- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
Although the Roman Baths at Bath are probably the single most popular attraction in Bath, it is 'Georgian Bath', the city's elegant buildings and environment which is perhaps most fondly remembered by many visitors.
Volunteer guides approved by the Mayor of Bath are proud to show you their city on a 2-hour plus walking tour of the centre of the city. 'Free' and 'volunteer' these tours are, but the walking tours are very high quality, at least the equal of any commercial tour.
If you want the best out of your visit to Bath, investing the morning taking this tour is recommended. It will give you the basis for picking out places that personally interest you in the afternoon and there is plenty of time to visit the Roman Baths or go shopping afterwards.
Another way to sightsee around Bath is to take one of the popular hop-on, hop-off buses. Although Bath is much smaller than some cities where hop on buses run (like London), many people enjoy the spectacle of viewing the beautiful Georgian town of Bath from up-high.
One of the great things about these tours is you can just turn up, and there is no longer a need to pre-book in advance (see start times below).
At peak times, multiple volunteer guides divided the group assembled into a manageable size. The guides are very approachable. You will be much the wiser about Bath by this time than when you started.
To find out the up to date details on one of these free tours please go to the Bath Guides official website.
Children welcome if accompanied by an adult.
All walks start in front of the Pump Room at the Roman Baths in the very centre of the city, and finish here too.
The walking tour runs every day of the year (including Public Holidays except Christmas Day), and in all weathers.
All year round:
Sunday - Friday at 10.30am & 2pm and
Saturday at 10.30am only
May 3rd – 30th August:
Tuesday and Thursday 6pm
The tour is at a leisurely pace. All walks take around 2 hours.
You might be wanting to leave a tip - but the official website states that "The guides are proud of the service they offer. It is free and no guide accepts a tip. The reward is the satisfaction of welcoming visitors from across the world and, on behalf of the Mayor, leading informative, interesting and entertaining walking tours of the beautiful and historic City of Bath."
Bath was at its height during the 18th Century, when England had a succession of kings called George, hence the Georgian period.
Society was very structured with a rich affluent upper class. Many of the rich people were widely dispersed across England, many of them landowners in their country estates.
This was a time before the motor car, telecommunications and the golf club. It was a time where it was most important to 'marry well'.
To enable this upper class society to network, do a little business, find an appropriate husband for your daughter etc., 'seasons' were introduced.
During a season, anybody who was anybody would decamp to the season's venue to meet their peers. Bath was arguably the premier season of them all.
The volunteer guides will tell you the story of why Bath, and not somewhere else. The story of the main characters that came together to start this phenomenon, show you the unique architecture of Bath and how people lived and behaved of all classes.
You will see all the main places of interest in Bath on the tour and by the end will have been both entertained and have the knowledge to maximise your enjoyment of Bath for the rest of your visit - and all for free!
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.
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.
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