- Club Victoriana
- Leafy Victoria Park
- Quartet of Georgian townhouses
- Heart of historic Bath
- Pint-sized perfection
- Near the Kennet and Avon canal
- Homely, historic hideaway
- Stony hillside hamlet
- Regency romance
- City life
- English elegance
Bath provides the perfect English getaway. This is a genteel city soaked in history, which has kept its stiff upper lip but learned how to relax with a cocktail, too.
Nestled in the verdant calm of the Avon valley, and untroubled by its noisily artful neighbour, Bristol, Bath offers beautiful Regency buildings, fabulous countryside views, great food and cultural riches – everywhere you look. Whether it's Jane Austen and refined dining you crave, or a soak in a spa and a glass of something spoiling later on, Bath is a place of pleasures both historic and modern. And, just a short meander out of town, you've the rolling fields, dramatic valleys and pretty villages of Somerset to explore.
For a real Jane Austen experience, take an afternoon to wander round the Royal Victoria Park and the Royal Crescent. The design, architecture and atmosphere are about as English as it’s possible to be.
- Taxis cannot be flagged in the street, so ask your hotel to book them for you. There are usually plenty of taxis outside the train station.
- Tipping culture
- Discretionary, but around 15 per cent is appreciated in restaurants.
- Packing tips
- Mrs Smith finds it hard to resist taking an empire-line dress and a bonnet to Bath, to get the full Austen effect. The less whimsical among you might simply want to take an umbrella to fend off that pesky English rain (and perhaps to double as a pretty parasol).
- Recommended reads
- Anything by Jane Austen, Bath’s most famous resident. Try Northanger Abbey, with the promising passage: 'They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already.' Ahh!
- Good old-fashioned English fare abounds (with tea, scones and cheddar cheese taking centre-stage), but there’s plenty of modern European influence, too; Bath boasts several Michelin-starred eateries. There's also a real focus on local, seasonal produce and on ingredients sourced from England's south-west.
- Pounds sterling (£).
- Dialling codes
- Country code for the UK: +44. Bath: (0)1225.
- Do go/don't go
- The Gulf Stream makes this area a bit more temperate than most of England, but your best bet for a dry stay is still to visit between June and September. Winter can be captivating, with snow dusting the streets; there are some great Christmas markets, too.