Perhaps Bath’s best-known landmark, the exquisitely preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world– complete with impressive columns, two-thousand-year-old pavements and steaming pale green waters – attracts more than one million visitors a year. You can even drink the mineral-rich spa water that bubbles beneath the city, which despite its much-lauded healing power, is a bit of an acquired taste… romanbaths.co.uk
Bath wouldn’t be Bath without its best bits. World-renowned crescents, historic Georgian venues, two-thousand-year-old pavements, healing hot spring waters and fudge-hued stone that appears to glow are just a few of sights that people from across the globe flock to our world heritage city to come and see.
The Roman Baths
Another of the city’s much-photographed sights, Bath Abbey has survived major conflict, architectural and religious reform and two world wars to attract aesthetes and worshippers alike. Instagrammers stalk the building from every angle in order to garner the most likes, while our sources tell us that the iconic ‘Abbey under the arch from York Street’ shot, is best captured around lunchtime, when you’ll find lots of bright gold and flattering light. History buffs will be intrigued to learn that the first king of England was crowned on this site, way back when in 973.
Thermae Bath Spa
It’s the old-meets-new landmark in the centre of the city – Britain’s only natural thermal spa – that’s revered as much by hen parties as it is sybarites. Wallow in the roof-top pool for unbeatable views across the city’s rooftops, or try the Watsu for one of the best, most relaxing treatments you’ll ever try. The Twilight Package is ideal for seeing the city by night, while if you’re looking to avoid the crowds completely, you can book the intimate open-air Cross Bath opposite for your own small party of up to 12 guests.
Bath’s most famed sinuous crescent, designed by architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, is widely considered to be one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK. The sweep of Grade-I buildings manages to take your breath away no matter how often you see it, while the park beneath makes the perfect photography backdrop for any season. There’s even a museum at No.1, which is not to be missed.
Also at the top of town is The Assembly Rooms, one of the city’s most popular meeting places among the 18th-century beau monde. When completed in 1771, they were described as ‘the most noble and elegant of any in the kingdom’, and are still going strong as the choice for glamorous awards events, weddings and as an authentic backdrop for films from Persuasion to The Duchess. The brilliant Fashion Museum is housed on the lower ground floor.