Bath is such a beautiful city with its picturesque pale Bath stone Georgian buildings, and winding, tree-lined rivers and canals. Luckily for me, it's a very short train ride away, but even if you're travelling from further afield, it's definitely worth a visit.
I've been to Bath a fair few times now, and each time I find more things I like about the city. This time around, I've narrowed them down to the very best places that are definitely worth your time.
The County Hotel Bath is out of the hustle and bustle, over on the quieter side of the river. It's about 10 minute walk from the train station or the town centre, and also has ample parking if you prefer to drive.
Up the driveway and through the big front door, and into a big lobby with friendly staff to greet you. We had a little chat and then were shown up one of the staircases to our room overlooking the bowling green & the rugby grounds to Bath Abbey beyond. It was a very pretty view to look out over as the sun set, and as it rose the next morning revealing the mist and peachy clouds.
The room itself has everything you need, including a lovely big, comfy bed, bath & shower, storage, tea & coffee and a telly. We slept very comfortably.
The stay included breakfast, so the next morning we headed downstairs to eat in their bright dining room. We chose from the generous continental section and were very happy about them having Nutella to put on your croissants or toast, but you can also choose from a selection of hot breakfasts. The eggs benedict did look rather delicious.
Of course, there's the usual Bath Abbey and Roman Baths to have a look around, as well as the Thermae Spa if you fancy a spot of pampering or lazing about in saunas or the rooftop pool.
Something I had never done before was walk along the canal. I stepped down onto the tow path to be greeted by the sweetest long boats, and houses with gardens running all the way down to the river's edge - so dreamy! Especially those with little boats tied up. I would love to live that life!
If it's been as rainy as it has been lately, it may not be sensible to be so close to the water.. but I would recommend sturdy boots or wellies either way, as it can get a little muddy.
You can of course also cycle along the tow path, or hire a canal boat during certain times!
Bath has loads of great shops - many of which we don't have in Bristol. I always like popping into the Anthropologie shop, and they have some great beauty shops like Kiehls, Space NK and a new Bobbi Brown shop which should be open by now!
There are also some brilliant independent shops & vintage shops around as well. I'm not sure if all these shops are still there as it was written a couple of years back, but the wonderful Cat from Take Courage wrote a vintage & antique shopping guide to Bath here.
A couple of other shops worth a look around:
• Magalleria - beautiful magazines, artist's books & zines.
• Found - super cool homewares, clothes & gifts.
Most importantly, the Bath Christmas Market starts in TWO DAYS!!! It'll be on daily from the 24th November until the 11th December, and is really worth visiting to get in the festive spirit! Be warned though - it can get very busy at the weekends, and trains can get a little hectic too, so try to plan accordingly.
The County Hotel has a Bath Christmas Market deal going on, so that really is worth a look if you need to stay the night!
I first went to Bea's Vintage Tearoom a couple of years ago on a blogging trip - which is also where I met my good pal Lily! I fell in love with the mismatched tables & chairs, the homemade cakes and scones, and the fact that the tea is served "properly" - loose leaf, in your own personal little teapot.
If you're after some afternoon tea or a little treat at any time of the day, you must head to Bea's!
As for coffee, the most highly recommended place to me was Society Cafe. They have two locations in Bath (and one in Oxford) and they're both super nice inside and out.
For a lovely lunch - followed by one of these amazing cakes if you can manage it - head to Cafe Lucca. They have fresh seasonal salads, quiches, sandwiches, and larger meals if you have more of an appetite. It's not unusual to see ladies having glasses of champagne here, and well-dressed groups out for a family meal. It feels like a special place, but still pretty relaxed and the prices are reasonable, especially for food that tasty.
Being with someone who's obsessed with pizza means we had to go and check out The Oven. They do various red and white pizzas and calzones, all cooked in their amazing bright red wood fired pizza oven! They also have a gluten free base and vegan options available, so I'm pretty sure there's a pizza for everyone here.
Finally, make sure you pop into one of the Bertinet Bakeries - as you can see from the window display below, they make lots of amazing sweet bakes. Their sausage rolls are also absolutely delicious, and if it's a dry day it's nice to buy a few things from here and have a little outdoor picnic down by the river or in Parade Gardens.
Have you been to Bath before? What are your favourite things to do there?
• though the stay at the County Hotel Bath was complimentary, all views are my own! •
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