If you are planning to visit Bath during the festive period, you might want to stop for a few Christmas drinks. We’ve thought long and hard about the best bars in Bath – and tested them all! – and have concluded it really depends what you are after.
But since it is Christmas, we’ll assume you want to go somewhere with a bit more elegance than your local pub. We’ll leave Bath’s best pubs to another blog post.
All Panda Sanctuaries’ beautiful self catering accommodation in Bath is within easy walking distance of the historic city centre where the best bars in Bath can be found. Get in touch or head to our special offers page to find out about any deals and discounts you can benefit from when booking your Bath accommodation direct with Panda Sanctuaries.
Here is our quick guide to the best bars in Bath:
For a late night
This stylish bar, live music venue and club is a relative newcomer to Bath’s bar scene. Walcot House is set in an elegantly converted old bakery with a long marble-top bar and dining tables set around a stage. Enjoy being serenaded by swing, jazz or Latin musicians as you sip on an expertly mixed cocktail but be prepared for the tables to be swept away for dancing after 10pm. Open until 3am on Saturdays.
This quirky independent bar tucked away behind the Assembly Rooms on Saville Row, offers visitors the chance to sit, sip and chat or to dance – if they can squeeze their way onto the tiny dance floor. The first floor houses an intimate lounge bar, referred to, tongue in cheek, as ‘Hef’s Bar’, while downstairs the main bar opens onto the small dance floor where DJs entertain until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, 2am the rest of the week.
For fine wines
For delectable wines and mouth-watering small plates to match, Corkage is definitely one of the best bars in Bath. The original bar and restaurant on Walcot Street proved so popular, Corkage has now opened a second premises on Queen’s Square. Wines from all over the world are carefully curated by co-owners Marty and Richard who will help you choose a tipple to perfectly suit your mood or your food.
This laid back, sociable bar is a great place to savour wonderful wines while soaking up charmingly shabby atmosphere and listening to live music, with a different act each night. With three floors, no reservations are required, just turn up and enjoy perusing the colourful descriptions in the menu before making your choice.
You can sample more than 250 wines from around the world at this extensive wine bar, café and shop recently opened by the same ex-Soho House team behind the The Talbot Inn and The Beckford Arms. There is a creative menu of small plates to accompany the wines and anything you drink in the bar, you can also buy by the bottle from the shop.
Bath is spoilt for choice when it comes to cocktail bars, with quirky independent haunts like the Dark Horse and Opium as well as more opulent settings such as the Montague Bar at the Royal Crescent Hotel or Bar 15 on the ground floor of No. 15 Great Pulteney Street and trendy evening hangouts like Sub 13 and Circo. For further advice on where to go if you fancy a fine cocktail, read to our blog about Bath’s best cocktail bars here.
It is claimed this snug hole in the wall was once a den for highwaymen and thieves, but afters years of being buried by Georgian Bath, it has now been restored and taken over by ‘purveyors of fine whisky’. Hidden away in the narrow Tudor lanes behind the Abbey, more than 200 whiskies line the stone walls of the Hideout. Beware the Crab Smasher, a drink invented here which is a powerful combination of peaty 10-year-old Ardbeg, Scapegrace Gold gin, Green Chartreuse and bitters.
Something for everyone
For bigger groups this large buzzing bar run by the Dorset brewery is ideal. Thanks to the expansive open plan setting in what used to be Bonhams auction rooms, there is plenty of space to sit, stand, drink, eat. Downstairs there plush Chesterfield sofas, battered leather armchairs, long trestle tables and a wide selection of board games. Upstairs there are dining tables and a roof terrace which is open until 10pm.
Specialising in wine as the name suggests, Vino Vino is also a great place to sip a cocktail or simply enjoy a beer. With a relaxed informal atmosphere and extensive seating outside under large umbrellas and heaters, this is a fun place to pass an hour or two with friends watching the world go by.
Run by Bath Ales, this welcoming bar and chophouse also boasts a microbrewery onsite and unsurprisingly sells a tasty selection of beers among other things. Situated right next to Bath Spa Station, Graze benefits from an expansive light and airy interior, with plenty of space for diners and drinkers. In the summer a large sunny roof terrace is an added drawer.