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Bath Spa

National Rail | station code BTH

Somerset near Cotswolds

Bath is an elegant city and World Heritage Site on the River Avon with many well-preserved Georgian buildings built from the local Bath stone. In Roman times it was known as Aquae Sulis and baths were built to use the natural hot mineral springs. Bath developed rapidly as a fashionable spa in the 18th century with a formal pattern of streets and buildings, fine examples include The Circus, Queen Square and Royal Crescent. The historic Pulteney Bridge is lined with shops.

Bath's railway station is called Bath Spa and the Bus Station is almost adjacent.

TI tel. 0844 847 5256.

www.visitbath.co.uk

Bath ukbreakaways.com

Booking.com

Bath Abbey ¼ mile

Founded in the 7th century, Bath Abbey was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries and restored in the 1860s by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The Abbey is built to a cruciform plan and is noted for its fan vaulting. Tower tours. Tel. 01225 422462. Free admission, donations welcome (charge for Tower tours).
Open M-S 0900-1730, Sun 1300-1400 & 1630-1730, check website for changes.
www.bathabbey.org

Roman Baths ¼ mile

The Roman Baths were built around a natural hot spring and the remains are remarkably complete. The Baths are below modern street level with 19th century buildings above. A Museum contains finds from Roman Bath. Audio guide and costumed interpreters. Refreshments in the 18th century Pump Room. Tel. 01225 477785.
Open Daily 0930-1700, plus summer evenings (see website).
www.romanbaths.co.uk

Victoria Art Gallery ½ mile

A public art gallery with works by Gainsborough, Sickert, Turner and many other artists from the 15th century to the present day. Tel. 01225 477233. Free admission to main galleries.
Open Daily 1030-1700.
www.victoriagal.org.uk

Bath Postal Museum ½ mile

The history of the postal service and the important role Bath played in its development. Tel. 01225 460333.
Open MT 1100-1700, ThFS 1400-1700.
www.bathpostalmuseum.co.uk

No. 1 Royal Crescent 1 mile

A fine Georgian townhouse decorated and furnished as it might have been during the period 1776-1796. Historic furniture, pictures and other items show what life was like for Bath's fashionable residents and their servants. Events programme. Tel. 01225 428126.
Open Feb-Nov, Daily 1030*-1730 (* from 1200 Mon).
www.no1royalcrescent.org.uk

Museum of Bath Architecture ¾ mile

An 18th century Gothic chapel housing a museum covering the development of Bath from a provincial town to a fashionable Georgian city. Scale model of Bath. Tel. 01225 333895.
Open Mar-Oct, TWThF 1400-1700, SSu 1030-1700.
www.museumofbatharchitecture.org.uk

Herschel Museum of Astronomy ¾ mile

Home of the musician and amateur astronomer William Herschel and where he discovered the Uranus in 1781 using his home-made telescope (a replica is displayed). His modest townhouse has been restored to the period style, contrasting with the grand houses such as No. 1 Royal Crescent (see above). Astronomical instruments. Music room. Garden. Exhibitions programme. Tel. 01225 446865.
Open Daily 1300-1700 (from 1100 M-F).
www.herschelmuseum.org.uk

No. 1 Royal Crescent, Museum of Bath Architecture and Herschel Museum are managed by the Bath Preservation Trust with discounted joint admission available.

Bath attractions map

Jane Austen Centre ¾ mile

An exhibition in a Georgian townhouse telling the story of Jane Austen's time in Bath and its influence on her and her novels. Costumed character guides. Regency Tea Room. Tel. 01225 
Open Daily 1000-1730 (1600 Nov-Mar).
www.janeausten.co.uk

Fashion Museum & Assembly Rooms 1 mile

The history of fashion with garments from 1750 to the present day. Reproduction costumes for adults and children to try on. The magnificent Assembly Rooms were used for parties and balls in Georgian times and can be viewed free of charge when not in use for functions. Café. Tel. 01225 477789.
Open Daily 1030-1800 (1700 Nov-Feb), last admission 1 hour before closing.
www.fashionmuseum.co.uk

Museum of East Asian Art 1 mile

The collections represent more than 7000 years of artistry and craftsmanship from East and South East Asia, including ceramics, jade, metalware, lacquerware, carvings and wood sculptures. Tel. 01225 464610.
Open TWThFS 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700.
www.meaa.org.uk

Museum of Bath at Work 1 mile

A museum of Bath's industrial and commercial history, housed in an 18th century Real Tennis court. Features include a reconstructed Victorian engineering works, soft drinks factory and Bath Stone mine and a car gallery. Refreshments. Tel. 01225 318348.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1030-1700. Nov & Jan-Mar, SSu 1030-1700.
www.bath-at-work.org.uk

Holburne Museum 1 mile

The extensive fine and decorative art collection of Sir William Holburne plus further items added since his death in 1874. Café. Exhibitions and events programme. Tel. 01225 388569. Free admission (charge for temporary exhibitions).
Open Daily 1100-1700 (from 1000 M-S).
www.holburne.org

American Museum by minibus

American decorative and folk art housed in a Georgian mansion. Gardens. Café. Exhibitions programme. Tel. 01225 460503.
Open Apr-Oct, TWThFSSu 1200-1700.
www.americanmuseum.org
Bus free minibus shuttle from Terrace Walk at the east end of York Way (known locally as Bog Island), see Museum website for times.

Prior Park Landscape Garden NT by bus (or 1¼ miles steep uphill)

A landscape garden created on a hillside overlooking Bath. Woodland, Palladian bridge and lakes. Visitors enter at the top and can walk down to the bridge and Tea shed by the lakes. An exit gate leads onto a lane for a 1 mile downhill walk back to the station. Children's natural play area. Family trails. Tel. 01225 833977.
Open Feb-Oct, Daily 1000-1730 (dusk if earlier). Nov-Jan, SSu 1100-1600.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/priorpark
Bus 2 from Dorchester Street (near Rail Station, adjacent to Bus Station) to entrance. 6 minutes journey, M-S every 20 minutes, Sun & BH every 30 minutes. Operated by First.
I recommend taking the bus up to the entrance because the walk is steeply uphill along a busy road with no views or other features of interest. The 1 mile return walk from the exit gate at the bottom of the garden is downhill and much better.

Bath Prior Park map