Last Updated: 8/29/22 | August 29th, 2022
The Romans came here when they invaded Britain because of the hot springs that bubble up from the earth. The local people thought this place had spiritual significance, and when the Romans came, they felt the same and dedicated this site to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. Despite being on the edge of the frontier, the city grew to become a major religious and cultural center. People came from all around to pray to Minerva and use the baths, which they believed had special healing powers.
After the Roman Empire crumbled, so too did the baths of Bath. Over the centuries, the Roman structure collapsed and the city was built over them. Medieval leaders eventually constructed their own baths, and pilgrims came to the hot springs in order to be healed of various ailments. Time and construction hid the original Roman structure, a new spa was constructed nearby, and life in Bath went on.
In the early 19th century, the owners of the house on top of the original baths hired a crew to find the source of water leaks and stumbled upon the ancient structure. Subsequent digging revealed the whole complex, and soon excavations were underway to unearth this historic treasure.
Today, most of the structure has been unearthed, though archaeologists suspect there are still a few more buildings in the area.
Now, everyone wants to visit Bath to check out these ancient Roman baths in England! It’s the most popular thing to do here.
The ancient Roman baths are inspiring. Since the city is built on top of them, you enter from street level, where a terrace lets you look down into the baths, which are over six feet below the ground. The preservation techniques employed here are excellent, and this is one of the best-preserved Roman sites I’ve ever seen.
The audio tour, which is narrated by famed travel writer Bill Bryson, gives an amazing level of detail and information. The displays do a wonderful job of explaining the history of Bath, the Roman occupation, the significance behind all the artifacts, and the excavation process. I always hate walking away from historic sites with questions, but Bath’s displays and audio tour are so complete that I had none.
I’m always amazed by Roman engineering, especially their sewer and aqueduct system. It’s amazing that a people primitive in so many ways could build piping, heating, and sewer systems that were so complex. The history geek in me finds it all fascinating.
The city’s allure isn’t just the Roman baths, though, but also the historic abbey, where famed philosopher Thomas Malthus is entombed. Plus, the town is beautiful, and most of the buildings are as they appeared a few centuries ago. I don’t know what architectural style they’re built in, but if I had to guess, I’d say “pretty.”
One of the real highlights for me was the river in town. Parks line the Avon River, and people lounge out with picnics as the famous Pulteney Bridge overlooks a little cascade in the river. The bridge is covered with shops and reminded me of the covered bridges in Florence.
All over England, people kept telling me, “Ohh, you’ll like Bath. It’s really nice.” They were right. The only thing I didn’t like was my camera battery dying halfway through my trip, leaving me far short of all the pictures I would have taken. Bath is a real gem.
How to Get to Bath, England
For a day trip, trains run from London take around 90 minutes. One-way fares start around 40 GBP. Buses from London take about 2hrs 30min and cost around 10 GBP each way.
If you have a car, it’s about a 2hr 30min drive from London. Use Discover Cars if you want to rent a vehicle. They have the best selection and prices.
If you’re coming from nearby Bristol, the trip is only around 30 minutes by car. Trains from Bristol run regularly and take around 15 minutes, costing 10 GBP each way.
How to Visit the Roman Baths in England
The Roman Baths are right in the center of Bath on Stall St. The entrance is in Abbey Church Yard. Opening hours vary depending on the season so check the website for an up-to-date schedule (they are generally open from 9am-5pm, however, with extended hours in the summer).
Admission costs 27.50 GBP on weekends and 25.50 GBP on weekdays. Audio guides are free.
For a more detailed experience, take a guided walking tour around the city with Get Your Guide. You’ll learn a ton about the city and have a much more in-depth experience before you explore the baths.
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Book Your Trip to Bath: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My two favorite places to stay here are:
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Bath?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Bath for even more planning tips!