A day trip to Bath from London is definitely something to consider squeezing into your UK holiday if you can. This beautiful historic town was founded by the Romans in the first century AD and is named after the Roman Baths that are still standing today.
For this reason, this entire city in the Somerset region of the United Kingdom has attained UNESCO World Heritage status – the only entire city in the UK to gain such a status.
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How to get from London to Bath
Bath is located around 116 miles (187km) east of London in the UK, so it is very accessible on a day trip or for a weekend away.
A day trip to Bath in the car will take around two and a half hours return from London via Hounslow, Reading and Swindon. There are tolls on the journey as the road is a paid road.
The train is my preferred way to get to Bath as it is relaxing and easy and gives you a great opportunity to enjoy the English countryside and then explore Bath at your own pace.
The train to Bath runs from Paddington Station on platform 4. Simply take the GWR heading in the direction of Bristol Temple Meads and alight at Bath Spa after an hour and 20 minutes.
Getting around Europe is easy with a rail pass, so definitely consider grabbing one if you’re thinking of using the train as your main mode of transport.
Take a tour
For those who are time poor, a guided tour from London may be a great way to see Bath as well as some other sights in the area such as Stonehenge or Windsor Castle. The only downside to a group tour is the fact that you sometimes can feel a little rushed, but the upside is always the fact that you don’t have to navigate anywhere yourself!
Where to stay in Bath
There are so many luxurious places to rest and re-charge in this little city that it may make sense to turn your day trip to Bath to an overnight one.
For the top end of accommodation, keep an eye out for the Gainsborough Bath Spa, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa or The Bath Priory.
What to do in Bath
Visit the Roman Baths
The Roman Baths are undoubtedly the city of Bath’s most incredible attraction. This site dates back to the first century where the Romans created a small settlement called Aquae Sulis centred around the geothermal hot springs that give the town its name.
The complex includes a gothic-style bath complex, a temple and the pump room. Whilst the buildings standing now are all built in the 1800s, there are artefacts throughout the complex that have been salvaged from the ruins of the original Roman Baths complex.
Tickets to the Roman Baths are available for pre-purchase online. Adult tickets range from around 20 GBP to 27 GBP and there is a small discount for visiting on a weekday rather than a weekend.
Explore the Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is a must-see row of gorgeous terrace houses in a curved shape located in the city of Bath. The crescent contains 30 Georgian-style houses and is around 150 metres in length.
It is completely free to stroll around the area admiring the architecture and you can even stay in the complex at the beautiful Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa.
The Royal Crescent has also featured in the films Persuasion and The Duchess.
Take a dip in the natural hot springs
How could you possibly visit England’s home of geothermal hot springs without getting in amongst the action? A visit to the Thermae Bath Spa will get you feeling that wellness glow in a luxurious setting with a rooftop pool that steams up on cold days.
Also, most of the major hotels in Bath have spa facilities, but only the Gainsborough Bath Spa has a naturally heated pool, so it is definitely a very nice spot to bliss out in luxury for a weekend away.
Explore Jane Austen’s Bath
The name Jane Austen has become synonymous with Bath. The famous author lived in the city between 1801 and 1806 and her time in Bath evidently had a major impact on her writing, often being mentioned in her many novels.
For lovers of Austen’s work, a visit to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath is an informative and in depth exploration of her writings as well as some fun, interactive activities such as being able to dress up in period clothing.
Entry to the Jane Austen Centre is 10 GBP (18 AUD) and can be booked online or bought at the door.
Grab a pint in a quaint little pub
There are so many cute little pubs in Bath and lots of them date back a very long time. Saracens Head is the oldest pub in Bath which goes all the way back to 1713. It is a cosy and friendly drawcard, perfect for watching sport, staying warm and enjoying a pint of beer.
Framptons Bath is one of the prettiest pub offerings in the city and has great food selections and cocktails for someone looking for a slightly fancier experience.
Explore Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey is a gorgeous cathedral and former monastery located right in the centre of the city.
The site itself has been a designated sacred site since around 675 AD and the gothic-style Abbey has been standing since 1611, though it has needed to be repaired over the years due to damage from bombings in World War Two.
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Great guide. I had the chance to take the train from London to Bath when I lived in England and I had a great time. It is definitely a very unique place to visit.
Bath is one of my favourite cities in England so far – I love all of its history! Great tips on what to do during a day trip.
Bath looks like such a beautiful escape. I’d absolutely love to visit the Jane Austen Centre! Thanks for the inspiraiton.
I would love to visit Bath, it’s so charming here! I want to go there since so long, your tips will be very useful!