• View from the tower at Bath Abbey, Bath, England
    View from Bath Abbey tower


The best city to visit within easy striking distance of London is Bath — just a 1.5-hour train ride away. If ever a city enjoyed looking in the mirror, Bath's the one. Its streets a series of architectural chorus lines, Bath has more protected historic buildings per capita than any other town in England. Built of the creamy warm-tone limestone called "Bath stone," it beams in its cover-girl complexion. Proud locals remind visitors that the town is routinely banned from the "Britain in Bloom" contest to give other towns a chance to win. Bath's narcissism is justified. Even with its mobs of tourists and greedy prices, Bath is a joy to visit.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Free City Walking Tours Top-notch tours helping you make the most of your visit, led by The Mayor's Corps of Honorary Guides.

▲▲▲ Roman Baths Ancient baths that gave the city its name, tourable with good audioguide.

▲▲ Bath Abbey 500-year-old Perpendicular Gothic church, graced with beautiful fan vaulting and stained glass.

▲▲ The Circus and the Royal Crescent Stately Georgian (Neoclassical) buildings from Bath's 18th-century glory days.

▲▲ No. 1 Royal Crescent Your best look at the interior of one of Bath's high-rent Georgian beauties.

▲▲ Canalside Walk to Bathampton This easy, hour-long stroll along an Industrial Age canal is a delightful escape from the busy town.

Pump Room Swanky Georgian hall, ideal for a spot of tea or a taste of unforgettably "healthy" spa water.

Pulteney Bridge and Parade Gardens Shop-strewn bridge and relaxing riverside gardens.

Victoria Art Gallery Paintings from the late 17th century to today.

Fashion Museum 400 years of clothing under one roof, plus the opulent Assembly Rooms.

Museum of Bath at Work Gadget-ridden circa-1900 engineer's shop, foundry, factory, and office.

American Museum and Gardens Insightful look primarily at colonial/early-American lifestyles, with 18 furnished rooms and eager-to-talk guides.

Thermae Bath Spa Relaxation center that put the bath back in Bath.

Jane Austen Centre Exhibit on 19th-century Bath-based novelist, best for her fans.

Museum of Bath Architecture Intriguing collection of models and maps illustrating Bath's development.