Bath is known as the oldest tourist destination in Britain and is famous for both its Roman baths and its typical Georgian architecture, and being just 100 miles from London makes it a relatively easy destination for visitors to reach. This compilation of the top things to do in Bath includes the sights dating right back to ancient times, but also has plenty of highlights for Jane Austen fans too!
Bath by jon gos
Podcast on Things to Do in Bath
Landmarks in Bath
The most famous thing to do in Bath is to visit the Roman baths. They’re on the site of the only hot springs in England and date back two thousand years, and touring the baths includes checking some underground tunnels along with incredible archaeological finds – and you can even taste the water!
The Roman Baths by Amanda Kendle
Just behind the Roman baths you can’t miss seeing Bath Abbey, a thousand year old church which is particularly famous because the first King of England was crowned here. You can see this and the baths by following one of the free walking tours which Heather found.
Bath Abbey by Amanda Kendle
The other sights which pop up most commonly on Bath postcards and tourist paraphernalia are the Georgian style buildings which cover the city. It’s easy enough just to stroll through the main streets and admire the architecture.
Royal Mineral Water Hospital by Amanda Kendle
Museums in Bath
Heather visited The Assembly Rooms and Museum of Costume on her trip to Bath. The Assembly Rooms include the Ballroom and other spots for socialising made famous by Jane Austen’s novels. Downstairs, the Museum of Costume showcases the typical styles from the 1800s – some of which you can even try on!
The Assembly Rooms by Heather Cowper
The Building of Bath Museum is small, but often rated as one of the most interesting museums in Bath. In particular, it looks at the development of the Georgian aspects of Bath and includes some great cross-section models to show what Georgian houses looked like both inside and out back when they were first built.
Heather also recommends visiting No 1 Royal Crescent, a townhouse converted to a museum showcasing the Bath of the late 18th century.
Jane Austen Attractions in Bath
Jane Austen may have only lived in Bath for five years, but her legacy to this city has lasted centuries. Whether you’re a true Jane Austen fan or just have some acquaintance with her work (or the films and TV series derived from it), you’ll definitely encounter some Jane Austen-related attraction while in Bath. Keen fans can take the Jane Austen Walking Tour which includes stops at locations featured in her novels and their film adaptations, with knowledgeable guides throwing in Jane Austen trivia with every step.
The Crescent, by Kimberly Sullivan
You can also visit the Jane Austen Centre, a mock-up of her home which even includes some of her manuscripts and personal articles. They run a documentary film inside and it’s also very nearby the actual house where Jane Austen lived while in Bath.
The Jane Austen Centre by neha
And finally, if you remember the Pump Room featured frequently in Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey”, then you can also visit the Pump Room today. These days it is a rather expensive place for a snack but it does make you feel a little bit closer to Jane Austen and her fascinating characters!
The Pump Room by Amanda Kendle
More Tips for Visiting Bath
If you time your visit for Christmas time, then you can take in the Bath Christmas Markets which are held in the main square outside Bath Abbey (and spread further through the city centre as well), with all the features of a European Christmas market like mulled wine, local foods and handmade gifts.
Bath Christmas Markets by Heather Cowper