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Visiting Bath

Practical guide to making an informed visit to the City of Bath

Bath City Centre Directions

Bath as a day-trip or weekend away from London

As a travel website on London, these pages are written from the perspective of visitors to London wanting to spend a day or more outside of the capital.

 

We detail getting from London to Bath as well as the main tourist attractions in Bath and travel options around the city, including hop-on, hop-off buses.


So what's the attraction of Bath?

The key attraction to visitors to Bath originates from two periods; Roman and Georgian.

 

The natural resource of a hot spring from the waters of the surrounding Cotswold Hills was a great attraction to the Romans when they invaded England about 2,000 years ago. The resulting Roman Baths are the biggest single attraction for visitors to Bath.


The other main period was the Georgian period in the 18th Century. Read our Georgian Bath page that describes the Georgian society and how Bath was transformed from a backwater into an elegant spa town where the cream of society flocked too. Today the charm of Bath emanates from that time.


There is so much to see and do in and around Bath that you couldn't see everything in a weekend. If you are visiting from London on a day tour on a coach, you will probably only get around 2 hours in the city.

 

So it is wise to do some preparation and prioritise what's attractive to you personally. You can easily visit Bath independently by rail from London and get a full day.

 

Having a car in Bath, is a millstone around your neck. It'll just stay in an (expensive) car park all of the time.

 

The Roman Baths at Bath

Must see: Roman Baths, Bath

Sightseeing in Bath

We would heartily recommend that visitors with enough time take the free walking tours of Bath as an introduction to your visit. Taken by volunteers, these walks of over two hours explain the history of Georgian Bath by taking you through the city past all the key landmarks.


Use the menu on the left hand side of the page for links to all the main attractions. The official tourist office itself is on the river (eastern) side of the Roman Baths by Bath Abbey.

 

Shopping in Bath

Bath is not a museum piece, it's a major thriving town and a regional shopping centre. Part of the charm of Bath is that business and shops coexist with visitors within the Georgian Bath environment. This is old fashion shopping with individual shops, no malls (as yet).


Bath is quite an affluent town and shops cater for all tastes, from the large chain stores down the main High (Main) Street to the quirkier and antique establishments only found by exploring.

Shopping in Bath - more details

 

Getting to Bath from London - tours or independent

Pulteney Bridge, on a tour from London to Bath

Tours will take you on a walking tour of Bath
- see Pulteney Weir

The most painless way of visiting Bath is on a one or two day tour from London. For time poor visitors the most popular is the Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath tour that visits all three world class attractions in one long day. Full details of the different kinds of tours are on our Bath Tours page. However, these tours will only give you between 90 minutes and 3 hours in Bath. (Unless you choose our make-you-own 2-day visit to Bath, where you opt to spend overnight in Bath.)

 

It is very easy to get to Bath independently from London. For a day tour, regular fast trains run from London's Paddington Station take only around 90 minutes and run until late. Frequencies are twice hourly for most of the day.


Cheaper and slower are National Express buses from London Victoria, only worth considering if you're staying more than one day.

 

Full details are found on our Getting to Bath from London by public transport page. Bath is a very walkable city, everything is packed into a very compact area.

 

Bath hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus

Bath is a very walkable city, everything is packed into a very compact area.

You do not really need a hop-on, hop-off bus from a logistical sense, although there is a tour option that offers a Bath skyline tour outside the city of Bath.


However, what you do get is a good orientation of Bath perched high up on the double deck bus. Especially if you are visiting independently the commentary can set the scene nicely for your stay.


Bath hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus

Bath hop on bus outside Bath Abbey

Bath hop-on, hop-off bus routes, frequencies etc

There are two routes covered by the same ticket. The core route (City Tour) covers the city of Bath itself and takes you to the Roman Baths, the Pump Room, the Abbey where England's first King was crowned and the Assembly Rooms amongst others. In fact all the main attractions in the city.

 

The City Tour takes 50 minutes to do a full loop and runs every 20 minutes.

 

The second 'Skyline Tour' takes you from Bath Railway Station round Claverton Down past the University of Bath and Prior Park Landscape Garden.

 

The Skyline tour takes 45 minutes to complete a full loop and runs every 30 minutes.

 

Both routes run between 10am and 5pm.


The tours use modern double decker buses like those photographed here. There is a live guide conducting the tour in English with headsets available with pre-recorded commentary in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Polish.

 

When you buy a ticket it is flexible, and can be validated anytime within three months of purchase. You also get a free booklet with deals and discounts for museums, restaurants, and local attractions included.


Visiting Stonehenge and/or Bath and/or Windsor

Stonehenge Morning Or Afternoon Half Day Tour- £52

Stonehenge & London Day Tour (Apr-Oct only) - £61

Windsor Castle Windsor Morning & Afternoon Tours - from £55

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (inc Lunch, no adm Roman Baths) - £114

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (no Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - £103

Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £101

Windsor & Bath Day Tour - from £79

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group - Max 16 people) - £149

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £74

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Baths adm) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £89

Stonehenge & Windsor (featuring extended time at Windsor) - £95

Stonehenge & Avebury - £109

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £106

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £99

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury (Small Group) - £149

Lacock, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group) - £149

Visiting Cotswolds and/or Oxford and/or Stratford and/or Warwick

Oxford, Stratford & Warwick Castle - £99

Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford (Small Group) -£149

Stratford & Cotswolds (inc Anne Hathaway’s) - £89

Shakespeare’s Stratford–upon–Avon - £57-75 (no admissions incl)

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch - £96

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch (Small Group) - £149

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & Cotswolds Tour - £65

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £99

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £106

Oxford & Cambridge Tour (May-Sep only) - £101

Downton Abbey & Blenheim Palace (Small Group) - £149

Visiting Canterbury, Leeds Castle & Dover

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury with river cruise - £99

Canterbury, Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Rochester (Small Group Apr - Oct) - £94

Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Canterbury - £99

Special Theme Tours

Stonehenge Special Access (Walk Among Stones) Tours

Downton Abbey + Highclere Castle Tours

Harry Potter Tours

Day Tours by Train to Liverpool, Paris and Scotland

Beatles Liverpool Day Tour - £169

Day Trip to Paris - from £179

Day Trip to Edinburgh - from £199

2 to 12 Day Tours covering Great Britain, Ireland, Paris & Amsterdam

2-Day Avebury, Cotswolds, Bath & Oxford - from £174.25

2-Day Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds & Oxford - from £195.21

3-Day Tours of English Regions (3 tours) - from £294.80

3 Days in Paris - from £339

2-Day Edinburgh - from £312

3-Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekend - from £329

3-Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekday - from £499

3-Day Amsterdam - from £315

6-12-Day tours of Great Britain and Ireland - from £925


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