Just 11 minutes by train from Bristol and 90 from Southampton is one of Britain’s most famous cities and a world heritage spa city - which has adapted throughout the ages to be a firm favourite. Where? Well, Bath of course. Perhaps best known for the Roman Baths – more of which later on – there’s plenty more to this city than just that.

 American Museum

 

1. The American museum

With 2018 marking the Centenary of the end of World War One, the American Museum is commemorating it by examining the United States’ role in the conflict. Telling the story of America’s emergence from isolationism to eventually send troops to fight on the European battlefield, this immersive exhibition will explore life in America, recruitment and training through to the trenches. A reconstructed Renault Tank used by American forces is also on display, and the museum seeks to tell the story through those who served on the frontline and the home front. For anyone wishing to enhance their knowledge of the war, this is a must.

Roman Baths

2. Roman Baths

Sticking with the history theme, but going back a few thousand years, are the Roman Baths. Unarguably one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe, you can follow in the footsteps of those who took to the waters here all those millennia ago. Roman history is effortlessly brought to life through the actors dressed in full Roman get-up, to the museum display including a vast array of ancient treasures. There are explanations of the sophisticated engineering undertaken to get these baths up and running, along with projections giving you an insight to how life in a working bathhouse. You can even get married here. Just don’t fall in.

fish and chips

3. Food and Drink

Fans of Bristol’s food are legion, but obviously you’ve plenty of “proper” culture to experience on a break here, so while it’s difficult to whittle down the list, our top recommendation comes in the form of the Scallop Shell – an award winning fish and chip shop, officially one of the top 20 of the joints in the UK. Set over two floors and a terrace, this no-bookings restaurants is effortlessly charming, completely individual and definitely memorable. Fear not if you don’t like fish, as meatballs are on the menu too. Oh, and they also make homemade mushy peas. Marco Pierre White left them a note saying simply: “the best food in Bath”. Not a bad accolade. Next up is a one-stop-shop for food and drink bound to put a smile on your face: The Bath Brew House is smack bang in the city centre you’ll find great beer, great food and a phenomenal atmosphere. With its own microbrewery the beer is (probably) the freshest you’ll find anywhere in the city – and the roast dinners will rival your Mums (honest).

Thermae spa

4. Thermae Bath Spa

Another place in the heart of the city (everything here is pretty much accessible by foot, so nothing too hard to get to) is this award winning natural spa. It’s also Britain’s only naturally warm spa, so at least you know none of your friends will be doing anything similar. Plus it’s open to the elements, and that means a terrific night time place as well – in fact one of the most popular packages is the “twilight spa”, which gives three hours in the spa and watch night descend slowly over the city from the comfort of the warm water of the open air rooftop pool. Not bad at all.

Bath Skywalk

5. Bath Skyline Walk

This achingly beautiful six mile walk will take about three hours to complete as you meander your way through the country hills in a circular fashion round the city. A refreshing antidote to the bustle of the city – or if you’re from the Channel Islands a gentle reminder of home – this walk will give you excellent view of this city, allowing you to take home an altogether different memory of this World Heritage Site. On the way you’ll walk through meadows, go past ancient castles, make your way through a forest, forge a path through hidden valleys (which will become very unhidden once you’ve found them) and even a Roman settlement.

What’s sure is that the lung fulls of fresh air during this bracing walk will leave you in the mood for everything mentioned above. So, even though it’s at the end of this list – maybe decide to do it first.

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