The English countryside is full of historic townships – none more so than those found within the Cotswolds.
With so much on offer, it is Bath who takes the crown for being the ultimate highlight here – a city renowned as the gateway and perfect place to start exploring the Cotswolds and its surrounding regions.
In April, I traveled to Bath and the Cotswolds and this 3-night experience was the most memorable time of my entire trip in the UK. I wish I could have stayed here longer.
Luckily for me, I didn’t have to explore alone, as another blogger I had forged a friendship with through a blogging community happened to be free and asked if I wanted a travel buddy – which I am so glad I took her up on! Traveling alone is fun for a while. But in such beautiful places like these, having someone around to enjoy the sites, take your photos and understand your hobby is really worthwhile. Plus, Becky had a car – which meant I only had to give her cash for the petrol we used (which wasn’t much at all!) and I could spend my money on the bigger priorities in life – scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream!
Becky runs the website, Becky The Traveller. She focuses on adventure and outdoor travel. Although Becky is from the UK, she hadn’t seen Bath, The Cotswolds or Stonehenge either – so it was a great trip for us both to take together.
Everything we saw will be included within this article and a few more to follow focusing on The Cotswolds particularly – so if you’re planning a trip here be sure to see what we found. It was truly incredible!
On our visit to Bath, we were able to partner with Visit Bath, Bath’s official tourism board for our trip. They gave us a press pass to explore the city of Bath, Salisbury and Lacock for no expense to ensure we saw everything we possibly could during our visit.
Had we needed to pay entry to any of these attractions on our trip; it would have still been very affordable for us to see everything we wanted to – which shows how value for money Bath really is compared to other cities.
Becky and I spent one night in Bath – and it was an amazing stay. We were lucky enough to score the warmest weather the UK had seen since ‘the beast of the east 2.0’ had struck in the weeks before. So our time here was as picture-perfect as we could ask for.
Follow our journey, so you can see where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in Bath. It was the best place to start our tour of The Cotswolds as well as Stonehenge, Salisbury and Lacock.
Arriving In Bath – How Do You Get To Bath?
Bus Tour, Car Or Train?
There are a number of ways to get to Bath.
Some choose to take a day bus tour to Bath and Stonehenge from London. I don’t encourage these unless you are truly short on time and want a very tiny snapshot of these places. But, you will still get to see everything at least.
Becky drove into Bath from Nottingham which was a pretty straight run for her by driving on major roadways for a few hours. She enjoyed that and like anywhere, having access to a car is the simplest way to get from A to B.
I took a Great Western Rail train from Cardiff to Bath which was about an hour in journey – and only 12 pounds. The train ran on time and was a very easy and relaxing way to travel. I chose this method throughout my time in the UK and do not regret it at all. I completely recommend taking a train if you are travelling from London to Bath Spa and don’t have access to a car.
Becky and I met at Bath Spa train station and then made our way in her car to our accommodation the Rising Sun Inn, which was located on Grove Street – a stone’s throw from the main Bath city attractions which we planned to spend our day exploring.
Staying The Night In Bath – Why Rising Sun Inn Is Our Pick
The Rising Sun Inn is a truly underrated accommodation.
We booked less than a month before arriving and found their prices to be really good value for the location (and a Friday night). Rising Sun had charming furnishings and value for money amenities which included a freshly cooked English breakfast the following morning.
For one night we paid 100 pounds for a modern style Twin Room – we had 2 separate beds, a bathroom and free wifi. Parking was 5 pounds extra per night, which gave us a pass from the owner to park on most of the streets within walking distance of the hotel – we lucked out and scored a park right in front of the entrance. We didn’t actually need the car to explore Bath, so if you don’t have one you won’t be disadvantaged exploring this city at all. We walked everywhere once we parked.
The room we reserved was named ‘OSCAR’ and was located 2 flights of stairs up. Luckily we had help getting our belongings up there – it was a narrow staircase but nothing the English are not used to – just us Aussies haha. The room was quaint and comfortable and had a lovely view of the buildings across the road. The bathroom was spacious enough and the usual amenities of a kettle with tea and coffee was very much appreciated before we headed off to bed. It was everything we needed.
Breakfast at Rising Sun Inn was a real highlight – and some of the best scrambled eggs I have ever eaten. Just delicious! And like I said, – it was all included in the price of the room. In the evenings they also do offer dining options in the bar/restaurant on site; which is handy if you want an easy night in but still want to eat out.
When I shared images of this property following our stay on my Facebook page – I was asked where I stayed in Bath and people within my circle have already booked and stayed here as a result of my recommendation. I hope more people stay here to get the experience we had here for themselves too!
The Best Attractions To Visit In Bath
Bath is a history lover’s paradise. It is family friendly. It is a place for romance. It is full of things to do. There are some really amazing attractions here – as we soon found out.
If you only have one day in Bath, start your walking tour at No. 1 Royal Crescent because it is the furthest point in the city you will want to go and explore from there.
No. 1 Royal Crescent
No. 1 Royal Crescent is the first building at the eastern end of Royal Crescent and is renowned for its architecture and historic importance in Bath. It is the headquarters of the Bath Preservation Trust, and also houses a historic museum showcasing Georgian domestic life from the perspective of both ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’.
No. 1 Royal Crescent’s curved architecture is iconic and not something that is seen often. It’s exterior clearly draws people to it for the photo opportunity – but there is so much more to this attraction than people realise.
Given we were on a limited timeframe during our visit, we thought we would only spend about 15 minutes inside the museum (which spanned a number of floors) – but we ended up here for a good 40 minutes taking photos, learning about the artifacts on show and the history behind what the museum was showcasing.
Do not miss seeing this.
No. 1 Royal Crescent is open 10-5 daily (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and costs 10.30 pounds for adults, 8.80 for seniors and 5.10 for children (6-16 years)
Bath Abbey is one landmark that visitors will notice straight away.
Situated right in the city centre, and located next to the Bath Forum, Bath Abbey is one of the most commanding abbey’s in England. A church has occupied the site of Bath Abbey since Anglo-Saxon times dating back to 757 AD; but it wasn’t until the late 15th Century that the Abbey as we know it was constructed and stands as it is today.
Bath Abbey is a place full of history, with its most notable highlight being the coronation of King Edgar, the first King of England taking place here in 973 AD. Besides this, it is a truly stunning piece of architecture and well worth the visit. You can walk around the Abbey for hours taking it all in.
Bath Abbey is open 9-5:30pm (Monday – Friday), 9-6pm (Saturday) and 1-2:30, 4:30-6pm (Sunday). Admission is free but a suggested donation of 4 pounds per adult and 10 pounds per family is suggested to go towards maintenance of the Abbey.
Bath’s Roman Baths
The Roman Baths are one of the UK’s most popular attractions. Once you visit, you will clearly see why. Visitors can easily spend a few hours here, immersing themselves in everything on offer here. I think we spent more than 30 minutes taking photos – it was that photogenic.
The Roman Baths contain the beautifully preserved remains of one the greatest spas from the ancient world. It’s highlight is the thermal springs which are found within the site of the spa – which now flow with natural hot water.
There are artifacts and a museum on site too – as well as a glimpse into the inner workings of how things were so long ago.
An interesting option within the spa is the opportunity for visitors to taste the natural water (from a tap) – which tastes a lot like copper coins. An interesting experience nonetheless. I’m glad I tried it!
Do be careful when walking around the lower level of the Roman Baths. It is easy to loose your footing if you aren’t paying attention – or to slide on some of the rocks as you walk. I had boots on and I almost toppled over a few times!
The Roman Baths are open daily 9am-5pm (exit 6pm) with extended torchlit Summer hours over June-August until 9pm (exit 10pm). Admission costs 16.50 pounds for adults, 14.50 pounds for students and seniors and 10.25 pounds for children (aged 6-16)
Places To Eat & Drink In Bath
Bath has a number of eateries on offer – so visitors can’t go wrong no matter where they situate themselves.
We checked out a few places on our visit, but we weren’t able to try them all due to time. I will include them below in any case as places to check out. But mention the places we did try and what we thought of them.
Beercraft is a true hidden gem in Bath. We stumbled across this when we left our accommodation to head out for dinner. The window alone drew us in to take a look, but when we noticed people actually drinking their beer inside at some high tables, we knew we were onto something good.
Beercraft stocks as many as 600 beers and ciders from around the world – so there is truly something for everyone here. They feature many drinks on tap – which does change. But if you’re not staying in Bath and still want to get your fix, you can take your beer with you or buy online.
Beercraft was created by James Oliver and Davin Kenwood, two men who love a good beer and wanted others to be able to enjoy the beers of the world…they are definitely onto something good here. And when you’re here for a beer – be sure to accompany it with some pork crackling. As an Aussie, they sound disgusting but are actually not bad.
Beercraft is open 6 days a week. Opening times are 11-5:30 Mon, 11-6:30 Tues & Weds, 11-7:30 Thur, Fri & Sat. Closed Sundays (except within special event periods).
The Bath Brewhouse was a real find. We also stumbled on this – which is always a good way to select your eateries because you go in with no real expectations. Thankfully, we were left satisfied with our meals.
I ordered mac and cheese – because anytime I see it on a menu I crave it. I can’t stop myself! The mac and cheese was served as part of the Spring menu but man was it good. Becky enjoyed her burger as well.
Overall, this was the best dinner option we could have hoped for after a full afternoon of sightseeing in Bath and being in need of a good drink. My cider went down a treat as you would expect.
I will definitely stop back in for a meal on my next visit to Bath.
The Bath Brewhouse is open daily Monday – Thursday (12pm-midnight), Friday – Saturday (12pm-1am) and Sunday (12pm- 11pm).
The Bridge Coffee Shop
We never made it in here to eat – due to our busy schedule. But man did this place make our mouths water when looking into that window!
I recommend it, purely because it looks like the quintessential cafe one would dine in when visiting a place like Bath. When I head back to Bath, I will definitely be returning here to eat some of this deliciousness. I am after all, all about those scones with jam and cream!
Bridge Coffee Shop is open daily 10am – 6pm. (9am – 6:30pm on Saturdays)
Start Your Tour Of The Cotswolds In Bath
As you can see – Bath is one special city with so much to see and do. It is truly an unmissable city and the perfect city to begin a trip to Stonehenge or out into the Cotswolds.
Have you been to Bath yet? Did you love it as much as I have? Tell me about your visit below!