Bath is arguably Britain’s most beautiful city. Founded by the Romans, who used the area’s thermal springs to create a spa retreat, it’s now the premier tourist attraction of southwest England. It’s also celebrated for its magnificent Georgian architecture, with grand squares and crescents defining the city.
Start at the beginning with the Roman Baths complex, which is divided into four main parts: the Bath House, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple and the museum, which displays fascinating finds from the ruins. Next, have a wander around Bath Abbey, a huge medieval church that you can climb to the top of. The Marlborough Tavern gastropub serves seriously impressive, substantial dishes.
If you have time, it’s worth staying in Bath for the weekend. Wander the streets, enjoy the architecture, including two of the city’s Georgian masterpieces – Pulteney Bridge and the Royal Crescent – and take time to relax in Thermae Bath Spa.
Direct trains travel from London Paddington twice an hour, and the journey time is about an hour and a half. Driving takes around two and a half hours, but traffic around the city is often heavy, and parking is very limited.