Famed for its hot springs, Bath is a city bathed in beauty. From its honey-colored Georgian crescents and well-preserved period buildings to its grand, tree-lined streets, the city's suave, sophisticated, and stately. Behind its historic façade lies a buzzing cosmopolitan heart with a wealth of bistros and boutiques as well as thriving nightlife scene. Culture's not lacking here either, with a raft of must-see museums and galleries offering insights into Bath's Roman roots.
Things to see
At the heart of this UNESCO-listed city is the Roman Baths – one of the world's best-preserved bathhouses. Ancient stone pavements, imposing columns and solid stone temples enclose the green-tinged waters of the hot springs, and while you can't bathe here, you can walk around the steaming pool and marvel at the magnificent architecture and breathe in the hot air. If you do fancy a dip, just across the road is the Thermae Bath Spa complex where you can wallow in the hot, mineral-rich spring waters just as the Romans once did (the only place in the UK you can). Bath is also home to England's last Gothic church, Bath Abbey. As you walk through its intricately carved wooden doorway, you're hit with a lavish interior complete with shimmering Victorian chandeliers, marble altarpiece and decorated vaulted ceilings. Views from the top of its tower give you a lovely look at the cityscape too. A sweeping semi-circle of stone-faceted terraced houses, Bath's Royal Crescent showcases some of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK, while its Botanical Gardens, found in Royal Victoria Park, is a rainbow of colors with red roses, rich green shrubs, and towering large-leafed trees.
Hotels in Bath
When it comes to accommodation, Bath's got it all – from five-star celebrity-favored haunts to cheap and cheerful digs. If it's luxury you're after, you can expect butler-like service, sprawling suites, and sensuous spa experiences – even a stay in a Grade-I listed residence. Family-friendly mid-range hotels in Bath are plentiful and most offer all the modern amenities you'd expect including flat-screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, and WiFi. On the cheaper end of the scale a couple of big budget chains have hotels in Bath so it's possible to pick up a bargain if you book early enough.
Where to stay
If you want to immerse yourself in the city and stay in the heart of all the action, look at hotels in Bath that are located around Walcot Street. From there you're literally seconds from Bath's buzzing high street and many artesan cafes and bistros. If you'd rather be closer to the city's top attractions such as the magical Roman Baths, the hotels dotted around Pierrepont Street are a good base. The leafy historical district is another convenient base and puts you close to Alice Park, University of Bath, and The Holburne Museum.
How to get to
Those heading to Bath by air will find Bristol International Airport's a convenient point of entry. Located 20 miles from Bath, the airport receives flights from a range of domestic and international destinations (and is far less busy than those in London). From the airport you can drive (traffic and parking can be problematic, mind) or catch a ride on the Flyer bus to Bristol Temple Meads station, and from there a connecting train to Bath (allow around an hour, all in all). Bath Spa station offers regular links with Bristol, London, Reading, Salisbury, Southampton, Weymouth, and Swindon.