Recently we sent travel blogger Travel Dave around the UK on a tour of all the St Christopher's Inns hostel locations in London, Bath, Edinburgh and Newquay.
Bath is full of quintessentially British charm and makes for an ideal fleeting UK staycation for a dose of culture amongst a little indulgence and relaxation. We interviewed Travel Dave after his weekend visit to Bath and asked him to share his top tips for exploring the city. From the best historical sights to the must-try dishes, here are Dave's top suggestions on what to do to help you start planning your trip to Bath.
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1. Stay at St. Christopher's Inn Hostel
In terms of accommodation, you can't beat the location of the hostel in Bath. It's situated right in the city centre, and it's just a short walk from the train station. If you're up for meeting some fellow travellers, you'll enjoy the shared six-bed dorm, which is where I stayed. My bunk was comfortable, and the hostel made the trip much more affordable. This means more money to spend on activities.
2. Take a Tour around Bath Abbey
You have to visit Bath Abbey, which is a Grade I listed building. The impressive architecture and quiet, peaceful atmosphere of the Abbey makes it a wonderful place to walk around and explore. There are war memorials for people from Bath who died in world wars, as well as monuments to several notable people. Check out the wall and floor plaques, and commemorative stained glass. This dazzling church has many large musical bells, as well as two organs. In the west of the Abbey, there's a stone ladder depicting climbing angels in sculpture, which was a highlight for me. If you fancy a bit of a live performance, there's also choir evenings that you're allowed to sit in on. The acoustics of the old Abbey was astounding - you'll love how the sound travels around the ancient walls, very mystical and awe-inspiring.
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3. Check out the Roman Baths House
This is pretty much an essential activity when visiting Bath. What used to be a historical monument has now been transformed into one of the city's top visitor attractions. The Roman Baths site is packed with excellent information about Roman times and Bath's history as one of the most outstanding religious spas of the ancient world. You can explore the Baths on a self-guided tour with an audio guide full of fascinating historical info as you walk around the Roman baths. The city's unique thermal springs rise in the site, and the Baths still flow with natural hot water to this day. You'll want to spend plenty of time here to soak it all in. You even get to try some of the thermal water, walk on old Roman pavements, and see a selection of Roman artefacts.
4. Visit Jane Austen's house for Afternoon Tea with Darcy
This is another must-do recommendation if you're visiting Bath. The famous writer Jane Austen is a much-beloved historical resident of Bath, and you'll be able to have afternoon tea at her house (which is now a museum). Usually enjoyed between lunch and dinner - an afternoon tea consists of scones with cream & jam, cakes, a selection of sandwiches and a pot of tea. It's a very relaxing way to enjoy some refreshments in the afternoon. You can have afternoon tea in many different spots in Bath, but the top floor in Jane Austen's house is probably the best spot. You can even opt for the afternoon tea with an actor playing one of her most loved characters Mr Darcy. So why not indulge in a spot of afternoon tea in this historic setting whilst enjoying Bath.
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5. Head to The Royal Crescent
Bath is a UNESCO world heritage site, and that's because of all its Georgian architecture. The ultimate example of this has to be the Royal Crescent – 30 terraced houses laid out in a big crescent-shaped row. It's a trendy place for tourists to look at, as all the houses are together a Grade I listed building. You will undoubtedly recognise this street as a famous filming location for period dramas such as Bridgeton and The Duchess. This is a fantastic place for history buffs, and anyone seeking a historic photo opportunity. Just remember to stay off the grass, as this is only accessible to residents.
6. Start your night out around Bath at Belushi's bar
My favourite place to get a night out started has to be Belushi's. There's a fun nightlife scene in Bath, with many historic bars and restaurants to visit. I love Belushi's because you can get a delicious burger and a pint, and there's usually sports on which ups the atmosphere. There's a great vibe in there pretty much every night, so head along and get ready to get chatting to people. It's probably best to make sure you book your table in advance.
7. Enjoy the views from Pulteney Bridge
This is an iconic landmark that you absolutely have to see for yourself on a trip to Bath. The Pulteney Bridge crosses over the River Avon and was completed in 1774. There are so many stunning views of the waters to be found over this picturesque site. There's a great selection of shops and cafes lining the bridge, so you can find some excellent views from these cafes and restaurants if you want to spend a bit of time soaking it all in. There's also the option of a pleasure boat cruise along the river, departing from the dock nearby.
8. Check out Sally Lunn's for a Bath Breakfast Bun
The Bath Bun is an iconic treat from Bath, and no buns are more famous than the ones that were baked by Sally Lunn. Finish off your trip to Bath with a takeaway breakfast bun from Sally Lunn's eating house, the oldest establishment in Bath. This is a fantastic and historic location for afternoon tea. As space can often be quite limited, I'd recommend just getting a takeaway – so you can carry a piece of Bath home with you to savour later on.
Thank you for reading Travel Dave 's suggestions on what to do around Bath. We hope this article will be useful as a guide to planning your trip to the beautiful west-country city.
This blog post was put together in collaboration with St Christopher's Inn hostels as part of Dave's UK tour, visiting London, Bath, Newquay and Edinburgh throughout a selection of weekend escapes.
If you would like to stay at St Christopher's Inn hostels across the UK, don't forget to use Dave's exclusive discount code: DAVE10 for 10% off your next booking (good until the end of 2021).
Have fun planning your next weekend escape to Bath.