Destinations UK

24 Hours In Bath, England

The beautiful and historic City of Bath, Somerset is only a 90-minute train ride from London and just under 15 minutes from Bristol.

Sitting on the banks of the River Avon in the south-west of England it has been home to the Ancient Britons, Romans and Saxons, made fashionable by the Georgians and bombed by the Germans.

Since 1987 the City of Bath has been designated a UNESCO world heritage centre.

The Pulteney Bridge

The Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon in Bath

Getting There

As mentioned, Bath is less than a 90-minute direct train ride from London, Paddington station. It is also only 15 minutes by train from the maritime city of Bristol.

If you were visiting by road 2000 years ago you would have used the Fosse Way but today, most non-Romans now use the M4 motorway. London to Bath is about 2 hours 30 minutes but as with most UK road trips, it can be shorter or considerably longer depending on the traffic.

If you are visiting London there are a number of tour companies that run daily trips from London to Stonehenge and Bath. These can be good if you do not have your own transport or only have a short time in the UK however, it can be a long day leaving before 8 a.m. and returning late in the evening.

What To See

Although not a big city there is still plenty to see and do in this wonderfully unique Somerset town. You won’t be able to cram it all into 24 hours but hopefully you will get a taste of the Georgian splendour and experience the highlights.

‘The Roman Baths’
The Roman Baths

The fascinating hots springs of the Roman Baths

The natural hot springs are the main reason for Bath’s existence. It has been a spa break destination for thousands of years. Step back 2000 years and visit the Roman Bath Complex which is open daily. You can read more about our visit to the Roman Baths here – Getting Steamy At The Roman Baths.

‘Bath Abbey’
Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey in the centre of the Bath

Bath Abbey was originally founded as a monastery in the 7th century. This was replaced by a Norman cathedral which lasted until the 15th century and finally the Abbey was constructed which is how it appears today.

Bath Abbey

Inside Bath Abbey looking east

The Abbey asks for a small suggested donation to enter and they do allow cameras and videos although tripods are not allowed.

At an additional charge there is a guided tour of the Abbey Tower. You get to climb the 212 steps to the top of the tower from where you can get uninterrupted views over Bath towards the countryside.

‘Tour Georgian Bath’
The Circus Bath

The Georgian architecture of the Circus, Bath

The city became fashionable in the 18th century with the building of many grand residential houses and boulevards designed by architects John Wood the Elder and his son John Wood the Younger. These include ‘The Circus’ and ‘The Royal Crescent’.

The best way to see the Georgian architecture is to simply walk the town. As well as The Circus and The Royal Crescent you must visit The Pulteney Bridge, Great Pulteney Street, The Pump Room and The Assembly Rooms.

‘Museums And Galleries’
Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum, Sydney Gardens, Bath

The Grade I listed building of the Holburne Museum, Sydney Gardens displays a large collection of fine and decorative arts based on the original collection of Sir William Holburne.

The building has been also been used as a film location for many period dramas and films including The Duchess starring Keira Knightley and Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon.

The museum is open 7 days a week and has free entry.

There are a number of other museums which are worth visiting if you have time including The Fashion Museum in the Assembly Rooms, the Georgian townhouse at No 1 Royal Crescent and the Victoria Art Gallery.

Where We Stayed
Jane Austen's House

Inside Jane Austen’s parlour, the picture above the fire shows the Austen family in the same location in 1801

For this trip we stayed in Jane Austen’s former house which is located at 4 Sydney Place, this is where the Austen family lived for three years from 1801. The ground floor apartment is known as ‘Emma’s Garden Apartment’ which included the original parlour.

Just be careful if you decide to lie on the sofa in your underwear as just outside is a popular spot for Jane Austen fans to pose for photographs. You don’t want then to look in and think that ‘Mr Darcy has let himself go!

You can see more of the apartment on our YouTube Channel.

Do you live in Bath or maybe you are a regular visitor. What are your ‘insider tips’ for our next visit.

 

Bath Pin

 

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  • Ojo Henley
    January 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I love Bath, and the surrounding areas. It helps that my husband has family there, so always an excuse to visit. My top tip would be to visit Bradford-on-Avon, it’s an utterly beautiful place to visit, so peaceful x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 28, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks for the tip, hopefully we will have a look at Bradford-on-Avon in the Spring

  • Angela
    January 28, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I have always wanted to go to Bath. It’s still on my list after all these years.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      You should go if you get the time, it’s one of our favourite UK towns.

  • Nat Deduck
    January 28, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Never heard of this place before! It looks so old and pretty! The roman baths seem like a cool place to go to relax!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 28, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      The Roman Baths are really interesting. There are now a modern Spa only 5 minutes walk from the original Roman Baths where you can experience and bath in the hot spring water.

  • Debra @ Traveling Well For Less
    January 29, 2017 at 4:04 am

    I haven’t been to Bath yet, hoping to get there this year. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about the UK, having to pay to enter the churches.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 29, 2017 at 9:31 am

      The fee wasn’t that much but understand your point, usually only the larger cathedrals charge. On the plus side most museums are free to get in.

  • Lillie
    January 29, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I love that Bath has been a “spa break” destination since Roman times, and is still used today! I’ve never visited, but that architecture has always struck me as magical, and I’d love to tour soon.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      You must go if you get the chance and go to the new Spa where you can experience the hot springs. Unfortunately, they were closed for maintenance when we were there in Jan.

  • Maddy
    January 29, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I’ve recently been to Bath and absolutely loved it. It’s so beautiful there, and I loved the Roman Baths. After reading your article I’m gutted I didn’t go inside Bath Abbey – next time I will!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      There a few things we missed on this trip too including afternoon tea in the Royal Crescent. Hope to go back in the Spring when it’s a bit warmer.

  • Chrysoula
    January 30, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Bath is one of my favourite cities and is doable in a day! I would love to go back anytime. Love your accommodation option as a big fan of Jane Austen. I have to look into it, next time.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 31, 2017 at 8:08 am

      It was interesting to stay in the Austen family house.

  • Stephanie Be
    January 31, 2017 at 1:13 am

    The church is beautiful! What a nice little treasure. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 31, 2017 at 8:06 am

      It is quite impressive.

  • Elaine J Masters
    January 31, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Looks like a wonderful time. Love that you stayed in Austen’s home too. I loved Bath long ago but preferred being there in the sunshine.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 31, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Yes anywhere is better in the sun but if you wait for the sun in the UK, you’ll end up going hardly anywhere.

  • Jennifer
    January 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    That’s funny about the apartment! I think I’d not stay there just because I wouldn’t want to be on show when hanging out in it.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 31, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      It’s not that bad unless you do like to hang around in your underwear. We don’t, honestly!
      They do have apartments on the upper floors which were the original Austen family bedrooms.

  • Lydia@LifeUntraveled
    January 31, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I had no idea Bath was so close to London! I would love to visit the ancient Roman baths and the city looks like a prefect place to spend a day as described here.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      If you have time when in London a day trip would be perfect.