A World's Heritage Site

You might think that Jane Austen lovers had cornered the market on Bath. But while you’ll find Jane’s acolytes strolling the Royal Crescent and admiring the Grand Pump Room (featured in her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion), Bath has so much more to offer. Exciting things to do in Bath include sampling creative cuisine, exploring excellent small museums, and revelling in the glorious, Instagram-worthy Georgian architecture.

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Baths to Blouses

Lists of attractions in Bath always start with the Roman Baths, and for good reason. Drawing visitors to this charming city since 70 AD, this magnificent complex of bathhouses was built by the Romans over Bath’s three natural hot springs (the water is a sweat-inducing 46°C/115°F). Admission to the Baths includes an audio guide, and there’s an excellent one made just for kids that includes entertaining Roman characters. Don’t leave without a taste of the water itself, which contains 43 minerals and was believed to have curative powers.

Whether you’re a Northanger Abbey enthusiast or not, spectacular Georgian landmarks are one of the most fabulous things to see in Bath. Kick off a walking tour at the beautifully restored Assembly Rooms on Bennett Street, where 18th century society met for balls, tea and conversation. Bath’s Fashion Museum is also housed here, a spectacular collection of clothes and accessories that traces the history of fashion from the heavily embroidered dresses of the 1800s to today’s “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirts. A few yards away is the Circus, a circular street lined with elegant triple-tiered townhouses. Designed by John Wood the Elder, the Circus is a remarkable architectural achievement. From here, head to The Royal Crescent, where Wood’s son, John Wood the Younger, created one of Britain’s greatest examples of Georgian architecture by erecting 30 terraced houses along a sweeping curve of stone façade.

If you’re wondering what to do in Bath for a chance to enjoy broad views and natural surroundings, the Bath Skyline is just the ticket. This 10-km/6-mile walk is just minutes from the city centre, crossing the surrounding hills and winding through ancient woodlands and quiet valleys. The trail is easy to follow and offers brilliant views of the city, tucked in amongst the hills.

What to do in Bath when the weather won’t cooperate? Head indoors to the Victoria Art Gallery, a stellar small museum that houses a collection of works by Turner, Gainsborough and other artists who lived or worked in the city. Admission is free, but there’s a fee for the temporary exhibits which are generally excellent and centred on Bath themes. You can save on admission by buying a three-in-one Saver Ticket that includes the Roman Baths and Fashion Museum. The gallery also offers drawing and educational activities for kids.

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