Bath is a beautiful historic Roman spa town made up of sandstone architecture, winding streets and plenty of coffee shops. One rainy Sunday I decided to step back into Georgian times and travel to Bath for the day. Bath is a town so well preserved that you would believe you had travelled back centuries in a flash. Here’s a quick guide to Bath England if you find yourself in the city for a day.
Bath as a Day Trip from London
The most popular and cost effective way to travel to Bath from London is by train. The trip takes 1 hour and 40 minutes from London Paddington Station and a round trip is entirely possible to do in a day. I always opt for train travel when I can as I find the train a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery. The trip to Bath was a great little escape as Bath is not as busy as the surrounding towns of Oxford and Bristol.
The Main Attractions
The Royal Crescent is one of the prettiest streets in the United Kingdom and Bath’s most popular sight to see. The row of 30 identical terraced houses were constructed in the 18th-Century and were once used as holiday homes for the affluent and royals of England. The row of terrace houses sits adjacent to a green lawn overlooking Royal Victoria Park.
The Roman Baths are one of the most popular paid attractions in Bath. The ancient thermal springs were once open for public bathing and religious ceremonies but today are open only for viewing. The historic site provides a great insight into the history of the city. There is also the opportunity to take a look at the ruins of the Temple, and you can even have a taste of the spring water if you dare. Tourism sites state “the taste is an acquired taste”, whereas my brother claims the water “is warm and tastes like metal.”
The Roman Baths are located in the city centre.
Following a visit to the Roman Baths, the other place you can’t miss in Bath is Bath Abbey. The history of the sacred church stretches as far back as Anglo-Saxon times. The building we see today dates from 1499 and is now an active parish church. The Abbey can be visited on a daily basis and is a beautiful sight to see.
The Jane Austen Centre
The Jane Austen Centre is one of the highlights of spending a day in Bath. Inside the centre you will find writings, artwork and props used to educate and celebrate the life and literature of Jane Austen. Jane Austen lived in Bath for a short time from 1801 to 1806.
I loved how the staff members were dressed in costume as character’s from Austen’s books as they lead small groups through the exhibit. You can even try on a costume yourself at the end of the tour. Make sure you allow enough time to visit the gift shop as inside you will find all sorts of rare and beautiful gifts and Jane Austen paraphernalia.
Bath Assembly Rooms
The Bath Assembly Rooms make for a beautiful stop before or after visiting the Jane Austen Centre. I popped my head in afterwards to admire the beautiful rooms and original chandeliers. The rooms are free to enter.
Enjoy more of Bath
There are many wonderful ways to enjoy Bath beyond the famous attractions. A wander through the streets will lead you to many cosy cafes and beautiful old pubs.
I visited a couple of independent bookstores on my walk back to the station. Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights is a bookstore to add to your list.
I look forward to visiting Bath again and uncovering more of the perfectly preserved ancient city.