Our England adventure continues onto Bath, located just 97 miles west of London in Somerset. Known for its Roman Baths, Bath is a small, charming city that is absolutely worth visiting and a great place to stop over before journeying onto the Cotswolds.
The GWR leaves Paddington Station every half hour to Bath. The total travel time is about an hour and a half and you can easily purchase same day tickets at the station. Once you arrive in Bath, I recommend storing your luggage at the many luggage storage services across from the station - especially if you're short on time. At the end of your day exploring Bath, you can pick up your luggage and head straight to your hotel via taxi.
There are only two Roman baths in the world that still have hot mineral water flowing into them and one of them is in Bath, England. So it's no wonder The Roman Baths is one of UK's most popular attractions. Built in 70AD as a bathing and socializing complex, the Roman Baths is one of the best preserved Roman sites in the world. Walk on the same pavements the Romans did, observe the pipe system, chambers and heated rooms that helped pump the hot mineral water through the underground limestone, and see the plunge pools as they once were. And you can even taste a sip of the spa water, which contains 43 different minerals and is thought by many to have curative properties. Tip: from mid-June to the end of August, the Roman Baths are open until 10pm and illuminated by torchlight. Can you imagine how beautiful and idyllic that must be?
MORE TO SEE:
- Bath Abbey & Tower: Visiting the Bath Abbey is a must - enjoy the Abbey's magnificent glass-stained windows, columns of honey-gold stone and spectacular stone fan vaulting. Be sure to climb the 200+ stairs to The Tower for panoramic views of Bath.
- Thermae Bath Spa: Why not bathe in the same in the same warm, mineral-rich waters as the Romand did over 2,000 years ago? You can at Thermae Bath Spa, only natural thermal Spa in the UK. Soak in many of the mineral-rich baths, including the large pool on the rooftop.
- Pulteney Bridge: This picturesque, historic bridge, built in 1774, crosses the River Avon and has rows of stores lining each side.
- The Circus: The Circus is a historic street of large townhouses forming a circle with three entrances. It's a Georgian architectural wonder!
- The Jane Austen Centre: This small museum chronicles the life and times of writerJane Austen, who spent most of her life living in Bath.
- The Fashion Museum: The Fashion Museum was founded by Doris Langley Moore, who donated her personal collection to the City of Bath in 1963. It houses iconic attire from the 18th century to modern day.
SHOP & EAT
The best way to spend the rest of your day in Bath is to shop, drink and eat! Get lost winding through the streets of Bath (don't miss George Street, Milsom Street, Walcot Street and London Road) and discover antique and craft stores, homeware and furniture boutiques and shops selling artisanal foods. There are also plenty of great restaurants in Bath, as well as historic bars and new and upcoming watering holes.
WHERE TO SHOP & EAT
- Paxton & Whitfield: If you have time for a picnic, or just want to take some cheese and treats for your road trip, this is the place to stock up!
- VV Rouleaux: In case you missed it in London, you can find all the ribbons, trimmings, tassels, feathers and flowers you might not necessarily need, but want, here!
- Independent Spirit: A charming little liquor store specializing in craft beer, whiskies, and gin.
- Antique Textiles and Lighting: Joanna Proops has been collecting antiques since the 70s so expect to find an impressive and inspiring selection of antiques and lighting.
- OKA: A beautifully curated interiors boutique - worth popping in even just for some inspiration!
- Topping & Company Booksellers: A charming little bookshop for book lovers.
- Sally Lunn: Visit the Sally Lunn Museum and take away the original Bath Bun, an original recipe passed down since 1780.
- Guildhall Market: Find some casual eats from a variety of food vendors inside the oldest shopping venue in Bath.
- The Acorn: The Acorn serves up beautifully plated, refined vegan dishes in one of Bath's oldest buildings.
- Pickled Greens: Grab a quick cup of soup, quiche or coffee here - great if you're short on time!
- The Raven: Enjoy a hot, handmade steak pie and a pint of English ale in this original British pub.
- The Hideout: The people behind The Hideout are passionate about their little but impressive watering hole - and dedicated to making sure their guests have the best experience possible. If you're a whiskey connoisseur or cocktail lover, this is the place for you!
I can confidently say that there is no other place beside The Pig Near Bath to stay at. It is an experience and quite honestly, the perfect way to jump start our English country adventure. I should preface my professed love for this place by saying it's a good 20-25 minutes away from the center of Bath. So once you arrive at The Pig, you'll wanna for awhile. It's just as well - this former Georgian manor house, turned 29 bedroom hotel, is a delightfully homey and rustic retreat. Nestled amid 20 acres of land in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, The Pig Near Bath is all about connecting their guests to the land. That means a celebration of good, honest food that is sourced from within a 25 mile radius or even better, just 15 yards from the main house. Leafy greens, herbs and fruits are grown in the kitchen's garden and polytunnels and pigs and chickens are reared on property for pork and eggs. The interiors only add yet another layer of charm. There's no shortage of cozy siting rooms with their shabby-chic, lived in furniture, wood burning fireplaces and hand crafted cocktails which conveniently keep you staying put for just a few hours longer. Being at The Pig is like being cared for by your nearest and dearest friend - not a single detail is overlooked and you can't help but feel like you're home. The only downside was being here for just one night. I left dreaming of my return - hopefully, next time with a family or even a group a friends to fully take advantage of all that The Pig has to offer.