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8 Great Things To Do On A Bath Day Trip

8 Great Things To Do On A Bath Day Trip

8 Great Things To Do On A Bath Day Trip

Discover the city that spans the divide between Georgian aristocrats and contemporary hipsters in our day trip to Bath. Explore Roman temples, designer boutiques and everything in between.  

In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen wrote of aristocrats negotiating a day trip to Bath ‘to see and be seen’. Little has changed today.  Just as enticing as they were in the 18th century, the many splendid things to do in Bath draw people from far and wide. It’s so beautiful, the whole place has been certified a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Enjoy a thermal spa, socialise in Georgian tea houses, shop for designer goods and stroll honey-hued lanes bursting with impressive architecture. But there’s more to Bath than high society. Part hipster, part posh, the town straddles the divide between quirky independent shops and glamorous boutiques. There’s no surprise it’s up there with Oxford as one of our favourite UK cities.

Blessed with a combination of Roman remnants, including one of the worlds best preserved bathhouses, and Georgian grace, there’s a charming, yet energetic element to Bath that makes it perfect for a day trip.  

Our guide covers all the best things to do in Bath on a day trip, plus tips on where to eat and where to stay if the allure of the city becomes too much.

// Booking your trip via the links on this page (or on our book page) will earn us a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support – Paul & Mark.

State of roman emperor at bath spa

MAP / THINGS TO DO IN BATH

We’ve put all the wonderful things to do in Bath we have listed in this guide on a map to help you navigate this charming British city. To save the map, click on the star beside the title which will add it to YOUR MAPS on your Google account.

BATH DAY TRIP / MORNING

Start your Bath day trip with a coffee from Society Café. Their weekly rotating guest roast is carefully brewed to perfection. It’s best enjoyed with a pastry sitting on Kingsmead Square just in front of the café.  

ROMAN BATHS

After coffee, head to the Roman Baths. A Roman temple was first built on this site around the year 70BCE. It sits on top of a natural thermal spring which still flows to this day. The highlights are the Great Bath surrounded by a stunning terrace and the sacred pool, the focal point for Roman worship. It’s a popular tourist spot but an unmissable attraction on a day out in Bath.

Read More – Walking the best of Hadrian’s Wall


Roman Baths / 10am to 6pm weekdays; 9am to 6pm weekends (last entry 5pm) | Price: £27 (weekends); £25 weekdays) | Tickets: must be booked online in advance.

Overlooking the great bath and Roman terrace in Bath, UK.

CITY CENTRE & GREEN STREET

After the baths, stroll around the tiny lanes south of the Roman Baths. Explore Church Street and its small independent shops and tea rooms. Try the famous Bath Bun (a milk-based sweet bun) from Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House or the Bath Bun Tea Shoppe. For a more artisan experience, the coffee at Mokoko gets our tick of approval.  

BATH ABBEY

Next, head to Bath Abbey. The site has been a place of worship for eons, but the existing building was built between the 12th and 16th centuries. It’s an ostentatious gothic structure with an extraordinary fan-vaulted ceiling. The towering stained-glass window at the end of the nave is a breath-taking combination of engineering and art.

Bath Abbey / 10am to 5pm Mon-Fri; 10am to 6pm Sat; 12pm to 2pm Sun | Price: Free | Tickets: Services must be booked in advance. | Tower: only available by private tour.

old style tea room in quaint cobbled laneway
Towering gothic cathedral in Bath, UK, in front of a blue sky

BATH DAY TRIP / AFTERNOON

Kick off the afternoon of your Bath day trip with lunch. We recommend Chai Walla for their Indian street food with a range of vegan and vegetarian options to pick up and go. Alternatively, Same Same But Different has a great selection of creative sandwiches, supported by a healthy array of Tapas goodies.

PULTENEY BRIDGE

Head next to Pulteney Bridge, the photogenic icon spanning the River Avon. It’s unusual for that fact that it’s one of only four bridges in the world that has shops across its full span on both sides. This impressive example of Georgian architecture is best photographed with the arched weir in front.

old bridge with shops on top in front of a curved weir

BATH CIRCUS & ASSEMBLY ROOMS

The Bath Circus is a circular formation of Georgian townhouses made up of three curved segments. Architect, John Wood was fascinated with the Druid’s who build many prehistoric stone circles. Influences include masonic symbols such as serpents and acorns built into the façade.

Continue to the Assembly Rooms, a high society hang-out in the 18th century. Stroll through the Tea Room, Ball Room, Card Room and Great Octagon to the small formal garden in the centre.

Bath Assembly Rooms / 10am to 5pm Tue-Sun | Price: £9.50 | Tickets: entry is currently only possible to the Fashion Museum which must be booked online in advance.

THE ROYAL CRESCENT

Adjoining the Bath Circus, the Royal Crescent continues the masonic theme with a design representing the sun and the moon. But stars abound inside the lavish Georgian residences as well. The good and the great of Bath society have called this most prestigious address home since the 18th century. Ambling around the sweeping grand architecture of the Royal Crescent is a wonderful thing to do in Bath.    


Read more – Beautiful Cotswolds villages

a row of Georgian townhouses in front of a green lawn
a curve of beautiful georgian townhouses in Bath

VICTORIA PARK

Next, head to the nearby Victoria Park. Set across 57 acres, the park is a beautiful green space which includes the botanical gardens. Have a round of mini-golf or just stroll through the Dell, a small valley with paths winding through various tree species.

THERMAE SPA

Before dinner, enjoy Britain’s only natural thermal spa just as the Celts and Romans did 2,000 years ago – but a bit plusher. Come for a spa treatment, or just book a 2-hour session which gives you access to the mineral bath and the open-air rooftop pool. Soaking in the naturally heated pool as the sun fades is one of the best things to do in Bath.

Thermae Spa / 9am to 9pm | Price: from £35 | Bookings: online

Castle fort in front of green trees, Bath

BATH DAY TRIP / EVENING

The nightlife in Bath features traditional pubs, fancy cocktail bars and a vibrant food scene. Here are some ideas to round out a day trip to Bath.

DINNER

The list of great dinner spots in Bath is ever-expanding. Some of our favourites include Circus Restaurant, a cosy, classy establishment with a seasonal menu. The Scallop Shell has sensational fish and chips, and plenty more simply prepared options. Another great option is Noya’s Kitchen which started life as a Vietnamese supper club which proved so successful it’s now a restaurant.

DRINKS

It’s not just the thermal waters than run freely in Bath, there are plenty of great places to grab a drink. Canary Gin Bar, part of the Bath Gin Distillery has an inspiring list of gin-based cocktails we could easily work our way through. Opium Bar is a richly decorated, late-night hangout that hits the quirky/vintage stylings just right.

Set in an old bakery, Walcot House is a lively restaurant and bar with live music. Choose between swing and jazz in one room or disco, soul and R&B in another. Finally, for a more relaxed evening, the Star Inn is a traditional pub with no music and no fancy food (according to them).

OTHER THINGS TO DO ON A DAY OUT IN BATH

There are plenty more great things to do in Bath that we couldn’t feasibly squeeze into one day. Here are some more things that you can save for another trip.

PRIOR PARK LANDSCAPE GARDEN

Stroll the beautiful landscaped Prior Park Gardens featuring the thoroughly photogenic Palladian Bridge. With a scenic lake and situated at the top of a hill, there are also great views over Bath.

VICTORIA ART GALLERY

The permanent collection at the Victoria Art Gallery is free to enter and includes works from the 15th to the 20th centuries by famous artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Baker.

JANE AUSTEN CENTRE

The Jane Austen Centre is an interactive and immersive experience that focuses on the life and times of Jane Austen. In addition to the museum, they also organise walking tours around Bath highlighting aspects of her life in the city.

CRUISE THE RIVER AVON

Strolling along the banks of the River Avon is a wonderful thing to do in Bath. However, to experience this beautiful city from the water, take a river cruise from Pulteney Bridge out to the scenic Avon Valley.  




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