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Visiting The Roman Baths at Bath - what to expect

Make an informed visit to the Roman Baths at Bath

Bath Roman Baths
The famous Roman Baths at Bath

Roman Baths at Bath

The Roman Baths at Bath are the single biggest attraction for visitors coming to Bath. If you visit as part of a tour group the Roman Baths will normally be included in your itinerary.

The Roman Baths are right in the centre of Bath within the main shopping area and next to Bath Abbey and the Tourist Office.

The Baths are only about 5 minutes' walk from the train and bus stations. Tour buses drop off very close to the Roman Baths behind Bath Abbey.

You can walk to all the major other attractions in Bath within minutes.

 

Why go to the Roman Baths?

The Roman Baths at Bath with view to Bath Abbey
View of the Abbey from Roman Baths

Around Britain's only hot spring, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex that still flows with natural hot water. You will see the water's source and walk where Romans walked on the ancient stone pavements and of course see the baths themselves.

The Roman Baths is below the modern street level and has four main features, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman bath house and finds from Roman Bath. The Georgian Pump Room is on the ground level with its restaurant that is separate to the visitor attraction.

Note: It is not possible for you to take a dip in the Roman Baths, there is a modern Bath Spa almost next door. In the Pump Room Restaurant you can sample the water freshly pumped by drinking it.

How long you will need for your Roman Baths visit and best time to visit

On the roof of the Roman Baths at Bath
On the roof of the Roman Baths at Bath

The Baths can get very crowded, especially in the peak summer months. Most of the coach tours from London start arriving around lunch time and through the afternoon. If you're visiting independently it's thus quite a good idea to make for the Baths early morning as soon as you arrive. In July and August the Roman Baths are open until late evening.

For the average person you will be in the Baths around an hour or less. If you listen to every possible commentary on the audio device it could extend to perhaps 90 minutes.

You have to follow a defined route through the complex. Unusually, the highlight for many is right at the start. Most photos you see are from the terrace looking down into the Baths, (like the one at the top of the page). The Terrace is the first place you come to on the tour route.

A lot of the Roman Baths extend under the modern ground level, beneath adjacent streets and squares, so many visitors are surprised when they discover just how big the site really is. You then descend through the complex from the terrace, finishing in the Pump Rooms where of course there is the obligatory gift shop.

Tickets for the Roman Baths at Bath

Ticket prices are volatile and change throughout the year. Tickets must be purchased no later than midnight the day before your visit.

Timeslots are being adhered to; you will not be allowed entry outside your chosen time slot.

Concessions and family ticket prices are available, and there are different charges according to whether you go at a peak or off-peak period.

Group tickets are available for 20 or more people.

Roman Baths at Bath - official website

Audio guides for the Roman Baths at Bath

An award-winning audio guide is included as part of the admission price and available in twelve languages, English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.

There are also children's audio-guides available as well as a commentary given by Bill Bryson.

You simply key in the number of the room or place you are in and a full commentary is given. There are many optional commentaries within some commentaries that go into great detail about individual items.

You can bring your own headphones to use with the audio-guides.

The Pump Rooms and restaurant

Bath pump room restaurant
Choose brunch or afternoon tea 
Bath pump room restaurant
Elegant dining at the Pump Rooms 

Long after the Romans, Bath became a very fashionable place to hang out, (see our Georgian Bath page).

If you were anyone of note in the 18th Century, Bath is where you came to for the season. The architecture and many of the attractions at Bath originate from this time with original details, signage and streets still to be found all over the city.

The Pump Room remains much the same as in Georgian times – a wonderful piece of living history to be found in the centre of the city.

Although physically part of the Roman Baths complex, it has a separate entrance just next door to the museum in the Abbey churchyard.

The restaurant has been the social heart of Bath for more than two centuries, and boasts amongst its previous patrons Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

Take a seat and enjoy a delicious meal, whilst being serenaded by the Pump Room Trio or resident pianist.

Sample the spa water from the fountain – containing a mix of vitamins and minerals rumoured to cure all ailments.

Open every day for morning brunch and bakery at 10.00am, with afternoon tea served in sessions from 12.00pm, the restaurant remains the perfect place to take tea and enjoy the delights that Bath has to offer.

Roman Baths - Pump Room - official website

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