Famed as the original chic getaway during the Regency period for its healing waters and high-society balls, visiting Bath can still sometimes feel as though you’re stepping into a Jane Austen novel. You’ll want to wander along sweeping crescents, gaze at grand Georgian edifices and take tea in genteel teahouses. If you can’t tell your Mr Darcy from your George Knightly, there’s still plenty to do: the city is home to one of the best-preserved Roman baths in Britain, and is nestled in the rolling green hills of Somerset.
When to go
Whether visiting during sunny summer days or crisp winter nights, Bath’s beautiful architecture enchants whatever the time of year. The Bath Literature Festival in late February will thrill culture vultures, while every autumn the Jane Austen Festival draws visitors from across the world.
Food & Drink
No visit to Bath is complete without engaging in that quintessentially British tradition of Afternoon Tea. The Pump Room Restaurant is famous for its traditional spread, while hotel No. 15 Great Pulteney serves theirs with a contemporary twist. For something a bit different, try one of the buns at Sally Lunn’s, the oldest teahouse in the city. For more substantial meals, head to the King William Pub, which serves authentic pub grub using seasonal and local ingredients.
Not to miss
Get a breath of fresh air at the Prior Park Landscape Garden. This beautiful Regency-style landscaped park has a picturesque Palladian bridge, and beautiful views over the city.
The Canary Gin Bar serves over 200 bottles of the Georgians’ favourite tipple, including their signature ‘Gin Austen’. Cocktail lovers will enjoy the ultra-cool Sub 13 and the mysterious Opium Bar, both popular with trendy locals. Don’t leave without trying a proper pint in an authentic pub: The Bell Inn and The Star Inn are both solid choices.
Where to stay in Bath
You’ll want to ensconce yourself amongst the gorgeous Regency buildings and sweeping crescents of Bath’s historical centre, where you’ll be within walking distance of all of the city’s best sights. The lush Somerset countryside surrounding Bath offers a peaceful alternative if you fancy a rural retreat.
How to get there
Bath is easily reached by train, with the city being just a 1 hour 30-minute train journey from London. Alternatively, Bristol International Airport is a 1-hour drive, with London Heathrow and London Gatwick over a 2-hour drive away.
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