The coronavirus pandemic taught many of us to look closer to home when planning our holidays, with UK staycations remaining in demand even after travel restrictions were lifted.
One of the most popular UK destinations is Bath. The city is one of the most adored places to visit, especially for those wanting an idyllic getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Loved for its rich culture, ancient heritage, fabulous nightlife and picturesque views, Bath has something to entice visitors both young and old, and you can see the best of it in just 72 hours. Read on for our need-to-know guide for when travelling across the UK is safe to do so...
Morning: Start your trip in the heart of Bath with Bath Abbey. This magnificent place of worship is lined with stained-glass windows, and columns of honey-gold stone - undeniably one of the most beautiful places to experience such an uplifting atmosphere.
Be sure to take a tour up to the tower to understand how the city’s bells ring out and get the chance to sit behind the clock face as well as stand on top of one of the ceiling’s vaults - the tower tours are usually every day apart from Sundays.
After soaking up the views, why not take a short walk to Pulteney Bridge - Georgian architecture at its finest. The 1769-built landmark, which sits on the River Avon, is impressively one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides.
Afternoon: For those who love the sweeter things in life, a visit to Sally Lunn’s is a must. Perhaps the most famous tea and eating house in all of Bath is this gorgeous tearoom – and it’s all thanks to the Sally Lunn buns. It’s believed that the recipe was brought to Bath by Sally Lunn, a Huguenot refugee, in 1680 and her brioche-style buns soon became fashionable.
Evening: Treat yourself to some retail therapy – the streets are lined with some of the best shops the UK has to offer. There’s a wide variety of British High Street brands and independent stores. From clothes to jewellery, and from art to books and antiques, as well as food and drink, you’re spoilt for choice.
For your evening meal, be sure to visit The Bird's Plate. The restaurant, just a ten-minute walk from the centre, is all about great food and drink and having fun whilst also enjoying a relaxed place to unwind. Head Chef Leon Smith is at the helm providing incredible dishes created with ingredients sourced from renowned suppliers on the restaurant's doorstep. The duck breast topped with malt-glazed shallot and crispy potato is not one to miss - delicious! Nothing quite beats a good local restaurant, and the lucky residents of Bath will know!
Morning: Take the time to explore Prior Park Landscape Garden, this is a real hidden gem right in the heart of Bath. Although there is no parking, the walk from the city is relatively short, or you can add it onto the three-mile Skyline walk which offers stunning views of the countryside and the Bath skyline - the best of both worlds.
Once inside the grounds of the Landscape Gardens, the beautiful views only continue at the top of the hill and are totally worth your while. This intimate eighteenth-century landscape garden features architecture from the garden’s Georgian past; a ruined thatched cottage, a grotto and ice house. But most importantly, a walk across the famous Palladian Bridge (one of only four in the world) is outstanding – the perfect backdrop for a romantic photoshoot.
Afternoon: You cannot visit Bath without a trip to the iconic Roman Baths. Built in around 70AD as a grand bathing and socialising complex, this is one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world. There are at least 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water, reaching 46°C, which still fill the bathing site every single day. Take an audio-guided tour around the extensive ruins and the interactive museum to learn all about the history, centred around this amazing location – the epicentre of Bath!
Evening: Wind down the day with a lovely meal at Comptoir Libanais. This bustling restaurant offers an excellent mix of Lebanese dishes and cocktails. For the Instagram-conscious traveller, the interior is exquisite – vibrant and filled with wonderful artefacts. The Mezze platter, Cheese Samboussek, Aubergine Fattet, Chicken Moussakhan and Lamb Kofta Tagine are some of the favourites.
Morning: Having seen how the Romans did it, why not try the modern-day version for yourself? Spend the morning taking a dip in the natural thermal waters at the award-winning Thermae Bath Spa. You can relax in the indoor Minerva Bath and the spectacular open-air rooftop pool, which boasts views over the city of Bath. You can also enjoy some rest and relaxation in the Wellness Suite and choose from over 40 spa treatments and packages.
Afternoon: Take a leisurely walk through the Circus and the Crescent, which boasts one of the most gorgeous views in Britain. Get a feel of the Georgian times by stepping into this elegant 18th-century townhouse, where you will be given the chance to learn beyond the famous Palladian facade and see what life was like for the wealthy and their servants. No.1 was the first house to be built in the Crescent.
Afterwards, take a detour to The Jane Austen Centre to learn more about the beloved author and her books such as Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, or step into the world of Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein. And if you still haven't had your history fix, then there are plenty of museums to explore, such as the American Museum and Gardens, boasting 125 acres, and the Holburne Museum, which serves as the home of Bridgerton's Lady Danbury!
Where to stay in Bath
Hotel Indigo Bath - After opening to the public in September, this boutique hotel - which is set in a Georgian Grade I listed building from the 18th century - was faced with a lockdown and resulted in several cancellations. However, once the city was placed in Tier 2, it was easy to see why guests flocked to his brand new residential landmark. The place itself has introduced new safety measures amid the pandemic, but for those eager to be even more socially distant from other guests, a stay in one of the cosy garden rooms in their outdoor courtyard is just the ticket.
Luckily for visitors, there are plenty of rooms to choose from! Each suite in the hotel is tastefully decorated to one of four themes; Romance & Mischief, which takes inspiration from the infamous Debutant Season in Bath, Literary Hideaway due to the city's inspiration to a plethora of authors, Georgian Architecture and finally, the beautiful Garden rooms.
If you're looking for a truly unique staycation with a difference, then a stay here is just for you. From treats in the mini fridge to wonderful in-house service, every little detail has been thought of to make your stay as comfortable, and Instagrammable, as possible. Meanwhile, the stylish hotel is also home to The Elder, a brand new and exciting restaurant from multi-award-winning West Country restaurateur Mike Robinson, co-owner of the only Michelin-starred London pub, the Harwood Arms in Fulham.
Eight - This is a cosy hotel, which sits on a pretty little pedestrian lane right in the heart of Bath. On one side is Sally Lunn's, the other side is just a two minute walk to the Roman Baths. The name is a nod to the eight bedrooms in the medieval building. The average-sized rooms are decorated with muted colours and chic furnishings. The bathrooms have a distinctive sage green brick tiling and pretty floral flooring. You can catch a glimpse of Bath Abbey from the windows – an added bonus. Breakfast is conveniently included; there is a wide selection of coffee, juices, cereals and fruit as well as the option of getting a cooked breakfast.
How to get to Bath
Travel to Bath in 90 minutes from London via gwr.com or if you're travelling via car, Bath is located just ten miles from junction 18 of the M4 motorway, which runs direct from London and Heathrow Airport.
Find out more about Bath at visitbath.co.uk
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