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Visiting Bath Abbey & Thermae Bath Spa

Make an informed visit to Georgian Bath

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

About Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey stands at the heart of the City of Bath. For those arriving by coach on a tour they will be dropped off right next to Bath Abbey, (the Roman Baths being adjacent to Bath Abbey).

The Abbey itself has a long and colourful history and has been rebuilt several times. The present Abbey church founded in 1499, ruined after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of Henry VIII, was completed in 1611.

It should be remembered that this is a working church. Bath Abbey is a place of worship where people meet for services on Sundays and during the week.

This does mean that the Abbey has to be closed to visitors during some services and events, but there will always be a notice on the door to inform you when the Abbey is open again. Do check on arrival.

Bath Abbey Tours

Tower Tours take place daily (except Sundays) on the hour from 10am to 4pm Mon-Fri and every half hour on a Saturday, and are very popular. There is a fee for these tours. Photography is permitted in the Abbey.


You can climb the 212 steps to the top of the tower and enjoy a panoramic and unrivalled view of the city. Visitors can see the 10 bells and hear how the tower was built. You can also sit inside the Abbey's clock face.

At the Heritage Vaults, accessible from outside the building (in the abbey's south wall, off Abbey Churchyard), you can see an audio-visual presentation of the abbey's history and a reconstruction of the Norman cathedral that preceded it.

The Abbey Shop stocks a large range of bibles, Christian books, guide books, postcards, greetings cards, CDs, icons, jewellery and gifts. All profits from the shop go towards the ministry and maintenance of the Abbey.

Bath Abbey history

Founded in the 7th century, reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries, it is now one of the premier examples of Norman Perpendicular Gothic architecture.

In 675 Osric, King of the Twice, granted the Abbess Berta finance for the establishment of a convent at Bath. Offa of Mercia rebuilt the monastic church, which may have occupied the site of an earlier pagan temple in 781.

Bath Abbey

Bath was ravaged in a power struggle between the sons of William the Conqueror following his death in 1087. John of Tours, who became Bishop of Wells and Abbot of Bath bought Bath Abbey's grounds from the king, as well as the city of Bath itself.


John became the first Bishop of Bath, and the church was raised to cathedral status. With the elevation of the abbey to cathedral status it was felt that a larger, more impressive building was required on a grand scale.


Unfortunately the resultant half finished cathedral was devastated by fire in 1137, but work continued until about 1156.


When Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells 1495–1503, visited Bath in 1499 he was shocked to find this famous church in ruins.

In 1539 as part of the reformation, the church was stripped of lead, iron and glass and left to decay. It wasn't until 1574, when Queen Elizabeth I promoted the restoration of the church, to serve as the grand parish church of Bath that things took off. She ordered that a national fund should be set up to finance the work triggering phases of development that brought about what you see today.

Thermae Bath Spa

Baths at Bath history

Bath Spa

In the early 18th century, the Georgian era, fashionable English society began coming to Bath to "take the waters" as a health cure.


Much earlier, the Romans used the only hot springs found in the UK to build the bathing complex, now the most visited attraction in Bath - the Roman Baths at Bath.


You cannot go into the water at the Roman Baths and the old municipal hot pools were closed in 1978 after the discovery of an infectious organism.

With the approach of the Millennium, money from the UK National Lottery was made available towards a major project to reopen a safe commercial spa once more.


The resultant Thermae Bath Spa was much delayed well past the year 2000, finally opening in 2006 ending a 28 year period during which the waters remained unavailable for bathing.

Enjoy a modern 'Roman Baths' experience at the Thermae Bath Spa

Today, Thermae Bath Spa is the UK's original and only natural thermal Spa.

Thermae is a combination of 'old and new' where historic spa buildings blend with the contemporary design of the New Royal Bath.

Choose a 2-hour or 4-hour spa session which includes full access to the warm waters and flowing curves of the Minerva Bath, a series of aromatic steam rooms and the open-air rooftop pool with spectacular views across the skyline of Bath.


Over 50 spa treatments are available including a specially designed set of packages which aim to promote relaxation and well-being.

Thermae Bath Spa is open daily between 09:00 and 22:00.

Thermae Bath Spa - official website

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 - £62

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 £895

Special Offer Day Tours From London
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