Top 5 Things To Do In Bath | Travel Guide
Updated: Jun 30, 2020
I'm not sure how it's gotten to October already but we can't hide the fact that the days are shorter and the weather is colder... and much more rainy, thanks England. September is one of my favourite times to travel, and then after that I start to get overly excited about Winter/Christmas getaways; Autumn holidays holidays have just never been something I sat lusting over.
There are some amazing places around the world that you can visit at this time of year, full of changing colours and pumpkin spice everything, but it's already an expensive time of year without adding travel funds into the mix. However, my holiday allowance at work runs November 1st- October 31st (strange, I know), and after using basically all of my holidays at once last year for my America trip -post coming soon- I was practically gasping to get out of my home town for a bit by November.
I had a look at a few places but then settled on Bath in Somerset, an area of the UK I hadn't visited before. I'd heard amazing stories about the place, and thought it would be the perfect way to unwind for a few days after a busy year.
I stayed in the YMCA Hostel here as it was super cheap, and although there isn't any crazy abundance of other hostels in the city, there are a few including a YHA and a St. Christophers, have a browse on Hostelworld if you're curious. I struggled to find any hotels for what I would call 'cheap' to be honest, but there is this B&B that could be classed as 'reasonable'.
I traveled by National Express because I really mean it when I say I'm on a budget, it was a LONG journey with 2 changes but it cost me a tenner return at the time so I can't complain. Keep an eye on the train prices with sites like TheTrainPal for cheap journeys by splitting the route, though!
Bath was everything I'd hoped, I mean just look at those colours! And in November too, by this point the trees were completely bare up north. I spent most of my time reading in little cafes, eating lots of food and just walking around the city. The whole place is so beautiful, even in the dull grey light and odd downpours of rain. It was unlike any other UK cities I've visited, the only way I could describe it would be if you mixed The Lake District and York together, Bath would be the outcome. It probably just looks like the rest of the nearby Cotswolds but I wouldn't know! To me it was a first it and I loved it!
Bath was perfect for me because it was just the right mix of relaxing and exploring, as their were so many things to do. Here's a few highlights, including a cheeky little half day trip I also ventured out on:
The Roman Baths (£16-£18)
As soon as you Google things to do in Bath, this is the top recommended thing to do and yanno what, it's actually pretty fun! If you want something cultural but museums aren't your thing, then this is the place for you. You'll learn all about old life in Bath, and these are the only natural hot springs in the UK which make it way more interesting and unlike anything you'll have seen before. Definitely a must see! You have to pre-book if you want to skip the line, and you also get 10% off online (there are lots of huge school trips that go here so definitely book) and you can do so from the website here.
Thermae Bath Spa (£36)
This was by far the highlight of the trip, but I will warn you if you're travelling solo it is a little awkward as I kid you not, EVERYONE was in a couple when I went. I'm always down to do things by myself, but with no phones or entertainment for distraction you really have to be a whole different level of comfortable being by yourself. If you do enjoy your own company however, this is possibly THE most relaxing thing I've ever done on a trip. For £36 you can use the pool, rooftop thermal pool (get a great view of the city, looks great at night), wellness suites (which are amazing) and get a robe and slippers, for 2 hours. The whole place feels so warm and luxurious, and you can book a range of treatments in there too. For more info, visit their website here.
Do A Walking Tour (Free)
Bath has got SO many famous sights that you could probably spend a whole day just walking around and taking it all in. I'm always a fan of doing a walking tour in a new city so you can get your bearings, and most places tend to offer a free one. In this case, the Mayor's Guides give the top recommended tours and are completely free; they don't even accept gratuities so there's no pressure to fork out some thank you cash at the end. On the tour you'll see all of the famous sights including the Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey and The Crescent. Just meet your tour leader outside The Roman Baths and you're good to go! If guided tours aren't your thing then just have a wander around and get a feel for the city anyway!
Visit Green Park Station (Free)
This converted train station is the perfect place to visit on a dreary day, or for something fun and free to do on your visit. They host markets every day of the week, have adorable permanent shops and restaurants and the whole place is covered in little huts and fairy lights which is always a good way to make a place look cosy and inviting. For more info visit their website. Also, for all my vegan friends, Beyond The Kale do some amazing food and the menu is completely meat and dairy free, I ended up going twice!
Book A Trip To Stonehenge (£40 for a half day tour)
This again was such a highlight of my trip. For Southerners who drive past it on the motorway every other day it might not seem like much of a big deal but for a Northern Lass like me it was like nothing I'd ever seen before! One of the Ancient Wonders of The World, and still completely unexplained as to how it was built, Stonehenge stands tall approximately an hour's drive away from the centre of Bath. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see it while I was down there, and I recommend you don't either. I went with Scarper Tours who operate a pick up service from Bath, and you can choose whether to include a ticket the the Henge or not (for National Trust Members). The tour in total takes 4 hours, and our driver was honestly adorable, giving us little facts about Bath and it's surroundings along the way. As we're talking about visiting in November too, you'll get to watch the beginning of the sunset over the stones as well as over the Cotswolds on your return journey. Such a great change of scenery, and something I think everyone would love!
In general this trip felt like a real break. Not a city break or a crazy travel experience, but somewhere I could properly take a breather and relax while also being thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I was there for 3 full days and I reckon that's just the right amount of time to appreciate the city, perfect for a long weekend.
Have you been anywhere during a particular season that has really suited the time of year? I'd love to know! Until next time, Meg x