Traveler’s Guide to Bath

Traveler’s Guide to Bath: An Insider’s Perspective

In the spring of 2018, I had the incredible opportunity to study and live in what quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world: Bath, UK. I can’t say enough about the exceptional study program I was part of (learn more about Advanced Studies in England on their website), the warm and welcoming people, and the charming city itself. You can find countless guidebooks and blog posts detailing the must-see sights in Bath, but here are my personal recommendations. Enjoy this comprehensive guide to Bath!

Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths

No guide to Bath could start without mentioning its most central building. Bath Abbey is the most prominent feature of the Bath skyline. It’s not just a navigational landmark; it’s a stunning piece of architecture that will leave you in awe. Whether you’re trying to find your way back to the city center or just marveling at its beauty, Bath Abbey is indispensable.

Listen for the bells to keep track of time when your phone battery inevitably dies. The exterior is a photographer’s dream, with no bad angles, but the real magic happens inside. The interior of Bath Abbey is simply breathtaking, with intricate details and a serene atmosphere.

Even though I fell in love with every church I stumbled upon in England, Bath Abbey holds a special place in my heart because it’s part of this beloved city. The people here are incredibly kind and welcoming. If you’re not afraid of heights, the Tower Tour comes highly recommended by everyone who’s taken it.

Bonus Tip: Check out St. John’s on St. John’s Road and St. Mary’s churchyard right next door for more architectural wonders and peaceful spots.

The Jane Austen Centre and Regency Tea Room

Guide to Bath - Regency Tea Room

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a guide to Bath must mention Jane Austen. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of her novels or simply enjoy a good cup of tea and cake, this place is a must-visit. The museum offers fascinating insights into Austen’s life in Bath, and the Regency Tea Room upstairs provides a delightful experience. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop for some unique Austen-themed souvenirs.

Pulteney Bridge & Pulteney Weir

Guide to Bath - Pulteney

During my time in Bath, I crossed Pulteney Bridge daily on my way to classes. This historic bridge, bustling with tourists taking selfies as seagulls surround them, offers a unique charm.

Fans of musical theatre might recognize it from the scene of Javert’s suicide in the recent adaptation of “Les Misérables.” Whether you’re there to people-watch or enjoy the antics of the seagulls, Pulteney Bridge and Weir offer endless entertainment.

The Royal Crescent and Victoria Park

Guide to Bath - Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent and Victoria Park are iconic landmarks in any guide to Bath, and they’re conveniently close to each other. Spend some time in Victoria Park soaking up the sun or watching the playful dogs, then head over to the Royal Crescent.

Fun fact: Nicolas Cage once bought a house here but removed the number to keep it secret, making it famously known as “the house with no number on it.” Not the most effective plan, but an interesting tidbit nonetheless!

The Green Rocket Cafe

Guide to Bath - Green Rocket Vegan Brekky
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The Green Rocket Cafe holds a special place in my heart. With its friendly staff, delicious food (including numerous vegan and gluten-free options), and excellent coffee, it’s a spot you can’t miss. My personal favorites are their stir-fry and onion rings, and if you’re there in the morning, the vegan breakfast is a must-try. Be sure to save room for a slice of their delectable cake!

Other Noteworthy Spots in Bath

  • SouthGate: A modern shopping area with a variety of stores and eateries.
  • Gongfu Tea: A lovely spot for tea enthusiasts with a wide selection of brews.
  • Henrietta Park: A tranquil park perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
  • The Boater: A great pub with a beautiful riverside location, perfect for relaxing with a drink. It’s also the title of the opening poem to my first poetry book, Mistakes Were Made!

Practical Tips for Visitors

Using our guide to Bath can be a breeze with a few insider tips. From getting around the city to choosing the best times to visit, these practical suggestions will help you make the most of your trip.

Getting Around:

Bath is a compact city, ideal for exploring on foot. Most major attractions are within walking distance. For those who prefer public transportation, the city has a reliable bus network operated by First Bus. The Bath Bus Company also offers hop-on-hop-off tours, providing a great overview of the city.

Parking

If you’re driving, parking can be a bit of a challenge in Bath. There are several long-stay car parks, including Charlotte Street Car Park and Avon Street Car Park. Be sure to check the signs for parking regulations and fees.

Train and Bus Stations

Bath Spa train station is centrally located and well-connected to major cities like London, Bristol, and Cardiff. The bus station is right next to the train station, making transfers between different modes of transport easy.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Bath is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be busy with tourists, and winter, while quieter, can be quite chilly and wet.

Day Trips from Bath

Bath’s central location makes it an excellent base for exploring other fascinating destinations. Here are some exciting day trips that offer a glimpse into the rich history and diverse attractions of the surrounding region.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Just a short drive from Bath, Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. The ancient stone circle, dating back over 5,000 years, remains one of England’s most enigmatic and iconic sites. It’s worth booking a tour to learn more about its history and significance.

The Cotswolds

Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are renowned for their charming villages, rolling hills, and beautiful landscapes. Highlights include Bibury, known for its picturesque Arlington Row cottages, and Bourton-on-the-Water, often referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds.” A day trip here is perfect for experiencing quintessential English countryside.

Bristol

Bristol

Just a 15-minute train ride from Bath, Bristol is a vibrant city with a rich maritime history. Visit the SS Great Britain, explore the bustling Harbourside, and check out the street art, including works by the famous Banksy. Bristol’s diverse food scene and lively nightlife also make it a great destination for a day trip.

Wells

Wells

The smallest city in England, Wells is home to a stunning cathedral and the unique Bishop’s Palace with its moat and gardens. The city’s medieval architecture and quaint streets make it a delightful place to explore.

Cardiff

Cardiff

A bit further afield, but easily reachable by train, Cardiff is the capital of Wales and offers a mix of modern attractions and historical sites. Explore Cardiff Castle, take a stroll around the scenic Cardiff Bay, and visit the National Museum Cardiff to learn about Welsh history and culture. The city’s vibrant shopping and dining scenes add to its appeal as a day trip destination.

Bath is a city that captures the heart of anyone who visits. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and friendly locals make it a destination you’ll want to return to again and again. I cannot recommend a visit to Bath enough!

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8 Comments

  1. …Would you believe that I never ate at the Green Rocket. I passed by it 100 times.

    1. forthesakeofgoodtaste says:

      I guess you’ll have to visit again, just to check it out! 😉

    1. forthesakeofgoodtaste says:

      I love it so much <3 I hope you do get to experience it yourself!

    1. forthesakeofgoodtaste says:

      It’s a lovely place!

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