Bath has been on my travel list for years, and last week I finally got the chance to visit this historic city. It was our first trip to Bath as a family, and whilst we were looking forward to exploring a new city, we also wanted to relax. As the kids are getting older they both need their own space on holiday, so I booked a 3 bedroom lodge at Bath Mill Lodge Retreat, which is about a 15 minute drive from the centre of Bath.
The Roman Baths
No visit to Bath would be complete without a trip to see the Roman Baths. Based in the heart of the city and right next to the Abbey, the Roman Baths is full of wonder and history. We spent a good few hours wandering around, taking in the atmosphere and listening to our audio guides. At the end of the tour you get the chance to taste the famous spa water which contains 43 minerals. It is certainly an acquired taste.
Try a Sally Lunn Bun
I must admit I had never heard of a Sally Lunn bun before our trip, but people kept saying we must try one. So try one we did, whilst sat in the oldest house in Bath. You will also find the Sally Lunn museum at the back of the restaurant, which is free to enter if you are having refreshments. I must admit the buns were huge, and my smoked salmon and cream cheese Sally Lunn bun was delicious.
Take a Bus Tour
The perfect way to get to know the city is by hopping on a bus tour, and we decided to do this on our first morning in Bath. We caught the bus right outside the Abbey, and the tour took around 45 minutes. There is also another tour that takes you to the outskirts of Bath, and your ticket includes both tours. We didn’t get the chance to do the other tour, but we are hoping to return to Bath later in the year.
Visit Bath Abbey
You can’t help but gaze up in wonder the first time you see the Abbey. Situated next to the Roman Baths and in the heart of the city, a trip inside is a must. It is free to enter, though there is a suggested donation of £10 per family. Just look at that amazing ceiling.
See Pulteney Bridge and The Weir
Pulteney Bridge in the city is said to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. And when you have The Weir flowing by it, it really is a lovely place to stop and gather your thoughts.
When you have older kids, shopping is high on your list of things to do on holiday. Bath has a great selection of shops ranging from your high street stores, shops that sell delicious macaroons, and the shop with the cutest name…. The Pug and Puffin.
See The Crescent
Said to be the most iconic landmark in Bath, The Crescent celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2017. The crescent is made up of 30 Grade 1 Listed terrace houses, which includes the 5* Royal Crescent Hotel plus a Georgian museum at number 1. We viewed it from our bus tour, and sadly buses have been banned from going along the crescent (though this is perfectly understandable). We didn’t get time to go back and stroll along it, but it will be top of our list for our next visit to Bath.
Visit a Museum
For such a small city, Bath certainly has its fair share of museums. From Fashion, to a museum showcasing the American arts. The famous Jane Austen Centre, to finding out about the history of the Royal Crescent. The city is full of rich history and wonder, and it is no surprise that Bath has more museums in one square mile than most cities that are twice its size.
Explore the local area
During our trip we spent most of our time in Bath, but I didn’t realise how much there is to see and do in the surrounding area. We are hopefully planning a return trip in the summer, and hope to visit Longleat Safari Park, Cheddar Gorge and Caves, Wells Cathedral, Explore Bristol (which is closer to Bath than we thought) and return to Avon Valley Country Park for some fresh air.
Pamper yourself at the Thermae Bath Spa
Now this will be TOP of my list if I ever get to Bath without the kids. Based in the heart of the city, the Spa is the UK’s only natural thermal spa. And the icing on the cake has to be the amazing rooftop pool they have, overlooking this beautiful city.
As we were staying away from the city centre, we used the Park and Ride service which was fantastic. The Newbridge site was 5 minutes drive from Bath Mill, and was £5.50 return for the husband and I (kids under 15 travel for free). The bus journey into the centre was just over 10 minutes, and the last bus back was 8.30pm. I believe that Bath has 3 Park and Ride locations, and I am sure they are all just as good as the one we used.
We stopped off at Bath Tourism first as we wanted to get our bearings and pick up a map. As with any tourist board it was filled with maps, leaflets and helpful staff who suggested the best times to visit the Roman Baths (in the morning), and where to get the tour bus from. You can’t miss the tourist board as it’s right next to the Abbey.
As you can see there is plenty to keep the kids occupied during a visit to Bath. I honestly didn’t realise how much there was to do in the city, and we spent 2 full days exploring. We still didn’t manage to see everything, but that just means we have to return to this calming and historic city.
The lovely Donna from What the Redhead Said was also in Bath at the same time, and has written a post on what her and her family did whilst on a mini break in Bath.
I was kindly given a press pass from Visit Bath to explore some of the local attractions during our break.
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