With the whole city declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and depicting the very essence of English idyll, Bath is one of our favourite UK cities.
It’s historic and beautiful and the entire vibe of the place is like something out of a Jane Austen novel.
It’s also a very walkable city so you can easily spend just one day in Bath and see a whole bunch of amazing highlights.
Although if you can spend a weekend here or come back more than once then we’d definitely urge you to!
From the Georgian buildings and the stunning abbey to the ancient Roman baths, this entire city is a cultural and historical wonder.
Scott and I love Bath so much that we actually now live just 30 minutes away from the city in a quiet suburb of Bristol. I think we’re pretty lucky to have two amazing UK cities right on our doorstep!
So if you’re wondering what you can see and do within a quick 24 hours in Bath then read on for some ideas including what you should see, where you should go and what you should eat.
How To Spend The Perfect One Day In Bath
The Roman Baths
This is where you can see the Ancient Roman baths after which the city is so named.
Considered to be one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world, Bath’s unique thermal springs allow for the perfect flow of naturally hot water.
When Romans settled here all those years ago, they built a reservoir to control this water and built the city around the baths themselves.
Interestingly, the Romans thought these baths were sacred and so they threw valuable items into the water in order to please the Gods.
As a thriving museum today, you can expect to see some of these rescued artefacts including coins and jewellery, as well as intricate mosaics, old stonework and ancient monuments.
You should expect to spend a couple of hours wandering around the museum and then you can also have a delicious afternoon tea in the neighbouring Pump Rooms if you fancy it.
When not holding religious services, you are able to wander around inside this magnificent abbey located right next to the baths.
From glinting stained glass windows to intricate architecture, there is so much beauty to see in this centuries-old abbey.
Although there is no set entry price, donations are valued to help keep this abbey thriving, protected and exquisite.
Home to many filming sets, especially those set in Austen’s era, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as soon as you turn the corner onto the Royal Crescent parade.
We adore the golden-coloured stone buildings in Bath as they’re so iconic to this city. In Bath, the Royal Crescent is the perfect place to see these types of houses.
There is a large green park in front of the Royal Crescent, which often makes for the perfect vantage point across the whole street.
Equally, standing to one side of the crescent also makes for stunning photographs, framing the houses beautifully.
Top Tip: On the right-hand side of the crescent, you’ll find an old-fashioned signpost in black and gold. This can be found right in front of the Royal Crescent sign, which makes for the perfect photo opportunity.
The Jane Austen Centre
Located in the heart of Bath within an original Georgian townhouse, The Jane Austen Centre is the perfect place to learn more about this incredible author.
You’ll find out more about her time spent in Bath and what effect that time had on her personality and writing.
It’s universally known that Austen spent two long visits in the city, and from 1801 to 1806, Bath was also her home.
The city plays a key role in several of her novels, which suggests that Bath held a secure place in her heart.
You should aim to spend around 1-2 hours here learning all about Jane Austen.
The seating area is a little small here (the whole house is a little small after all), but you should find a space if you head here in the late afternoon or early morning.
Lunchtimes should of course be avoided unless you’ve booked ahead.
They were opened in 1771 and were originally known as the New or Upper Rooms. They were also described at the time as “the most noble and elegant of any in the kingdom”.
Used as an entertainment room in the 18th Century, large gatherings of people would have met here to dance, drink tea, play cards or attend musical performances. Equally, they would also come here during the day to just “walk about”.
Entry to the Assembly Rooms is free.
The Fashion Museum
The Fashion Museum used to be housed within a section of the Assembly Rooms, but it’s temporarily closed as they’re moving the museum to a different location.
Once it’s open again, it’ll certainly feel like you’re stepping back in time even further.
This museum is internationally recognised for showcasing collections of the most perfect dresses and period fashions.
Lace held centre stage in the collection when we visited. You can easily spend about an hour here admiring each and every piece.
Bath Botanical Gardens
We adore escaping to gardens, nature and green spaces during our travels (especially when exploring busy cities).
The Bath Botanical Gardens are free to visit and are beautiful. There are a number of paths you can follow to see various plants, flowers, trees and shrubs, as well as a number of wooden benches to help rest your feet.
These gardens are perfect for relaxing in with a good book and a picnic if you so wish. Whilst walking around, make sure you keep an eye out for original and unique gardening arrangements.
When we visited, there was a very clever arrangement by the Women’s Institute depicting a woman soaking in a bubble bath!
Bath Skyline Walk
If you have a little longer to spend in the city, or you just fancy a sunset-induced hike, then the Bath Skyline Walk is always a good option.
As can be expected, you will have some of the best views of the city from up here, plus the ability to walk through endless meadows, secluded valleys and ancient woodlands for 6 miles. It’s also a great place to walk your dog!
We recommend looking over the skyline at sunset if you have time, although remember to pack your torch for when it gets dark!
Prior Park Landscape Garden
Found close to the Bath Skyline Walk is Prior Park Landscape Garden. In fact, you’ll actually wander past the estate during your walk, so why not make a slight detour if you have time?
If you do, you’ll find a Palladian bridge, which dates back to 1755 and is one of only four of its kind in the whole world. It even has centuries-old graffiti carved into its stonework!
This particular estate is owned and looked after by the National Trust, so you’ll either need to pay an entry fee or visit for free as part of your NT membership.
Bath has some incredible shopping on offer. What could be more magical than browsing in designer boutiques while surrounded by the ancient buildings of this incredible city?
Plus, through the months of November and December, the Bath Christmas Markets spring up all throughout the city.
These markets are world-renowned and are the perfect place for finding unique gifts, fabulous fudge and tasty street food.
Keep an eye on the official website for dates each year – and just watch this captivating city turn into an incredible winter wonderland.
Bath On Ice & Glow Golf
A large ice skating rink and Apres ski lodge is erected each year in Royal Victoria Park and it’s great fun for kids and adults alike.
But the best bit is that next door, the mini-golf stays open late into the night for Glow Golf. They adorn the course with twinkling fairy lights and coloured light displays while your ball lights up in the dark. Such a fun spin on a game of mini-golf!
Where To Eat
When exploring idyllic English towns and cities like this, our recommendation would always be tea and cake, or even the ultimate afternoon tea.
The Regency Tea Room in The Jane Austen Centre offers you the chance to sip tea from quaint china cups and nibble at delightful English cakes whilst admiring the original Georgian features and architecture all around you.
As far as English cakes go, be sure to try a Victoria Sponge, Lemon Drizzle or scones.
Although we’ve not yet experienced afternoon tea at The Pump Rooms ourselves, we’ve been told how incredible it is by a fellow travel blogger. This ultimate afternoon tea article details her experience plus her recommendations on what to order.
As for dinner, nothing beats having either popular pub grub in a typical English pub, or a delightfully English affair at a fine dining restaurant.
For pub food, your best bet in Bath would be The Hop Pole along Upper Bristol Road, which is a super cosy and heartwarming country-style pub.
For a fine dining experience, you should consider The Dower House Restaurant found along the Royal Crescent. However, do book ahead in advance as it’s very popular. You can even eat al fresco if the weather’s good!
Getting To Bath
Bath is easily accessible by car via the M4 motorway and A36 main road. However, parking in the city is not only difficult but expensive if you’re here for a full day.
Personally, we’d suggest you catch a train. The Bath Spa railway station is just a couple of minutes walk from the city centre (across the river) and serves most train lines. Although you may have to change at another station on the way if you’re travelling from afar.
Coaches and buses also frequent the city regularly from surrounding areas. For instance, a regular bus from Bristol to Bath only takes about an hour.
You should now be ready to spend the perfect one day in Bath!
Have you also thought about visiting the luxury thermae spa overlooking the city? This is still on our bucket list to try, but we’d love to hear from you if you think it’s worth it.
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