Since Bath is only an hour and a half away from London, I have no idea why it took this long to get there! Good things come to those who wait though (sort of), so when I was offered train tickets to any First Great Western destination – my Bath daydreams came true. We spent a very packed 24 hours in the most traditional of British cities I’ve seen. Here are my tips for a wonderfully British Bath city break.
There are so many fancy hotels in Bath, it’s hard to pick a favourite! Let’s be honest though, they’re also expensive so price is a major factor in choosing even a single night in Bath. Some beautiful places to stay include: The Royal Crescent Hotel, The Abbey Hotel, The Bath Priory, Apsley House and The Halcyon. We managed to bag an excellent deal for The Francis Hotel and had a super relaxing stay.
The Francis Hotel is right on Queen Square, opposite the Jane Austen museum and perfectly placed for trips into the centre to shop and take ‘tea’. I liked how cute the rooms were, decorated with illustrations of all the attractions in Bath and plush cushions. There was even this awesome old style phone!
If there’s one thing you must do in Bath, it’s book yourself an Afternoon Tea somewhere. I’d only heard good things about The Pump Room at the Roman Baths, so went ahead and booked a table for two to make sure we didn’t miss out. When it’s busy, you could be looking at a 45 min wait if you haven’t booked, and during the summer you might not even get a look in – it’s that popular!
It definitely didn’t disappoint. We had more than enough for two people with a ‘Traditional Bath Afternoon Tea’, and I even ordered a ‘Bath Bun’ just to try it!
I bloody love afternoon tea. I could eat it for every meal, every day – not only because the portions are petite and perfectly sized for my appetite. I reckon it’s a pretty healthy way to eat too – little bits that make a meal last a couple of hours. While we ate, a quartet played on in the background and they even went through a couple of renditions of Happy Birthday while staff sneaked out with cupcakes and candles for the lucky guests. Quite a few people were enjoying some civilised tea for their special day!
For a place so small, there’s actually a heck of a lot to explore. We made sure our short 24 hours there were packed with things to do. First up was exploring the architecture that’s made Bath so famous. We spent a couple of hours wandering the Roman Baths with the audio guide pressed against our ears and trying to take the perfect photo of the naturally hot water. Then we walked over to Bath Abbey and up to the Royal Crescent, relaxing on the green with a mini picnic and a selfie session with the view! The next day we got up super early and trotted down to the Thermae Spa to try and miss the queues. We struck lucky by getting there at 9am and joining the queue of only 10 other people! 20 mins later the line behind us had grown considerably – Us 1 – Them 0. A couple of hours later we left the spa completely relaxed and ready for a nap but we had a date with the Jane Austen museum and a big plate of scones.
Bath city break tips
- Spend a couple of hours in the Roman Baths with your camera
- Go early (i.e. 9am) for the Thermae Spa and skip the afternoon or evening queues
- Try on Victorian clothes at the Jane Austen museum
- Walk up to Royal Victoria Park for glorious views over Bath
- In the summer, pay £1 each to get into the Parade Gardens and listen to the brass band
- Go shopping! There are so many shops and boutiques to explore, including one called ’25 December’, which I’m sure you can guess what it sells!
What’s your favourite thing to do in Bath? Let me know in the comments!please note: some header images are from unsplash.com