Founded in 43 AD by the Romans, the city of Bath has since then attracted visitors from all over the world, travellers who come to experience first hand the city's famous legacy of history, culture and architecture.
Most of Bath 's renowned structures were built during the Renaissance, as the city came to be fashionable as a spa retreat among members of the royalty and the aristocracy who visited frequently to enjoy the city's waters.
People that visit today can explore the old Roman Baths, discover the splendour of Bath Abbey or just take in the striking Georgian architecture of the city, which was spared from the ravages of war and left untouched by the relentless hand of industrialisation.
Bath, Transport Services
Bath Bus Station, Manvers Street, Bath. Call the Traveline for details of all bus services in the Bath & North East Somerset on 01179 555111. Open 8am-8pm daily.
The two main bus companies in Bath are First Badgerline and Bath Bus Company.
Bath Spa Station, Manvers Street, Bath.
Bath Spa station is on the London to Bristol Temple Meads main line and the Southampton and Portsmouth to South Wales line.
National Rail Enquiries: 08457 484950.
For up-to-date Online Rail Timetables use Railtrack. At TheTrainLine.com you can plan your journey and buy tickets.
Ranks at Bath Spa Railway Station, Orange Grove, Milsom Street, New Orchard Street.
Abbey Radio Taxis. Tel: 444446.
Orange Grove Taxis. Tel: 447777
Rainbow Taxis. Tel: 460606
The nearest airport to Bath is Bristol International Airport. Both London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports have connections to Reading railway station from which there are regular trains to Bath.
Bristol International Airport. Tel: 01275 474444.
Avon Valley Cyclery, at the rear of Bath Spa Railway Station. Tel: 461880.
Open every day 9am-5.30pm.
City centre car parks are well signposted and identified as long or short stay.
Car parks are in Avon Street, Charlotte Street, Ham Gardens, Kingsmead Square, Manvers Street, the Sports Centre and Bath Cricket Club in North Parade Road, and Walcot Street.
Cars parked on city centre streets Monday to Saturday 8am-6pm must display a ticket available from some shops.
Riverside Coach Park, Avon Street.
Park & Ride:
Help keep Bath car free. Park your car free of charge at any of the four Park & Rides below. Buses run every 10-15 minutes to and from the city centre, and journey time is around 10 minutes.
Newbridge Park & Ride - Located on the A4 Newbridge Road. As you approach Bath from Keynsham or Bristol, turn left at the A4/A36 junction on the western edge of the city. Monday to Saturday 7.30am-7.30pm. Bus (service 21) from Westgate Buildings (B4).
University of Bath Park & Ride - Located west of Bath within the University Campus grounds. Saturdays only 8.30am-6.30pm. Bus (service 19) from Terrace Walk (C4).
Lansdown Park & Ride - Located on the Lansdown Road on the northern outskirts of the city. Monday to Friday 7.30am-7.30pm. Bus (service 31) from Queen Square (B3).
Odd Down Park & Ride - Located south of Bath on the A367 Fosse Way as you approach Bath from Radstock & Peasedown St John. Monday to Saturday 7.30am-7.30pm. Bus (service 41) from St James's Parade.
There are 24 hour filling stations at Walcot Service Station on London Road and Churchill Bridge Service Station on Lower Bristol Road.
Bath, main attractions
It was the Romans that first took advantage of the rare natural hot springs in Britain , although it is possible that many people used to go to the hot springs long before the development of Rome . For a time, the ancient Roman baths were regarded as the best in all of the empire, but the middle ages saw them fall into disrepair.
In 1702, an ailing Prince George paid a visit to the city and the baths regained their popularity as a therapeutic retreat. As the city underwent renewed development in the late 18th century, the ruins of the old Roman settlers were unearthed and restored.
Visitors today can tour the seven ancient baths and the magnificent Georgian Pump House which offers a taste of its mineral waters to those who are feeling adventurous. The lead-lined Pump House contains the hot spa water and it used to be kept in a vast hall that was 40 metres high, making it one of the largest buildings constructed at that time.
Address: Stall Street ; Post code: BA1 1LZ
Telephone: (01225) 477 785
Website : http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/
Opening time: Daily 9am to 10pm (July and August); otherwise 9.30am to 5.30pm .
Bath, William Herschel Museum
While the astronomer William Herschel stayed in Bath in 1781, he discovered the planet Uranus, using a telescope he built for himself. His discovery, along with the ingenious scientific methods he used, earned him the honour as one of history's greatest astronomers.
The museum named after him contains a replica of his workshop, his kitchen, and the music room at the Herschel house, where he lived with his sister, Caroline.
Address: 19 New King Street, Bath
Telephone: 01225 311342
Opening time: Weekdays (closed Wednesdays) 1pm to 5pm ; Weekends 11am to 5pm .
Bath, Museum of Costume
Bath 's Museum of Costume houses an extensive collection of clothes and fashion accessories that cover a period of four hundred years, beginning from the late 16th century to the present day. The exhibit consists of hundreds of costumes placed on mannequins, and offers a visual overview of how fashion has evolved through the years. An audio commentary is optional, and guided tours also available.
Address: Bennett Street ; Telephone: 01225 477789
Transport: Lansdown buses 2 and 9 from city centre stop nearby. Round trip sightseeing bus stops at the adjacent Assembly Rooms.
Opening time: 11am to 5pm ( 4pm closing in winter months).
Bath, Jane Austen Centre
The novelist Jane Austen is Bath 's most famous resident, and she is celebrated in this permanent exhibit on her life and work. The city was her home between 1801 and 1806, and Georgian Bath figures prominently in her novels Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.
Address: 40 Gay Street , Queen Square
Telephone: 01225 443000
Transport: Park & Ride bus to Queen Square (centre is close to the bus stop). The Round the city sightseeing buses stop outside the centre.
Opening time: Daily 10am to 5.30pm .
Out & Around Bath
Tours Around Bath
GUIDED WALKING TOURS
Take a free 2 hour walk around Bath's historical and architectural sights, led by the Mayor's Honorary Guides. Tours leave Abbey Church Yard at 10.30am every day and at 2pm from Sunday to Friday. Additional tours leave at 7pm on Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays from May to September only.
Tel: 01225 477411 for more details.
Ghost Walks of Bath. A 2 hour walk to many spooky locations! Meet at the Garrick's Head pub, next to the Theatre Royal, at 8pm Monday to Saturday from April to October. Fridays only from November to March.
Tel 01225 463618.
An Appointment With Fear. Join a 1 hour Ghost Tour of Bath with costumed guides every night at 8pm from The Crystal Palace pub in Abbey Green , or 8.10pm from the Pump Room main entrance in Abbey Church Yard.
Tel 0771 3278547.
Bizarre Bath - The Comedy Walk. An eccentric evening stroll through Bath. Leaves from outside The Huntsman Inn in North Parade Passage at 8pm every evening from April to September. Tel 01225 335124.
Jane Austen's Bath. Departs at 1.30pm every day in July and August, and weekends and public holidays only for rest of the year, from outside KC Change Visitor Information Centre in Abbey Church Yard.
OPEN TOP BUS TOURS
Tickets are valid all day and you may get on and off as often as you like to explore places of interest. This is the best way to see all of Bath's attractions. Keep your ticket for discounts at some Bath attractions.
The Bath Tour (green and cream buses). An hour long (or more), award-winning tour with Guide Friday professional guides, leaves at least every 15 minutes in Summer. (In Winter tours leave hourly on weekdays, half-hourly at weekends). The tour starts at the Bus Station but can be joined at any of the stops marked on the map. Tel: 444102.
The Bath Classic Citytour (red buses). A 45 minute tour, leaving at least every 30 minutes from Terrace Walk. Tel: 01225 424157 for details.
Bath Bus Company. Every 15 minutes from Grand Parade and other stops on the route. Tel 01225 330444.
HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHTS OVER BATH
Balloons lift off most days between April and October around 6pm, from Victoria Park. Great fun to watch too!
Bath Balloon Flights Tel: 466888.
Heritage Balloons Tel: 318747.
PLEASURE BOAT TRIPS
50 minute cruises along the Avon to Bathampton Weir, leaving from below Pulteney Bridge hourly, 11am-dusk, from Easter to October.
SAFARIS AND EXCURSIONS
Danwood City Safari. Departs every day at 10.15am from outside the Huntsman Inn in Terrace Walk. Returns at 5.30pm. Visits the Cotswolds, Avebury, Stonehenge, Salisbury and Longleat. Tel 01373 465965
Where to Stay in Bath
The city has a wide variety of places to stay to suit any taste and budget.
There are a number of major 5-star hotels and moderately-priced hotels on Georgian streets, as well as low-cost travel lodges and cozy family-run inns and guesthouses.
Near the city is a popular campsite, as well as a Youth Hostel. There are also backpacker-friendly hostels in the city centre.
Useful Bath Information
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE:
Abbey Chambers, Abbey Church Yard, Bath BA1 1LY. (D5). Tel 0906 711 2000, Fax 01225 477787. Open May to September 9.30am-6pm, October to April 9.30am-5pm Monday to Saturday; 10am-4pm on Sundays (all year). Provides a wealth of information on Bath, and on the United Kingdom as a whole. The Centre can help you find accommodation in Bath, and also operates the national Book-a-Bed-Ahead scheme. Ask here about the "Bath Pass" discount card. The Centre sells a wide range of books, maps, souvenirs and gifts. There is an American Express bureau de change at the Centre.
GUIDE FRIDAY TOURlSM CENTRE:
Bath Spa Railway Station, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JL. Tel: 444102. Open 7 days a week, 9am-5.30pm in summer, 10am-3.30pm in winter. For information and advice. The Centre provides maps, guide books, and an accommodation booking service, including Book-a-Bed Ahead to certain cities.
BANKS (with 24 hour cash machines):
Barclays, Manvers Street, Bath,
LloydsTSB, Milsom Street, Bath and Lower Borough Walls, Bath.
HSBC, Milsom Street, Bath and Southgate, Bath, NatWest, High Street, Bath,
Royal Bank of Scotland, Quiet Street, Bath.
Also machines in Bath St, Quiet St, Corridor, Broad St.
BUREAUX DE CHANGE:
American Express, 5 Bridge Street, Bath Tel: 444767, and at the Tourist Information Centre;
KC Change and Tourist Information, 13 Abbey Church Yard, Bath. Tel: 448206.
Marks & Spencer, 16-19 Stall Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 462591.
In an emergency dial 999.
Police Station, Manvers Street, Bath Tel: 01225 444343.
Royal United Hospital (with Accident & Emergency department), Combe Park, Bath. Tel: 01225 428331. Take a No.14 bus from the Bus Station or a taxi.
Samaritans, 2 New King Street, Bath. Tel: 429222.
Bath NHS Walk-in Centre, 4 Cambridge House, Henry Street, Bath BA1 1JT. Open 7am-10pm every day. No appointment necessary. Consultations and assessment by an experienced NHS nurse.
in Margaret's Buildings and Claverton Street.
- The Evening Chronicle: available daily (except Sunday) from newsagents. Useful for events listings.
- Bath Observer: a free weekly paper from the Evening Chronicle.
- The Advertiser: free weekly independent newspaper.
- Venue: a fortnightly guide to what's on in Bristol and Bath is available from bookshops and newsagents.
- This Month in Bath: is free from various outlets.
Bath FM, PO Box 1079, Bath, BA1 2GU. Tel: 01225 483344. Bath's own radio station on 107.9FM
MAIN POST OFFICE:
New Bond Street, Bath. Open Monday to Saturday 9am-5.30pm.
The Podium, Northgate Street, Bath. Tel: 428144.
Open Monday 10am-6pm, Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am-7pm, Friday and Saturday 9.30am-5pm.
TICKETS AND BOOKINGS:
TABS, Theatre Royal, Bath. Tel: 448831.
Ticketcall, 15 Pierrepont Street, Bath. Tel: 447770.
Bath Festivals Box Office, 2 Church Street, Abbey Green, Bath BA1 1NL. Tel: 01225 463362. Fax: 01225 310377.
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