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Bath city break – a 48 hour visitors’ guide

Are you planning a weekend or mid-week visit to Bath? Want some help on what to do and see? Here are our tips on how to make the most out of a two-day Bath city break.

First, choose one of our beautiful self-catering properties in Bath. All our Bath holiday rentals are within an easy 15 minute walk of the historic city centre and key attractions. Staying in a self catering cottage or apartment gives you much more flexibility in planning your itinerary for your Bath city break which is important if you have limited time.

Have a look at our range of luxurious Bath holiday homes and pick one that best suits your needs.

Once your accommodation is sorted, you can get started planning your Bath city break activities.

Bath city break: Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon weir
Bath city break: Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon weir.

Bath city break: Day 1

Bath city centre is small enough to walk or cycle from place to place, depending on your preference although if mobility is a problem then the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off buses provide a great solution.

Start your Bath city break with a visit to its most famous attraction, The Roman Baths, where you can step 2000 years back in time and admire the Great Bath and numerous chambers still fed by the natural hot springs. Get there early to beat the queues. The Baths open at 9am from March through to October and 9.30am during the winter months.

After a tour of the Roman Baths, head to the nearby Sally Lunns historic eating house, where you can enjoy a coffee with one of their famous ‘Bath bunns’, served with sweet or savoury toppings depending on your preference.

You can then take a short walk to Bath Abbey, a site of Christian worship for more than 1,200 years. Tower Tours offer stunning views over the rooftops of Bath as well as behind the scenes access to the bell and ringing chamber, the clock tower and Abbey’s vaulted ceiling – sometimes they’ll even let you ring the bell!

After a busy morning, sit down to a relaxed lunch at one of Bath’s many wonderful cafes. With so many great places to eat, you will be spoilt for choice. We love Kingsmead Kitchen, Mokoko or, for a great plant-based menu, Beyond the Kale.

After lunch, walk past Bath Abbey towards the river to admire Parade Gardens and the River Avon weir, before crossing Pulteney Bridge, one of the most famous sights in Bath whose design was inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Head on up Great Pulteney Street, admiring the architectural beauty of Thomas Baldwin’s designs built in 1789, to the Holburne Museum, whose permanent collection includes works by Gainsborough, Zoffany, and Stubbs.

Behind the museum, Sydney Gardens is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Bath city break: The Holburne Museum in Bath
Bath city break: The Holburne Museum and Sydney Gardens.

From here you may wish to continue your walk along the Kennet and Avon canal which runs past Sydney Gardens. Turn a right onto the canal towpath and it will take you on a scenic route down to Widcombe where it rejoins the river, creating a nice circular route back into the city centre.

If in need of a rest and refreshment, the White Hart Inn in Widcombe has a lovely sheltered garden perfect for soaking up some sun with a drink.

If you still have some exploring energy left in you, treat yourself to a little shopping. Meander around Milsom Street and Union Street for well known high street brands or explore Walcot Street for its vintage, art and interiors shops.

Return to your holiday cottage or apartment and enjoy some cosy sofa time. All Panda Sanctuaries Bath holiday rentals have well equipped kitchens, so you could choose to prepare some dinner at home.

However, if you want to eat out Bath has a fine range of gastro pubs offering delicious modern menus so try the Malborough Tavern, the Chequers or King William Pub and Dining Rooms.

If pre (or post) dinner drinks take your fancy, there are some wonderful cocktail bars in Bath, our favourites are The Dark Horse, The Canary Gin Bar and Opium.

Bath city break: Drinks at The Dark Horse cocktail bar.
Bath city break: The Dark Horse cocktail bar.

Bath city break: Day 2

In the morning, meander up to the Circus, an amazing circle of Georgian townhouses, designed by John Wood, the Elder.

Behind the Circus sits the Bath Assembly Rooms, made famous by Jane Austen’s novels and now home to the Fashion Museum, a treasure trove for anyone interested in sartorial history.

From here, a very short stroll along Brock Street will take you to the Royal Crescent, one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the city.

You could carry on past the crescent and enjoy a saunter around the Royal Victoria Park and its cooling botanical gardens.

Or head back into the city and treat yourself to some rest and relaxation at the award-winning Thermae Spa Bath which uses the waters from the natural hot springs and offers an array of pools, steam rooms and treatments. Advance booking is highly recommended.

After lunch, why not jump aboard the City Sightseeing hop on hop off open top bus. The Skyline tour will take you up to the entrance of Prior Park Landscape Garden which is set in a picturesque valley overlooking the city. You can take a tranquil walk down through the Capability Brown gardens back into Widcombe where you can catch the same bus to return to the city centre.

If you fancy dining out again, why not end your visit on a high at one of Bath’s finest restaurants such as Sotto Sotto, The Olive Tree, The Gainsborough Hotel Restaurant or The Dower House Restaurant at the Royal Crescent Hotel. Advance booking for any of these restaurants is usually necessary.

There is so much more that Bath has to offer but two days is enough to give you a great taste of our World Heritage city.

Bath city break: Prior Park Landscape Gardens looking down on the city centre
Bath city break: Visit Prior Park Landscape Gardens and enjoy the views.

 

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