If you’re looking for a charming small town to add to your London itinerary, look no further than Bath, England. Not only is Bath stunningly gorgeous, but it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (for all you UNESCO chasers out there).
Bath is filled with fantastic Georgian architecture, rich history and natural hot springs. It’s an easy train ride (about 100 miles) from London, so many travelers visit as a day trip. But the town is magical in the evenings. Try to spend at least one night!
Don’t miss it
Throw a swimsuit in your day bag before heading out to explore the town. After a day of sightseeing, pop into the Thermae Bath Spa, which is located in the heart of town. The rooftop bath overlooks the beautiful city below, and the English hillside in the distance is absolutely mesmerizing. Indoors, there are several saunas with therapeutic aromas. Phones and cameras must stay in the lockers — relax and enjoy the moment!
You can’t visit Bath and not tour the ancient roman baths. Nearly 2,000 years ago, the same bath you see today was used as a place of socialization, therapy and relaxation. According to the Roman Bath Museum, it is one of the most well-preserved Roman sites in the world. It only takes an hour or two to explore the museum and baths.
Must try food/drink
An afternoon tea or coffee in a café on the Pulteney Bridge overlooking the River Avon. Absolutely beautiful!
Visit the Pump Room Restaurant and ask the host/hostess to try the hot spa water, which contains over 40 minerals. Legend has it, you will live for 100 years if you drink it. You don’t need to dine at the restaurant for a taste of it, so why not?!
Take a Walking Tour
There is an excellent free walking tour through the Mayor’s Guides. A walking tour is a great way to get your bearings of an area, while also learning the history of a city. This particular tour company [made up of volunteers] did a fantastic job explaining the unique architecture in Bath, as well as giving the group plenty of time at the major landmarks (Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, Royal Crescent and the Circus).
Wish I had more time for
Not a thing! Two nights in Bath is the perfect amount of time.
Bath YMCA. This budget-friendly hostel is in the perfect location. I was blown away by the cleanliness and spaciousness of the dorms. The staff were so friendly, as well!
Most travelers combine a trip to London with Paris (like we did). It’s so simple using the Eurostar Train between the two capital cities. Be sure to check out my first-timer’s guide to Paris before you go!
And if you aren’t taking a direct train back to London, you can stop at the famous Stonehenge on the way. Like Bath, Stonehenge is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Looking for more small towns to visit in Europe? Check out my five favorite small towns, or take a peek at these travel guides:
- Travel Guide to Madrid
- First Trip to Barcelona
- What to do in Barcelona
- Planning a Trip to Normandy
- Three Days in Galway