Bath is an historic Roman and Georgian spa city. This a World Heritage Site, is 100 mi west of London and 15 miles southeast of the nearest big city, Bristol. A unique city, Bath is famous for its hot springs, Roman period baths, Medieval heritage and stately Georgian architecture.
Set in the rolling Somerset countryside on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, Bath (population 80,000+) offers a diverse range of attractions for its 4.4 million visitors each year: restaurants, theatres, cinemas, pubs and nightclubs, along with interesting museums, and a wide range of guided tours.
Bath is the oldest of England’s principal tourist destinations and has been welcoming visitors for centuries. The three hot springs within the city were sacred to the Celtic goddess Sulis, whom the Romans later identified with the goddess Minerva. Bath first achieved its status as a sacred spa site with the growth of the Roman settlement Aquae Sulis around the thermal springs. The Roman period saw a vast complex of baths constructed – the remains of these were re-discovered in the 18th century and helped fuel Bath’s modern revival as a luxury resort.
Bath was a prosperous city in the Medieval period, the site of an Abbey and Cathedral (under the Bishop of Bath and Wells). The Reformation under Henry VIII saw some uncertainty emerge in Bath’s future, although the reign of Elizabeth I saw the first revival of the town as a spa resort. It was during the Georgian period, however, that Bath came once again into its own. Exceedingly fashionable, Bath was laid out in stately avenues, streets and crescents, encrusted with Neo-Classical public buildings.
Bath suffered a significant amount of damage during air raids in World War II. The prestigious crescents and terraces were relatively unscathed and restored where necessary, but some of the more minor Georgian and Victorian streets were demolished both after the war and during a later ill-conceived phase of development known now as the “Sack Of Bath”. Consequently some modern buildings pop up in unexpected places, and the locals are generally very opposed to any major building developments that are put forward. Since 2011 some major developments have taken place with a brand new Mock Georgian shopping centre replacing a tatty 1970s monstrosity and a restaurant quarter and bus station built at the bottom of town. Nevertheless, Bath is still an incredibly beautiful city with a smorgasbord of attractions,and the entire city is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
During the 18th and 19th century there was a tax put on windows. Having windows in a building was seen as a luxury and so each property was charged for having them. When walking around bath you will notice that some of the buildings haven’t got very many windows. Some of them are sealed over and a few of them have actually painted them of instead!
In 1348 nearly half the population of Bath died as a result of the plague and further plagues hit the city in 1604, 1625, 1636 and 1643.
Let’s start with the classics and work forward to the good stuff:
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (The Pickwick Papers) by Dickens includes a very funny scene in which the group goes to Bath that is indicative of the joys found by visiting Bath and the inspiration for many visits to Bath.
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is traditional reading before a visit to Bath. Austen lived in the city between 1801 and 1805, and her novel is a satire of the social life of the city at the time. Many of the sites she mentioned are still able to be visited in the city today. She also set parts of “Persuasion” in the city.
Roald Dahl’s wrote a chilling short story “The Landlady” about a stranger staying in Bath with a strange lady who is not all she seems.
Two authors have each written a series of contemporary detective novels set in the city: Christopher Lee’s started with “The Killing of Sally Keemer” and Peter Lovesey’s first was “The Last Detective”.
Paul Emanuelli’s “Avon Street – A Tale of Murder in Victorian Bath” is set in a period of Bath’s history which tends to be overlooked and is all the more fascinating for it.
You can buy any of the above in any of Bath’s great bookshops: Waterstone’s at the top of Milsom Street, or for independents – Mr B’s Emporium (14-15 John Street, tucked away behind Jolly’s – ask a local) or Toppings on the Paragon.
These smaller airports provide a much more sedate experience than the London ones. Check in queues are shorter, there are fewer people about, and it’s much clearer where you have to go and what you have to do. Less stress and fewer delays than the London ones.
Bristol International Airport  is situated 20 miles from Bath and boasts scheduled flights from many major European cities, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris and Prague (but not London). By public transport catch the Flyer bus service from the airport to Bristol Temple Meads station, then the train from there to Bath; expect the journey to take about one hour, and longer between 4PM and 6PM when Bristol’s roads are congested. Alternatively pay for a taxi (about £40) and get to Bath in about 40 minutes. There is now an Airport Bus service direct between Bristol Airport and Bath Centre, which runs half-hourly for most of the day at £20 return.
Southampton Airport  is under 2 hours from Bath by train,and connections are good.
Cardiff Airport , Exeter Airport  and Bournemouth Airport 
are also served by low-cost airlines and are within a couple of hours’ driving distance of the city.
The alternative is to use one of the London airports and travel on to Bath by train, car or bus. The most convenient are:
- Heathrow Airport  is about two hours’ drive straight down the M4 (westbound) motorway. Alternatively the RailAir express bus service (running every 20 minutes) connects with the main London to Bath rail service at Reading rail station; expect the total journey to take slightly over two hours. Or take the train the entire way: hop on the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then take a train from there to Bath Spa railway station, the journey takes a little under two hours. Alternatively the National Express coach company run direct buses from Heathrow to Bath bus station.
- Gatwick Airport  is about three hours drive away via the M23 (northbound), M25 (clockwise) and M4 (westbound) motorways. Alternatively an hourly rail service from Gatwick to Reading connects with the main London to Bath rail service; expect the total journey to take about 2 and a half hours.
- Stansted Airport  is about three hours’ drive away via the M11 (southbound), M25 (anti-clockwise) and M4 (westbound) motorways. By train you will need to catch a Stansted Express train to London Liverpool Street station, the tube to London Paddington station, then follow the directions below; expect the total journey to take around three and a quarter hours.
- London Luton Airport  is about a three hour train ride. The Thameslink rail connects the airport to central London where you can catch a train to Bath Spa.
Wikitravel has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.
Bath Spa is a Victorian station on the Great Western Railway designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The station is located in the city centre. It has regular inter-city and regional train services from Bristol, London, Reading, Cardiff, Salisbury, Southampton, Weymouth and Swindon. From London, you should travel from London Paddington station, trains run approx every 30 minutes, journey time about 1 hour 30 minutes. Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail Planner  or by calling 0845-748-4950 from anywhere in the UK. There is a taxi rank outside the station, and the bus station is adjacent.
The station is staffed from 06:00-20:30 however the ticket office will only sell advance tickets between 08:00 and 18:00 (ignore the times on the national rail website they are wrong) There are no luggage lockers in the station; Bath Backpacker’s Hostel in Pierrepont Street, which is just a few hundred feet from the station, will look after left luggage for the day for £3.00.
Oldfield Park is a stop in a residential suburb a mile or so from Bath Spa in the Bristol direction. Don’t leap off the train here with all your luggage thinking you’re in the middle of town! Trains here are less frequent and tend to be very local services stopping everywhere from Gloucester to Weymouth. No London Paddington services stop here.
Get off the M4 at Junction 18, follow signs for about 10 miles. Use the Park-and-Ride facilities!
It is very easy to get lost in Bath, as a lot of it is one-way and there’s a traffic system that prevents you driving from one side of the city to the other. You have to go out on an unofficial ring road and re-enter the city. Furthermore, the high population density, the lack of a city bypass and the low capacity of the old narrow streets means that congestion is often horrendous. At peak times, it can be quicker to walk from the edge of Bath to town, rather than driving and finding somewhere to park. The short answer – don’t drive in Bath.
Parking in central Bath is better than it used to be as there’s a big new underground multi story under the Southgate Shopping Centre. Most of the smaller long stay car parks will be full by 08:30 during the working week so you have to get in early. Major central multi-storey car parks are based underneath the Southgate Shopping Centre, Walcot Street, Manvers Street (near the train stations) and Charlotte Street (off Queens Square). Average 2010 rates are around £3 an hour – or the more prohibitive pay and display in central bath at £1.30p per 30 minutes in the most convenient street locations. Many parking bays are “residents parking only” so check before leaving your car. Traffic wardens are very efficient so don’t even think of parking on a yellow line or going over your time limit. On Sundays and 19:00-08:00 other days most parking is free, however check machines for exact details.
The best way to drive into town is to use the park and ride facilities when travelling into Bath for the day. You can park for free and then take a bus from £2.50 per adult return (round-trip, discounts exist) right into the city. The only downside to this is that the last bus leaves at 8:30PM, so you can’t use this service if you’re staying in Bath late.
Bath’s bus station is close to the railway station and buses to most destinations outside the city leave and arrive at this location.
Most locations in Bath are easily walkable from the city centre and stations.
Bath’s roads can be quite congested and driving is not particularly to be recommended for local journeys, but it is probably the best way of seeing the surrounding region.
If you are staying on the outside of town, this is by far the easiest way of getting to and from the centre. If there are two or more of you, it is cheaper than taking a bus. Locals have their own taxi preferences but if you are visiting, your best bet is to search for V Cars or Abbey Taxis. There are taxi ranks outside the train station and the Abbey. Somehow, there never seem to be enough for late train arrivals or late at night so plan ahead and book by phone to avoid long queues.
Taxi firms are well advertised locally. The drivers know the city well and will entertain you with (often cranky) stories. Ask them about the seagulls.
Some of Bath’s shopping streets feel like pedestrian-only areas but aren’t. Have a quick look round before you follow everyone else out into the road and if you are driving, expect pedestrians to walk out in front of you. Bath is characterised by the steep slopes, which surround it, so while walking is the best way of getting around the middle of the city, it is often best to look ahead to your destination. The Circus is up a reasonably small slope, but Prior Park is up the challenging Lyncombe Hill.
Cycling in Bath is very varied, with most routes in the middle of the city being very flat and easy, but journeys up the valley sides becoming extremely challenging for novices! There are several shops offering bike hire. The ‘Boris Bike’ style bike vending service is currently available, for example outside Green Park Station.
Bath is home to the UK’s first official cycle path, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, now part of Sustrans route 4. The path’s 15 mi (24 km) are very flat and should be easily manageable. There are also plenty of points of interest, including the platforms of the original stations (including a cafe at Warmley, about halfway) and steam trains running alongside the path on the Avon Valley Railway, between Avon Riverside and Oldland common, particularly at weekends. Another favourite is the 0.3 mi (0.5 km) tunnel, running underneath Staple Hill. The path is entirely off-road except for short sections at each end with little traffic
On the eastern side of Bath, the path goes along the Kennet and Avon Canal towards Bradford on Avon. Once you climb beside the initial set of locks and get out of the city the path is very flat, passing through the pleasant Wiltshire countryside.
In 2014, the Two Tunnels project was opened. Following the former trackbed of the Somerset and Dorset Railway, you can explore the countryside SouthWest of Bath towards Wellow and Radstock (that connects to Frome) The highlight are the Two Tunnels. The first is 408 mlong, the second is a staggering 1672 m ling. You are accompanied by music as you cycle.
It is often much faster to cycle in Bath than to drive or to take a bus. However, beware of busy roads if you stray from the cycle paths and make sure bikes are securely locked.
By public bus
Typically for British public transport, public buses are expensive and at best adequate. If you are on the outskirts of town and there are two or more of you, just get a taxi. It will be cheaper and certainly more pleasant than a bus journey.
For people driving in from nearby ‘Park and Ride’ bus system operates from a ring of car parks around the outskirts of the city (Newbridge, Lansdown, Claverton Down and Odd Down). Lansdown Park and Drive prices £2.50 Saturday and Sunday – £3.20 during the week. It can take you to Milsom Street, the city’s main shopping street, or to a number of the cities schools. Doing that rather than driving to the centre of town and parking will save you some money.
Note that Bath’s buses are often quite expensive, compared with other cities. If you are going to be taking more than one return journey or one single journey in a day, it is recommended to ask the driver for a day pass instead, which gives unlimited travel on that bus company’s buses in Bath. There are several bus companies operating, such as WessexConnect, but the most useful for tourists is First.
By tourist bus
Tour buses complete an enjoyable circuit of main attractions, which can be picked up en route or at the main bay at ‘Bog Island’ (for the Skyline tour) or next to the fountain near Bath Abbey (for the city centre tour). When you see something you like just hop off at the next stop, have a look round, and hop back on the next one that comes along. Attractions en route include the historic Royal Crescent, The Circus and, with some tour bus companies, a route up the winding Ralph Allen Drive past the impressive Prior Park Gardens. Tickets cost £11.50 for both the 40 min Skyline tour and the 45 min City Centre, hop-on, hop-off service. All those locations are walkable, and due to a maze with one way streets in Bath center it seems like you can beat the tourist bus by walking almost all the time.
To the visitor Bath is a pretty complete Georgian city with a lot of architecture intact. A number of buildings were lost in World War 2, but much of the city remained intact and most of what was bombed was rebuilt, initially with 60s architecture which is now being replaced by some excellent replica Georgian buildings and some more modern construction. While large areas of ugly 21st century construction have been permitted by the Council, these are generally on the outskirts of the city and built on previously derelict land.
The touristic area is compact and most of the highlights listed in See section can be seen in approximately two hours if excluding the Roman Baths.
- Roman Baths. Built by the Romans around 2000 years ago, and later rediscovered by the Victorians, the Roman Baths are the must-see tourist attraction in Bath. The baths are fuelled by England’s only mineral hot springs, outputting over a million litres of hot water each day. You can wander the rooms that made up the baths, including the large open air ‘Great Bath’, see Roman, medieval, and Georgian architecture, and learn about the history of Bath Spa. The Baths are superbly maintained and the exhibits are filled with eye-popping archaeology. Allow at least an hour and make sure you get a taste of the “bath” water served in the restaurant or at the end of the tour. Stall St, BA1 1LZ. ph +44 1225 477785. Adults £13.50 (£14.00 in July & August) Open Jan-Feb & Nov-Dec 09:30-16:30, Mar-Jun & Sep-Oct 09:00-17:00, Jul & Aug 09:00-21:00. Closed 25 & 26 Dec. 06/2018 update the admission price is now GBP 16.50. There is not much to see inside unless you’re an archaeology buff, or have never seen a natural hot spring. The photo on the right highlights the only photogenic location there. The queues are long, and overall experience is rather disappointing considering that in many European countries you can actually bathe in a hot spring for this price.
Come out of the Roman Baths and you will see:
- Bath Abbey , open Easter Sunday – end British Summer time 9AM-6PM, other times 9AM-4.30PM – the last Gothic church in England, started in 1499 and built on the ruins of the former Norman cathedral, this impressively large church (of small cathedral proportions) is located next to the Roman Baths. Climb the tower for a wonderful view of Bath (6 pounds).
Come out of the main Abbey door, turn right and follow the pavement round the corner past the statue of “The Lady With The Pitcher”. Pass some bookshops and a shop selling Blue Glass and cross the road to the entrance to the Parade Gardens on your left. Then follow the road to the left to see:
- Pulteney Bridge & Pulteney Weir – Was designed by Robert Adam completed in 1773. It is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides and overlooks the impressive Pulteney Weir. Tourist trips by boat leave from the Weir during summer months.
Cross Pulteney Bridge to see:
- Great Pulteney Street – Quintessential Georgian street on the other side of Pulteney Bridge. Film location for 2005’s ‘Vanity Fair’ (the Reese Witherspoon version). Made for casual strolling past the Laura Place fountain, down to the Holborne Museum, around Sydney Gardens, then back up Great Pulteney Street. Below Great Pulteney Street is the Recreation Ground, home of the Bath rugby union club.
Go back in the direction of the Parade Gardens to catch a Hop On Hop Off Tourist bus to take you to:
- The Royal Crescent, a magnificent semi-eliptical crescent of houses designed by John Wood and completed in 1774. This was the first of Bath’s eight crescents, and its shape remains unique. You can visit one of the houses which has been redecorated to resemble what it would have been like at the end of the 18th century. But you don’t need to go in to admire the exterior and its view over Bath. There is also a large semi-eliptical shaped lawn out the front owned by the Royal Crescent residents. It is separated from Victoria Park by a ha-ha. 1 Royal Crescent, BA1 2LS ph +44 1225 428126. Adults £8.50 
- Bath’s other Crescents – Georgian architecture at its best can be seen at Bath’s handful of crescent shaped, residential streets, offering superb views over the city. The Royal Crescent is the most famous, but Camden Crescent offers the best views, Cavendish Crescent is the most petite. Lansdown Crescent and Widcombe Crescent are also fine examples.
- Sion Hill – Wealthy neighbourhood in the upper part of the city that makes for a pleasant stroll. Attractive Bath stone buildings.
- Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House & Museum – Publicised as “The Oldest House in Bath” – and it most certainly is one of the oldes. This is a really good place to eat and soak up local history. – see below under Eat
- Walcot Street – Bath’s ‘Camden Town’ bohemia with “bargain” antiques and weekend markets. Worth a look if you’re staying for a few days and want to soak up the local atmosphere.
- Other attractions include the American Museum in Britain  (closed Dec 15 – Mar 16, Adult £6.50), the Thermae Bath Spa , Solsbury Hill, the Kennet and Avon Canal, River Avon, St. Catherine’s Court, (unsure if you can visit, but you can stay there for £6500/weekend!) , and Beckford’s Tower  (Adult £3),
Bath’s parks are ideal for a summer picnic although local by-laws prevent the drinking of alcohol outdoors. Topless bathing used to be frowned upon but is becoming the norm as the regenerating city becomes more cosmopolitan. The Council maintains all parks to a high standard.
- Parade Gardens , In the heart of town overlooking the river, this is where the locals come to laze away the afternoon. Small entrance charge for visitors but free to residents. This park normally has a topical floral display and has a bandstand for music in the summer months.
- Victoria Park , Bath’s largest park in front of the Royal Crescent. Ideal for ball games or feeding the ducks. Entrance is free. The Botanical Gardens in the north-western corner of the park make for a pleasant wander.
- Sydney Gardens , a free park where Jane Austen used to visit.
Museums and galleries
- No.1 Royal Crescent, . Visitors can now see this grand Georgian town house redecorated and furnished to show how it might have appeared in the late 18th century. This is what you come to Bath for! Short queues at peak times.
- The Roman Baths, . OK, maybe THIS is what you come to Bath for! Unmissable – full stop. Long queues at peak times.
- The small Building of Bath Museum, in the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel on the Paragon, . One of the most fascinating museums in Bath. It gives an excellent history of the development of the Georgian city, illustrated with cut-away wooden models which give a better insight than any book into the construction and structure of Georgian houses and their furnishings. It also houses a unique collection of 18th century builder’s tools. No queues, off the tourist track – but only 7 minutes walk from the Roman Baths and set in a wonderful Georgian area of the city.
- The Fashion Museum, Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, BA1 2QH, Tel: +44 1225 477173 A world-class collection of contemporary and historical dress. Adjacent to the Royal Crescent and Circus, .
- The Holburne Museum of Arts,Great Pulteney Street, . Displays the treasures collected by Sir William Holburne: superb English and continental silver, porcelain, maiolica, glass and Renaissance bronzes. The Picture Gallery contains works by Turner, Guardi, Stubbs and others plus portraits of Bath society by Thomas Gainsborough.
- The Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, Queens Square, tel +44 1225 443000, . This museum is very popular and a fascinating testament to Jane Austen’s lasting appeal. As a museum it is somewhat disappointing as it is in a house where Jane never lived and contains no items with any connection to her (unless you count items from recent films).
- Hershel Museum of Astronomy,19 New King Street BA1 2BL tel. +44 1225 446865 . (Adult £5 concessions available). An excellent museum if you are interested in the history of science and astronomy music and culture at the time when Bath was at the height of fashion; it is also a perfectly restored Georgian townhouse of the type lived in by people of ‘the middling sort’ and the Georgian garden is delightful. William Herschel lived here with his sister Caroline, and it was here that he discovered the planet Uranus using what was then the world’s most powerful telescope that he had made himself in his workshop. The museum now has a new gallery for temporary exhibitions.
- The Museum of East Asian Art, . A fascinating selection of ceramics, jades, bronzes, and other art from China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.
- The Museum of Bath at Work, . Housed in an eighteenth century Real Tennis Court, the Museum traces the development of Bath a retailing and manufacturing centre. If you want to see a side of Bath that’s not in the guidebooks, like victorian factories, this museum is well worth a visit.
- Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House & Museum, . City centre shrine to the original Bath Bun – claims to be the Oldest House in Bath, and it very nearly is – the simple but enjoyable museum in cellars is free if guests take refreshment – see below under eat.
Bath is the only place in Britain where you can bathe in hot natural waters. You can’t leap into the Roman Baths but you can pamper yourself at the Thermae Bath Spa across the road. This is a modern spa in the heart of Bath one block over from the original Roman Baths. It is a four storey day spa, that uses the “healing waters” to sooth and relax. The waters are filtered but remain warm in the indoor and outdoor roof top pool – which has amazing views. A great way to spend an afternoon or evening relaxing in the warm waters looking out over the city architecture. They offer everything from massages to a “kraken stove” steam bath but just spending a couple of hours soaking in the indoor pool, steam baths and roof deck outdoor pool is great fun. This is a very popular attraction so make sure you book in advance.
Adult prices: £ 26 for 2 hours, £ 36 for 4 hours. 15 minutes are added for free to your time to allow changing in the changing rooms.
There are numerous guided tours, walking tours, and audio tours of the city available. Options range for historical tours to ghost tours to pub crawls; you will find leaflets for these in most hotels, bars, and restaurants.
The ‘Mayor of Bath Honorary Guide tour’ is fantastic for a free pleasant two hour walk around the famous Georgian city of Bath with the Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides. This has been going since the 1930’s, and visits many famous historic and architectural places within the city, delivered by enthusiastic Bathonians. Every day of the week, see  for more information.
Bath also makes a great base for day trips to the surrounding countryside. There are also tours that go to Stonehenge and places like Avebury, the village of Lacock, Castle Combe, and other surrounding villages throughout the Cotswolds. Just go to Tourist Information on bog island, a pedestrianised island that once hosted public conveniences and so go officially named that way, to book a tour.
Bath is a small city surrounded by lovely countryside and is at the end of the 102 mile Cotswald Way footpath.
Once you are in the city the National Trust’s Bath Skyline Walk  provides excellent views of Bath – or you can simply wander along the canal for 40 minutes to The George Inn at Bathampton for good food in a delightful setting.
There’s something for almost every type of cyclist in Bath. The steep hills and rolling countryside are excellent fodder for the serious cyclist. Ask at one of the city’s specialist bike shops for recommendations, most staff members are keen cyclists themselves.
The Bristol and Bath Railway Path journeys through several villages to Bristol, 13 miles (about 1.5 hour’s leisurely cycle) away. Outside the cities the route is off-road, although within them it sometimes goes onto backstreets. You can go from Bath Spa railway station to Temple Meads in Bristol without seeing more than a few cars.
The Two Tunnels Greenway takes advantage of two long tunnels, including the longest cycling tunnel in Britain – Combe Down Tunnel – at just over a mile. The tunnels are lit brightly enough that you don’t need lights, although they may be a reassurance. They are fitted with CCTV and even have mobile phone coverage. The tunnels can get quite busy, especially during summer and bank holiday weekends, and you need to be aware of both cyclists overtaking and pedestrians and slower cyclists to overtake. Keep left!
An excellent round trip is to start at Bath Spa railway station, head west alongside the river until you see signs for the Two Tunnels at Fielding’s road (over the green footbridge). Cross the Lower Bristol Road and head up through the tunnels to Midford, then take route 24 down some reasonably quiet lanes via Monkton Combe to the Kennet and Avon Canal path. You’ll quickly pass the impressive Dundas Aqueduct and charming canal boats and head on into Bath. The whole journey is 12 miles or so, reasonably flat, almost all off-road and taken at a leisurely pace will take a couple of hours – longer if you stop off at the numerous excellent pubs on the way!
Theatre Royal – The historic Theatre Royal  in the Sawclose, near the city centre, opened in 1805. It offers a rich programme of drama and other entertainment throughout the year, ranging from traditional pantomime at Christmas to Ayckbourn, folk singers, rock, pop, comedians, opera and Shakespeare. Programmes often feature test runs of plays before they hit the West End (of London).
In addition to the main house, the Theatre Royal has two smaller performance spaces – the Ustinov Studio and a theatre for children, the Egg – and three restaurants, The Vaults, the 1805 Rooms and the Egg Café.
While the main theatre may appear to be fully booked or perhaps outside your budget that may not actually be the case. If you phone them, you will find they have a range of last minute seats and standing options at greatly reduced prices.
The Odeon –  for the biggest and newest films.
The Little Theatre –  shows arthouse and foreign films alongside the newest releases in an intimate environment.
Bath Film festival –  runs from late October to mid November.
Not many of these I’m afraid. Bath hasn’t really got a suitable venue. Bands sometimes play at the Pavilion, or the Rugby Ground but it’s a poor show from the city that once held The Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music . Some major classical events are held in Victoria Park but they’re far from frequent.
Many pubs put on live music – for example Jazz music every Thursday and other live music occasionally at St James’ Wine Vaults in the north of town near the Royal Crescent. The Bell Inn on Walcot Street has live music on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday lunchtime, always free and busy.
Buskers abound in the city centre and some are truly talented.
Bath Rugby Club –  Professional Rugby Union club playing in the top league of English Rugby, the Aviva Premiership. Bath also participate annually in a secondary competition, the Anglo-Welsh Cup, and regularly compete in the Heineken Cup against other top clubs from across Europe. Atmospheric city-centre ground on the banks of the River Avon right by Pultney Bridge. Games roughly every other weekend from October-May. Ticket prices for games run between £15-35 depending on seating/standing location. If you’re visiting on a weekend, watching a match is very much recommended.
Tracey Park Golf Club – Appealing 27 hole parkland course between Bath and Wick (Bristol). The Crown course is superior to the Cromwell course, which has some newish holes. Nice clubhouse.
Lansdown Golf Club – Narrow fairways are a feature of this hilltop course next to Bath racecourse: can get windy.
Entry Hill – Municipal, nine-hole learners course. Not bad now that the trees have grown up. Superb views over Bath.
Bath Golf Club – Excellent, free draining hilltop course. Not overly long but a good challenge for the mid-handicapper. Always in great condition. Located at Sham Castle, near Bath University.
Visitors to Bath wanting to enjoy a summer afternoon watching cricket have some lovely grounds that welcome spectators for Saturday and Sunday fixtures:
Bath Cricket Club – Nestled in the ‘bowl’ beside the River Avon, the Bath Cricket Club has an imperious setting. The church on South Parade offers a picture perfect background. Located on North Parade, five minutes walk from the train station. Bath Cricket Club are one of the stronger regional league sides.
Lansdown Cricket Club – Former early 1970s home of Viv Richards, Lansdown Cricket Club is an equally attractive ground at the upper end of Bath. Located at Combe Park, next to the Royal United Hospital (near Weston village). Bus number 14 runs to Weston from Bath town centre).
Football generally plays 2nd fiddle to Rugby Union in Bath, although there is one major non-league club in the city:
Bath City Football Club  – City play in the fine surroundings of Twerton Park, a traditional ‘English Style’ football ground and well worth a visit. They play in the Conference South, the 6th tier of English football. Average gates are around 500-600.
Other clubs of note in the city are Odd Down AFC, who play in the south of the city next to the Odd Down Park & Ride, and Larkhall Athletic who play in the north-east of the city.
Team Bath were a former club based at the University of Bath and at Twerton Park, but were wound up in the late 2000s.
Bath is home to the University of Bath, a very well respected institution that focuses on the sciences, engineering and social sciences. Bath University has world-class sports facilities used by British olympic athletes. It is located at the top of Bathwick hill, about one mile east of the city centre.
Bath also has a second university – Bath Spa University. The main campus is in a rural setting at Newton Park to the west of the city. Bath Spa specialises in the arts, education and humanities.
As with most tourism-heavy cities in the United Kingdom, Bath has a selection of Language Schools, and colleges for international students. Some of these institutions include International House , Words4Work  and Bath Academy .
Bathonians are generally employed in lower paid tourist, retail and dining industries which makes living in an expensive tourist destination a challenge for most residents. The university and hospital provide other sources for jobs. Future Publishing, a large magazine and media company, has offices in Bath.
Bath does not have a unique product to take home with you. It is a British town with shops, just like any other. That said:
The 2010 Southgate Shopping Centre is constructed in an obviously mock Georgian (think Disney) style and features a selection of mid-to-upper range clothing chains plus some pretty good places to eat. Just don’t think it’s old or Georgian. Actually, you won’t!. It is almost the first complex you will see upon leaving the railway station but offers little for the tourist as it provides all the retailers available in every other high street in Britain. It’s very sad as this was a historic area up until the 1960s when it was completely demolished due to flooding problems.
Better boutique shopping can be found in the upper part of the city, notable for its art and antique showrooms although these are sadly disappearing. Head up Milsom Street to George Street and beyond. Bath claims to have one of the highest percentages of independent shops in any British high-street but shopping is sadly no longer a unique experience in this city. You will enjoy wandering around but you’re unlikely to buy much. In particular there are no “must have” souvenirs to buy in Bath.
Walcot street near the top of town has been designated the “artisan quarter” by the Council and has a number of independent stores but frankly isn’t going to be on your list of priorities if you’re at all pushed for time. Sadly in Bath the less established shops have to close within months of opening due to combining factors of high rent prices and just lack of demand of product.
Vintage clothing stores:
- Scarlet Vintage, 5 Queen Street (off Milsom St,next to The Raven), ☎ +44 1225 338677, . 1030-1730. Great vintage clothing store selling a selection of vintage clothing, handbags, scarves etc. Also some designer resale pieces from more recent years. edit
- Grace & Ted, 10 Kingsmead Square, ☎ 01225 461518. Boutique for men and women specialising in the best secondhand designer clothes and accessories. edit
In two categories Bath reigns supreme in the UK: coffee and cheese.
Coffeemaker Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has twice been named UK Barista of the year and is currently ranked 4th in the world. His coffees are available in Colonna & Smalls (with cafe snacks), and Colonna & Hunter’s (along with craft beers and avantgarde food in a hipster environment).
The Bath Soft Cheese company based in Kelston produces four award-winning organic cheeses, and its “Bath Blue” was judged supreme world champion by over 250 cheese judges from 26 nations in the 2015 Good Food Show Awards. Bath Soft Cheese products are available in the Bath farmers’ market, several cheese shops and direct from the dairy’s cafe in Kelston just ouside Bath.
There are some good restaurants, and many pubs do great food, but they’re not all clustered together – so you’ll work up an appetite wandering round looking for your supper.
For the less discerning visitor the bottom end of the town by the new shopping centre and train station has the usual “restaurant” chains but if you’re after an authentic dining experience with a bit more style it’s far better to consult the web and decide in advance where you want to go.
- Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House & Museum , 4 North Parade Passage, +44 1225 461634 . Taste the original Sally Lunn Bun, not to be confused with the more famous Bath Bun, a small round bun containing sugar and currants. Good lunch time fare – and very popular so you may have to queue at peak times.
- Allium Brasserie, 1-3 North Parade, +44 1225 461603, , . Open from 12 noon daily, Lunch 12 til 3.30pm, dinner 5.30 until 9pm. Award-winning menus from chef patron Chris Staines.
- King William Pub & Dining Rooms , London Road, +44 1225 428096. Small, award-winning gastropub, the mussels are highly recommended.
- Hudson Bar & Grill , 14 London St, +44 1225 332323. Great steak and seafood in stylish surroundings.
- Jazz Cafe  Kingsmead Square +44 1225 329002. Excellent food and great for people watching, due to its position overlooking the square. Very popular with locals and visitors alike, so it can be difficult to get a table at weekends. Also does fantastic breakfast.
- Boston Tea Party +44 1225 313 901 Kingsmead Square. Bustling little cafe with great sandwiches and what is possibly the best coffee in Bath. It can be difficult to get somewhere to sit.
- The Priory Hotel, Weston Road, +44 1225 331922, , . Top notch food, along with top-tier prices.
- Allium Brasserie, 1-3 North Parade, +44 1225 461603, , . Open from 12 noon daily, Lunch 12 til 3.30pm, dinner 5.30 until 9pm. Award-winning menus from chef patron Chris Staines.
- Yak Yeti Yak, 12 Pierrepont Street, +44 1225 442299, . Open 12:00-14:30 daily for lunch, dinner M-Sa 17:00-22:30 (closes at 22:00 on Sunday). A unique family-run Nepalese restaurant in an ornately decked out basement. Reasonably priced and delicious. In keeping with the atmosphere the service can be rather laid back (or some have said, inconsistent). They offer an extensive vegetarian/vegan selection. Book in advance for a Friday or Saturday dinner.
- Firehouse Rotisserie, 2 John Street, +44 1225 482070, . Open M-Sa for lunch 12PM-2:30PM and dinner 6PM-11PM. Creative Californian restaurant, again off Milsom Street. Service can be somewhat aloof and pretentious – nice but expensive nosh.
- Raphael, Upper Borough Walls, +44 1225 480042, . Open M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 12PM-10:30PM. Reinvented as a classy nouveau French restaurant. Situated near Theatre Royal.
- Browns, Orange Grove (over the road from Bath Abbey), +44 1225 461199, . One of a (usually but not always!) reliable chain of middle-market restaurants with branches in many of the most attractive towns in southern England including Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, and Windsor.
- Strada, Sawclose (next to the Theatre Royal), +44 1225 337753, . Once the home of Richard ‘Beau’ Nash, who was one of the main influences on Bath’s evolution in the first half of the eighteenth century from a dirty, bawdy, uncivil and decidedly un-smart provincial town into the hugely fashionable and (relatively) polite spa resort reminiscent of Georgian Bath. Italian food.
Bath is well served for this cuisine. Generally all of them are good and a few are exceptional:
- The Eastern Eye, 8A Quiet St ☎ +44 1225 422323 City centre restaurant set in a huge Georgian room. Excellent food and service. Book ahead unless you’re going very early evening. Service charge (tip) is included in the bill.
- Tulsi, 15 Argyle St ☎ +44 1225 335558, Located centrally in an incredible cellar just next to Pulteney Bridge. Superb food and service.
- Indian Temptation, 9-10, High Street ☎ +44 1225 464631, Located opposite, and with views of, Bath Abbey this is a vegetarian / vegan restaurant specialising in Southern Indian dishes.
- Bombay Nights, Lower Bristol Rd ☎ +44 1225 460400 Excellent food and service. A ten minute walk from the city centre and in a less impressive area of town but the food is exquisite. Book ahead.
- Thai Basil, 90a Walcot Street, +44 1225 462463. Authentic Thai food in pleasant surroundings and at a reasonable price.
- Mai Thai, 6 Pierrepont Street, +44 1225 445 557. Excellent quality Thai Food and good service. Conveniently situated close to the station. It often busy so booking is essential at weekends and recommended at other times. Now located outside the centre in Newbridge
- Giggling Squid
Great Thai food in a quirky restaurant, probably the best Thai fare in the city
- One Fish, Two Fish, North Parade, Bath. Cosy cellar restaurant – class act.
- Fish n’ Chips, Upper Boro Walls, Bath. If you want somewhere cheap to eat during the current economic crisis this is it; great fish n’ chips for not much money (less than £2). There’s no seating inside, just a counter, so you can stand there or take it with you. It’s just west of Union Street, on the right side of Upper Boro Walls.
- The Scallop Shell, 22 Monmouth Place, Bath. Bath’s newest, this opened in 2015 and is popular – so book ahead.
Snacks & treats
- Fudge Kitchen, 10 Abbey Churchyard, +44 1225 462277, . Some of the best fudge you’ll eat, and a discount for school children. Watch the the different fudge flavours being made and then try a piece before you buy. You certainly won’t regret going in there. The shop also caters for special occasions like weddings and offers a range of gifts.
- Ben’s Cookies, Union Passage, Popular with young locals, not exactly cheap but definitely worth it for a wide selection of melt-in-the-mouth cookies.
- Thayer’s Ice Cream, York Street, overlooking the south side of the Abbey (look out for the giant ice cream cone). Famous in the local area for its selection of traditional ice cream, with some more unusual flavours too. Can get extremely busy on a hot summer’s day so expect to queue. For real ice cream lovers, the six-scoop ‘Belly Buster’ is highly recommended.
- The Real Italian Ice Cream Co., York Street. Genuine Italian Gelato in a host of flavours – not to be missed!
Head to Kingsmead Square for burgers, kebabs etc. The following are a cut above the post-pub takeaways and are highly recommended:
- Schwartz Brothers Burgers. Absolutely the best in town. Excellent veggie burgers. Highly recommended. Take away only – eat on the benches in Kingsmead Square. They also have an outlet in Walcot Street.
- Sea Foods Fish and Chip Shop. Has been serving traditional fish and chips for over 50 years. M-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 12PM-8PM. Eat in or take-away – seats 60.
- Mr. D’s is a small McDonald’s-like burger stand, whose burgers and shakes are quite like how they used to taste in the 60s.
- La Baguette is a popular sandwich shop on Stall Street, a minute walk from the Abbey. Sandwiches are handmade using crunchy baguettes usually for cheaper than a convenience store sandwich. The tiny shop can often be identified by the queue trailing out of the door.
- The Whole Bagel Upper Borough Walls, just off the High Street . An excellent place to get a quick lunchtime snack. They have a large variety of bagels which are ‘freshly baked everyday’ filled with fresh local ingredients.
- Bath Buns are buttery buns with large bits of sugar and raisins on top and can be bought at any bakers.
- Sally Lunn’s Buns are bigger, with no sugar and raisins, and can be enjoyed at Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House with sweet or savoury fillings
- Bath Oliver Biscuits are available worldwide from supermarkets and deli’s.
- Cheddar Cheese the original cheddar, copied worldwide, originates about 25 miles away. Pick some up from local cheesemonger’s Paxton and Whitfield in John Street, or The Fine Cheese Company in Walcot Street.
Bath has a huge array of pubs and bars to choose from, ranging from the very traditional pubs serving real ale to the typical trendy bars:
Most notable pubs
- The Salamander, Quiet Street. A tithe house of Bath Ales.
- The Raven, Queen Street (a short crawl from The Salamander). Friendly pub with a good selection of real ales. Famous for its hearty pies and mash and its good selection of less traditional board games (ask at the upstairs bar).
- The Old Green Tree, Green Street. Very small but characterful old pub. Squeeze through the door, elbow your way to the bar and order some real ale or cider.
- The Bell, Walcot Street. Originally an 18th century coaching house and for many years the heartbeat of what Bath Council now designated the ‘Bohemian Quarter’. With a superb array of real ale, regular live music and a great atmosphere it has been an edgy ‘alternative’ pub with a cheerfully dodgy character. Think roll ups, hippies, punks, New Romantics, Rockers, herbal cigarettes, etc. Now, it has become somewhat mainstream with a co-operative buyout publically launched by Don Foster,when the owner decided to sell up. It still has the sticky floor and rough and ready decor of old and is a highly profitable pub, which is good new for the co-operative who bought it. However, is it still edgy and underground or just a business trading on past glories? Visit and decide for yourself. You will not be disappointed with the beer or cider on offer.
- The Star, Paragon. A 3 min walk from the Bell, it is completely authentic and the same now as it was 100 years ago, the small rooms, wooden benches, pints drawn directly from the barrel and old coin games offer a truly genuine histroic atmosphere. Packed with locals and completely off the tourist’s radar, this is no museum but a 16th century pub that is still going about its business serving the locals. Highly recommended for a genuine Victorian pub experience.
- The Rising Sun, Grove Street. Just across the river from the centre, this pub’s only important feature is the traditional skittles alley, at the back of the pub.
Other notable pubs
- Pig and Fiddle, Broad Street. A large popular pub, with a less traditional approach and clientèle (mainly students) than those listed above. There is space to enjoy your pint outdoors, which is well heated on cold nights. Generally a good place to catch some sport, especially rugby.
- The Crystal Palace, Abbey Green. Notable for having an outdoor area, which is rare in Bath, and good food.
- Gascoyne Place, Saw Close. Serves food and has a wide selection of quality European and UK beers and live jazz on Sunday Evenings.
- Saracen’s Head, Broad Street. Bath’s oldest pub can be found in Broad Street. A legend is as that Charles Dickens stayed here. Large and commercial, with little atmosphere, compared with Baths other pubs.
- The Boater, Argyll Street. A large beer garden by the river, which is popular with university students as soon as the sun comes out. Nice in the summer evenings.
- The Ram, Widcombe Highstreet. Offers a handful of local ales and ciders. Just to the south of the centre of Bath on Widcombe High Street, a short walk from the train station.
- Couer de Lion, Northumberland Place. One of the many claimants to Britain’s smallest pub, the Couer de Lion is certainly Bath’s smallest, barely fitting a dozen inside!
- The Hop Pole, Upper Bristol Road. A 10-15 min walk from the city centre, the Hop Pole bills itself as “a country pub in the city”. Owned by Bath Ales, it has a good range of food and drink. Its most notable feature is the beautiful beer garden, a real oasis in the summer and a favourite with local office workers. It is also just a hop across the road to Royal Victoria Park.
- Revolution, George Street . Two-floor expensive vodka bar with live DJ sets on weekends; very busy, magnet for fashion victims and dolly birds.
- The Trinity, James Street West. Friendly, ‘real’ pub situated in the city centre. Welcoming and inexpensive.
- Opium, Grove Street. Tucked away in the vaults beneath Grove Street, just over Pultney Bridge. Make a left and follow your nose, as there i often incense in a burner outside. The opium den theme continues within, with sumptuous bohemian-style furnishings and a varied cocktail menu.
There are many great pubs in the countryside around Bath. The following have been selected based on a real sense of history and/or a great place to sit outside in the summer months:
- Cross Guns at Avoncliffe . Good food and grassy terraces leading down to the river and overlooked by an aqueduct. Superb in the summer. You can get a train as there is a small station just a 2 min walk away, get a taxi or take a very scenic walk along the River Avon (about 6 mi from the city centre).
- The Wheatsheaf at Combe Hay . The Wheatsheaf was originally built in 1576. It became a pub in the eighteenth century and with its wooden beams and roaring log fire, it has retained all its original charm, good food and large gardens. Take a taxi.
- Tuckers Grave, Faulkland. This is where Bathonians head to get authentic glow-in-the-dark cider. It is strong stuff served in what feels like someone’s living room. Take a taxi.
- The George at Norton St Philip . With 700 years of hospitality under its belt, it is positively oozing with history. Its flagstone floors and antique furniture will transport you back in time, and if you go in winter, you will be glad of the open fire to keep you warm.
Considering the size of this small city, there are a reasonable number of nightclubs to be found, in no small part helped by the city’s substantial student population. Most club nights cater to mainstream tastes, while serious clubbers tend to travel further afield to the larger cities of Bristol and London. Posters and fliers advertising more specialist nights can be found in locations such as the walls inside the town’s independent fast food outlets. A unique aspect (for better or for worse) of Bath’s nightclubs is that many of them are located in the cellars of old Georgian buildings and can weave through the ground like mazes. Note that they seem to open and close out of the blue.
- OPA  North Parade, near Parade Gardens. A classy bar perfect for chilled drinks, it has a small dance floor. Bath’s only Spanish night on Wednesdays and a gay night on Thursdays.
- Po Na Na  North Parade. Wednesday night hosts Discord, the city’s most famous rock night. Thursday is also very popular. Very young crowd.
- Club XL  To the north of the town centre on Walcot Street. Popular with students.
- Moles  Famous club on George Street hosting gigs as well as club nights. Friendly crowd and reasonably-priced drinks. Locals generally head for a drink in The Porter (next door) before heading to Moles later in the evening. OnTuesdays, ‘The Big Cheese’ (known as ‘cheesy Tuesdays’) is Bath’s longest running club night.
You can drink the famous hot Bath mineral water in the Pump Rooms in the Abbey Churchyard. It costs about 50p and is served from a fountain in the restaurant area. The experience is unforgettable: it has a unique taste from the minerals that the Romans believed held health benefits for the drinker. It is certainly an unmissable experience!
Accommodation in and around Bath ranges from budget hostels and smart, comfortable self-catering homes, through elegant bed and breakfast and guest houses, hospitable farms and inns, to top-of-the-range hotels.
- Bath Backpackers, 13 Pierrepont, Bath. Phone: +44 1225 446787, 10 Bed per room Dorms are about £13 per person per bed.
- St Christopher’s Bath Hostel (Bath Hostel), 9 Green Street, Bath, Somerset BA1 2JY, ☎ +44 1225 481444 ([email protected], fax: +44 20 7247 7114), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. A well known youth hostel located in the centre of the city. Part of the St Christopher’s hostel chain. £9.50 with breakfast. edit
- YMCA, International House, Broad St Pl, +44 1225 325900. Locals insist that the Backpacker’s beds are infested with lice, and will direct visitors on a budget to the Y on Walcot St.
- YHA Bath, Bathwick Hill, Bath, Somerset, BA2 6JZ, Telephone no: 0870 770 5688, Decent youth hostel from £12.95 a night in an Italianate mansion on the outskirts of the city. Frequent bus service serves between the Youth Hostel and city centre.
- Travelodges There are 2 in Bath – One relatively near the station (Bath Waterside) and one on George Street (Bath Central). Both give excellent rates (between £19-£59) if you book far enough in advance. Walk-in rates tend to be extremely high (~£80) due to being in Bath! Waterside tends to be cheaper than Central. Beware if booking Bath Central – there is a nightclub beneath the hotel. Ask for a room on the top floor if you want a good nights sleep!
- Express by Holiday Inn, Lower Bristol Road, +44 1225 303000,  New hotel about 1 mile from city center. From £59 for a double room with basic breakfast.
- University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, +44 1225 386622  The university has 30 double rooms available year round (prices from £60 per night) and from June to September has 2,300 rooms available to suit all budgets.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Bath, Walcot Street, +44 1225 463411 (email:[email protected], Fax: +44 1225 464393), . The location is everything for this hotel, right in the center of Bath. The rooms are 173 in total, with comfortable beds, work station, 32-inch HDTV and WiFi, coffee/tea making set.
- The Abbey Hotel, North Parade, +44 1225 807161 (email: [email protected], Fax: +44 1225 447758), . Comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, well-equipped rooms, great breakfasts, excellent award-winning brasserie, reasonable rates.
- Pratt’s Hotel, South Parade, Bath, Somerset, BA2 4AB, ☎ +44 1225 460 441, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Hotel in the city. From £45. edit
- Royal Hotel Bath, Manvers Street, +44 844 544 9246 . Located in the heart of the city, the hotel was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was opened over 150 years ago.
- Bailbrook Lodge, 35-37 London Road West, +44 844 544 4997 . Bailbrook Lodge is a splendid Georgian Mansion designed by the famous architect John Everleigh
- Purbeck Holiday Lets (Bath Self Catering), Purbeck House, Bridge Place Road, Camerton, Bath, Somerset, BA2 0PD, ☎ +44 1761 471358 ([email protected]), . Purbeck Holiday lets is the perfect location and setting if you are visit the beautiful Roman city of Bath, whether on family holiday, romantic break for two or enjoying the company of friend and colleagues. edit
- Tasburgh House, Warminster Rd. Bath, BA2 6SH, ☎ +44 1225 425096 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. A stunning boutique hotel where luxury is affordable (and the views are free). As seen on The Hotel Inspector (Channel Five, 2006), Sue Keeling daughter Toni provide a relaxing and enjoyable stay. 130. edit
- The Royal Crescent Hotel, 16 Royal Crescent, +44 1225 823333 , . The Royal Crescent luxury Hotel occupies the two central buildings in the Royal Crescent. Both are Grade I listed, and were built by John Wood the Younger himself. If you truly want to immerse yourself in the City of Bath and all its historical glory then this is the place to stay.
- Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Sydney Road, +44 870 400 8222 (email:[email protected], Fax: 01225 444006), . One of Bath’s flagship hotels – 5 star luxury with fine decor and amenities. Bath Spa Hotel is the celebrity’s favorite: Joan Collins and Felicity Kendall have been spotted there. A nice grotto is a feature of the large front lawn. Adjacent to the attractive Sydney Gardens – a great starting point for the mile-long canal walk to Bathampton village.
Overall Bath is a very safe city to visit; the large number of tourists and university students generates a friendly and vigorous feel to the city. Bath city centre is lively and bustling until late on Friday and Saturday evenings, although things get rougher around kicking out time late at night. Women would be well advised to avoid wandering around alone at night. The common problem for tourists is the occasional groups of homeless beggars around the parks and abbey – you may see them drinking lager and shouting abuse, which can surprise many first-time visitors. However, they’re not pushy when asking for money, and argue amongst themselves rather than getting passers-by involved. Accept it as a byproduct of a city that attracts tourism (and therefore money), and it’s no problem.
The river, especially between Pultney Bridge and the weir looks good for a spot of swimming when you’re young and fit – however a calm surface conceals strong currents and the flood defences mean it’s hard to rescue those who get into difficulty. The river is dangerous and has seen numerous deaths, despite increased safety measures. Be advised to stay well away after a drink or two. However, beyond the flood defences in Bath the river is safer. Warleigh weir is a recommended ‘wild swimming’ spot in summer. Popular with locals and students it is about 3 miles along the canal towards Bradford-on-Avon.
If you’re a keen cyclist, there’s a wonderful Bath-to-Bristol cycle path at your disposal. However, please be aware that there have been robberies and attacks on this stretch of cycle path in 2008. Police have made arrests, but it’s something you should consider if planning to make the journey.
In general Bath is a very safe place to visit and you should not feel threatened in any way.
When in the city watch your bags and don’t leave them untended or allow a stranger to “watch” them for you.
At night keep to the main roads and well lit areas and try to avoid parks and woods when it is dark for obvious reasons.
Bath’s landline area code is 1225. Dial 01225 from within the UK or +44 1225 from outside the UK.
Bath Library (in the Podium Shopping Centre) offers Internet access at £3.60 an hour for non members.
There are a couple of small Internet cafés across the road from the train station. Many cafés and pubs offer free wireless internet access for your laptop, such as Wetherspoons or Bell Inn on Walcot Street where you can plug your laptop in free of charge. Many pubs also offer paid wireless internet, including the Saracen’s Head and St. Christopher’s Inn. Also try the Adventure Cafe on George Street.
There are various online sources which publicise local events, but probably the best thing is to pick up The Bath Chronicle  (published weekly on Thursdays), or a copy of Venue Magazine  (analogous to London’s ‘Time Out’) from a newsagent. Venue is weekly (except around Christmas/New Year), costs £1.50, and new editions are usually available on Wednesdays.
- Bradford on Avon is a beautiful, picture-postcard small town near Bath. It’s accessible by rail and there’s a lovely 30 minute walk along the canal to Avoncliffe where the Cross Guns pub provides good food in an excellent riverside setting – and you can catch the train back to Bath from there. Plan to spend some time there, as the trains are far and few between, check the schedule so you don’t get stuck there. The best way is to go early in the morning and come back in the afternoon.
- Bristol, with its many attractions situated around the floating harbour and Avon Gorge, is only some 12 miles drive or 15 minutes train journey away, and makes an excellent day trip from Bath.
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