you can still see why it did once!
- This two-hour pub crawl will involve lots of drinking but also fun pub quizzes, an English favorite!
- A tour like this is the best way to visit as many of the best English pubs in Bath
There are various pub crawls that you can go on in Bath but The Bath Pub Tour is our favorite. It’s one insanely fun night of competition, silliness and laughter! You’re put into groups at the start of the tour so that you can compete in the tour’s grand quiz and there are lots of great prizes. Your guides are actors from a local theater who will bring local folklore to life as you sample everything from Somerset cider to your favorite beer!
Century Casino Bath
- For a more elegant but high-stakes night out, head to the city’s casino!
- There are three floors of games, from card games to roulette!
- Be prepared for the long haul as the casino only closes doors at 6 am!
The Century Casino Bath is a great place to enjoy some nightlife on your weekend in Bath! It has a bar and lounge where you can gather up some Irish courage before you take to the tables. You need membership of the casino to gamble but all you need for this is some form of a personal identity!
At first glance, Bath’s culinary scene may appear small. That’s only until you realize that this quaint little town doesn’t do things by half measures and only the most excellent of food establishments survive this discerning market!
Richard Bertinet’s Cookery School
- French-British cook Richard Bertinet is one of the top chefs in the foodie world!
- This BBC Food Champion of the Year winner offers hands-on cooking classes in Bath, England!
- With courses ranging from a few hours to a whole week, you’ll have enough time to do this activity on your weekend in Bath!
Calling all food lovers, this renowned baker offers cooking classes to introduce you to classic British and international dishes! The Richard Bertinet Cookery School offers workshops on how to make bread, croissants, pies, different kinds of pasta and so much more! The school is quite active so take a look on the website for the latest offerings!
- You can’t visit Bath and not taste a delicious Bath bun!
- There are various legends about how this bun came to be in Bath — it doesn’t matter which you believe as they all add to the fun of this bun!
- Sally Lunn’s Eating House is the best place to sample these local gems!
Sally Lunn was a Huguenot refugee who arrived in Bath in the 17th century and found work in a local bakery. According to one legend, it was she who invented the sweet bun that’s so popular today!
Whether that’s true or not, Sally Lunn’s Eating House is a classic Bath establishment. Between tasting different bun flavors, pop into the back of the shop to see the original kitchen Sally baked in!
Paxton & Whitfield
- Brie, Gorgonzola, Muenster… you name your cheese, Paxton & Whitman have it and can still teach you a trick or two!
- Having been on the scene since 1742, Paxton & Whitfield knows what it’s doing!
- This is the same cheesemonger used by the British queen!
By now, you’ll have realized that Bath is all about the finer things in life, and we’re sure that Paxton & Whitfield would agree! These heritage cheesemongers have an outlet in Bath near Queen Square (just one of 4 shops in the UK) and the staff will happily let you taste and choose which cheeses you’d like on your cheese board! Yum yum!
Unlock the secrets of traveling on a budget!
Sign up for The Broke Backpacker newsletter to receive regular tips on how to travel for less plus a FREE copy of The Backpacker Bible!
Bath may seem refined but it’s also not afraid to work up a sweat! With fun fitness activities in the city center and an abundance of countryside exercise, there’s no need to drop your heart rate in the city of Bath! Not to mention, you’ll feel so much more deserving of the thermal waters once your muscles ache just a tiny bit!
Canoeing and Rowing on the Kennet and Avon Canal
- The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through Bath and is popular for exercise!
- Hire a rowing boat or a canoe to enjoy the scenic waterway!
- With the refreshing river breeze, you’ll barely notice any sweating!
Bath Boating Station serves as a hiring station for canoes, skiffs and traditional punts. Punting involves paddling a wooden boat with a long stick. It was very important to the development of the British countryside as it was how goods were transported between towns. The Bath Boating Station offers free lessons that will set you up for a memorable few hours on the water!
Catch a Soccer Match at Twerton Park
- This small soccer stadium is home to the local club, Bath City Football Club!
- The stadium regularly hosts matches so there’s sure to be something on during your weekend in Bath, particularly over the summer!
- Adult tickets are $16 USD.
There’s an old joke that despite having invented many of the world’s most popular sports, the English are awful at them! Whether that’s true or not is up for debate but what is sure is that locals are great sports fans! You can see this spirit come to life during a match at Twerton Park!
The stadium can only accommodate around 9000 people but since Bath has such a small population, there are almost always tickets for sale at the stadium on the day!
Bath’s Rugby team on the other hand, is significantly more successful playing in the English Rugby Premier League
Bath Sports and Leisure Center
- To join the locals in their fitness routines, come to the comprehensive fitness center!
- You don’t have to take out a membership contract; you just pay per session!
- From swimming to a 30-minute aerobics class, there’s plenty to choose from!
It’s hard not to feel envious of Bath locals when you step into this beautiful sports center on North Parade Road! There is such a wide array of activities and the process of signing up to a session is so easy that you may even feel encouraged to take on something new!
There’s bowling, gym workouts, soccer and so much more but our favorite activity has to be trampolining! And it’s not just about jumping up and down – you can also dodge balls and dive into foam pits along the way. It’s one of the best things to do in England and is so much fun that you won’t even notice your heart rate speeding up!
Bath was traditionally a society capital, meaning that the well-to-do of Georgian society (think of the ladies in Jane Austen books) would regularly congregate in the town. Thanks to this history, Bath has many first-class cultural entertainment facilities!
The Theater Royal
- Founded in 1805, the Theater Royal itself is an excellent example of a Georgian theater.
- It has a vibrant program of plays, concerts, dances and operas.
- It’s the ideal place to catch a theater show while on a weekend in Bath!
The Theater Royal offers both classical and contemporary shows that are some of the best in Britain! The plays put on by the Theater Royal are often transferred to the renowned West End. It’s often well-worth making the trip to Bath just for one of these shows!
Bath Music Concerts
- Bath has a long musical history and numerous elegant concert venues to show for it!
- Bath is home to a number of dedicated musical companies, such as the Bath Philharmonia!
- Attending a music concert in a beautiful setting is a wonderful thing to do on a weekend in Bath!
Joining Bath’s lively musical community at an evening of music is the perfect activity for music lovers in Bath! The Michael Tippett Center is the only purpose-built concert hall with incredible acoustics and a busy program of concerts! Other venues include the Chapel Arts Center, Bath Abbey, the Guildhall and the Assembly Rooms.
- For live music in a restaurant setting, nothing beats the Green Park Brasserie!
- It has an extensive list of jazz, soul, funk and swing performers!
- It has a lively evening feel, perfect for a night out with friends or family.
Green Park Brasserie is located just five minutes from the Roman Baths and is housed in a fabulous neoclassical building! The combination of a vibrant atmosphere, scrumptious food and excellent music means it’s a must for all culture lovers!
You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.
10 Other Awesome Things to do in Bath This Weekend
You may be in town for a concert or a soccer match but were you really in Bath if you didn’t visit the Roman Baths or the Circus? We think not, so put a few of these stunning Bath landmarks on your itinerary for the weekend in Bath!
#1 – The Roman Baths
THE Place To Visit in Bath! The Roman Baths are responsible for the very existence of Bath as the city’s name kind of suggests…! They were built by the ancient Roman settlers of the area around 70 AD and are one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world! To this day, the baths are filled with 1,170,000 liters of steaming spring water every day!
There’s a fantastic museum that will introduce you to the Roman settlement and the culture of social bathing. The use of CGI reconstructions will make you feel like you’re right there with the Romans in the first century!
#2 – The Pump Room
Adjoining the Roman Baths is the Pump Room, a historic place for social gatherings!
Today it exists as Pump Room Restaurant and is one of Bath’s most elegant eateries, serving breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner beneath a glittering chandelier! There’s also a fountain from which the thermal Bath waters pour. You are welcome to drink the water, although it’s a bit of an acquired taste!
Insider Tip: Having afternoon tea at the Pump Room is something of a tradition for most visitors to Bath and you won’t regret joining in on this trend! Afternoon tea is a meal between lunch and dinner that’s composed of bite-sized savories and sweet treats. It’s a great British tradition!
#3 – Thermae Bath Spa
This renowned spa in the city center is where you can enjoy bathing in the only naturally warm, mineral-rich waters in Britain! This tends to be what visitors imagine a Bath weekend break looks like!
There are both indoor and outdoor pools that are open day and night. The Wellness Suite offers over 40 spa treatments: from hot stone massages to steam facials, your body will be well taken care of! The most popular treatment is Watsu which involves being stretched, guided around and massaged in the thermal waters. If bliss is on your bucket list, come here!
#4 – No.1 Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is one of the many outstanding architectural landmarks you’ll encounter on a visit to Bath, UK, and at No.1 you can step inside this iconic structure!
It was built as an aristocratic residence and the rooms remain lavishly furnished in the style of the Georgian period! You can explore the dining room, set for dessert, and the withdrawing room is all ready for tea! Downstairs, you can explore the areas where servants worked, including the kitchen. Guides in every room tell stories to bring the past to life!
#5 – The Circus
After 14 years of construction, the Circus opened as a set of townhouses in 1768. Architect John Wood was inspired by the circular formation of nearby Stonehenge and Druid culture which he believed to have once centered around Bath.
To this end, you can spot Druid symbolism like acorns and serpents on the facade of the building. Some think that the Circus is joined to the Royal Crescent by a ley-line and together the buildings represent the sun and the moon!
#6 – The Assembly Rooms
The Assembly Rooms were once the place to gamble, dance and socialize for the elite! Thankfully, things are a bit different today and everyone is now welcome to explore this historic building.
The Assembly Rooms are decorated with impressive chandeliers and expansive wooden floors. Inside is the Fashion Museum which hosts spectacular exhibitions on fashion through the ages! It’s worth a visit even if you’re not into fashion since the collection is very related to social history.
#7 – Bath Abbey
A place of worship for more than 1200 years, Bath Abbey is a deeply spiritual and beautiful attraction to visit in the city of Bath, England! It features stunning examples of Gothic architecture, with thick golden columns, stained-glass windows and stunning vaulting.
A good idea is to go on a tower tour which will take you above the vaulted ceiling to the bell tower. The views of Bath below are magnificent! Make sure to pack your camera.
#8 – The Jane Austen Center
Jane Austen’s world famous novels are all set in Georgian society and the author herself Bath spent time in the pretty city of Bath!
It’s set in a lovely Georgian townhouse and you can dress up in Regency-era costumes and pose for photos against the provided backdrops! Fun aside, there’s a wonderful exhibition on Austen’s life, sharing insights on how her stay in Bath influenced her books.
#9 – Prior Park Landscape Garden
The English love their gardens and this is the finest landscaped garden you’ll find when you visit Bath, England! It’s located in a valley a little outside of Bath but has lovely views of the city.
The grotto, which was designed by Alexander Pope, houses a virtual tour of the garden as it was in 1764. Afterward, stroll along the paths and discover beautiful garden structures, such as a summerhouse.
#10 – Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney is a stunning piece of architecture, with shops lining either end of the bridge (it’s one of only four such bridges in the world)! It’s one of the most photographic Bath attractions and has a charming atmosphere, making it a lovely place to wander around!
It was also used as the set for revolutionary Paris in the 2012 film Les Misérables.
Don’t forget to pack a good book! Lonely Planet Pocket Bath, Bristol & the Southwest (Travel Guide) is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.
To ensure your weekend in Bath goes smoothly, we’ve answered FAQs about everything from the weather to apartment rentals!
#1. What should I pack for a weekend in Bath?
- Comfortable shoes — Getting around Bath is easiest when you do so on foot! Although the attractions are mostly quite close to each other, there are a lot of them so bring your comfiest pair of walking shoes! If you can, try for a fairly stylish pair since Bath is such an elegant city!
- Swimwear — No trip to Bath is complete without a soak at the Thermae Baths! Since the British don’t do as the Romans and get in naked, you need to bring your own swimwear!
- Umbrella or raincoat — The British may joke about the miserable weather but it certainly isn’t fun if you get caught in a sudden shower! A small umbrella should do the trick but if you prefer, a light raincoat will do fine, as well.
Our London Packing List may also be useful for helping you pack for your Bath trip.
#2. Can I get an apartment in Bath for the weekend?
Of course you can! Bath has long been a town of short-term visitors coming for treatment at the baths or a season of dancing so there are plenty of apartment rentals on the market! Some of the most iconic landmarks, such as the Circus, were often actually rented houses.
Today, you’ll find holiday rentals on Airbnb and Booking.com. Visit Bath also has a selection of privately-owned rentals. They’re generally quite affordable and within easy reach of Bath City Center.
Renting an apartment in Bath for your weekend break is a good idea if you’re looking for more space and flexibility to come and go. For larger groups of family and friends, a holiday rental is ideal for a weekend in Bath. Many of the apartments are also stunning examples of various styles of British architecture!
#3. Is Bath safe for a weekend trip?
Bath is consistently ranked amongst the top ten safest cities and towns in Britain, so we reckon you’re in safe territory on your weekend in Bath! In fact, Bath City Center has around 200 CCTV cameras in hidden locations to allow law officials to keep an eye on the city 24/7 (how reassuring right…?)!
That said, there are a few minor things to be aware of when planning your trip and enjoying the city:
- There are large groups of homeless people and beggars around the parks and Bath Abbey who often drink and use threatening language! However, it’s generally not directed at passers-by.
- The river may look like a good swimming spot but the currents are quite strong. Stay far away if you’ve had a bit to drink!
You should always have comprehensive travel insurance, no matter how short your vacation is. We recommend World Nomads, a flexible and efficient insurance service.
And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Final Thoughts on a Great Weekend in Bath
Visiting Bath is one of the best things to do in England and a delightful experience that will linger in your memory long after your weekend in Bath comes to a close! Whether it’s punting along the canal or reaching for the nearest Camembert, there are so many specialized activities for visitors to the city of Bath to enjoy!
Alongside these niche activities, Bath is full to the brim with historical buildings and luxurious activities, such as massage sessions at Thermae Bath Spa or shopping along Pulteney Bridge! Mix some of these awesome things to do with whichever weekend activity you’re in town for and you’re sure to have a memorable weekend in Bath!
“Find out how YOU can support the site. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support.