See Bath on the go
The best way to see Bath's highlights
Planning your Bath visit
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When to go to Bath
Bath is to Britain an elegant, feel-good city that blends a staggering amount of history with a rich culture and a literary star’s legacy. Peak time for visitors is September to October, and autumn is often cheaper and less crowded. Planning to check out the Roman Baths? Go early to avoid the queues, and consider a Christmas visit too, when the heritage setting and sparkly markets make the atmosphere all the more enchanting.
Jane Austen’s City
Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are both set in Bath, the thriving spa city the author called home from 1801 to 1806. You won’t manage a walk around the place without findng some Austen charm - from her residences to the places where she got down to writing. Download the free audio guide from visitbath.co.uk for city highlights and extracts from Jane Austen’s novels and letters, written in Bath’s Georgian heyday.
Socialise like the Romans
Back in 70 AD, the Roman Baths welcomed bathers to a spectacular cleansing complex, which quickly became the place to socialise. It is one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world. Learn about Roman history and how they built the baths, and look out for Roman characters like the priest Gaius Calpernius Receptus, the stonemasons Sulinus and Brucetus and a travelling merchant named Peregrinus.
What to do in Bath for 3 days
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Bath
24-hour unlimited access on two hop-on hop-off bus routes gives you fuss-free, comfy transport around one of Britain’s prettiest and most relaxing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Learn the history as you go with the multilingual guides, from its Roman-built baths to the places Jane Austen lived, wrote and hung out on her path to success. You’ll also get discount vouchers for local Somerset eats and admissions.
The Pump Room
If you were single and out to mingle in early 17th-century Bath, you might have gone for afternoon tea at the Pump Room, a hot spot for high society to see and be seen. A favourite haunt of Jane Austen herself, this popular spot, still serving lunch and afternoon tea, also features in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Don’t forget to have a glass of healing thermal Bath water (or should that just be water from Bath?), straight from the fountain.
They say that spending time in nature clears the mind. That was clearly true for Jane Austen, who would find respite from a restless mind and hours of writing in Sydney Gardens. Formerly the Pleasure Gardens, this green space was built behind the Sydney Hotel (now the Holburne Museum), another ‘place to be seen’ in Bath’s special social scene. Stroll or take a picnic among the flowerbeds and look out for a replica of the Temple of Minerva.
The Assembly Rooms
Tie your best bonnet under your chin and head to the Assembly Rooms for a look at the place where 17th-century singles would dance and flirt in a stylish setting. Jane Austen was so romanced by her experience at balls here that she featured the Assembly Rooms in Persuasion. Nowadays the venue is used for public concerts, weddings and, yes, balls. Don’t forget to try on a corset at the Fashion Museum, also on the premises.