Bath is a popular place to visit throughout the year. The atmospheric Christmas Market has become one of the most famous of its kind in the UK. It draws visitors from far and wide during the festive season. Meanwhile, the typically pleasant weather during the summer months also makes this city an appealing destination for those who want to admire the beautiful Georgian architecture in the sunshine.
The city is positioned in the valley of the River Avon. It is a short drive from the M4 motorway. It also has excellent train links to London and Bristol from Bath Spa Train Station, so visitors certainly don’t have to arrive by car.
There are lots of lovely places to eat and drink in Bath. These include casual dining destinations as well as Michelin Star restaurants. The Pump Room Restaurant is one of the most renowned places to dine and Jane Austen mentions it in her novels.
This sociable city has plenty to satisfy those with interests in art and sport. There are several theatres in Bath and a number of festivals that take place throughout the year. The shopping is also excellent in this compact city. High street stores are mixed with individual boutiques and traditional market stalls.
However, often the main reason to visit this World Heritage Spa City is to admire the many historic landmarks that it boasts. Here are five that you shouldn’t miss if you are planning to visit Bath.
The Royal Crescent is a spectacular row of terraced houses that are positioned in a semi-circular shape. It is considered to be one of the greatest examples of Georgian Architecture. It overlooks the city, with Royal Victoria Park positioned in the foreground. The original stone façade and iconic columns can be admired from within the park itself or you can walk along the pavement that lines the crescent. Some of the townhouses remain private and are occupied in their entirety, while others are split into flats. The Royal Crescent Hotel is one of Bath’s most upmarket hotels and this is positioned on the crescent. There is also the No. 1 Royal Crescent museum, which replicates life during the period 1776-1796 with its décor.
Just a short stroll from the Royal Crescent is another architectural delight. The Circus is a historic street that complements the Royal Crescent. Locals say that the Circus is joined to the Royal Crescent by a ley-line, and that their design represents the sun and the moon. The large townhouses are built in a circular shape. The Circus is divided into three segments of equal length. Several famous people have lived in the stunning houses, including the artist Thomas Gainsborough and Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage.
Situated right next to The Roman Baths is Bath Abbey. The remarkable Abbey rises high into the sky and it has become synonymous with the Bath skyline. Christians have been worshipping at the Abbey for over a thousand years. The holy building is striking from outside and within. It is a centrepiece of the Christmas Market and carol singers brave all weathers to sing for visitors. The Abbey has transformed over the years and it has survived two World Wars. There are 635 memorials on its walls. Things to see include The Great East Window, which tells the story of Jesus in 56 scenes.
Pulteney Bridge is a scene that is often seen on Bath postcards and it is one of the most photographed sites in the city. The bridge was designed in 1769 by Robert Adam who wanted to make a statement with its classical design. It is named after Frances Pulteney, wife of William Johnstone Pulteney. There are some quaint shops situated on the bridge itself. If you walk towards Parade Gardens you will be able to catch a glimpse of the Bath Recreation ground, which is home to Bath Rugby. The Laura Place Fountain is also only a short walk from the bridge.
For something that really showcases history, a visit to The Roman Baths is essential. This is one of the leading historic sites in Europe. It is situated in the heart of the city and it has been incredibly well preserved over the years. The Roman Baths has huge historical significance and it is a Roman site that was once used for bathing. It is positioned at the point where the city’s unique thermal springs rise and the Baths still flow with natural hot water to this day. Around the hot springs, Roman foundations, pillar bases and baths can still be seen. As part of a visit to this site, you can see the Roman Baths close up and also some museum artefacts. For those who want to try the soothing waters, the Thermae Bath Spa is separate from the Roman Baths but is close by. This is a modern take on the spa experience and it is open to members of the public.