Bath Somerset An insider’s guide what to see and do.

Visitors swimming in the rooftop Bath.
The new rooftop Bath at the Thermae complex. Bath abbey is in the background.

For over 2000 years, the small Somerset city of Bath has attracted tourists to its hot thermal baths. It is a compact city ideal for taking a walking tour or visiting one of the many museums. The city is also a Unesco world heritage site with a wealth of independent shops. In 2018 Bath attracted over six million visitors and tourism added over four hundred million pounds to the local economy.

Bath is blessed with beautiful parks as well as a canal and a river if you want some exercise during your visit.  Royal Victoria park covers 57 acres and includes Bath’s botanic garden and a superb children’s adventure playground and café.  Parade gardens over looking the river Avon has regular band concerts. You can enjoy an ice cream while sitting in a deckchair.

Visitors enjoying the sun in Parade Gardens
A summer’s day in Parade gardens which overlooks the river Avon. Photo provided by Visit Bath.

Bath is  nestled in the Avon valley between the Cotswolds and the Mendips in the cider apple growing county of Somerset.

If you are feeling more energetic you might like to tackle the six mile Bath skyline walk which provides splendid views of the nearby hills or cycle the thirteen miles along a disused railway track which has been converted into a cycle way to Bristol. 

Plan your visit

A brief guide to Bath 

The Royal Crescent Bath in the sunshine
The Royal Crescent

My family have had a long association with Bath. My father went to school in the city and I grew up close by. However it is only since I retired that I have become interested in its history. I hope through my blog I will be able to offer some suggestions for tourists beyond the guidebook. 

Bath tourist office has details of hotels and sightseeing tours.

Bath is famous for its well preserved Roman baths but it markets itself as a Georgian city thanks to its fine houses built of honey coloured limestone. If you would like some of my suggestions for walking tours 

Details of free walking tours can also be obtained from the tourist information office. I would also recommend catching one of the many open top sightseeing buses. Bath is also famous for its music and literary festival and its Christmas market held ever year in the streets surrounding Bath abbey.

Famous residents

A couple wearing 18th century clothing.
A couple dressed in costume for the Jane Austen festival.

Bath is proud of its association with Jane Austen who lived in the city for a few years though I am not sure that she was very happy there.  If you like her work you can find out more at the Jane Austen centre. 

Another famous resident was William Herschel who was an organist in the city. He was also a keen amateur astronomer and working with his sister Caroline he discovered the planet Uranus while living in the city. I recommend visiting the house where he lived which is now a museum and marvel at the telescopes he made himself. herschelmuseum.org.uk/

 

If you leave the centre of the city I recommend a visit to Prior Park a national trust garden or for a more unusual museum how about visiting the museum of Bath stone.

The bridge at Prior Park
The bridge at prior Park has been described as one of the most romantic places to get engaged in the west country

 

Some of the images on this page are used with permission from VisitBath.