day trip to bath from london

Day Trip to Bath From London

Bath, a city renowned for its Roman-built baths and stunning Georgian architecture, makes for an excellent day trip from London. With its rich history, charming streets, and unique thermal waters, Bath has so much to offer. As a Londoner, I have done day trips to Bath many times and these are some of my favourite things to do whilst visiting this beautiful city.

Best Things to Do During a Day Trip to Bath

Visit The Iconic Roman Baths

No trip to Bath is complete without visiting the famous Roman Baths. This ancient site offers a glimpse into the city’s past, with well-preserved baths and informative exhibits. Built around 70 AD, the baths were used for public bathing and socialising. The complex includes the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, and the Roman Bath House. You can explore the intricate Roman engineering, view ancient artefacts and learn about the history and culture of Roman Britain.

The site also features the Pump Room, where visitors can sample the mineral-rich waters. The Roman Baths offer a fascinating glimpse into the past, showcasing the ingenuity and daily life of the Romans in Britain.

Tickets cost £24.50 for an adult-weekday, but I actually joined a guided tour, which cost an extra £5 on top of my ticket. Weekend tickets cost a little more I believe. Check out the official site to learn more about ticket prices, tours available and opening hours.

Bath Abbey

Located near the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey is not only a stunning example of Gothic architecture but it boasts an impressive history. It was founded in the 7th century but has been rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. The Abbey’s soaring ceilings, magnificent stained glass windows, and fan vaulting create a breathtaking interior. Known as the “Lantern of the West,” its grand facade and serene ambiance attract visitors and worshippers alike. The Abbey is also renowned for its choir and musical events.

Along with exploring the interiors, you can also climb the tower and enjoy panoramic views of Bath! I am absolutely terrified of heights, so I decided to skip the tower climb… but maybe next time! My adult ticket only cost £7.50 and they had discounts for families and students. Check out the official Bath Abbey Site for more information on what’s on.

The Bath Lookout

There are a number of amazing viewpoints on offer throughout the city (like Bath Abbey). But one of my favourites lookouts is The Bath Lookout. In order to get there, you need to cross the River Avon via the Churchill Bridge. From there, head towards Alexandra Park. I’ve tagged the exact location on a Google Map screenshot below.

The quickest way to get here is to walk up Lyncombe Hill, turn right on Alexandra Road and take the “Steep Walk to Alexandra Park”. That’s literally what it’s called on Google Maps. And it’s no joke, the walk is quite steep! There is a handrail to help though and it’s only short before you reach the park. The park itself is fairly small but offers fantastic views across the city!

Pulteney Bridge

The Pulteney Bridge is an iconic bridge over the River Avon in Bath. Like many areas in the city, it displays beautiful Georgian architecture and is a great spot for photos. The Pulteney Bridge is famous for being one of only four bridges in the world that has shops built into it, spanning from both sides. It’s a great place to walk around, enjoy the little restaurants and shops on the bridge and to take photos.

day trip to bath from london

Jane Austen Centre

Fans of the famous author can explore the Jane Austen Centre; a museum that provides insights into her life and connection to Bath. You’ll start with a great 15-20 minute presentation The guides were brilliant and were dressed in upper-class Georgian clothing, playing different characters from her novels. The guides there were lovely and so engaging.

You’ll also get the chance to actually dress up too, try food typically eaten during that time period (cakes!) and get a feel for the way of life back then. Adult tickets cost £14.75 but prices will vary for children, students, seniors etc so check their site for more information. The Jane Austen Centre also has a small tea room, where you can have lunch or cream tea.

The Royal Crescent

This iconic row of 30 terraced houses is considered to be one of the most impressive pieces of Georgian architecture in England. These Grade I Listed buildings are a must-see if you’re visiting bath. The nearby Royal Victoria Park is also perfect for a relaxing walk or sitting in the sun with a picnic. If you’re a fan of Bridgerton, season 1 was filmed here!

Thermae Bath Spa

For something a little different, visit the Thermae Bath Spa! An open-air rooftop pool, which offer stunning views of the city and its surrounding hills. Along with the rooftop pool, there’s the Minerva Bath, named after the Roman goddess of health. The spa also offers a range of treatments, including massages and aromatherapy. The Thermae Bath Spa is adult only so it was a very relaxing experience. It definitely felt like a unique thing to do – enjoying a spa day surrounded by a UNESCO World Heritage site!

I would highly recommend booking in advance as spaces are limited! They did have walk-in slots available, that give you two hours in the pools, but I imagine these spaces go pretty quickly. Visit their official site for more information.

The Bath Botanic Gardens

Since living in Melbourne, I’ve become obsessed with Botanic Gardens. Although it might not be as impressive as the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, it’s still a very pretty place to visit. The gardens are pristine, with botanical plants, woodland garden, rock garden, a Roman temple replica and more. It’s free to enter and is open throughout the year. I’ve enjoyed walking through the Bath Botanic Gardens year-round, with its stunning autumnal colours in October to its picnic-filled gardens in summer.

Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House

Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House is one of Bath’s oldest houses (1482) and is known for its famous buns and afternoon tea. It does serve breakfast, lunch, dinner but this charming historic house is best for its buns. Try the famous Sally Lunn Bun with Cinnamon Butter and Clotted Cream – unbelievably! I would say I imagine this has become quite a touristic place…the first time I tried to go, the queues were very long. The second time I tried to go, I did manage to get a table but it felt quite rushed due to the high demand.

Bath Guildhall Market

There are a number of markets in Bath worth visiting, but my favourite is the Bath Guildhall Market. Located in the heart of Bath, the Bath Guildhall Market is a historic indoor market, dating back to the 19th century. It offers a charming array of stalls selling fresh produce, artisan goods and unique souvenirs, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists to explore

The Shopping & Eateries in Bath

One of my favourite things to do in Bath is just walk around the different streets and historic laneways, enjoying the architecture and quaint feel of everything. There are so many different cafes, restaurants and shops to enjoy.

Bath is also famous for its many underground bars and speakeasy bars, so it’s worth grabbing a drink at one of them. Spend some time getting lost wandering around the streets and little side streets.

How to Get to Bath from London

Reaching Bath from London is straightforward, with several transport options available:

Train From London to Bath

The most convenient way to travel from London to Bath is by train. Trains depart regularly from London Paddington Station and the journey takes around 1.5 hours. I strongly recommend buying tickets in advance as train prices in the UK get very high – particularly if you’re travelling in peak times. This will also ensure you can book a seat too. I typically use sites like Trainline as you can save your ticket as a QR code in the app. If you’d rather buy on the day, Paddington has self-serve kiosks or ticket counters to buy your ticket.

Bus From London to Bath

A cheaper way to travel between London and Bath is to take a coach. National Express operates services from London Victoria Coach Station to Bath, with journeys taking approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. While it takes longer than the train, it’s a good option for those looking to save money. I wouldn’t recommend this option if you’re doing a day trip to Bath. The traffic can be unpredictable and you don’t want to be rushing around Bath trying to see everything in a limited time. If you do decide this option, leave very early in the morning and late in the evening to ensure the quickest possible journey there.

Car

If you prefer driving, Bath is about a 2-hour drive from London via the M4 motorway. Keep in mind that parking in Bath can be challenging, especially during peak tourist seasons, so plan accordingly. I have friends who live in Bath, so when we’ve done this journey before, we can park at their house. I’m not sure what parking is like if you’re trying to find a public space. So keep that in mind!

Guided Tours to Bath

Several companies offer guided day tours from London to Bath, often including additional stops at other attractions like Stonehenge and Windsor. These tours provide a hassle-free experience with transport and itinerary planned for you. However the downside is they’re more expensive and you don’t have the flexibility to see things at your own pace. If you decided against doing a full guided tour there, most sites within Bath offer guides e.g. The Roman Baths. Alternatively, you can do a guided walking tour in Bath itself, if you want to learn about the area, but travel to the city in your own time.

Bath FAQs

Is Bath a walkable city?

Yes, Bath is relatively compact and walkable, with many of its main attractions within easy reach of each other. I would warn that it is fairly hilly at points. In the past, I’ve used electric scooters at time to whizz up the big hills.

Can I Visit Bath as a Day Trip If I Only Have Limited Time in London?

Absolutely, it’s definitely possible to do a day trip to Bath and see many key sights within a single day. I would say though, that Bath has lots to offer and going for at least one night will allow you to see more and at a relaxed pace. There are lots of nice restaurants and bars in Bath, so staying at least one night will allow you to see a different side of the city.

What is the Best Time to Visit Bath?

Bath is beautiful year-round, but spring and summer offer the best weather for sightseeing and outdoor activities. If you’re going to Bath in the winter months, be sure to check out the Bath Christmas Markets! Check their dates as the Bath Christmas Markets don’t run for long, compared to others in the country and usually stop running by mid-December.

Consider doing a day trip to Cambridge, Greenwich or even a weekend away in Liverpool!

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