How To Spend 2 Days In Bath UK
Bath has to be one of my most favourite cities in the UK, if your looking for great culture, delicious food, and an excellent array of shops to browse then Bath is the place for you. Bath is one of those places where you could easily spend weeks absorbing everything it has to offer, however most of us don’t have that sort of time, so here is how to spend 2 days in Bath.
Bath is a city founded by Roman influence, despite the possibility of local tribes living in and around its location. The Romans created the city through use of its thermal waters, they created a spa and baths complex, something which they were quite used to back home. The roman baths are one of this city’s main tourist attractions and something that people will travel far and wide to see, obviously they are no longer in use but the history within is simply amazing. The other main era in which Bath gets its culture and appearance from is the Georgian era, with the city becoming a place of interest for literature, art and of course its thermal spa. Many of the buildings in Bath have a wealthy appearance and areas like Victoria park show how social spaces were an important feature of Georgian society.
Where to stay
Choosing a good location is important when trying to make the most of your 2 days in Bath, if you choose somewhere to far away from everything you may end up spending a large proportion of the day travelling. Bath is a place where the majority of main attractions are quite close together, a good rule of thumb would be to choose somewhere central, however you must take into account if you have a car there is limited space available in the centre and it can also be expensive to park overnight. When visiting we chose to stay in the County Hotel this is located around 10-15-minute walk from the Roman Baths, however because of its free onsite car park it was an attractive option. The County Hotel also has great views of the Abbey and Bath Rugby club. There are many hotels in Bath and its going to be a case of what suits you best. One of the features I was most thankful for was the hotel breakfast, it’s a great option if you want to get out and about quickly to make the most of your time, however if you do wish to have breakfast out there are plenty of places to do so in Bath.
Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths are pretty much right next to each other so these two would be ideal for a visit first. Bath Abbey would be best to visit first as this won’t take too long, its free to enter although a donation is always appreciated. The stain glass windows are an absolutely stunning feature and you must be inside to fully appreciate the scale of the abbey itself. The organ is absolutely gigantic and the history of the abbey is scattered all around the floors and walls with commemorative stones from years gone by, the earliest being the mid 1500’s.
The next visit will take a lot longer and time is what it will take to appreciate the Roman Baths. An adult entry is £16.50 which is quite pricey however pretty much the norm these days, students, seniors and family tickets can be purchased for a discounted price. The site was constructed in 70AD and is one of the best preserved Roman Baths in the world, which is why it gathers so much interest from around the world. The Roman Baths do get busy especially during holidays and weekends but you should be able to buy a ticket on the day even if it is busy, if you want to book tickets you can go to the Roman baths website. The great thing about the Roman Baths is that everyone gets a free audio guide and with over 12 languages and special editions for children it’s a fantastic learning experience. If you wanted to incorporate food into your visit, the Roman Baths have their own restaurant attached for lunches and dinners or even a fantastic cream tea. The Roman Baths take around 2 hours to fully appreciate it all, you can be there as long as you want so you may as well make the most of the experience.
If you don’t fancy having lunch in the Roman Baths Pump Room restaurant then a trip to Sally Lunns Buns will satisfy both your hunger and ticking a place off the to see and do list. Sally Lunns is not just one of the most famous tea rooms in the world but also one of the oldest buildings in Bath. Sally Lunns does breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, a very versatile tea room indeed. Sally Lunn was a refugee who fled from persecution in France, she found work in Bath and soon started baking her own brioche style bun which became known as the Sally Lunn bun. Because of the buns popularity amongst the Georgian population Sally Lunn quickly wrote her name into baking history and the bakery today is believed to hold the kitchen that first baked the Sally Lunn bun.
From sally Lunns its an easy and quick walk to Pulteney Bridge, this bridge is one of only four bridges in the world to have shops located along it. The bridge opened in 1770 and was intended to connect bath to a new town on the other side of the Avon river. Pulteney Bridge is one of the most photographed places in Bath and with its quint Georgian architecture it is easy to see why. A walk around Parade gardens gives the opportunity for some great views of Pulteney Bridge, although be warned it costs £1.50 to enter the gardens and they are locked at night.
A relaxed approached is how to spend 2 days in Bath, knowing that to truly enjoy your time here it cannot be rushed. I always find when its my last day somewhere I feel obliged to cram in as much as possible which simply doesn’t work as afterwards you feel tired and can’t really remember much of what happened. Start the day off the same way with a good breakfast in your hotel or otherwise find a lovely restaurant near the centre. Going in one direction helps when making the most of your time that is why visiting the Jane Austen Centre, Circus and Royal Crescent on the same day just makes sense.
When it comes to authors of Bath Jane Austen always seems to come up first despite many other notable figures residing in Bath during their lives. The Jane Austen Centre is certainly somewhere you must visit, especially if you’re an avid reader. Bath has and always will be associated with literature and Jane Austen’s stories critique on the wider social pressures for women during the 1800’s. The Centre is set in an original Georgian townhouse with lots of information about Jane Austen’s life and how she lived in Bath.
Because the Jane Austen Centre is near some of Baths best retail high streets this is a great opportunity to do some shopping. Bath is home to an abundance of high end shops, designer brands show how much wealth really resides in Bath and if your thinking of treating yourself to something special then Bath will have something for you. If high end retail is not your scene Bath still has an array of popular high street stores and is still one of the best places for a day out shopping. This could also be a great time to get some lunch in some of the many eateries.
A must see and probably the second most popular attraction on the tourist trail is Circus and Royal Crescent. The Circus is a great example of Georgian architecture and somewhere only the wealthiest of individuals would have been able to afford. Tall Georgian town houses are built in a circular fashion around a central piece of green, the wealthy still reside in them today. In keeping with the same architecture and one of the most photographed areas of Bath is Royal Crescent. Another row of tall Georgian townhouses stretched in a crescent are beautiful and truly sum up what Bath is about. If your interested in how it looks from within, number one Royal Crescent has been turned into a museum for the public to see. The Royal Crescent hotel and spa is situated amongst these beautiful houses and is a costly stay, however if you can its certainly worth it.
Bath is a fantastic place for food and the city is known for its quality ingredients with so much of them coming from the surrounding local area. As I mentioned before eating breakfast at your hotel can save a bit of time if your trying to make the most of your stay, however there are plenty of wonderful restaurants that do great breakfasts. Dinner is the main event in Bath and the restaurants on offer are versatile with great quality. There are many opportunities for different styles of cooking, Bath has plenty of independent restaurants as well as the usual chains. I must recommend The Firehouse Rotisserie which serves some really tasty wholesome food based around an American style. Another popular independent restaurant is Sotto Sotto, this is an Italian restaurant situated near the Roman Baths and is certainly one of the best restaurants in Bath. As for the usual chain restaurants places such as Nando’s near Bath Spa train station has a great feel to it being situated in the historic Bath Vaults.
As I said when starting this post, there is a lot to do in Bath and you should experience it at your own pace, I hope this has helped you make the most of your 2 days in Bath. There’s always more to discover and Bath is certainly a place you should visit more than once.