WHERE TO STAY
The Bath Priory
The Bath Priory has the feel of an upmarket country-house hotel but is in walking distance of the city centre. It has the loveliest garden, and arguably the best fine dining of any hotel in Bath. The bedrooms are traditional, yet stylish, and it's home to the only L’Occitane spa in the UK. There’s also an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool – the ideal spot in summer.
The Royal Crescent
This is a grand dame hotel which encompasses two townhouses in Bath's showpiece Georgian crescent, plus a large garden, and further buildings to the rear. It combines 18th-century heritage with 21st-century indulgences. Expect elegant and individual bedrooms, first-rate food and an enticing spa.
On the loveliest street in Bath, running between Pulteney Bridge and the Holburne Museum, this hotel is set in a Georgian Grade I-listed building. Recently refurbished, it’s now a well-appointed and imaginatively designed boutique hotel with a terrific spa. Spread over the main townhouse and a separate Coach House, there are 37 rooms to choose from – and no two are the same.
Set to open at the start of June, this hotel to have on your radar. With 14 character-filled bedrooms set around a historic courtyard, it has been carefully restored with unique design in each room. The Yard has a welcoming space for coffee and a gentle wine bar that extends into the courtyard for al fresco drinks.
WHERE TO SHOP
Topping & Company Booksellers
Bath may look like an old city, but it has an edgy buzz and is home to so many cool, independent brands and shops. Topping & Co is a superb bookshop with over 5,000 books to choose from. A great way to spend an afternoon, they offer free tea and coffee while you browse.
Nam Store is unique and elegant. Inside, you’ll find numerous homeware and accessories by Astier de Villatte, John Derian and Cire Trudon, as well as great antiques.
Fine Cheese & Company
On historic Walcot Street in the 'Artisan Quarter' of the city, the Fine Cheese Co. sell over 100 different types of cheeses, including a number of local cheddars. They also have some great charcuterie meats and deli treats, like olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crackers.
Each week, the team at Kilda Meadows make gorgeous bouquets of flowers, grown in the owner’s garden or sourced from other local growers. It’s an eco-conscious business where your order will be delivered to you via a carbon-free courier.
WHERE TO EAT
On Walcot Street, this restaurant and bar serves tasty homemade breakfasts, coffee, cold-pressed juices and healthy smoothies in the morning, then an excellent seasonal menu later in the day. Diners can enjoy house cocktails as an aperitif or a range of draught beers.
This is a creative plant-based restaurant and grocer in the centre of town. Expect an extensive list of natural wines, plus delicious small plates made from sustainably grown produce.
The Elder Restaurant
Relaxed, yet sympathetic to its Georgian roots, The Elder is a great place to catch up with friends over dinner – the vibe here is really special. Menu highlights include red mullet with braised leeks, Bathurst Estate fallow deer, warm potato salad, and lime meringue pie.
The focus here is great coffee with service that makes you feel right at home – and, of course, bagels. Fillings include cajun chicken with cheesy chipotle beans; cream cheese and smoked salmon; pulled pork; and falafel.
Landrace is a sourdough bakery specialising in handmade bread from stoneground and UK-grown grains. On pizza night, the team serve up delicious sourdough pizzas and Italian puds like tiramisu.
WHERE TO DRINK
The Pig Near Bath
Thanks to a great atmosphere, guests feel immediately at home at The Pig. The interiors are shabby chic and, if you’re after an overnight stay, it’s a top spot for a mini staycation. The bar has a fine selection of drinks that can be enjoyed outside with a scenic view. There’s no need to book here – the bar welcomes walk-ins all day.
Beckford Bottle Shop
This charming wine shop is run by the ex-Soho House managers behind the great Somerset pubs The Talbot Inn and The Beckford Arms. On Saville Row, the shop also houses a charcuterie bar and a cosy restaurant with candlelit wooden tables.
The Bar At No.15
With curio-filled interiors by Martin Hulbert, this quirky cocktail bar on the ground floor of No. 15 Guesthouse is a great spot for drinks. Beyond the cocktail menu, there’s a serious selection of beer and wine that showcases the best of British.
THINGS TO DO
The Holburne Museum
The city's first public art gallery is in a Grade I-listed building that houses fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne. Located behind Sydney Gardens – the oldest park in the city – it regularly puts on temporary exhibitions of classic and contemporary artists.
The Roman Baths are a must-see for visitors of all ages. Perhaps the city’s most iconic landmark, there’s over 2,000 years’ worth of history to explore. In addition to the Great Bath, you can also see the remains of the Temple Courtyard and Minerva, where ancient sacrifices were once made. The Pump Room Restaurant is also worth a visit for coffee or a quick lunch.
One of the joys of Bath is that it’s flanked by hills, meadows and woodland. The Bath Skyline is a well signposted, enjoyable six-mile circular trail that starts on the south-eastern fringes above Bathwick and Widcombe – the most scenic section of the walk. Its fantastic views are not to be missed and help make Bath one of the most picturesque cities in the UK.
Prior Park Landscape Garden
Prior Park Landscape Garden was designed by Capability Brown and Alexander Pope. It takes about 30 minutes to walk around the woodland-flanked valley that sweeps down to the delicate Palladian bridge and lake. The views across Bath are sensational and you might even spot deer along the route.
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