There’s so many things to do in Bath and North East Somerset, as the city is steeped in ancient Roman and Georgian history. Around 5,000 listed buildings are dotted around the streets and communal squares of the city, including iconic sites like the Royal Crescent, The Circus and Pulteney Bridge.
If historical buildings aren’t your thing, there is plenty to see beyond the city. North East Somerset surrounds south of the city, with its rolling hills, peaceful, quaint villages and serene waterways. Visitors can explore picturesque villages such as Limpley Stoke Valley or discover the peaceful lakes in Chew Valley.
History and Heritage of Bath
The city of Bath is rich in fascinating history and heritage. The streets are lined with compelling cultural attractions and astounding architecture, from Roman Baths to honey-coloured Georgian buildings. Therefore, unsurprisingly, Bath is the only city in the UK designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Roman Baths
The Ancient Roman Baths is the site of extensive ruins and considered one of the best-kept Roman remains in the world. Around 1.1million litres of steaming spring water, reaching highs of 46°C fills the bathing site every day. Although you cannot swim in the Bath, there are audio guides which detail the history behind the Roman remains. Visitors can explore the changing quarters of the Aquae Sulis people, and walk on ancient pavements as the Romans did 2,000 years ago. After the tour around the Baths, visitors can pop into the Pump Room for a delightful afternoon tea.
Natural Thermae Bath Spa
For a chance to bathe in Britain’s only naturally warm, mineral-rich water, visit Thermae Bath Spa. The ultra modern wellness centre is situated in the centre of Bath and offers stunning views from the rooftop pool. Influenced by Bath’s extensive spa history, Thermae Bath Spa includes two naturally warm mineral infused baths and a multi-sensory Wellness Suite.
There is a restaurant on site, where visitors can enjoy delicious food and drink throughout the day and evening.
Admire the Georgian architecture of The Circus. Once known as, ‘The Kings Circus’, the construction consists of three curved segments of Grade I listed townhouses, forming a circle with three entrances. The Royal Crescent The 500-foot long crescent is home to the luxurious five-star hotel The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, a Georgian life museum and private housing.
The Hotel is a five-star haven, featuring decadent spa facilities and beautiful restaurants. The museum is decorated and furnished as it might have been during the period 1776-1796. The rooms feature historical artefacts, furniture and paintings that reveal what life was like for the once fashionable residents of Bath.
The Holburne Museum
Art lovers will want to visit Holburne Musuem, which is a Grade I listed building filled with fine and decorative art. Artwork consists of Renaissance treasures, eighteenth-century porcelain to beautiful paintings from British artist, Thomas Gainsborough.
Gardens and Parks
There are a lot of parks and gardens scattered around Bath, which offer the perfect juxtaposition to the historic architecture in the city. Alexandra Park is a favourite amongst visitors as it offers stunning views of the city centre. The park was opened in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII.
Situated at the top of Beechen Cliff, Alexandra Park, stretches across 11 acres of land and provides panoramic views of both the city and surrounding woodland.
Bath’s most popular pleasure grounds are the Parade Gardens in the city centre. The Gardens are just over 2.5 acres and offer picturesque views of Pulteney Bridge and the weir. In the summer, concerts are held in the bandstand and children’s entertainment is provided.
North East Somerset
For those wanting to go a bit further afield and into the countryside, visit picturesque village of Limpley Stoke Valley, a short car distance from Bath. Located on the Avon valley, between Bath and Freshford, the village is surrounded by rolling hills and pretty canals.
The charming town of Bradford on Avon is steeped in history and is just 13km from Bath. The ancient bridge overlooks the River Avon, which runs serenely through the town, offering picture postcard views. There are plenty of places to enjoy great food and drink, including canal-side pubs, award-winning restaurants, and independent cafés.