There’s no shortage of things to do in Bath. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is compact and most of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. If you’re a first-time visitor, strolling around Bath is a great way to get a sense of the city.
Wander Bath’s Historic Streets
Start by wandering through Royal Victoria Park, a peaceful green space that’s close to the city centre. From there, you’ll have easy access to the Royal Crescent, one of most iconic examples of Georgian architecture in Bath. On your way back to the city centre, make sure to pass through the Circus – another gorgeous architectural landmark.
If you have time, head across town to Pulteney Bridge. Regarded as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, Pulteney is unusual because it has shops built into it. Take some time to explore the little shops or head down to Parade Gardens for the best view of the bridge.
Learn About Bath’s Ancient Spa Tradition
Visiting the Roman Baths, a symbol of Bath’s ancient spa tradition, is one of the most popular things to do in Bath. Thermal springs produce the naturally hot water that still fills the baths today. But don’t go there expecting to bathe, because it’s now an extensive heritage site.
Pick up an audio guide when you get your ticket. It’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Roman Baths. And if you like Bill Bryson, you’re in for a treat.
Relax & Shop at Neal’s Yard Remedies
A visit to Neal’s Yard Remedies is a great way to relax after a morning of exploring. The shop and holistic therapy rooms are a short walk from the Roman Baths, but you’ll need to book ahead if you want a treatment. Neal’s Yard has been a leader in the clean beauty game since 1981. Against synthetic and chemical ingredients, they offer the UK’s largest range of certified organic beauty and health products. The shop in Bath is a lovely place to browse their range and the staff are more than helpful.
In the tranquil treatment rooms upstairs, therapists offer everything from acupuncture to reflexology. If you want to leave feeling like a new person, try the holistic massage with Shireen. It’s tension-melting and invigorating all at once.
Eat a plant-based lunch
Stop off to refuel at the wonderful Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen. The menu is all plant-based, but it has unexpected combinations that work incredibly well. Try the charred leeks with cheese dauphinoise – honestly, it’s good for the soul. And if you like your food to look beautiful, you’re in for a treat. My dessert, white chocolate panna cotta with light beetroot ice-cream, was almost too pretty to eat.
Refresh at Thermae Bath Spa
A visit to the famous Thermae Spa is one of the most relaxing things to do in Bath. The four baths in the complex aren’t ordinary swimming pools – the naturally warm water comes from thermal springs. There are 42 different minerals in the water and you can expect balmy temperatures of 33.5°C.
At the Main Spa, you can choose from two baths. The open-air rooftop pool has views out over the city and it’s extra-special at sunset. The indoor Minerva Bath features a whirlpool, massage jets, and a lazy river. If you’re struggling to choose a spa package, the Thermae Welcome is ideal for first-time visitors. You’ll get a two-hour spa session with access to the open-air rooftop pool.
(Note: The Thermae Bath Spa is undergoing renovations and the Steam Rooms are currently closed. But the new and improved version is due to reopen in Spring 2017.)
Check in at Combe Grove Hotel
Combe Grove is more than a hotel – it’s a wellness destination. Besides comfy bedrooms and an excellent restaurant, there’s a leisure club, two swimming pools, tennis courts, and 70 acres of woodland to explore. Combe Grove is just a short drive from Bath’s city centre, but it comes with all of the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.
Dinner is served in the intimate dining room. And when you manage to tear your eyes away from the beautiful mural on the ceiling, you’re in for a treat with the food. There’s a separate menu for veggies and my bean bolognese was wonderful.
Waking up in Combe Grove comes with a dilemma – enjoy a lie-in in your big, comfy bed or head over to The Club for an active morning? If you do get up early, I promise you won’t regret it. A swim in Combe Grove’s indoor pool is a refreshing way to start the day. Plus, you can always lounge in one of the hydrotherapy beds afterwards.
If you’re up for something more high-impact, there’s a huge timetable of exercise classes to choose from. I joined the Boxercise class as a newbie and it ended up being one of the friendliest, and most challenging, classes I’ve tried. But you can also do your own thing in The Club’s gym.
Take to the Trails
If you’re looking for outdoorsy things to do in Bath, then head for the trails. The Bath Skyline Walk is six miles of waymarked trails, winding through fields of wildflowers and woodland. There are beautiful views out over Bath and the surrounding hills along the way. You can pick up a map of the walk from the visitor centre in the city.
Eating nourishing food, relaxing in a thermal spa, and exploring the countryside are just a few of the lovely things to do in Bath. As a wellness destination, it’s hard to beat. There’s a reason why people have viewed Bath as a feel good city for centuries. So don’t be surprised if you leave feeling like a new person.
Planning a weekend in Bath?
- Bristol Aiport is the closest airport to Bath. There are direct bus services and you can also take a bus and a train.
- If you’re coming from London, Bath is a 90-minute train journey from London Paddington.
Many thanks to Visit Bath for hosting my trip. As always, all opinions are my own.Meditation Classes in London