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Bath is the largest city in Somerset and is best known for it’s Roman baths and thermal springs. The UK’s only hot springs are found in Bath. There are three main springs – the King’s Spring, the Hetling Spring and the Cross Bath Spring. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and was named one of the greatest spa towns in Europe in 2021. Bath city is bursting with history, culture and beautiful architecture.

A weekend in Bath is a popular city break, however I enjoyed a day trip to Bath. At just a 15-20 minute train journey away, visiting Bath is the ideal day trip from Bristol.  I would recommend basing yourself in Bristol, and then travelling to Bath for a day. Bristol is a fantastic city with so many great things to do there. As it is a small city, a Bath day trip itinerary can easily encompass all of Bath’s must see attractions. Here’s my guide on how to spend one day in Bath.

Day trip to bath, Roman baths bath uk


Step back in time at the Roman Baths

Probably the most iconic attraction in Bath, the Roman Baths is definitely a must on a day trip to Bath. Bath has a lot to thank the Romans for. In fact, the city only exists because the Romans discovered the three natural thermal springs in the heart of the city. These springs deliver 1 million litres of mineral-rich water everyday. This water is naturally hot, with a constant temperature of at least 45 degrees. When you’re exploring the Roman Baths, you can see the hot water bubbling and steaming at the surface. Not something you see everyday, especially in the UK!

Renowned for being one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe, ‘Aquae Sulis’ was one of the greatest spas of the ancient world. Visitors would come from all over the Roman Empire to worship and bathe in the natural thermal waters, believing them to have healing powers. During a visit to the Roman Baths, you can explore the ancient complex and see ruins and artefacts that are over 2000 years old.

Now of course I pride myself on finding the best free things to do in cities, but naturally the Roman baths come with an entry fee. Adult tickets are £20 at the weekends but prices vary for children, concessions and during the week. You must book your tickets online in advance.

Marvel at Georgian Architecture

It wouldn’t be a day trip to Bath without going to see some of the beautiful terraces. The two biggest ‘must sees’ are The Circus and The Royal Crescent, which are only around a 15 minute walk from the city centre. 

The 30 houses on the Royal Crescent date back to the late 1760s and early 1770s. It was the first crescent of terraced houses to be built and overlooks a parkland opposite, making it an examples of rus in urbe’ (country in the city). The crescent, and it’s Grade 1 listed houses, have featured in various films and television series, most recently and perhaps famously Bridgerton. The Circus is a ring of Georgian terraces dating back to the 1750s and 60s, also with Grade 1 listed status.

Georgian terraced houses the circus bath uk

The Circus BA1 2EU – what.3.words – ///daily.finger.shaky

Royal Crescent BA1 2LR – what.3.words – ///shape.pipe.pest

Live like an Upper Class Georgian at One Royal Crescent

If you’re looking to incorporate some more local history into your day trip to Bath, No.1 Royal Crescent is the place to go. This museum on the iconic Royal Crescent is a townhouse that has been decorated and furnished to look exactly as it would’ve done when it was first built in the Georgian era. The rooms use historic furniture, pictures and objects to tell you a story of what life was like for the residents from all walks of life – both upstairs and downstairs. Limited walk in visits are available on the day, but it’s recommended to book ahead. Adult tickets are £11. 

Red phone box on the Royal Crescent in Bath, UK

See Bath from above at Bath Abbey

It’s worth checking out Bath Abbey on your day trip to Bath, not least because it’s free to visit, but because it’s one of the largest examples of perpendicular gothic architecture in the west country. Everyday’s a school day right?

Bath Abbey is found just a stones throw away from the Roman Baths, so it’s easy to weave into your Bath day trip itinerary. The abbey is open to the public 10-5 Monday to Saturday. It is open to the public on Sundays, but hours vary due to Sunday services.

Stained glass organ and window inside Bath Abbey

If you’re Bath day trip takes you to the city from Monday – Saturday then you’ve got the opportunity to see the city from above at Bath Abbey in one of their ‘Tower Tours’. Climb 212 steps to the top of Bath Abbey’s tower and see an amazing panoramic view of the city. Tickets can be purchased on the day for £10 per adult which includes a 45-60 minute guided tour, teaching you about the history of this 16th century building.

Grab a bite to eat at Good Day Cafe

Of course no day trip to Bath, or to any city for that matter, is complete without a good coffee and lunch stop. Well, look no further than Good Day Cafe for a drink and something to eat. They have the best selection of home made Brownies, cookies and even Brookies (a brownie and cookie combo if you simply can’t decide between the two!), making it an essential addition to your Bath day trip itinerary.

Bath is a brilliant day trip from Bristol, another beautiful city with some fantastic coffee shops to enjoy. 

Try a Bath Bun at Sally Lunns

Dubbed as one of the oldest houses in Bath dating back to the 1400s, Sally Lunn’s is worth a visit day trip to Bath. It’s best known as a world famous tea and eating house. Sally Lunn’s is also the birthplace of original Bath Bun (The Sally Lunn Bun). You can eat here from 10-9 everyday and there is a museum which is open until 4. 

Pulteney Bridge

This unique bridge is a must see in Bath. Completed in 1774, the Pulteney Bridge spans over the River Avon.It’s unusual in that there are shops on both sides of the bridge. Grab a drink and something to eat whilst looking over the River at the Pulteney Bridge Coffee. Or treat someone (or yourself!) to a gift from Pulteney Bridge Flowers. Pulteney Bridge is perhaps best viewed from Parade Gardens, the perfect spot to catch some rays on a sunny day in Bath.

Pulteney Bridge and river Avon with waterfall, bath uk

Relax at Thermae Spa

For the ultimate treat on your day trip to Bath head the the Bath Thermae Spa. Here you will find the only naturally warm, mineral-rich water in the UK. You can book ahead by calling them, or it’s first come first served on the day. (I didn’t book ahead and got an afternoon slot). Sessions are 2 hours which gets you access to:

  • The Wellness Suite with it’s infra-red sauna, steam rooms and ice chamber
  • The ‘Minerva Bath’ and it’s ‘invigorating whirlpool’
  • The spa’s main attraction, the stunning open-air rooftop pool, overlooking the city

A 2 hour slot is £38 during the week and £43 at the weekend. You can get treatments at an additional charge, but £43 was already heart stopping enough for me. Find out more about Themae Spa treatments on their website. 

The Pump Room Sign with Bath Abbey in the background

If you’re planning to visit Bath for a day, I hope this guide gives you some ideas for your Bath itinerary. Or if you hadn’t thought of visiting, I hope this has inspired you to take a day trip to Bath in the future.

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