Planning a Day Trip to Bath
If you’d like to get more out of your UK vacation than what’s available in the big city of London, may I suggest planning a day trip to Bath?
From it’s naturally hot springs waters, to Roman archeology, to the charm of a countryside made famous in Jane Austen’s novels, there is so much to see and do. Here’s how you can make the most of your time there.
Bath is only a 90 minute train ride from London’s Paddington Station. Trains run throughout the day, which makes a quick getaway really manageable.
The only thing I suggest is that you purchase your ticket ahead of time to guarantee the best price. Day of tickets can run 3 times what an advance ticket would run. You can also bundle in local public transportation. I did, but Bath is so small I easily walked around the attractions without using it.
The Royal Crescent
Bath is famous for its Georgian crescents. You may even recognize the Royal Crescent from period pieces. But even if architecture is not your thing, you’ll enjoy the views of Royal Victoria Park.
For the most photographed example of Georgian architecture in the city, you have to stop by the Pulteney Bridge. It not only offers amazing views, but it has shops and restaurants on both sides. It also served as the backdrop to Javert’s suicide in the 2012 film version of Les Misérables.
The Abbey offers amazing architecture, both inside and out.
It also offers amazing views from the tower. Unfortunately I scheduled a pampering session and piddled around too long to actually climb it, but I suggest you do if you get a chance. It takes about an hour and you can purchase the tour at the nicely stocked gift shop. I purchased many a keepsake there.
The Baths are definitely something unique you’ll want to see, but make sure you’re there by the time they open if you don’t want to spend all day waiting in line. I didn’t get that memo and by the time I got to the baths, the line was too long to tackle in my one day excursion. If you plan correctly though, you’ll definitely enjoy learning about their history, taking pics, and exploring their museum.
Thermae Bath Spa
The only reason I wasn’t bummed about missing out on the Roman Baths was because I had booked a 1/2 day Thermae Treat at this fab spa. After 2 days of walking over 20,000 steps in London, I needed the massage. Plus it’s the only place to enjoy Bath’s natural thermal waters, as the Celts & Romans did over 2,000 years ago. The beauty is you can enjoy them in an open-air rooftop pool with spectacular views over the City of Bath or via a lazy river.
They also offer various spa services, and a wellness suite with steam, infrared, etc. Unfortunately they do not allow cameras so I can’t show you everything I experienced, but it was heavenly. So make sure you pack your swim suit, along with some of the following!
What to Pack for Bath
Warm, comfortable clothing and shoes – I was there late April, early May and temperatures were in 50/60s during the day. I was prepared for anything with my hoodie jacket, scarf, umbrella, and crossbody purse. Since Bath is a small city and easy to explore on foot, comfortable walking shoes like my uber comfy boots and tennis shoes are a must. Don’t worry though. While Bath is very walkable, it’s public transportation system makes it easy to get around.
Power Adapter – Unless you’re traveling from a place that already uses a three pin plug, you’ll more than likely need a Type G plug adapter like this one, a hub to connect all your mobile devices, and a portable charger to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Contactless Credit Card – Contactless cards have this indicator , either on the front or back. When you shop with a contactless card, all you have to do is wave it over the terminal. You don’t need to insert or swipe it anywhere, unless of course the place doesn’t have a contactless reader, in which case you’ll probably need to insert/swipe and sign. That was generally the case when I visited local restaurants. However contactless credit cards are widely accepted throughout Bath. That’s why there really is no need to carry cash or to even exchange your currency. I didn’t! The only thing I’d warn is that you make sure you use a credit or debit card that doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees or have a poor currency conversion rate. If however, you’d rather not use a credit card, I suggest you use debit cards, at easily available ATMs, to help you convert only what you need into pounds.
And that’s everything I learned in planning a day trip to Bath. Quick, but oh so memorable. For a little more on the sights and sounds of Bath, check out this quick video.
Then check out my London travel guide here and my Edinburgh travel guide here.
What spots would you include if you only had one day in Bath?