Bath’s small population of less than 95,000 welcomes more than 4.2 million visitors every year to this UNESCO World Heritage City. Being about 100 miles west of London, it’s possible to visit Bath as a day trip from the capital, but spending a night or a weekend in Bath is an even better choice to give yourself more time to explore.
Bath is one of the most picturesque towns in England, and its famous Roman baths (for which the town is named) draw hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
Travelling To Bath
Located in the South West of England, Bath is easy to reach, just 90 minutes from London by train and a short drive from both the M4 and M5 motorways. Bath is also just 20 miles from Bristol Airport and well connected by regular bus services. Bath Spa Railway Station and the coach and bus stations are all in the heart of the city centre.
Travelling by Train
Bath Spa Railway Station is conveniently located in the heart of the city centre, just a short walk from Bath’s shops and attractions, including the historic Roman Baths and Thermae Bath Spa.
Great Western Railway serves the city and South West region with regular high-speed services from London Paddington taking just 90 minutes to deliver you to the heart of the World Heritage Site spa city. A taxi rank can be found immediately outside the main exit of the station, and Bath bus station is located just a minutes walk along Dorchester Street.
Travelling by Car
Bath is located just ten miles from junction 18 of the M4 motorway, which runs directly from London and Heathrow Airport. There are also excellent motorway links from the north, Devon and Cornwall via the M5 motorway, and Wales is just a short drive west on the M4 motorway. If you’re a tourist without your own vehicle you’ll want to consider hiring a chauffeur service such as Cars Exec to deliver you to Bath from just about any airport, or any city, in England. This is an excellent way to travel and see some sites.
As Bath is a small city, the roads can become congested at busy times. To avoid traffic, it’s recommend that you use one of the city’s three Park and Ride services. Take care when driving around the city, as there are a number of one-way streets and bus lanes in operation.
Travelling by Air
Bristol Airport is just 20 miles from Bath, making it the city’s closest airport. It currently serves over 100 destinations worldwide.
Bristol Airport Flyer express coach service will take you from the airport to Bristol Temple Meads railway station, where you can catch one of the many frequent train services into Bath. The coach service runs on a regular basis, seven days a week with a complete journey time of approximately one hour. For an easy arrival or departure, you can pre-book a private chauffeur airport transfer to or from Bristol Airport.
Heathrow Airport is 100 miles east of Bath on the M4 motorway, while Gatwick Airport is 140 miles east of Bath. Again, Cars Exec can provide airport transfers from either location.
Things to See and Do in Bath
Bath is a world heritage site, and its architecture and Roman ruins are the biggest drawcards, but the public gardens are also spectacular.
See the Roman Baths
One of the major Bath tourist attractions, the Roman Baths date back as far as 50 AD when the original temple was constructed and the natural hot springs were channeled inside. There have been many phases of development and destruction over the centuries, providing lots for visitors to see today.
Among the fascinating sites at the Roman Baths is the Great Bath (the surrounding statues were added in Victorian times), the sacred spring, and the remains of the Temple to Sulis Minerva. The first-rate museum and entertaining audioguide explain the importance of the site and its preservation.
Soak in the Thermae Bath Spa
If you actually want to dip into the water, you need to head two blocks down the street from the Roman Baths to the Thermae Bath Spa.
This amazing, modern spa complex may quickly become one of your favorite places to visit in Bath. Thermae Bath Spa has a stunningly beautiful open-air rooftop pool to look out on the city and a giant relaxation pool. With the additional steam rooms, spa treatment rooms, and on-site restaurant, a visitor could spend hours pampering themselves in the waters.
View the Bath Abbey
Day or night, the skyline of Bath is dominated by the beautiful Bath Abbey. During the day, its 160-foot belltower is visible from all around the city, and the bells ring out. It’s a beautiful tower, and unlike anything you might see in other cities, such as Birmingham. At night, the illuminated facade seems mystical, and the details of its Gothic exterior are somehow even more prominent.
Tracing its roots back to the year 758, the current Bath Abbey was constructed in 1500. Inside, you’ll find richly colored stained glass, fan vaulting on the ceilings, and hundreds of wall memorials and floor stones. Visiting the Abbey is free, and behind-the-scenes tower tours are available for £7 every day except Sunday for those wanting a closer look, so it’s definitely worth at least a quick visit during your weekend in Bath.