The Many Pleasures of Bath, England

For a city as well-known as first-century spa town Bath, I wasn't expecting to really love it.  Thought I'd enjoy it, see the baths, and get out of town.  But I found myself wanting to linger in Bath, to walk through the streets admiring the perfect Georgian architecture and duck into one of the many newer cafes and shops. Next time, I will stay overnight.

Things I Love About Bath:

The Royal Crescent, BathLunch at the Royal Crescent Hotel - For views of the hills, an expansive park in front to frolic, and inventive food in a wonderful English setting. The hotel is the most luxurious option in town and just removed enough from the city center, but within walking distance to everything.

Lunch at The Royal CrescentThe Roman Baths - Brace yourself for crowds, especially large throngs of high school students, but you have to come here in Bath. You have to follow a certain route, and I darted through most everything at the beginning to get to the actual baths quickly. To me, that was the most interesting part.

The Roman BathsTea at The Pump Room after touring the Roman Baths - The Pump Room has been a gathering place for 2,000 years and still is today. Afternoon tea is wonderful. You can also try a glass of the hot spa water, with 43+ minerals (one sip was more than enough for me).

The Bath AbbeyHire a Blue Badge Guide for walking tour when you first arrive - This gave me the best overview of the city's history and what I shouldn't miss in my day there. Plus, they're like rock stars in town and can get past lines at popular attractions.

The Fashion Musuem - You won't need more than an hour - it's small but interesting to wander through the exhibits celebrating over 400 years of fashion

The Fashion MuseumThermae Bath Spa - I'd choose the 2-hour session at the "new" Roman bath where you can relax the morning or afternoon away in warm spa waters.

Thermae Bath SpaVisit Sally Lunn's for a famous BUN! They are gigantic - but get one to try it! 

The architecture! Just soak it all in - the style is predominantly Georgian and gorgeous.

Georgian homes in BathThe Jane Austen Centre - Another quick stop for me & a must for Jane Austen lovers - She's from Bath! 

The Bertinent Kitchen Cookery School - When I return to Bath, I'm allowing time for a cooking class here.The location is perfect. See?

The Bertinent Kitchen Cookery School, BathBrowse at the Highgrove Shop - Prince Charles' estate sells a large selection of items at this shop, all high-quality and a great reminder of your time in England.  He has always believed in business operating on a larger social level, serving the community and environment. 

The Highgrove Shop, Bath

Shopping in BathStop into Topping & Company Booksellers - A charming independent bookstore that always has complimentary tea & coffee at the ready.

Topping & Company BooksellersPrior Park - I thought this park was a short walk away, but it took me 45 minutes to walk there from the center of Bath and much of it was uphill. I had my rental car and should have driven it. It's so worth finding it - a peaceful park in a deep valley with stunning views of Bath. The Palladian Bridge is especially beautiful.

Prior Park, BathPrior Park, Bath

The Palladian Bridge, Prior Park, Bath