Embarking on a one day trip to Bath from London promises a delightful journey filled with history, architecture, and relaxation. Nestled in the picturesque countryside of Somerset, Bath is renowned for its Roman-built baths, stunning Georgian architecture, and charming streets.
Nestled amid breathtaking museums and adorned with Roman architecture, Bath stands out as an utterly surreal destination in my extensive travels. During my six-week backpacking journey through Europe, I chose London as my final stop, seizing the opportunity to embark on a one-day excursion to Bath. The city captivated my senses with its unparalleled beauty, solidifying its position as one of London’s most remarkable day-trip destinations. With its stunning charm, Bath left an indelible mark on my travel experiences.
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Renowned for its iconic Roman Baths museum, Bath is the largest city in Somerset County, England. Situated along the banks of the River Avon, the town derives its name from the baths constructed by the Romans. Acknowledging its historical significance, Bath was added to the World Heritage Site list in 1987. Established in the 7th century AD, Bath has secured its place among the top ten English cities frequented by international tourists.
Optimal for a visit between June and September, Bath experiences its peak season during these months. However, the low season spans from November to February for those seeking a quieter experience with fewer crowds. Ideal for a weekend getaway, exploring everything Bath has to offer would typically require a minimum of two days.
How to Get to Bath from London?
The nearest airport to Bath is located in Bristol, serving international and domestic flights with connections to various countries and cities. The distance between Bristol Airport and Bath City is approximately 30 kilometers. The most convenient transportation option from the airport to Bath is by taking a bus operated by TooTBus.
In South West England, Bath is approximately 185 kilometers (115 miles) from London. The road journey between the two cities typically spans around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
By Public Transport
Bath boasts excellent connectivity through public transportation, with frequent trains linking the city to London. The train journey typically takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. For the latest information on train schedules, consult Great Western Railway (GWR).
What to See in Bath?
Bath, being a compact city, is easily navigable on foot. Wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated as you traverse this petite yet fully-fledged destination to maximize your exploration.
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Crafted in the Palladian architectural style by British architect Robert Adam, the Pulteney Bridge spans the River Avon. The bridge derives its name from Frances Pulteney, the wife of Scottish advocate, landowner, and politician William Johnstone.
Roman Baths and Roman Baths Museum
Boasting a rich history spanning over 2000 years, the Roman Baths is the premier destination in Bath. The temple on this site dates back to 60 and 70 AD, presenting a remarkably well-preserved complex of baths (spas) constructed and utilized by the Romans.
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Admission prices for the baths begin at £25.50 for adults. Plan for a minimum of 2 hours to thoroughly explore the Roman Baths. Prioritizing a visit to the Roman Baths upon your arrival in Bath is advisable, as queues tend to lengthen throughout the day.
- Open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM, with the last entry at 5 PM.
The Roman Baths Museum offers a comprehensive display of the history and artifacts associated with the still-functioning Roman-built baths in Bath. Among these artifacts are coins and objects that were ritually thrown into the Sacred Spring, providing a fascinating glimpse into ancient practices.
Also referred to as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter, Bath Abbey is a parish church with roots dating back to the 7th century. Constructed in the Perpendicular Gothic architectural style, the church showcases splendid windows and is crafted from yellow-gold stones. Admission to the church begins at £6.50 per adult.
- Open every day between 10 AM and 4 PM, except during the service hours.
Designed in the 1730s by the 18th-century architect John Strahan, Kingsmead Square is a bustling square in Bath. Surrounded by numerous heritage-listed buildings, the square features a central London Plane tree, adding charm and character.
Crafted by the English architect John Wood, the Royal Crescent is an elegant row of 30 terraced houses in Bath City. These houses, showcasing Georgian architecture, were constructed between 1767 and 1774.
Jane Austen Centre
A fascinating discovery in Bath is the Jane Austen Centre, situated at the city’s heart and serving as an art and gift shop. Engage in a guided walk to delve into the life of the renowned English novelist Jane Austen and explore the exhibition on-site.
- Open every day between 10 AM and 5:30 PM.
Museum of Bath Architecture
The Museum of Bath Architecture is a dedicated space to gain insights into the architectural marvels that grace the city. Characterized by Georgian architecture, predominantly in the Palladian style, Bath’s buildings boast intricate and aesthetically pleasing designs. This museum is a comprehensive resource, offering information, history, and details about these architectural styles. The entry fee for adults begins at £6.50.
- Open Monday to Friday between 1 PM and 5 PM, and Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) between 10 AM and 5 PM. The last entry to the museum is 4:15 PM.
Shopping in Bath is a delightful experience that blends history, culture, and modernity. The city offers diverse shopping opportunities, ranging from high-end boutiques to quaint independent shops, all set against the backdrop of stunning Georgian architecture. The heart of shopping in Bath lies within the city center, where bustling streets are lined with charming storefronts.
Tour: One Day Trip to Bath from London
Due to its convenient accessibility via public transportation and relatively short travel time, Bath is an ideal destination for a one-day excursion from London. While I could have organized the trip independently, given my time constraints, I opted for a one-day tour to Bath from London, booked through Viator for a hassle-free experience.
Discovering the city is made easier with guided walking tours. Daily scheduled walks, led by knowledgeable guides, offer insights into the history and significance of various locations throughout the city. It’s an excellent method to understand a destination better while traveling. Remember that these walking tours typically commence within Bath, so planning your transportation to and from London is a crucial consideration.
Hop On and Off Buses
An alternative and fantastic method for city exploration is utilizing hop-on and hop-off buses. These buses follow designated routes, making stops at major landmarks. The beauty of this approach is that you can board the bus at one stop, disembark at another to explore the area, and quickly rejoin the bus at the next stop. It’s a convenient way to save time on transportation, although it requires careful timing to avoid lengthy waits between stops.
Accommodation at Bath
While Bath is feasible as a one-day excursion from London, I highly recommend an overnight stay in this charming and quaint city. Doing so allows you to fully immerse yourself in the ambiance of English countryside charm, providing a more leisurely and immersive experience.
Some notable accommodations that you can consider staying are:
Hotel Indigo Bath
Built in the Georgian style, the Hotel Indigo Bath is perfect for experiencing the old times with a bit of luxury. It is a 4-star hotel located close to the Bath Spa train station.
Holiday Inn Express Bath
Offering great value for money, the Holiday Inn Express Bath is an ideal stay for guests who love luxury at affordable prices. Located south of River Avon, this hotel is a 3-star hotel.
Apex City of Bath Hotel
Located close to geothermal pools at Thermae Bath Spa, the Apex City of Bath Hotel is a 4-star hotel with many amenities, such as an indoor pool.
Is Bath Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Bath is notably safe for solo female travelers, and it stands out as one of the most secure places I have visited. Generally, people tend to mind their business, contributing to a sense of safety. Even when I explored Bath with a female friend, the overall feeling of security was prevalent. Nevertheless, as is wise in any location globally, it’s advisable to exercise caution, particularly during nighttime outings.
Bath holds a prestigious position among the top 10 cities to visit in England, and rightly so. Its enchanting atmosphere and the beautifully preserved, historic architecture transport you back in time. My fascination with England and its lifestyle was further fueled by Bath, evoking memories of movie scenes from my childhood. I highly recommend visiting Bath when you find yourself in England, especially considering its proximity to London.
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