Bath is one of those cities – timeless, built on history and a true gem in the British tourism crown.
A favourite trip of ours, this easily accessible city is home to great food, great attractions, great shopping and most importantly, great scenery. There are beautiful hills surrounding this magnolia-coloured city, built from the distinct limestone that sits under the hills and the city itself.
Fun facts about Bath that I found out in our time there:
Did you know it’s the only (entire) city in Britain to be a World Heritage Site?
Did you know there are only 3 natural thermal springs in the UK and they are ALL in Bath?
Did you know that there are actually 7 crescents in Bath, not just the famous Royal Crescent?
Easy to get to via car or train, 2 hours from London via train or 2 hours from Birmingham, visiting Bath can be a day trip or a long weekend outing. If you have longer to stay in the Bath there is plenty more to discover in this quintessential English city.
After recently going for a special trip there which you can read on Average Chap and watch on Youtube, we thought we wanted to share a perfect 24 hours in Bath and give you some recommendations on how to spend your time in Bath, full of food, fun, discovery and ultimate relaxation.
A great trip starts with a great base. Somewhere to unwind and call home, just for a few hours. Here are a few we recommend.
This brand new hotel from Premier Inn is straightforward and centrally located. Complete with everything you would expect from Premier Inn, we’ve found them to be consistent and a good option for accommodation when away.
This über luxury hotel and spa is set just on the West of Bath city centre. Beautifully set in the countryside you can enjoy Michelin-starred dining, spa packages and fine wines from the privately owned wine cellar. This beautiful hotel is set on a large estate with plenty of activities to keep you occupied and offers a relaxing place to come back to after a day of sightseeing.
Saco is the option for those want a true home away from home. Staying in the studio apartment gives you the freedom to cook and relax as though you’re in your own place. You can shop at the city’s markets and bring your food home to cook up. It’s a great option for flexibility.
Not always the obvious choice but a youth hostel can provide the right mix of atmosphere and value for money. YHA Bathwick is housed in a gorgeous traditional-style building. Whether you’re a solo traveller looking for convenience or to meet people or you’re in a group that wouldn’t fit into a hotel room, you can be sure a YHA dorm will do the trick.
Yes I said castle. Because – why not? This is a unique offering by private owners. The grounds are all the needs of a monarch; spacious rooms, gardens, fine dining and adults-only spa. Located just outside Bath, the castle provides a great base for other attractions in the area like Longleat, Wookey Hole and Stonehenge.
It is wise to book well in advance as there is a very good reason we recommend these place to eat in Bath.
Set on the grounds of the famous Roman Baths, the Pump room has a huge airy atmosphere with the best of British elegance. You can also see parts of the Roman Baths and taste the water directly from the natural spring. They are open for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea, but we recommend stopping by for Breakfast – all to the tune of the Violin Trio or Pianist that play every day.
Some pitch The Firehouse as Bath’s answer to Nando’s. A big challenge in our books, we’d certainly call the Firehouse Rotisserie a good and proper BBQ restaurant. Rotisserie Chickens famed for their Lemon and Herb, Texan Herb or Cuban spices are the talk of the town. So much so the restaurant has a pretty high demand for a table and has been named one of the best American restaurants in the UK.
A true diamond in the Bath culinary scene, this tiny 6 table restaurant and bar boasts enough atmosphere to fill the Nou Camp. Authentic bar tapas, fabulous wines and dishes served up by the Spanish staff brought together by live music make this one of Bath’s best. Booking is almost essential but the staff will do their best to accommodate you. We recommend for Dinner
With only 24 hours in Bath we can’t recommend all of the places to drink and socialise so here are our 2 favourites. At both ends of the scale but not too far from each other to visit them both, you can opt for one of the best cocktail bars in the country or a traditional pub serving unmistakable Somerset cider.
A brilliant intimate cocktail bar with secluded garden set underground at the top of Bath High St. All of the cocktails are made by incredibly talented bartenders set against a backdrop of lounge music, comfy chic and private socialising.
Set almost next door to both Firehouse Rotisserie and Ole Tapas, a drink before or after your meal is a must at the Raven. Go upstairs to enjoy the light and airy pub, grabbing a seat near the windows to watch Bath’s tourists and residents about their day. Sample some authentic Somerset cider and if you really want, their pies don’t look too bad either.
If there is one thing to do in Bath, it is this. There are spas and then there is Thermae Bath Spa. Set in the centre of Bath, visible from the original Roman baths, this spa is set on 6 floors of indulgence at its best. Filled with the waters of the natural springs for which Bath is famed, you have the choice of pool, therapeutic steam rooms and the stunning rooftop pool. If you do visit, you can perhaps skip lunch elsewhere and have it at the Spring Restaurant which serves up fantastic health-driven yet tasty food. (Read further about our recent visit on Average Chap.)
The largest tourist attraction in Bath and the most important for learning the history of the city. It costs a reasonable £14 per adult. This is one of the most well-presented historic attractions we’ve been to. We recommend going early as the queues can get quite long.
Royal Crescent and Kings Circus
The best way to fit these attractions in is to do it first or last in your day as they are a little way out of town, it’s a good walk or a brief drive. Getting to Bath around midday, you can drive there before check-in and soak up the Georgian scenery. The Royal Crescent is a probably the most “selfie” worthy spot in Bath. The Royal Crescent and Kings Circus are home to Bath’s celebrities. At £2m plus per townhouse, they are two of the most iconic scenes in Bath and of Georgian Architecture. Seeing this monumental buildings makes it easy to understand why Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are lucky you might catch Johnny Depp hanging around his town house on the Circus.
The Abbey and The Rec
The Abbey is very difficult to miss. Set in the middle of town, next to the Roman baths and towering above the skyline, it is open during the day and no visit to Bath would be complete (or possible) without setting your eyes on the building. From behind the Abbey you can walk to look out over the River Avon and the dramatic oval shaped water feature that lets the water cascade in a unique and captivating way. From here you can also see “The Rec” – Bath Rugby Football Club’s home ground. Set on the banks of the River Avon, the uniquely placed stadium is testament to the spirit of Bath and its connection to British sporting heritage. The England Rugby Club training grounds are close by next to the hugely successful Bath University sports club facilities.
Arrive in Bath 12:00
Do : Royal Crescent and Kings Circus
Lunch : Firehouse Rotisserie
Do : Shopping
Do : The Abbey
Chillout : The Raven
Dinner : Ole Tapas
Drinks : Sub13
Breakfast : The Pump Room
Do : Roman Baths
Lunch : Springs Restaurant
Do : Thermae Bath Spa
That should be roughly 24 hours well spent in Bath
Travel to Bath via Car
BA1 5LW – Avon Street Car Park – a good central cheaper car park. Parking is expensive in Bath, expect £10 per day.
Manchester – M6 & M5 – 4 hours
Birmingham – M5 – 2 hours
Newcastle – A1, M1 & M5 – 5 hours
London – M3 – 3 hours
Southampton – A36 – 2 hours
Cornwal – A30 & M5 – 3 hours