Bath is a small city but packed with things to see, from Roman baths to markets. Even its surroundings offer experiences to be enjoyed during the study holiday

Bath is a small town, a so-called English “town”, but it packs a lot into its steep and hilly streets. It is a historic and stunning city, famous for its Georgian architecture, which makes it so fascinating.

But the city also has much more to offer: excellent museums and galleries, boat trips on the River Avon, pedaling along the Kennet & Avon Canal, a spectacular Roman bathhouse and its modern equivalent, the elegant Thermae Bath Spa.

A typical locality rich in history, with some beauties dating back to almost two thousand years ago.

What to see and what to do in Bath

As you begin your excursion through the streets of Bath, you cannot help but notice the Royal Crescent, the most prestigious address in the city. It is a perfectly symmetrical crescent of princely Palladian houses overlooking Royal Victoria Park, built in the second half of the 1700s.

Most of the houses are privately owned, but you can take a look inside at no. 1 Royal Crescent, now the seat of the Bath Preservation Trust.

The house has been carefully restored using only 18th century materials, including period paintings, furniture and wallpapers. Here you can get a fascinating insight into what life was like for Bath’s fashionable elite.

royal crescent n 1 city of bath

Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge has been right in the center of Bath for around 250 years, so you just can’t miss it.

Similar to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Pulteney Bridge spans the River Avon and is one of only four bridges in the world with shops along both sides.

You’ll understand that this is quite a unique construction and walking the bridge, and the surrounding river bank, is among the best things to do in Bath, especially on a sunny day.

Explore the Roman baths

The Roman baths are the main tourist attraction of the city and comprise one of the largest and best preserved Roman bath complexes in all of Europe.

Built on top of natural geothermal springs which provide an endless supply of hot water – perfectly heated to 46°C – the complex is centered around the Great Bath and King’s Bath, surrounded by 18th century buildings.

roman baths city of bath

Many other pools and rooms can also be visited, and you can see the hypocaust system that allowed steam to travel around the bathhouse.

There’s also a museum that explores the site’s history, including its pre-Roman origins as a sacred Celtic spring dedicated to the goddess Sulis, more than 2,000 years ago.

If you love history or if you want to delve into the history of the Roman Empire that you have already studied at school, here you will find many interesting things to dwell on.

Visit Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey is right next to the Roman Baths and is truly impossible to miss.

ounded in the 7th century, it is one of Bath’s tallest buildings and well worth a visit once you’re in the city centre.

You’ll notice that the Abbey blends seamlessly into the rest of the city, thanks to the distinct color of the Bath stone with which each historic building has been constructed.

Once inside, you will be amazed by the amazing vaults and also the stained glass windows.

bath abbey england

Stroll Green Street

Strolling down Green Street is probably one of the most enjoyable things to do in Bath if you want to go shopping.

The street isn’t very big, but there and in the surrounding areas you find a bunch of permanent independent shops and stalls.

While you’re here, also visit the nearby Jane Austen Centre. There are few places in England as indelibly linked to Jane Austen, the famous

British writer, as Bath.

The city provides the setting for several short stories, including Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, and many adaptations of her novels have been filmed here, although Austen actually only lived in Bath for six years, from 1801 to 1806.

Stroll around St. John’s Place and the markets of Bath

A few minutes’ walk from Queen Square and Sally Lunn (via the Roman Baths) is St. John’s Place, one of the winding streets in Bath city center which is wonderful to visit for both the shops and the cafes and pubs in which to stop.

There are a number of markets and stalls in Bath, with heaps of goodies and delicacies to buy. Yes you have the open air stalls near the Roman Baths but you also have the Guildhall Market which is well worth a visit.

You can just browse, or taste some local delicacies while enjoying the city.

bath markets uk

Visit Prior Park

This Palladian princely house belonged to Ralph Allen, a man who probably did more than anyone else for the development of Bath.

He made a fortune providing postal services, but also owned quarries: these supplied the amber stone from which much of Bath was built, including this building.

prior park mansion bath england

The house is now a private school, but you can explore the landscaped gardens, which are now owned by the National Trust. Look out for the famous Palladian bridge, built in 1755 – it’s one of only four such structures in the world.

palladium bridge prior park bath

What to see in Bath: The surroundings

Bath is an ideal city to take as a day trip while on holiday in England, especially as it’s only about 2 hours from London by train.

However, if you are lucky enough to stay a few more days, even better a week, you will have time to really enjoy the city and its surroundings.

Hike the Skyline Trail

Running a 6 mile loop around the city boundary, this circular walk traverses Bath’s green spaces, including ancient woodland, fields and meadows.

The National Trust has a downloadable trail map and walking guide on their website. It’s mainly easy, suitable for children and adults, and ends with a stunning view from Bathwick Fields.

Go boating on the Avon

Is there anything more peaceful than a paddle down the River Avon?

You can choose between a wooden boat, a punt or a canoe – all can be hired at the attractive Bath Boating station on the south-east side of the city.

the river avon bath united kingdom

If you prefer, you can also opt for an open top speedboat trip, departing from the nearby village of Bathampton.

Trips around Bath

Whilst in Bath it might be interesting to explore the Cotswolds, a picture-perfect area of rolling hills and quaint villages which is among the most interesting in England.

This rural idyll spans six counties, from Bath in the south to Chipping Campden in the north.


If you only have one day to spare, head to the villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter for a taste of Cotswolds charm.

With trains running from Bath Spa to Bristol every 10 minutes, there’s no excuse not to visit what has been dubbed the ‘best place to live in Britain’.

Bristol is only 20 minutes away by train, but seems a world away from its posh cousin, Bath. Brimming with colour, character and creativity,

Bristol is a vibrant city with a thriving arts scene and a true love of food and drink.

Finally, just an hour’s drive from Bath you will find one of the wonders of the world, Stonehenge.

With a fascinating history spanning 4,500 years, the famous stone circle is an iconic sight in the British landscape.

Here you can also explore the Neolithic houses to get an idea of how people lived thousands of years ago.