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The historic city of Bath is nothing short of a real-life postcard. It’s got the cobbled streets, stone buildings, leafy parks and one heck of an epic foodie scene. Spending a weekend in Bath is something you definitely need to add to your UK bucket list.
From the moment I arrived, I was emersed in its charm and history and then instantly so happy that I had finally got around to visiting it. Its name comes from the famous Roman Baths that date back to over 2000 years and has also given the city UNESCO world heritage status.
Now, Bath isn’t known for being the cheapest destination in the UK, but it’s definitely possible to visit on a budget. On one hand, Bath could be about champagne afternoon teas and indulgent spas, but you don’t need all of that to still have an amazing time.
2 days in Bath is the perfect amount of time to experience the highlights. To help you have a chilled out (and budget friendly) weekend in Bath, I’ve put together this itinerary to help you plan your stay.
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But first, watch this…
Where is Bath?
Bath is located in the Southwest of England in the county of Somerset, about 100 miles away from London. The River Avon runs through the city from Bristol which adds another beautiful dimension to the area. Its closeness to London also makes it perfect for a day trip to Bath but to really make the most of it, I definitely recommend spending two days in Bath.
How to get to Bath
Tom and I drove to Bath from our home in Essex, but it also has really easy rail access from London. Getting the train from London will take about 1.5 hours. Alternatively, if you’re wanting to fly, Bristol has an international airport and about a 30 minute drive from Bath.
If, like us, you are planning on driving to Bath, keep in mind that most hotels do not have onsite parking so you will need to park in a public car park. These tend to cost about £15 per day.
If you’re looking to hire a car for your road trip to Bath, you can find the best prices on Rental Cars. Being able to compare companies means you’ll be getting the best deal!
Where to stay for 2 days in Bath on a budget
Bath is definitely not home to the cheapest accommodation, but for a simple, clean and modern hotel, I highly recommend the Z Hotel. It’s located right in the heart of the city, about 10 minutes walk away from the Royal Crescent and 5 from the Roman Baths. It’s the perfect location for your weekend in Bath
The rooms are small but they are well laid out with storage, tea and coffee facilities, a large TV and a desk. The staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful and made checking in easy.
As usual, we booked our stay at the Z Hotel via booking.com and you can use the search below to check their availability or find an alternative.
A weekend in Bath: Your 2 day Bath Itinerary
Day 1 in Bath
The first part of your 2 days in Bath is simply walking around to get your bearings. The beauty of Bath being so bite-sized and walkable is that you can easily immerse yourself in the city. Walk around the main shopping streets like Stall Street, Milsom Street and Milsom Place. You’ll find all the usual high street shops here, but more importantly, you’ll get to see Baths incredible architecture.
Just off Stall Street, you’ll find Bath Abbey. The Gothic architecture is striking and dates back to the 10th century. It’s free to go inside and you can leave a donation if you wish.
For a delicious lunch in a funky restaurant, head over to the Cosy Club. They have a great selection of brunches, lunches, healthier and more indulgent dishes to choose from. They also have a gorgeous balcony to sit out on if the weather is good, too.
After you’ve fueled up on something delicious, it’s time to walk it off and tick off some more of Baths most famous landmarks – The Circus and Royal Crescent.
The Circus is a circle of beautiful Georgian Houses with a large tree in the middle of it. It’s so unique and will make you feel like you’re in Mary Poppins. Just a little further on is the highly Instgrammable Royal Crescent. This semi-circle of houses overlooks the Royal Victoria Park which is a great place to sit and take in the full view.
If you were fancying an indulgent stay, there is the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, or, if you feel like becoming a resident, be prepared to pay at least £1m for a flat here!
To finish the afternoon off, head back to the main part of the city and enjoy an outdoor drink (on a nice day) at one of the many bars. If you’re a fan of beer and want to try some local beers, check out The Garricks Head. If gin is more your thing, make your way to the Canary Gin Bar.
There are so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from, but for a delicious and reasonably priced pizza, head over to Dough. They serve up fresh sourdough pizzas with the options to give them more oomph with funky bases such as turmeric, hemp and wheatgrass.
Day 2 in Bath
No weekend in Bath would be complete without visiting its namesake – The Roman Baths. This museum gives you the chance to not only see the impressive baths that date back to over 2000 years but also learn about the whole complex that was once there. The complex included treatment rooms, temples dedicated to worshipping Sulis Minerva and plunge pools. Inside the museum you get to see where the water comes up form the spring at 46 degrees celsius and see some of the most well preserved Romas artefacts in the country.
You will need to book your tickets online and choose a time slot to visit. Expect to spend 1.5-2 hours here. Included in the price of the ticket is an audio guide to learn more about things as you’re walking around.
Bath is famous for its buns, and having lunch at Sally Lunn’s is something you have to do. The Sally Lunn bun is unique to Bath and a definite institution. These buns are not your normal sweet bun though, they’re more of a bread crossed with a cake but super light and fluffy. You can choose from a number of sweet and savoury toppings as well, making them perfect for everyone.
After lunch, walk over to the Parade Gardens where you’ll get a great view of the River Avon and Pulteney Bridge. It’s another famous Bath icon and definitely my favourite spot. All along the bridge you’ll find little cafes, restaurants and shops to explore. Just opposite is the Guildhall Markets which has a selection of food and craft stalls.
For the best viewpoint of Bath, take the walk up to the Alexandra Park viewpoint. The walk is steep but it’s so worth it. Go here for sunset and you will be able to see the whole city at the most beautiful time of the day.
To finish off your weekend in Bath and if you’re a love of Thailand, book yourself a table and the awesome Thaikhun. I had the best Thai chicken and basil dish I’ve had outside of Thailand itself. It’s such a funky restaurant and amazing value for money!
So, it might have taken me nearly 30 years before I got around to visiting Bath for the first time, but there’s no way it will be my last! I hope this weekend Bath itinerary has inspired you to visit this beautiful city and shown you then it can definitely be done on a budget without missing out all the good stuff. A weekend trip to Bath is something you could do year round, with beautiful leafy parks in the warmer months and an epic Christmas market in the winter. Don’t miss a trip to this beautiful city!
Got some more time to spare? Want to indulge a bit more? Check out these other awesome things to do in Bath…
- Take a boat ride along the river Avon – This is actually a super cheap and awesome way to see the city from a different angle. Click here to book your 25 minute boat trip.
- Relax at the Thermae Spa – This is something I would have loved to have done but it was completely booked out for my weekend away in Bath. The spa has a rooftop pool filled with the natural thermal spring water in Bath. Click here to find out how to book.
- Splash out on Afternoon Tea at The Pump Room – If you’re looking to indulge, you can take afternoon tea at The Pump Room which overlooks the Roman Baths.
- Visit one of the many, many museums – Bath has a whopping 13 museums to choose from ranging from the Jane Austin House Museum where she wrote Pride and Prejudice, the Fashion Museum and even a museum inside number 1 at the Royal Crescent.