With its beautiful Georgian architecture and numerous points of interest, the charming city of Bath has long been the West Country’s star attraction. With one day in town, you’ll be able to visit many of Bath’s most important sites, with time left over for a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich waters for which Bath is named. Here’s how.
Start your morning off with a visit to Bath’s top attraction and namesake, the UNESCO World Heritage Roman baths; arriving first thing in the morning will help you avoid big crowds. Established around AD 70, this beautifully preserved complex was once used by Romans to bathe and socialize. It fell out of popularity for hundreds of years, only to be revived in the 18th century, when "taking the waters" became trendy among the upper crust of Georgian Society. While bathing here is no longer allowed, visitors can still explore the site and its many pools and ancient artifacts.
After your visit to the baths, stop by the adjoining Pump Room, an elegant Georgian-era restaurant. Even if you don't feel like sitting down for a formal lunch, make sure to at least have a sip of the mineral-rich waters served here, straight from the source. From here, it’s less than a 2-minute walk to Bath Abbey, with its beautifully carved exteriors and an exquisite collection of stained glass; for great views of the city, take a tour up to the top of the abbey's tower. Then head to the Jane Austen Centre, a museum dedicated to one of Bath's best-known authors.
In the evening, grab an early dinner at one of Bath's myriad restaurants before making your way to Thermae Bath Spa, a modern spa complex where visitors can bathe in the same waters that feed into the Roman baths. Features include a large indoor pool, a smaller outdoor rooftop pool (with fabulous city views), a couple of aromatherapy-infused steam saunas, and treatment rooms where visitors can indulge in a wide range of massages, facials, and other treatments. For a more economical alternative, guests can take a dip in the Cross Bath, which features a single open-air pool surrounded by historic ruins.