Bath is a city in Somerset, South West England, just about 20 kilometres from Bristol and has roughly 85,000 inhabitants. Originally established as a spa resort by the Romans in 43 AD, it now is one of the most popular tourist cities in England, with yearly thousands of visitors coming to seek architectural gems and cultural highlights. The city of Bath became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987.
Sights and Activities
Bristol has a maritime climate with warm and relatvely dry summers from June to August and mild but wetter winters from December to February. Average daytime temperatures in summer are mostly between 19 and 22 °C while nights are around 10-12 °C. Winters are mostly around 8 or 9 °C during the day and a few degrees above zero at night. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year though spring and summers tend to be a little drier. October to January is the wettest time of the year.
Bristol International Airport (BRS) is just a short drive away from Bath. Easyjet has flights to/from Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bastia, Belfast, Berlin, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Corfu, Edinburgh, Faro, Funchal, Geneva, Glasgow, Grenoble, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Inverness, Krakow, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Madrid, Marseille, Málaga, Milan, Menorca, Murcia, Newcastle, Nice, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Pisa, Prague, Rome, Split, Toulouse, Valencia and Venice.
Ryanair has flights to/from Alicante, Belfast, Beziers, Bratislava, Budapest, Cagliari, Dublin, Girona, Knock, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Malta, Marrakech, Milan, Poznan, Reus, Rzeszów, Seville, Shannon, Tenerife-South and Wroclaw.
Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways have many seasonal (April – October) flights to destinations in southern Europe.
There are half-hourly trains to London Paddington (1½ hours) and Cardiff (1¼ hours), and several each hour to Bristol (11 minutes), where you can connect with the main line trains to northern England.
Trains travel to Oxford approximately hourly (1½ hours); Weymouth (2¼ hours) every two hours via Bradford-on-Avon (15 minutes) and Dorchester West (two hours) and to Portsmouth (2½ hours) hourly via Salisbury (one hour).
National Express has buses to London (3½ hours, 10 daily) via Heathrow (4 hours), and to Bristol (45 minutes, two daily) for buses to the north.
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Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as “People’s Network”, usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100’s of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail’s store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It’s common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say ‘post office’ in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.