Named for its iconic Roman Thermae, this picturesque Somerset city boasts a rich and grandiose history. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with Georgian architecture and sprinkled with remnants from ancient Rome. Today, Bath remains a mecca for wellbeing and relaxation, where travelers can delve decadently into its elegant past.
One of the major attractions in Bath is the Roman Baths. Bath’s heritage is tied to its thermal springs, believed to be discovered by the legendary Prince Blaiddyd, who claimed they cured his leprosy and built the city around the healing waters. While the waters can be sampled at the Grand Pump Room, bathing in the complex is no longer permitted. The site is among the best-preserved Roman remains and offers a glimpse into ancient life in the region. Visitors today can enjoy Bath’s steaming waters at the modern Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the only natural hot springs in the country.
For tourists in Bath, many of the sights are centrally located and condensed in or around the City Centre. But, that doesn't mean that the other neighborhoods aren't worth considering. Opt for a boutique hotel in an artsy district or keep costs down with a hostel in the same neighborhood. You'll find modern hotels with all the convenience of home and charming guest houses for a more personal touch. Bath has many hotels since it receives so many tourists every year, so you won't have trouble finding something, as long as you book early.
Once you arrive via the Bath Spa Train Station, many of the areas in town are within walking distance or easily accessed using public transportation. When you get off the train, make sure you can tour the sights unencumbered. Just a short walk can turn into an epic hike if you're still carrying all your bags. Bounce is here to help with safe luggage storage in Bath, so you can move about town freely.
Planning your trip to Bath
For anyone who likes to stay in the heart of the action, the City Centre and Walcot neighborhoods are ideal. On the other hand, the peace and quiet of Combe Down and Bathampton might appeal to you. Read on to find your perfect neighborhood in Bath:
Bath City Center
Bath’s major attractions lie at the heart of the city. If you’re looking for an immersive experience, the city center is the place to be, and everything is within walking distance. Visit the Roman Baths, the Jane Austen Centre, and the medieval Bath Abbey easily with a break for some of the best brunch in Bath. Cap off the day with a classic play at the Theatre Royal, followed by a leisurely walk through the beautiful Georgian streets.
Bath City Center has a plethora of quirky independent stores, upmarket boutiques, and world-class restaurants. The super central location makes for an easy getaway, whether you’re taking a short trip, or you’re planning to stick around. And whatever your budget, there is a wide range of accommodation options, like budget-friendly hostels and backpackers as well as luxury spa hotels, all just a short walk from the city's main attractions. The Gainsborough Bath Spa is one of the best hotels in the city, with its convenient location, modern amenities, and natural thermal spa.
As you might imagine, the Bath City Center is full of places to stay from a boutique hotel to a luxury hotel to a B&B. Expect to pay more here for the central location close to all the main tourist attractions.
Walcot is Bath’s trendy, bohemian neighborhood, featuring independent boutiques, antique shops, vintage bookstores, and craft shops. It's not far from the cultural attractions of the City Centre, and the Saturday flea market is popular among tourists and locals alike. If you’re around in the early summer, you can catch the Bath Fringe Festival – a festival of the arts that runs over two weeks.
The entire neighborhood is centered around the historic Walcot Street, which may be the oldest street in Bath and was possibly a focal point during the Roman period. There are several quaint B&Bs, boutique hotels, and apartment rentals with cozy rooms to choose from. And, the city center is easily accessible in just a few minutes by foot, taxi, or a short bus ride.
Known as the Artisan Quarter of Bath, Walcot also has an array of contemporary restaurants, hip cocktail bars, and cozy pubs, where you can mingle with the locals over some live music. In fact, the scene here is one of the unmissable things to do at night in Bath. The town especially comes to life after dark. Walcot typically attracts a younger crowd with its buzzing nightlife and vibrant, eclectic vibe.
As for places to stay in Walcot, there are chain and independent hotels in all price ranges. The DoubleTree by Hilton is a modern hotel that's within easy walking distance of Pulteney Bridge and the Jane Austen Centre is another short walk away. It boasts modern rooms with coffee-making facilities, and of course, private bathrooms.
West of Beechen Cliff and south of the central district, Bear Flat is a local neighborhood worth considering. It's especially good for tourists wanting to experience Bath more like a local since it's primarily residential. But, residential doesn't mean boring. The centrally located high street is great for shopping and dining, and Alexandra Park serves as the closest green space. The park is 11-acres and has stunning views over the Bath City Centre. This is a great spot for families to settle in Bath, and you can easily walk to the neighborhood highlights in just a few minutes.
For travelers who prefer to retire early, Bear Flat is a good place to get dinner close to your hotel to save the walking time back from the City Centre. One of the best restaurants in town, Menu Gordon Jones, is here. You can also taste Neapolitan-style Italian fare, pastries, and so much more.
Bear Flat accommodation is a little more limited than in other areas, but it's certainly possible to find something. Aptly named, The Bear Inn is an affordable choice with spacious rooms, free buffet breakfast in the on-site restaurant, and free wi-fi. Milton House is a cozy typical B&B with air conditioning in a charming Victorian house. If you're after a luxury hotel here, you're out of luck, but the many manor houses offer a boutique hotel experience that is certainly close to what you would call luxury.
Those looking for a relaxed, family-friendly getaway will find just that in this charming, laid-back district. Less than two miles northeast of the city, Larkhall has easy access to Bath's tourist attractions. Although that may not be considered walking distance to everyone, buses and rideshares are available to take you into the City Center. For more information on how to get around Bath, check out this guide.
It also has its own selection of shops and eateries along its main road. This dainty old village even has a community theatre that stages musicals, plays, and comedy shows. The eight-acre Alice Park features gardens, a playground, and tennis courts, making Larkhall a popular destination for families with kids.
The Radstone Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Larkhall, with its spacious rooms and on-site restaurant. The Old School Schoolhouse Hotel is a great option for budget travelers and offers a free buffet breakfast.
Just a stone's throw away from Larkhall on the city’s northern slopes lies the historic area of Camden – an affluent residential area with elegant Georgian townhouses, boutique shops, and tree-lined streets.
At the edge of Bath lies historic Bathampton – a quaint little village, along the Kennet and Avon canal, surrounded by sprawling meadows and wetlands. The beautiful country setting draws in a mix of families and leisure-loving travelers seeking an escape to the countryside. If you love nature and the outdoors, Bathampton is perfect for you. Hiking, cycling, and canoeing are popular activities in this idyllic riverside village.
Families can enjoy boat rides and picnics along the river banks. Bathampton Meadows is a green corridor and a haven for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. There are also some great traditional pubs, beer gardens, and restaurants dotting the banks of the river. The Bathampton Mill is a popular tourist attraction. Round off your trip with a visit to the St Nicholas Church – an Anglican parish and beautiful historic building that dates back to the 13th century.
Near Bathampton and linked by a toll bridge lies another eastern riverside village just north of the river. Batheaston is an easy walking distance away and makes for a great day trip for foodies and travelers seeking an authentic, less “touristy” experience. The cozy village has a marvelous array of family-owned cafés, pubs, restaurants, and shops. You can also stay at the Old Mill Hotel or choose from a selection of holiday cottages and vacation rentals.
The historic stone-mining town is situated at the top of the ridge south of Bath. Combe Down is a beautiful hilltop village, with tree-lined streets, and many historic buildings that can be explored via footpaths and old alleyways called drungways. The Prior Park Gardens is a major attraction, featuring a pristine landscape garden, 18th-century dams, and stunning views of Bath. This charming village has a close-knit community feel, and a lovely selection of pubs, shops, and delis. It attracts families and seasoned travelers looking to stay in a less touristy area. At the heart of Combe Down is Firs Field - a historic green space and hub for families, featuring a children’s playground and war memorial.
East of Combe Down lies the understated hidden gem of Claverton Down. This quiet rural area is home to some famous attractions, such as the 18th century Sham Castle and the American Museum. The University of Bath is also situated here, and its Sports Training Village is popular among athletes. Family-friendly attractions include the Bath Skyline Woodland Play Area and Warleigh Weir.
The accommodations in Combe down are typically boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts. While you may not find spacious rooms, you will find free wifi, free parking, and tasty food. Some highlights here include The Forester and Flower, Wheelwrights Arms Country Inn & Pub, and the picturesque Devonshire House. You can expect private bathrooms and free breakfast as well. Prices range from £100 to £200 plus in this charming neighborhood.
Intrigued yet? From the natural springs and ancient architecture to the grand museums, art galleries, and unique shops, Bath is sure to dazzle and amaze. Whether you’re taking a quick trip, or planning to stay for a while, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so much to take in. But if you’re wondering where to stay, that question should now be answered. The accommodation in Bath runs the gamut from hotels centrally located near the Bath Spa Train Station to suburban guest houses. The one that's right for you balances location, busyness, nightlife, and obviously, price. Cheap hotels in Bath are less common, but still available, especially if you're willing to stay in a hostel or B&B without a private bathroom. Otherwise, plan to spend around £100 a night for a decent mid-range hotel with a few amenities. And, as with any tourist town, additional space and amenities will always cost you more.
Now, all there is to do is pack your bags and book your tickets. And, when you get here, make sure you leave your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Bath so that your trip can continue to be worry-free.