Bath, England offers plenty of history. Whether you’re interested in seeing cathedrals, Jane Austen’s home, or the famous Roman baths, this town has you covered. Here you can indulge in luxurious hot springs and spas and high-end restaurants if you feel like breaking the bank. But while the city has a lot of luxury to offer, there are many free things to do here that make it a great day trip from nearby Bristol. Since it’s expensive, however, unless you are really into spas I would suggest visiting here as a day trip — don’t bother staying over. The biggest draw to the city are the ancient Roman Baths and they don’t take that long to see. If you plan to stay longer, this travel guide can help give you ideas to fill your days.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Bath
1. The Roman Baths
2. Royal Victoria Park
3. Bath Abbey
4. The Royal Crescent
5. Pulteney Bridge
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Victoria Art Gallery
This important city gallery contains 600 oil paintings and over 5,000 pieces of art of other mediums. Like all national museums in England, entrance is free though it costs 4 GBP to see the large exhibitions.
2. Take a hot bath
In the heart of Bath is the Thermae Bath Spa, just one block away from the original Roman Baths. This is the only place in Britain where you can bathe in natural hot waters so if you want to experience what the Romans felt, head over here. However, the spa is not cheap (expect to pay around 70 GBP for a basic treatment) so if you are on a tight budget, skip it. Maybe just go home and take a hot bath instead.
3. The Jane Austen Exhibition
Bath has a permanent collection of Jane Austen memorabilia. She used to live here, and now her home functions as a museum. If you are a literary fan, they do a great job giving you information about her life and works. Admission costs 11 GBP, with discounts available.
4. Walcot Street
This is considered Bath’s Camden Town. It is very bohemian and filled with bargain antiques in many of the shops. On the weekends, there is an open air market. You can find an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants here so be sure to spend some time exploring.
5. Hershel Museum of Astronomy
This is an awesome museum to check out if you are interested in the history and science of astronomy. The house is where William Hershel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781, and it also contains what was once the world’s most powerful telescope. Adult admission is 6.50 GBP, with discounts available for kids, students, seniors, and groups.
6. Watch a cricket match
Checking out a cricket game on Saturdays or Sundays can be great fun. It’s a popular sport in England. Though games can run very long, learning about the English’s love of cricket will teach you something about English culture.
7. Experience the world of fashion
The Fashion Museum (formerly known as the Museum of Costume) contains over 30 000 pieces of clothing items and accessories that date back to the 16th century. Admission is 8.25 GBP, with discounts available for seniors, students, and kids.
8. Learn about Bath’s working history
The Bath at Work museum takes a unique angle to show the working history of the city — it focuses on the rise of one family’s bottling business in the age of mechanization. If you do have any interest in social history or the rise of industrialization, you should consider a visit. I liked it but then again I’m a nerdy history major! Admission is 6 GBP.