Packed to the fully restored rafters with art, culture, history, shopping, green spaces and spas, it’s little wonder that Bath is a hugely popular destination for many South Western Railway travellers.
Of course, Bath has been known for its fashionable society since Jane Austen’s time, and even today you’ll find a wealth of shopping opportunities and foodie delights – from popular chain restaurants to fabulous fine dining.
At Bath Spa station, options for onward travel are close at hand with a taxi rank directly outside and a bus station 50 yards away. (PlusBus is available for an add-on fare of £3.50.) There’s also Green Park Bike Station for cycle hire, a few minutes walk away. The station car park has 80 spaces.
The entire city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site and you’ll find three of the grandest reasons why – the Abbey, the Pump Rooms and the Roman Baths – all within metres of each other in the heart of the city. A stroll away, at the end of the beautiful broad boulevard that is Great Pulteney Street, you’ll find the Holburne Museum – a gallery renowned for critically acclaimed exhibitions.
A tour of Bath is a great way to get to know the city and whether you go by bus or on foot you’ll delight at the sight of the shimmering skyline. Keep wandering and you’re bound to stumble upon one of the many tranquil parks. Royal Victoria Park is the finest – a city oasis of mini golf, tennis courts, BBQ spots and stunning Botanical Gardens. Bordering the park is The Royal Crescent, an architectural masterpiece that takes the breath away. To step inside the Regency life style go to No.1 Royal Crescent and, even better, use your train tickets to get a 2FOR1 deal – look around the site for even more Bath deals.
Water plays a major part in the life of the city too and a short river cruise down the leafy Avon, hiring a canal boat or paddle-boarding the day away are all relaxing ways to see another side of Bath.
Bath may be a Georgian pleasure park but it’s a retail mecca too. Southgate is a vibrant shopping plaza teeming with the nation’s favourite high-street brands and just a stone’s throw from the station. Then it’s a short hop to Pulteney Bridge and Found – one of Bath’s many independent boutique stores. Just 5 minutes further on is Milsom Street – the traditional shopping quarter, boasting brands such as Jolly’s (House of Fraser), The Kooples and Reiss.
There’s no way to cover all your dining options but you can’t go wrong with these: Bath’s newest 5-star hotel has a fabulous, fine-dining restaurant – The Gainsborough – where you can expect wonderful flavours and locally sourced ingredients.
If you want to eat at Menu Gordon Jones (and believe us, you do), book now. This tiny restaurant offering a single set menu is always booked well ahead by adoring locals.
Finally, Pintxos is one of Bath’s funkiest new additions and offers a selection of Spanish dishes in a relaxed, rustic setting. It even has a Sherry Garden.
No. 15 Great Pulteney is the chic foodie art hotel that leapt to the top of Bath’s wow-factor charts when it opened in 2016. It’s an amazing place to stay and has a lavish restaurant paired with a stylish cocktail bar. For a more traditional approach the Royal Crescent Hotel is set like a jewel in the sweeping tiara of the crescent. For something easier on the wallet, the (300-year-old) Griffin Inn offers cosy B-and-B rooms in a charming craft ale pub.