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13 Best things to see & do in Bath

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Sian Lewis
  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

View down onto the main pool with tourists around it

Bucket List Experience

Roman Baths & Pump Room

This superbly preserved Roman baths complex is Bath’s number one attraction, drawing in excess of a million visitors per year. Built over naturally occurring hot springs around AD 60, they were in use right up until the end of the Roman occupation circa AD 400. They stand today as a testament to the remarkable sophistication of Roman society and offer a fascinating insight into Roman life.

In case you’re wondering, bathing in the baths was ended in 1978, as the borehole water is no longer considered sufficiently hygienic. If you want the modern-day Roman bath experience, the nearby Thermae Bath Spa uses the same natural spring water taken from more recently drilled boreholes.

Adult price: £15

Good for age: 8+

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

View of the spa on the rooftop, vei rooftops behind

Bucket List Experience

Thermae Bath Spa

Many people are surprised that they can’t bathe in the town’s Roman Baths, but the Thermae Bath Spa is the modern equivalent of the attraction that gave the town its name.

It opened in 2006 with a showpiece rooftop pool, steam rooms and the intimate Cross Bath and therapy rooms specialising in thermal water massages. Bath’s natural thermal water – the same used by the Romans – is used throughout.

Adult price: £38

Min age 12

Good for age: 12+

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Bath is famous for its beautifully-preserved Georgian architecture – most of it made from honey-coloured ‘Bath stone’ and giving the whole city the enchanting feel of having stumbled into the past, or onto a film set.

The city owes its impressive architectural legacy to luck; it happened to become of fashionable spa and social city in the early 18th century – when Georgian and Palladian styles dominated. The gorgeous, golden ‘Bath Stone’ used in the buildings – so pleasing to behold – is all sourced locally in Somerset, from the Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines.

Look out for architectural gems at the Circus, Royal Crescent, and Pulteney Bridge, with its horseshoe weir.

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Aerial view of the crescent with two red hot air balloons above it

Bucket List Experience

Hot-air balloon flights over Bath

For an alternative view of Bath’s sublime architecture, and for soaking up the scenery of the rolling hills of north Somerset that surround this picturesque city, take to the sky in a hot-air balloon.

There are private and Champagne options for something more extravagant, and even piloting lessons available here for budding balloonists.

Adult price: £120

Min age 7

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 4 hours

Holburne Museum

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

The modern glass add on to the Grade 1 listed building as seen over a hedge of flowers. People at cafe tables.

Experience

An art gallery and museum housing more than 4,000 Georgian treasures bequeathed to the city, displayed in period rooms and offering an insight into Georgian life in Bath. The Sydney pleasure gardens surrounding it are worth a post-gallery stroll on a sunny day.

Adult price: £13

Good for age: 13+

Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior of the small cafe, with dark blue frontage

Experience

Part museum, part café, Sally Lunn’s is a historic café in one of Bath’s oldest houses serving a unique take on buns.

Sally was a 17th-century Huguenot refugee who established a bakery here in 1680 making her trademark light, fluffy and sweet brioche-like buns.

Take afternoon tea here, or visit from 5pm for a Trencherman’s dinner. Sally’s 300-year-old kitchen is on show too, and there’s the obligatory shop.

Good for age: 4+

Fashion Museum

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Elaborate dresses in a glass display case

Experience

Style worshippers will love this walk through the fashions of the 18th century through to modern-day garb – the Dress of the Year exhibition is a highlight. The museum is located on the lower ground floor of the Assembly Rooms, and the lofty Ball Room is worth a peek.

Adult price: £10

Good for age: 8+

Jane Austen Centre

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior of the entrance with Jane Austen model standing outside

Experience

Step inside one of Austen’s novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were both set in Bath) at this elegant town house, on the same street where the author lived. The Centre offers an interactive snapshot of Regency life, fashion and food as well as insights into Austen herself.

Adult price: £12

Good for age: 18+

House of Frankenstein

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Scary model of frankenstein in a laboratory

Experience

Part museum, part house of horrors, this spooktacular celebration of Mary Shelley and her most infamous creation is good fun for older children as well as for hardcore Shelley fans, and definitely less twee than Jane Austen’s offerings.

Adult price: £13

Min age 12

Good for age: 12+

Bath Abbey

  • Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior front facade of beautiful abbey in golden bath stone

Experience

This Gothic beauty, built in Bath Stone in the 12th and 16th centuries, known for its unique architecture and fan vaulting. You can climb the tower for views of the city, and there’s also a small museum in the vaults housing artefacts and exhibits about the abbey’s history.

Good for age: 18+