Choose from 2 Fun Things to Do in Bath
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This first-century Roman bathhouse complex was a meeting point for patricians who came to bathe, drink the curative waters, and socialize. The baths fell out of use with the Roman exodus from Britain but were rediscovered and excavated in the late-19th century. Explore the Great Bath, which is filled with steaming, mineral-rich water from Bath’s hot springs.
The Roman Baths are the headline attraction in Bath, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being just 115 miles (185 kilometers) from central London and within day-tripping distance of Oxford, Brighton, Bournemouth, and Southampton, Bath is a very popular day-tour destination for visitors to South England.
Organized day tours often combine a trip to Bath and the Roman Baths with a visit to the prehistoric Stonehenge monument, the picturesque Cotswolds village of Lacock, Windsor Castle, or the cathedral town of Salisbury. If you want to begin your tour in Bath itself, try a guided walking tour of the Georgian city that includes other top attractions such as the Royal Crescent, the Circus, and Gothic Bath Abbey. Hop-on hop-off tour buses also stop at the Roman Baths.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The hot water that flows throughout the Roman Baths complex, via the Sacred Spring, is untreated, hence bathing is not allowed.
- Wear sturdy shoes as the stone floors are uneven.
- Audio guides are provided, and free tours take place hourly.
- The complex is below street level, and features narrow walkways that may trigger claustrophobia.
How to Get There
Bath-bound Great Western Railway trains depart from London’s Paddington station and take about 90 minutes. The Roman Baths are about a 10-minute walk from Bath Spa train station.
When to Get There
The Roman Baths are the city’s showpiece attraction and, as such, draw big crowds, particularly during July and August weekends. If you are visiting at this time, arrive before 10am or during the evening. In summer, it’s possible to visit at night, when the baths are lit by torches.
Drinking the Thermal Waters
Within the same complex as the Roman Baths is the elaborate Pump Room, a lavish 18th-century construction that served as a socializing spot for Bath’s Georgian elite. The Pump Room now houses a restaurant as well as the King’s Spa fountain, which spouts mineral water directly from the springs. Visitors can try the warm thermal waters, which are said to have curative properties. Be warned: The sulfur-tinged flavor is not to everyone’s taste.
Address: Stall St, Bath, United Kingdom BA1 1LZ, England
Hours: Varies by season
Admission: Adult £16.50, Child £10.25
From $ 10
A dramatic reminder of Bath’s Georgian heritage and one of the city’s most photographed historic landmarks, the Royal Crescent is aptly named, with its crescent-shaped row of terraced townhouses and regal architecture. Built between 1767 and 1775 by architect John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent features a row of magnificent terraced townhouses, looking out over a vast expanse of manicured lawns.
There are 30 houses along the crescent, each looming 47-foot (14-meters) high, fronted by gigantic Ionic columns and renowned for their beautifully preserved Georgian facades. Many of the houses are still private homes, but No. 1 Royal Crescent is now a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into life in Georgian-era Bath, while No. 16 is home to the luxurious Royal Crescent Hotel.
The Royal Crescent is located at the north end of Victoria Park in central Bath, around a 15-minute walk from the Roman Baths.
Address: Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LR, England
From $ 32