In our opinion Bath is the most beautiful town in England and is a must-see destination for any visitor to Britain. Although the city has been chosen as a World Heritage Site for its magnificent architecture, it is the Roman Baths that are the highlight of the city.
Bath is 100 miles west of London and a 3-hour drive from Cambridge - but worth it! It is an elegant city located within the steep-sided valley of the River Avon. The city is famous for its fabulous architecture and for the UK’s only hot springs that surface in the town to feed the world’s only still-functioning Roman Baths.
Although considered to be a Roman town, the hot springs were a place of reverence for the Celts 800 years before Aquae Sulis, the Roman Baths, was founded in AD44. People came from far and wide to visit one of the finest spas of the Roman world. But once the Romans departed the town declined only to find purpose again during medieval times as a wool town selling the local high quality Cotswolds wool in its markets.
But it wasn't until the 18th century before Bath was to rise to its fashionable peak. The culture of bathing in the waters of the spa for health and pleasure led to the rich, the influential and those of high status to flock to the town. Bath became a genteel spa resort for the upper classes and for royalty where evolving social rules were observed and gambling was formalised.
The city that was created is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Britain. It is a beautiful city of terraces, circuses and crescents; tall, elegant houses built from the local honey-coloured limestone in the neo-classical style that was sweeping Georgian Britain. Powerful men of the town employed brilliant architects to design a city for sophisticated clients who were revelling in the wealth they were accumulating from global trade and Britain's ever-increasing connection with its colonies.
But, by 1850, sea bathing had become more popular than spa bathing and Bath fell out of fashion. It has recovered once again with the onset of global tourism and the weekly tours we run at Roots!
Things to see and do
The Roman Baths – One of the finest spas of the ancient world.
Royal Crescent & The Circus – Georgian architecture at its finest.
The Pump Room – Get a free peek into the Roman Baths. Taste the spa water - and you'll wish you hadn't!
The New Thermal Spa – Bathe in the natural hot waters. Advance booking usually required.
Pulteney Bridge – One of only 4 bridges worldwide which has shops from end to end.
Jane Austen Centre – Life during Regency times; Museum of Jane Austen’s life and writing.
Bath Abbey – The last great medieval church built in the UK.
Herschel Museum of Astronomy – William Herschel (astronomer/musician) discoverer of Uranus.
Georgian Garden – Typical Georgian garden design.
Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum – Wonderful costumes and fashions since the 18th century.
No.1 Royal Crescent – Superbly restored house furnished in 1770s magnificence.
Holbourne Museum – Bath’s wonderful museum of art, porcelain and antiques.
Museum of Bath Architecture - Discover how Bath was built.
Museum of East Asian Art – Objects from Korea, China, Japan, Cambodia and Thailand.
Sally Lunn’s – Cafe and museum to the ‘Bath Bun’ bread maker and Huguenot, Sally Lunn.
How to get there?
Join us on our guided day tour to Bath & Stonehenge from Cambridge