Bath is a charming city, located about two hours from London, by train or car. Visitors can travel easily around Bath on foot, taking in the well-preserved Georgian architecture, as well as the excellent shops, restaurants, and museums.
Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House & Museum
Upon arrival, an excellent first stop is at the oldest house in Bath, at 4 North Parade Passage. It was built in 1483 and in the 1600’s, became the home of a French baker named Sally Lunn. There is a small museum in the house, and a tea room serving Sally’s famous creation, known as the Sally Lunn bun or the Bath bun.
The generously-sized bun is baked to a secret recipe and served with a variety of toppings including lemon curd and cinnamon butter. A note in the menu at Sally Lunn’s states that the recipe is passed along to new owners of the establishment, along with the deed to the house.
Roman Baths Museum
Stroll over to the Roman Baths Museum to see the ruins of a 43 AD Roman settlement. While visiting the Museum, take advantage of a free tour; there will be a sign near the main open bath, announcing when the next tour begins. The tour guides are well-informed and explain the significance of the thermal waters of Bath to the early Celts and Romans.
History buffs may want to spend more time here, but in general, and including the free tour, the museum can be seen in about two hours.
Bath Walking Tour
There are several walking tours available in Bath. The Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides tour is offered daily. It is free and there is no need to book ahead. The tour starts at the Abbey Churchyard entrance to the Pump Room. Most tours take about two hours.
The tour highlights the Georgian architecture of the city, as well as buildings designed by local architects like The Royal Crescent, designed by John Wood, the younger. Tour guides also offer an exciting history of Bath and its famous residents.
Shopping and Eating in Bath
For those who want to shop, head over to Milsom Street. It was voted “Britain’s Best Fashion Street” in the Google Street View Awards 2010. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in Bath to fill an afternoon.
Enjoy afternoon tea, at one of these popular tea houses.
Jane Austen Centre: Bath’s most famous resident is remembered in a museum at 40 Gay Street. Fans of the author will want to take their tea in the Regency Tea Room. Housed on the second floor of the center, it offers a traditional tea service.
Pump Room: This is a neo-classical salon at the Abbey Churchyard. Musicians serenade guests during afternoon tea. Check out the fountain in the Pump Room where hot springs water is drawn and offered to guests for a free tasting.
The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and St. Paul, Bath, know as “Bath Abbey” for short, was built in 1499. Visitors are welcome to see the main church area for free.
For visitors who want to see more, tour tickets are available at the gift shop. The tour guide leads visitor up a spiral staircase, more than 200 steps, to the rooftop and bell tower. Visitors have the opportunity to see the bell ringers’ room and the ten bells in use at the Abbey. From the roof, there is a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
Natural Thermal Spa
There is one natural thermal spa in Bath, opened in 2006. The day spa offers the usual spa amenities as well as a chance to soak in the mineral-rich thermal waters of Bath.
The Thermae Spa remains open until ten p.m., so visiting the spa is a relaxing activity to save for the end of the day. From here, visitors can head back to their B&B, or hop on a train back to London.