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Plan a Weekend Getaway to Bath


By Ferne Arfin
United Kingdom Travel Expert, about.com

Why Plan a Weekend Getaway in Bath:
From its 2,000 year old Roman Baths to its Georgian terraces and Pump Room, the entire city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Jane Austen enjoyed the health giving waters of Bath and its accompanying social scene, as did many of her characters. Besides offering visitors a feast of historic architecture, this small pleasant city has more than enough diversions for demanding modern weekenders - including great restaurants, top shopping, quirky museums, a lively cultural scene and, of course, a brand new, multi-million pound, thermal spa.
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Five Top Sights in Bath:
  1. The Roman Baths and Pump Room
  2. Thermae Bath Spa
  3. Bath Abbey and Heritage Vaults Museum A magnificent Late Medieval abbey on a site that has been occupied as a place of Christian worship for 1200 years.
  4. No. 1 Royal Crescent The first house built on Bath's iconic, 18th century Royal Crescent is now open as a museum. Restored and authentically furnished, it offers a glimpse into fashionable 18th century life.
  5. The Building of Bath Museum Over 70 years, Bath changed from a provincial spa town to the most fashionable city outside of London. Find out how and why.

More Things to Do in Bath:


Annual Events Worth Catching in Bath:


Where to Stay in Bath:
Cheap and Cheerful
Walton's Guest House Pleasant, basic, family run B&B on the west side of Bath.

Moderately Priced
The Bath House Nicely equipped, centrally located, romantic luxury B&B.

Green
University of Bath Beds at Bath at the University of Bath offers about 50 3-star, ensuite, hotel-style rooms with good Green credentials.

What Me Worry?
The Priory at Bath If the sky's the limit, this luxury hotel near Victoria Park with its Michelin-starred restaurant is the place.

Best Romantic Hideaway:
The Royal Crescent Hotel occupies two town houses in the centre of Bath's most famous Palladian residential crescent, considered by many to be the most perfect architectural example of its type in the world. Behind a discrete fa├žade, there are -
  • luxury rooms and suites
  • an excellent restaurant overlooking beautiful gardens
  • The Bath House, a coach house converted to an atmospheric spa.
Ask for the Sir Percy Blakeney Suite on the first floor. It has an antique four-poster, a huge drawing room with large windows overlooking the gardens and an open, working fireplace.


Where to Eat in Bath:
Quick snack
The Kindling Coffee Company Independent serving fair trade coffee, sandwiches and cakes.

The Big Blowout
Lucknam Park Bath's other Michelin-starred establishment (see the Bath Priory Hotel, above). Six miles out of town but worth the cab fare-or stay overnight.

Romantic Dinner for Two
The Bathwick Boatman Simple, rustic food, great setting on the River Avon.


Ethnic Treat
Yak Yeti Yak Nepalese food, recommended by the Good Food Guide.

Unique Shopping in Bath on Pulteney Bridge:
Bath is one of the best shopping cities in Britain, with a variety of shops that is remarkable for its small size. It makes a great "girlie weekend" getaway if you're a keen shopper.

[post_ads]One of the most unusual shopping areas in Bath is Pulteney Bridge, built by Robert Adam in 1773. The 18th century bridge, along with the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, is one of only two bridges in the world with shops incorporated into the original design. Stroll along the bridge for antiques, souvenirs, fashions and, of course, the experience itself.

Bath Markets:
You'd expect a lovely and historic English town to have markets and Bath certainly does not disappoint. Try these:
  • Green Park Station A former Victorian railway station that now houses a variety of markets from antiques and collectables to farm products and general market goods.
  • The Guildhall Market Bath's most famous covered market has 30 stalls and has been trading for about 100 years. Find art galleries, delicatessens, book shops, cheese shops and the old fashioned Bath Humbug Shop for sweeties.

And More Great Shopping in Bath:
Lanes and arcades full of quirky independent shops are around every corner.
The key areas for dedicated shop hounds-

The Milsom Quarter
On Milsom Street, New Bond Street and Broad Street look for designer boutiques, shoes and the better fashion chains. New to the quarter, Milsom Place fills existing Georgian buildings with linked pedestrian streets lined with exclusive designers like Nicole Farhi, Armani and MaxMara. The area is continuing to be developed and changes all the time. Jamie Oliver has just opened the first of his chain of Italian restaurants, Jamie's Italian in Milsom Place.

Around the Abbey
Shop Abbey Church Yard, Abbey Green and Cheap Street for gifts, sweets, gold and silver jewelry. Look for classic and contemporary jewelry at Jody Cory Goldsmiths in Abbey Church Yard.

The Upper Town Between Bath's Georgian masterpieces, the Royal Crescent and The Circus, art galleries, antiques dealers and independent fashion boutiques are tucked into a network of small lanes. Check out Bartlett Street, George Street and Margaret's Buildings. I like local designer Liz Cox in Margaret's Buildings, for delicious handbags and luggage - including custom made designs.

Walcot Street
Also known as the Artisan's Quarter, this area near the River Avon is Bath's most bohemian shopping district, with the small shops of artisans and crafts people. There is a small flea market on Saturdays.
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Entertainment and Nightlife

  • Theatre Royal Bath Original and touring productions on the main stage as well as more cutting edge theatre, comedy music and performance art at The Ustinov and children's theatre at the egg
  • Komedia Comedy and cabaret
  • Moles Club A membership only (easy to join on the night), live music club at Porters Pub, also home to a Sunday night Comedy club. This is the place to catch up and coming bands before they arrive. Late night DJs until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Best Bar in Bath

The Porter Bar Live music and comedy venues plus a good pint and a lively crowd.

Getting to Bath

Bath is on the A46, 10 miles from exit 18 of the M4, 115 miles west of London. It's easy to find by car and even easier by:
  • Rail Regular service from London Waterloo and Paddington.
  • Coach Regular express bus services from London and other UK cities. Check National Express schedules and fares.

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Travel Magazine: Plan a Weekend Getaway to Bath
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