Things to do in and around Bath

The stunning UNESCO world heritage site of Bath is one of the most romantic cities in the UK. Built upon the ancient Roman city, Bath is so named for its famous natural thermal springs, which drew the Italians in the 2nd century BC. As well as the natural resources beneath the ground, the stunning rural location of the city wasn’t lost on the Georgians, who made Bath a social hub in the 18th Century. Their legacy lives on in the breath-taking architecture of honey limestone mansions and townhouses, many of which now house high-street shops and independent eateries.

Whether you’re planning to spend the day in the city or take your loved one for a romantic weekend away, Bath activities abound, and there’s plenty of options for every type of visit. 

Visit the Jane Austin centre

Jane Austin is undoubtedly Bath’s most famous resident. Her classic novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility have put Bath on the proverbial map. Now you can learn more about the woman behind the quill at the Jane Austin centre, one of the most popular things to do in Bath. The guides are actors dressed in period costumes, ready to walk you through Jane Austin’s world. Try your hand at writing with a real quill or don your own bonnet and take part in the immersive Austin experience. 

Indulge in afternoon tea at the Royal Crescent

Afternoon tea is an English tradition, and what better location to enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury treats than at Bath’s stunning Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa. Enter the luxurious surroundings of the five-star hotel and walk through to the perfectly manicured gardens, where rows of lavender line Cotswold-stone pathways. Your afternoon tea includes a selection of delicious finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and homemade pastries, all washed down with a tea of your choice.

Take a ride up the river Avon

A great option for groups of all ages, take a boat ride up the river Avon to the famous Pulteney Weir. There are several boat operators to choose from, some of which have their own cafes on board, as well as heated cabins and open top decks, for those balmy summer days.

Thermae Bath spa

In this fast-paced world, we all need a little time to relax. The Thermae Bath spa is just the place to wind down and take it easy for a few glorious hours. The ultra-modern glass building in the heart of the city features a range of steam rooms and pools, which use water from the Bath natural springs. Thermae Bath spa offer a range of treatments, to ease those aching muscles and de-stress tired minds.

The Roman Baths

Over 2000 years ago, the Romans developed the natural thermae springs into a spectacular bath house, complete with wet and dry steam rooms, temples and multiple baths. As the centuries past, some of the original building fell into disrepair, and were replaced by newer iterations of public bath houses. The result is a fascinating amalgamation of social and architectural history, which can still be enjoyed to this day. The Roman Baths are also home to many enchanting archaeological finds, such as coins, jewellery and the most intriguing, the Roman curse tablets.

Get active at West Country Games

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Somerset countryside, West Country Games is a wild and wacky way to spend a day in the South West! Celebrating all things ‘Somersetian’, the outdoor activity circuit features nine crazy games, perfect for a Bath hen weekend or just a day out with family and friends. Pitch fork duels, Mangold danglin, Welly wanging and Vicky Pollard handbags are some of the hilarious challenges you and your group will face on the day, all guaranteed to have everyone in hysterics. Or try Welsh Games, for a Cymru-themed alternative! Voted number one on TripAdvisor for things to do in Cardiff, Welsh Games offer nine side-splitting challenges including Duffin Daffyd, Rugby run and Sheep Shenanigans. Located just outside of Cardiff, it’s a brilliant day out for groups of all sizes.

Have a stroll around Bradford on Avon

Just a twenty-minute train ride out of Bath is the beautiful country town of Bradford on Avon. Cotswold-esq buildings line the small streets, home to independent shops and welcoming pubs with warming log fires. Meandering through the market town is the river Avon, the perfect place to take a stroll and enjoy the rolling hills and countryside. The Kennet and Avon canal runs in parallel to the river, where you can hire bikes and cycle along the tow path. Don’t forget to sneak in a few pitstop pints along the way!

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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