The UK has far too many amazing cities on offer and after recently moving house we decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary in the UK this year and decided Bath would be the ideal place. I have wanted to visit Bath for a long time and had an amazing time, so here is my guide of where to stay, what to do and where to eat during a weekend in Bath.
Where to stay
Bath is an expensive city to stay in, many of the hotels cost nearly £100 a night so we decided to look for an Airbnb in the city and thankfully enough we stumbled across the perfect place. Located only a 20 minute walk from the City Centre on Devonshire Buildings was a cosy little one bed flat housed in a Grade II listed building dating back to 1804. It was the perfect little place for a nights stay, with a modern kitchen, a cosy lounge and a very homely bedroom. The amenities were perfect with everything we needed from a kitchen, amazing WiFi and there was the perfect selection of games and books too. Just a five minute walk away was the main road which had a Tesco and a Co-op for you to get supplies and a pub and cafes.
Our nights stay was made even better as I had money off, if you have never booked with Airbnb before check out my post where you can get money off your first stay.
What to do
The Roman Baths
We may as well start with the biggy and a bucketlist item for me. I have wanted to visit the Roman baths for years! The Romans are my absolute favourite and the baths in Bath are the most amazing that we have here in Britain. My parents had bought us season tickets last Christmas so entry for us was free but normally costs £16.50 for an adult. When we arrived at about midday there were no queues which was a huge bonus as I thought it would be really busy. You can get an audio guide to walk around with – which I would recommend as there are not many signs around the museum. Luckily for my husband I am his own little tour guide so we didn’t need an audio guide.
You first walk out to the iconic outside bath which is lined with statues which are a much later addition to the baths. For me it was all the inside rooms and courtyard which I loved the most, the preservation of these huge rooms and the underfloor heating systems are AMAZING! There were also some displays of some of the finds that have been found during excavations – my favourite being the ridiculous curse tablets. Scrolled up lead with curses written on them about people stealing really petty items such as “Docimedis has lost two gloves and asks that the thief responsible should lose their minds and eyes in the goddess’ temple.” They are such intriguing items that give us a real insight into the people of Roman Britain.
There is a part right at the end where you can try the water. Don’t, its vile.
I was pleasantly surprised by the city centre and all the shopping on offer, there are all the usual high street shops along the modern high street. I loved the classic red telephone boxes along the high street which had been packed full of plants. There are also plenty of independent shops and antique stores, which we visited plenty of. We even managed to stumble across a small market located at Queen Square which runs every first Saturday of the month. The square was full of stalls selling quirky handmade items as well as food trucks which we didn’t get chance to try but we did buy a locally produced beer which was delicious!
You can not walk around Bath without seeing Bath Abbey and it is architecturally stunning. The Abbey has undergone a number of renovations over the years and a church has occupied the site since the Anglo Saxon period. The majority of the current Abbey was constructing in the 1600’s and later added to in the 1800’s. We only had time to see the Abbey from the outside but I wish I had taken the chance to go inside and also take a tour to the rooftops to get a good view across Bath.
Our Anniversary falls on Bonfire night so during our weekend in Bath there was a Fireworks display. I had done some research before and found that there would be a display at the Rugby Club which was only a short walk from the City Centre. Entry was only £6 and once inside the venue there were food and drink trucks. We enjoyed a tray of churros with hot chocolate and of course some cider, both reasonably priced. It had been a while since we saw a big display like this and it was really good. It is definitely worth checking out what events are on in the area before you visit.
The Royal Crescent and The Circus
Annoyingly on our second day it was raining incredibly hard but that wasn’t going to stop us from enjoying our day. By the time we walked into town we were utterly soaked so we had to stop and grab some hot drinks from a little take away café called La Baguette. I was determined to visit the famous Georgian buildings which were only a ten minute walk from town. First of all was the Circus, three curved segments of identical Georgian townhouses which formed a circle. Further down the road was the Royal Crescent, one continuous crescent of town houses which overlooks Royal Victoria Park. Anyone that lived here when it was built in 1775 would have had an amazing view! These houses are incredibly impressive and well worth the walk, even in the rain.
The Museum of Bath Architecture
There are actually a few smaller museums in the city of Bath and as it was raining heavily we decided to give one of them a try. The Museum of Bath Architecture is hidden away in the Countess of Huntingdons Chapel which was built in 1765. Entry for an adult only costs £6.50 so is really budget friendly. To start the visit was a very quick and old video about a brief history of the architecture in Bath, once this was done we walked around the displays at our leisure. There was quite a lot of information to take in, with every aspect of Georgian architecture explained. It was also good to see that there were activities for children so they won’t go bored if you take them along.
Places to Eat and Drink
If you have read any of my other blogs you will know that this is my favourite part of any weekend away and a weekend in Bath was no different.
I had tried to do so much research on places to eat before our weekend in Bath but nothing was taking my fancy, normally I am spoilt for choice. So we took the opportunity to just choose somewhere at random whilst we were there. Stumbling across the Giggling Squid was a complete fluke.
It was housed in such a magnificent building and that’s what first drew us in and then the smell. We realised it was a restaurant and took a look at the menu outside, it was Thai, and next thing we knew we were seated and looking at menus. This was no ordinary Thai food, it was Thai Tapas. We ordered two cocktails which were reasonably priced and delicious, mine was a Thai inspired G&T.
The menu was quite complex, with Tapas set menus to choose from and then Tapas dishes and Main dishes. I think the norm was to just order Tapas dishes but as there is nothing normal about the way we enjoy food we not only chose our own Tapas combo but also had main meals. The waitress seemed slightly shocked, but with so much amazing food on offer it would have been mad not to order as much as possible.
I am talking, Prawn Crackers, Squid, Dumplings and Moo Ping – which we ordered having no idea what it would be – thankfully it was just grilled pork and delicious. Then we also had our mains, mine was a massaman curry and my husband had a Thai Green Curry. Both delicious although I did bite down on something annaseedy and my mouth tasted only of sambuca for a few minutes after.
The interior of this restaurant was amazing, the staff were incredibly attentive and the food was delicious and all very well priced for what it was. You must visit here!
The Canary Gin Bar
We love Gin, so when I saw that Bath had a Gin Bar it would have been rude not to go. The Canary Gin Bar is home to the Bath Distillery where Bath Gin is made. As well as having a drink here you can also book to take a gin tour or make your own Gin. We only had time for a drink so went on the Saturday evening. The only problem with going to a gin bar is the overwhelming amount of gin on offer. Luckily the bar tenders were on hand to pair up a Gin & Tonic for us. These did cost about £10 each but we were only staying for one and enjoyed the quirky interior of the building. There is an upstairs with more seating too so don’t be deceived if it looks full.
The Griffin Bath
After taking a little walk we stumbled across a really nice looking pub/bar which was incredibly popular. The Griffin looked as if it was brand new on the inside with comfy seating and a wide array of drinks on offer this was a great stop to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax with a drink. Most of the tables were taken but without feeling full and busy. I would have loved to have gone back and tried their food as it smelt amazing.
Sally Lunns is a historic Tea Room situated in one of the oldest buildings in the city and home of the original Bath Bun. The bun is like a brioche, part bun, part bread and part cake. The café has three floors and doesn’t take reservations during the day so we headed there at 11 and managed to walk straight in and get a table even though the Tea Room was so full. We were seated on the ground floor which was really cosy and quaint with plenty of historic charm.
The menu here is huge and it takes me ages to choose something at the best of times, think afternoon teas, cakes, sweet and savoury Lunn buns, sandwiches and more. I was cold and wet so wanted something warm and ordered a hot chocolate and a bacon, brie and cranberry sandwich. Both were incredibly delicious. My husband had a three course quick lunch which included soup of the day, a savoury Lunn bun of choice and a serving of apple cake all for only £16.98. I could not leave here without trying one of the famous Lunn buns so ordered one of the sweet varieties, cinnamon butter, and it was divine.
So there it is, my guide to a weekend in Bath. Have you been to bath? Have you got any more recommendations? I would love to go back one day.