DAY TRIP TO BATH: Best things to do, see and eat in Bath in a day

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DAY TRIP TO BATH: Best things to do, see and eat in Bath in a day

Oh Bath. Wonderful, wonderful Bath! It’s a city with unrivalled heritage, dating all the way back to the Romans and boasts more protected historic buildings per capita than any other UK city. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason! You can’t conquer an epic city as rich in history and culture as Bath in a day. But with this guide to the perfect day trip to Bath, you have a short-list of the best things to do, see and eat in Bath in a day.

Check out hotels in Bath if you want to make your day out into a wonderful weekend away!


Best things to see and do in Bath in a day

From exploring the city’s history through its Roman Baths and 16+ museums to relaxing in the Thermae Bath Spa and enjoying its independent food scene – Bath is absolutely teeming with things to see and do!

One of the best ways to see all the following landmarks in this guide is to go on a Bath Walking Tour. You’ll explore Bath with an experienced Blue Badge Tourist Guide for the first half of the day and gain entry to the Roman Baths too! However, you can totally visit these at your own pace if you prefer!

Book tickets for the Bath Walking Tour (with entry to the Roman Baths).

Aerial view of Bath city centre with the cathedral in the centre of rows of other Georgian buildings

The Roman Baths 

In my opinion the best thing to do in Bath! If you see only one thing when you’re visiting – let it be the Roman Baths. There is quite literally nothing like it! Whether it’s your first, second or even tenth time coming to Bath, the Roman Baths is a site that will fascinate and delight you every time.

There are only a few ancient bath houses that survive today and Bath’s Roman bath house is considered the best preserved in the world.

Book tickets for the Bath Walking Tour (with entry to the Roman Baths).

Mel walking in front of the pump house columned entrance of the Roman Baths in Bath
Pump house columned entrance of the Roman Baths in Bath

More about the Roman Baths

Originally built by the Romans in 70AD after a natural hot spring was discovered by a local Celtic tribe, the Baths functioned as a sort of modern day leisure centre. It was a place where friends would meet up to work out, get clean and relax.

View of the main Roman Bath green pool in Bath with the Cathedral in the background

The Baths were also a place of worship. The Romans believed that the natural bubbling water coming up from the ground had magical powers and that the ancient goddess, Aquae Sulis lived in the water and cured them of illnesses.

People threw “offerings” into the Baths and scratched messages to the goddess on lead plates (known as “curse tablets”) to ask her to restore a wrong they had faced.

A whopping 12,000 coins have been found in the Baths whilst restoration work has taken place. As each coin is adorned with the face of the Emperor of the time, it means we can pinpoint exactly when the coin was thrown into the Baths. How cool is that?

Original Roman stones reconstruction at the Roman Baths in Bath

The Romans used gravity to direct hot water from the springs through pipes under the floor into the bath chambers. Other tubes carried hot air into the walls and floors to keep people warm when they were out of the pool.

Roman mask statute at the Roman Baths in Bath
The Goddess: Aqua Sulis

When you visit you’ll find out all about the cool engineering work, the function of the different chambers and the stories behind the artefacts found.

Set aside at least two to three hours for this site as it’s massive, with lots to see and discover!

Book tickets for the Bath Walking Tour (with entry to the Roman Baths).

Bubbling pool inside the Roman Baths in Bath
The bubbling hot spring

Bath Abbey 

Bath Abbey is a stunning parish church and former Benedictine monastery based in the heart of Bath. You’ll learn more about Bath Abbey on the Bath Walking Tour, which I highly recommend!

The abbey is a beautifully preserved Grade I listed building with a unique fan vaulting that will have you craning your neck in awe! It was first founded in the seventh century but was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries after suffering fire damage.

It features wonderful commemorative stained glass windows, two grand church organs and a peal of ten bells.

Make sure to book their awesome Tower Tour which takes you up 212 steps to the top of the abbey’s tower where you’ll see spectacular 360 views of Bath.

Book tickets for the Bath Walking Tour (with entry to the Roman Baths).

Inside Bath Cathedral looking up at the ceiling, arches and stain glass windows from the aisle

Pulteney Bridge and Weir

Located in the heart of Bath city centre, the Pulteney Bridge is an architectural gem. It was completed in 1774 and originally commissioned by the Pulteney family to connect their land to the city.

Built in classic Palladian style, the much photographed bridge and weir are a World Heritage Site thanks to their unique design and culture significance.

You’ll learn more about the Pulteney Bridge on the Bath Walking Tour, which I highly recommend!

Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon weir in Bath

Bath’s museums

When researching for this post, I tried to find a definitive number of museums in Bath without success, there’s just too many! But no matter what your interests are, whether it be art, history, space, architecture, fashion or famous figures – Bath has you covered.

Here are some of Bath’s top museums:

  • No. 1 Royal Crescent – a fantastically decorated museum which is decked out just like a grand house between 1776 and 1796. The rooms feature exquisite furniture, art and objects from the time. It makes for a fully immersive experience that will make you feel like you have gone back in time.
  • The Victoria Art Gallery – opened in 1900 to mark Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. The Victoria Art Gallery has over 1,500 objects and artwork dating from 1,700 onwards.
  • The Herschel Museum of Astronomy – located in a wonderfully preserved town house that was once owned by distinguished astronomers, William Herschel and his sister Caroline. Needless to say there is plenty of interesting things to have a nosey around in their former residence!
  • The Museum of Bath Architecture – based in the the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel, The Museum of Bath Architecture goes behind the scenes of construction work during the Georgian period of the city.
  • The Jane Austen Centre – a small museum celebrating the life and works of the great British writer, Jane Austen. Expect actor guides dressed in costume and a lovely little regency tea room.

Some museums are quite small and you could probably get round in an hour or so. But save this list and just cross one or two of them off depending on how much time you have left.

Royal Crescent in Bath, a row of Georgian houses in a long crescent with a green lawn in front
The Royal Crescent


Bath is fantastic for shopping, even for the most die-hard non-shoppers like me! From high street and trendy brands to boutiques and antiques – Bath has got a little something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

Mel walking in front of Oak restaurant in the North Passage of Bath with flowers and pumpkins outside

Bath has got six main retail areas to choose from:

1) Central Bath Shopping – where you’ll find all your well-known brands and high street favourites.

2) Milsom Street Shopping Area – featuring Jolly’s (the UK’s first department store), it’s now home to House of Fraser and more of your luxury and high-end fashion brands.

3) Walcot Artisan Quarter Shopping Area – where you’ll find more of the city’s vibrant and eclectic collection of independent shops.

4) Southgate Shopping Area – located just across the road from Bath train station in a Georgian-style contemporary open space, it has over 50 popular well-known brands and lots of lively restaurants and bars too.

5) Upper City Shopping in Bath – located just north of Milsom Street, this shopping area offers a cluster of independent retailers nestled between the Circus and The Royal Crescent including galleries and antique and boutique shops.

6) West Bath Shopping Area in Bath – located in what was once Bath’s main railway station, this shopping area has a fantastic selection of markets and independent traders.

My favourite shopping area is down North Parade Passage. It has a row of quirky independent shops and cafes down it with the classic Georgian window shop fronts. This is also where you’ll find Sally Lunn’s Eating House which is allegedly the oldest house in Bath.

Check out hotels in Bath if you want to make your day out into a wonderful weekend away!

North Parade Passage in Bath with 17th century shop window each side and old fashioned street lamps
North Parade Passage

Thermae Spa

It would be rude to go to Bath, home to the UK’s original spa and not visit its modern day spa!

But Bath’s Thermae Spa is something extra special. It’s the only spa in Britain where you can bathe in the natural warm mineral rich waters just like the Romans did 2,000 years ago.

You can enjoy a range of spa treatments as well as its wellness suite. It includes various relaxation rooms such as the Roman and Georgian steam rooms, the infrared room and the ice chamber.

The celestial relaxation room was by far my favourite. You lie back on a heated stone lounger underneath twinkling lights and watch dream-like footage from space. Along with the calming sounds of soft spa music and the smell of incense, you become instantly relaxed.

Don’t forget to check out the rooftop pool for an awesome 360 view of Bath!

Check out hotels in Bath if you want to make your day out into a wonderful weekend away!

Best things to eat 

My fellow vegans will love Bath for its wide variety of vegan restaurants!

The Hospital Group conducted research in 2019 and found Bath to be the vegan capital of the UK! Based on its 153 vegan-friendly restaurants and the 360,000 vegan Google searches, Bath came out on top for the most vegan friendly city in the UK!

If you’d like to discover more of Bath’s amazing food scene, you can go on a food tour of Bath with a local expert. You’ll discover some of the city’s best-known independents and best-kept secrets!

Book tickets for the Bath Walking and Tasting Tour.

But if you’d rather go with the flow whilst visiting Bath, below are a few restaurant choices to give you a ‘taste’ of Bath for vegans, veggies and regular foodies alike.

Breakfast – The Cafe by Fly

For breakfast I highly recommend The Cafe by Fly. It’s an unsuspecting tiny cafe based in a fitness centre but it does the best smoothie bowls!

The acai bowl comes with blueberries, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and coconut and some freshly sliced strawberries and banana on top. It’s delicious and super filling!

The cafe also faces the Roman Baths which is really handy for your first stop of the day.

Vegan smoothie bowl with banana, blueberry, strawberry, cashew nuts, goji berries and coconut flakes

Brunch – Boston Tea Party

If you’re not much of a breakfast person, how about a spot of brunch? At the Boston Tea Party you’ll find plenty of vegan options but I swear by their “Vegan Boss” full English.

This beasty brunch includes: vegan sausage, sweetcorn fritter, scrambled tofu, homemade beans, hash browns, mushrooms, seasonal greens and two slices of toast. My mouth is literally filling with saliva right now!

What’s great about the Boston Tea Party is that is caters for veggies, celiacs and regular foodies too. Which is good news for any friends travelling with you that just want to eat their bacon in peace.

Vegan full english breakfast with buttered toast, hash browns, scrambled tofu, tomatoes, mushrooms and kale

Lunch – The Stable

If you’ve been hanging on for lunch and in the mood for pizza, check out The Stable.

It offers a wide range of freshly made sourdough pizzas and a selection of local pints. They also have the most cheesy and tasty garlic bread which is almost as big as the pizzas themselves!

Pizza cutter cutting into margarita pizza on a wooden board

Dinner – Bosco Pizzeria

For dinner I recommend the Bosco Pizzeria. They do all your Italian favourites as well as handcrafted pizzas in the Neopolitan style and the service is fantastic!

Arrabiata spaghetti with fresh parsley sprinkled on top

Book tickets for the Bath Walking and Tasting Tour.

Check out hotels in Bath if you want to make your day out into a wonderful weekend away!

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What would you like to do most on a day to trip to Bath? Let me know how you’d see Bath in a day in the comments below! 😄

Quick FYI guys – this post contains affiliate links to some tours and hotels I recommend. I will receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for you

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