In Bath, you can forget about lots of huge malls with hundreds of shops crammed under one roof. The city does have one, but for the most part, shopping in Bath is still done the old-fashioned way, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's a relaxed and pleasurable experience that allows you to shop at your own pace and see some of the city while you do it.
In Bath, you'll get the chance to follow the great British tradition of high street shopping so before you set out on a spree, put on some comfortable shoes and pick up an umbrella just in case. There's more than one good shopping street in Bath so it takes time to get around them all. There are also a couple of great covered arcades and of course, Bath's magnificent markets that you really shouldn't skip visiting.
Bath's shopping streets are usually teeming with people so walking around wheeling a suitcase isn't very convenient. Instead of upsetting other shoppers by running over their toes, leave your bags at a Bounce luggage storage facility in Bath. Your belongings will be safe in a security tagged luggage locker and you'll have a spare hand to hold your umbrella with, should the British weather do what it normally does on a daily basis.
Best Shopping Streets In Bath
There are so many streets with shops in Bath that it'll make you wonder just exactly where to begin. Here are some of the best to get you started. Try to fit them all in and you could end up on a week-long shopping splurge that will take your credit cards months to recover from.
Tip: Don't leave starting your shopping outing until too late in the day as most stores in Bath tend to close around five or six o'clock in the afternoon and there are very few late-night extensions to their opening hours.
Where To Go Shopping In Bath
Southgate is one of Bath's main shopping areas in the city center. If you arrive in Bath by train using the Bath Spa Railway Station or by bus, you'll almost be in it before you know it as it's a two-minute walk from either.
Southgate Place, where all of the stores are, is a pedestrianized area bordered by four streets, Southgate Street, Dorchester Street, New Orchard Street, and Kingston Road. It's also intersected by a few more streets so it can seem like a mini-maze until you get your bearings.
Southgate Street is lined with stores like H&M and Next on both sides. Once you make your way deeper into Southgate Place, you'll encounter lots of cafeterias and some great pop-ups serving the best street food in Bath.
If you can't live without going shopping in a mall then you need to head down Southgate Street until you come to the Little Southgate shopping complex. Little Southgate is a one-story retail precinct housing a variety of quality high street brands as well as independent traders.
If you've been sightseeing around Bath taking a look at the Roman Baths or Bath Abbey, wander a few steps more and you'll come to Monmouth Street. Monmouth Street and Monmouth Place are one of the more popular areas to stay in Bath as it's close to the center, reasonably priced, and close to great hiking routes too. Its central location means you don’t need to worry about how to get around Bath either as you’ll have everything within easy walking distance.
Monmouth Street has some interesting buildings, a few of which house independent shops on the lower levels. It's the ideal street for a session of gentle retail therapy as you make your way towards the Herschel Museum of Astronomy or to the Norfolk Crescent Open Space for a hike.
Union Street is what could be called Bath's high street as it forms a major thoroughfare through the city as it joins up with Stall Street. If you've been browsing around the exhibits at the Victoria Art Gallery or have been visiting Bath Abbey, you'll be just a stone's throw from finding your way onto Union Street.
One of the best things about shopping on Union Street and Stall Street is the atmosphere. Both are pedestrianized so you'll come across buskers giving it their all and lots of pop-ups serving various types of street food.
If that's not enough to distract you from the serious business of shopping, you'll be pleased to know you'll be popping in and out of shops like Primark where you can easily pick up a bargain. If exploring Bath on foot has taken its toll on your footwear, you'll find a good selection of shoe shops on Union Street where you can replace them.
NB: From Union Street, you can also access The Corridor and Union Passage. Don’t miss them.
When it was built in the early 1800s, The Corridor was pretty avant-garde. It may not be new or forward-thinking now, but it's still one of the largest retail arcades of its kind. The entrance to The Corridor is located on Union Street which is about midway between Pulteney Bridge and the Roman Baths.
Although it underwent a major renovation in the mid-1970s, The Corridor still has an undeniable Victorian appearance with its wooden fronted shops and curved glass roof that makes shopping there a total delight. In The Corridor, there are all sorts of independent shops including bakeries, cafeterias, fashion boutiques for women and men, stationers, and even a furniture shop.
Union Passage is a narrow and lengthy alleyway that runs parallel to Union Street and while it's not as posh as The Corridor and doesn't have a glass roof, it's well worth having a wander down. Union Passage has a character all of its own and is crammed with small independent shops, charity shops, and cafes.
Milsom Street is just a ten-minute walk from Bath's Royal Victoria Park, so it's the perfect shopping street to head for if you've been enjoying the walking paths and other amenities there or have visited the Jane Austen Centre.
The main shop on Milsom Street is the House of Fraser, a UK department store, but there are many more besides. Take a stroll and you'll find outlets for men's and women's fashion, book shops, and gift shops so there's no shortage of variety.
When you're shopping on Milsom Street don't miss popping into Milsom Place. Milsom Place is quite hidden away so keep an eye for the signs and when you walk into this courtyard, you'll find yourself in what could be a secret garden lined with shops and cafes. Believe it, it's well worth looking out for.
Bath's Artisan Quarter
Bath's Artisan Quarter is an area of the city that stretches along Walcot Street, which begins just north of Pulteney Bridge, to London Road. It's a lengthy street with lots to look at so it can take a good couple of hours to get from one end to the other.
Walcot Street is home to many of the city's independent traders and craftspeople. If you're looking for an unusual gift or an eclectic souvenir, you'll certainly find it here. A record shop, a comic book store, a handmade cheese shop, a glassblowing studio, some antique shops, and even one selling carpets to name just a few of the diverse shops on Walcot Street.
There are also several coffee shops and restaurants along Walcot Street practicing the field to fork ethos or serving high-quality vegetarian food. There are plenty of opportunities for a healthy pitstop while you're shopping.
Green Street is a short pedestrianized street in Bath city center that runs between Milsom Street and Broad Street. It's a popular shopping street with locals as there are a few charity shops, a haberdashery, low-priced fashion stores, and something that's now not quite so common in the UK as it used to be, a butcher's shop.
Tip: Unless you're wandering around Bath aimlessly to waste time or want a fresh pork chop, then you're probably better off skipping going shopping on Green Street.
If you've been misled by things you've read on the internet and arrive in Royal Crescent expecting to do some shopping, try not to be too disappointed it isn't a shopping mall. Royal Crescent is a row of terraced houses built in the late 18th century that are now mostly private residences, part of a deluxe hotel, or occupied by a museum. They are very posh terraced houses and have stunning architectural features so they're worth taking an in-depth look at before you head back to some streets with shops on.
Northumberland Place is another of the characterful Bath city center alleyways. Very similar to the Union Passage, this short pedestrianized street is crammed with locally owned shops. They may be small businesses but they all believe in looking after their customers, so you can expect a top-notch and very friendly service wherever you go.
It would be fair to say that George Street isn't one of the main shopping streets in Bath, but it does have its good points. If you just want to do a quick bit of shop browsing after visiting the Jane Austen Centre and don't mind too much what sort of shop it is, this street will suit you well. There are a few independent shops here and a couple of charity shops. Once you've seen those, it'll be time to hit one of the pubs on George Street, of which there are plenty, to recover from your shopping ordeal.
Best Markets In Bath
Green Park Station
Green Park Station is Bath's biggest marketplace. This converted railway station hosts several different markets during the week and at weekends and as well as stalls, there are also shops and street food pop-ups.
At Green Park Station the weekday market takes place between 8 am and 4 pm. The Saturday market is the Bath Farmers Market which is where you can buy local produce and on the last Sunday of the month, there's a flea and antique market rather than a food and goods market.
Bath Guildhall Market
The Bath Guildhall Market is held inside a historic building near Bath Abbey on High Street. It's not a huge market by anyone's standards and there are only around 20 stalls and shops there. It's the place to drop by to pick some traditional homemade British sweets, local cheeses, handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and gifts. The Guildhall Market operates six days of the week from 9 am to 5 pm.
If you've long since come to the conclusion that shopping in Bath involves quite a lot of walking, you wouldn't be far wrong. Yes, you do need to step it out when you go shopping in Bath, but that also means you'll be getting exercise as well as retail therapy which is basically the best of both worlds.
While Bath may be short on big commercial malls, it really doesn't lack anything when it comes to shopping and you'll find anything and everything you can imagine if you look hard enough.