During their brief stay in the British Isles, the Romans established Aquae Sulis in the sheltered green hills of Somerset in the west of England. The Georgian spires and terraces of Bath Spa sit on the site of the temples and baths they built around hotsprings bubbling up from the bedrock. The stately buildings of this golden city-in-miniature are built from locally-mined bath stone - even brand new houses have to be constructed from this signature limestone. This relaxed and beautiful city, declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, is a taste of more elegant times.
- United Kingdom
THE CIRCUS & ROYAL CRESCENTArchitectural Sight
The Circus and The Royal Crescent are archetypal examples of Bath’s Georgian architecture. The Circus was laid out and planned by John Wood the Elder, although the architect never lived to see his plans put into development. Wood’s son, aptly named John Wood the Younger, oversaw the construction between 1754 and 1768 and went on to draw up plans for the Royal Crescent in 1767. The Palladian facades and Ionic columns that adorn the terraces on this sweeping street have been minutely preserved by the local community, making it a fascinating place to visit for those interested in the city’s rich history.
- Address: The Circus, Bath, BA1 1EE | Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS, United Kingdom
- Phone: N/A
THE ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL & SPAHotel & Spa
Embraced by John Wood the Younger’s panoramic golden curve of Grade 1 listed terraces, The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa is the don of classic Georgian elegance among Bath’s luxury hotels. Rooms are sumptuous and suites breathtaking, while the spa and bath house’s chapel-like hush envelopes a himalayan salt sauna, blossom-infused steam room, and private treatment rooms. In summer, take afternoon tea among the garden’s fragrant sprays of flowers and leafy borders; in winter, warm through in the Montague Bar with its extensive list of single malts.
- Address: 16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS, UK
- Phone: 01225 823333
- Website: http://royalcrescent.co.uk
THE HALCYON APARTMENTSBoutique Hotel Apartments
The Porter’s Halcyon Apartments offer a thoughtful alternative to a hotel stay. Traditional hotel trappings, from duck-down bedding to complementary breakfast in the adjacent Clayton’s Kitchen, meet with modern home-from-home comforts including espresso machines, smart TVs and free Netflix. Inside these beautiful apartments, lofty Georgian proportions meet a muted modern palette of gentle greys and greens, with views over Bath’s rooftops, bustling streets and stonewalled gardens.
- Address: 15a George St, Bath, BA1 2EN, UK
- Phone: 01225 585 100
- Website: http://thehalcyonapartments.com
THE QUEENSBERRY HOTELHotel
The Queensberry Hotel on Russell Street manages to smoothly coalesce the traditional sophistication of its Georgian façade with the clean minimalism of a modern boutique hotel. The suites are open, light, and comfortable, and the quiet from the street imbues them with a serene atmosphere.
- Address: 7 Russell St, Bath, BA1 2QF, UK
- Phone: 01225 447928
- Website: http://thequeensberry.co.uk
COLONNA & SMALL’SSpeciality Coffee Shop
It was not until Colonna and Small’s opened among the honey coloured terraces of Bath’s city centre, that this small city became renowned for its coffee. Targeting the nation’s relatively undeveloped speciality coffee scene, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has set out with the aim of providing his customers with a richly varied and educational tasting experience. Every aspect of Colonna and Small’s, from its stripped back, minimalist décor to its purpose built, exacting equipment, is geared towards making the flavour of the coffee the primary focus.
- Address: 6 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HN, UK
- Phone: 07766 808067
- Website: http://colonnaandsmalls.co.uk
SOCIETY CAFE, THE CORRIDORCafe
A well-loved staple institution for artisan coffee in Bath, the small and efficient sister of Society’s larger Kingsmead Square site shares the same uncompromising standards and positive attitude, with a select menu of single origin coffee, fine loose leaf teas, cakes and pastries. A comfortable handful of seats makes this pit-stop on the beaten track to the station an equally well-suited spot to linger and people watch. Look out for the brightly lit COFFEE sign.
- Address: 19 High St, Bath, BA1 5AJ, UK
- Phone: 01225 442433
- Website: http://society-cafe.com
Tucked down a narrow, cobbled street in the shadow of Bath Abbey, chef and founder Richard Buckley has created a space in which vegetarian and vegan cuisine can take centre stage. At The Acorn, the vegetable is no longer a side act to supplement the main event, but the event itself. Sumptuously creamy cashew puree creates a bed for thinly sliced pickled beetroot and garden herbs. The depth and intensity of mushrooms are condensed into a rich parfait, served with celeriac and red cabbage. A whole cauliflower is dissected and cooked in a variety of ways to reveal its diverse potential. Playful, experimental and reverential, The Acorn redefines how we look at the unpretentious vegetable.
- Address: 2 North Parade Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX
- Phone: 01225 446059
- Website: http://acornrestaurant.co.uk
THE SCALLOP SHELLRestaurant
Bath was bereft of a decent chippy until local chef Garry Rosser opened the now multi-award winning Scallop Shell in 2015. Exemplary in all the essentials of hand cut chips, lightly battered fish, mushy peas, and curry sauce, the takeaway and restaurant also serves fish from the grill and a daily catch of (season-depending) razor clams, oysters, mussels, langoustines, scampi, and other fresh seafood, with a fine list of wine, beer and other drinks to wash it all down.
- Address: 22 Monmouth St, Bath, BA1 2AY, UK
- Phone: 01225 420928
- Website: http://thescallopshell.co.uk
Reminiscent of a cosy French bistro, Corkage on Chapel Row showcases wines from all around the world, with knowledgeable staff to help you uncover them. Enjoy a glass or a bottle, hand-selected to suit your taste, from the most familiar or unexpected countries. To accompany, choose from a modest menu of small plates which alter with the seasons under the ingenuity of the chefs. From light and fresh salads in summer, and hearty stews in winter, these are made to be shared and savoured.
- Address: Corkage, 5 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HN
- Phone: 01225 423417
- Website: http://corkagebath.com/chapel-row
THE MARLBOROUGH TAVERNGastropub
Placed around the corner from The Royal Crescent, The Marlborough Tavern has taken the model of the quintessential English pub and stripped it back, creating an elegant, yet homely space. Offering a simple, wholesome menu, featuring roasted Berkshire boar with smoked garlic mash and salted Cornish pollock ceviche, the Tavern is an excellent choice for a meal after a ramble in the Avon Valley.
- Address: 35 Marlborough Buildings, Bath, BA1 2LY, UK
- Phone: 01225 423731
- Website: http://marlborough-tavern.com
Set upon Pulteney Street Bridge, Found overlooks the rushing weir in a beautiful and quintessentially Georgian double-height space. From homewares to clothes, stationary to little curiosities, Found is an eclectic’s paradise which pleases every sense and caters for all aspects of life. Founders Olivia and Nik carefully select from a variety of independent to well-established brands to supply their store with unique pieces to love for years, with recent additions including practical bags from Baggu, eyewear from New Valley and swimwear from New Zealand-based Lonely Swim.
- Address: 17 Argyle Street, Bath, BA2 4BQ
- Phone: (+44) 1225 422001
- Website: http://foundbath.co.uk
BATH OLD BOOKSBookshop
Should Bath’s rich literary history inspire you, the two densely-filled floors of this modestly-sized bookshop – found at the top of Margaret Buildings’ charming street of boutiques, shops and cafes – draws on the collective experience of five distinguished dealers. While away an hour or two browsing books old and antiquarian, or unearthing signed and first editions.
- Address: 9c, Margarets Buildings, Bath, BA1 2LP, UK
- Phone: 01225 422244
METICULOUS INKStationery Shop & Letterpress Studio
Using traditional printing techniques, so labour intensive that at times a single order can take up to 40 hours of work, Meticulous Ink produces bespoke stationery of the highest quality. Athena Cauley-Yu and her team work tirelessly to ensure card stock, colour, and design seamlessly complement each other, rendering the shop’s everyday merchandise as detailed and considered as their custom products.
- Address: 134 Walcot St, Bath, BA1 5BG, UK
- Phone: 01225 333004
- Website: http://meticulousink.com
Topping & Company BooksellersBook Shop
Topping & Company have been serving avid readers for over a decade in its shop just off the corner of Broad Street and The Paragon. Shelves meet the ceiling, wooden ladders on rollers lean ready to access unreachable books, with everything from genre fiction to poetry to gardening waiting to be found. It’s always best to check their website or chalkboard outside to see the latest line-up of author talks and signings. Having recently hosted the likes of Matt Haig, Sebastian Faulks, Kate Atkinson and Yotam Ottolenghi, it’s an indispensable addition to a book lover’s pilgrimage.
- Address: The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS
- Phone: 01225 428111
- Website: http://toppingbooks.co.uk
THE HOLBURNE MUSEUMMuseum
The august approach to The Holburne Museum is along the historic Great Pultney Street. The museum itself houses an impressive hoard of paintings, miniatures, ceramics, and other art objects, originally bequeathed to the City of Bath by collector William Holburne’s sister in 1882, and enriched with many new additions since. 2011 saw the addition of an acclaimed extension by architect Eric Parry; the contrasting glass space surrounded by gardens incorporates new exhibition rooms and a beautiful cafe scattered with Wegner style Elbow Chairs, which has become something of a destination in itself.
- Address: Great Pulteney St, Bath, BA2 4DB, UK
- Phone: 01225 388569
- Website: http://holburne.org