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Museum Guide for Bath

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The charming little spa city of Bath is famous for its Roman baths, beautiful Georgian buildings (including the grand Royal Crescent), its Abbey, and its strong connection with novelist Jane Austen, who moved to the city at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site which attracts millions of tourists each year to admire its heritage and culture. It's an easy destination to walk around, making it a great place for a day trip. Spend a day exploring some of Bath's many interesting museums and historical sites, before visiting a traditional pub or restaurant to sample the best of the city's cuisine.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller

12 Places

13 City Tips

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Map

12 Places

The Roman Baths

Historic Sites, History Museums

Bath Abbey

Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings

No. 1 Royal Crescent

Speciality Museums, History Museums

The Jane Austen Centre

Speciality Museums

Sally Lunn's Museum

History Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museum of Bath Architecture

Art Museums, Speciality Museums, History Museums

Fashion Museum Bath

Speciality Museums

American Museum & Gardens

History Museums

Holburne Museum

Art Museums

Beckford's Tower

Speciality Museums

Victoria Art Gallery

Art Galleries, Art Museums

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

Science Museums

Sarah F's City Tips

  • The Mayor of Bath’s honorary guides provide free two-hour walking tours starting from outside the Pump Rooms.
  • Try some of Bath’s local foods, such as the famous Sally Lunn buns, Bath chaps, and the local beers.
  • It’s best to book a table at the more popular restaurants, especially at the weekend.
  • If you take the train to Bath, your ticket also includes discounts at the main attractions.
  • Spring and autumn are good times to visit as the hotel prices are cheaper than in the summer, and the attractions are not so busy.
  • If you can, visit Bath during the week, as it's a bit quieter than at the weekend.
  • Avoid driving around Bath. It's busy, and there are numerous pedestrianised and one-way streets to navigate around.
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the River Avon, from Pulteney Bridge.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as although Bath is compact, it is also hilly.
  • You can hire a bike for exploring the beautiful countryside around Bath, especially the Bristol to Bath railway path.
  • Check to see if Bath rugby club is playing at home during your scheduled visit; the city will be packed with fans if there's a match.
  • Bath is a small city so try one of the specialist walking tours, like the free Jane Austen tour.
  • You can take the hop-on hop-off tourist bus to get to know Bath and see the main landmarks. Tickets also include discounts at some of the attractions.
  • The Roman Baths
    Historic Sites, History Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    In the heart of Bath lies the city's top attraction: the Roman Baths. Bath was built on top of natural hot springs, and so the baths were created in order to take advantage of that steaming, hot water. Built in around 70AD, The Roman Baths is one of the best of its kind in the world.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can taste the spa water in the Pump Room. It contains 42 minerals, and is thought to have healing powers
    • Enjoy afternoon tea in the Pump Room restaurant accompanied by live music.
    • Opening times vary seasonally, so check online before you visit.
    • In July and August the Baths are open until 10pm, and illuminated by torchlight which is very romantic.
    • You can buy a Saver Ticket to get admission to several attractions (including the Baths) at a reduced rate.
    • You can buy a special ticket which includes admission to the Roman Baths, lunch in the Pump Room, and two hours at the Thermae Bath Spa.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see 21/01/2019
    • A Must! 21/01/2019
    • The Roman Baths
    Address:
    Abbey Church Yard
    Bath BA1 1LZ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 477785
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Bath Abbey
    Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    The magnificent Grade 1 listed Gothic Bath Abbey is an interesting place to visit, featuring wall and floor plaques honouring local people and those who sacrificed their lives in wartime. In the west front are beautiful sculptures of angels climbing up to heaven, while the Heritage Vaults Museum contains original artefacts and exhibits from the Abbey.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The Abbey is closed at certain times for services or weddings.
    • You can take a tour of the tower to enjoy great views but, be warned: there are 212 steps up the spiral staircase to the top!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing historical location 21/01/2019
    • Well worth a visit 20/01/2019
    • Bath Abbey
    Phone:
    +44 1225 422462
    Hours:
    Sun
    1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    Mon
    9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Tue - Fri
    9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Sat
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • No. 1 Royal Crescent
    Speciality Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    The Royal Crescent is a grand display of Georgian architecture, featuring a row of houses built with the iconic golden Bath Stone. No. 1 Royal Crescent was the first house to be built, and offers a fascinating chance to see how 18th century aristocrats and their servants once lived.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Download the No. 1 Royal Crescent app to find out more about the house.
    • You can get a joint ticket with the Museum of Bath Architecture.
    • Free admission during Heritage Open Week. Check online for dates and more details.
    • There is free admission on Family Fridays if your children are going to one of the workshops.
    • Open daily from Feb 1st to Dec 13th, from 10.30am to 5.30pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Really enjoyed our visit to Bath 12/01/2019
    • Night tour 05/01/2019
    • No. 1 Royal Crescent
    Address:
    1 Royal Crescent
    Bath BA1 2LR
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 338727
    Price range:
    US$17 - US$17
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • The Jane Austen Centre
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    Lovers of Jane Austen’s romantic fiction will be fascinated by this museum honouring Bath’s famous writer. The centre is set in a classical Georgian house, which only adds to the romance, and you're even able to dress up in Regency costume to relive your favourite Jane Austen character! There's also a Regency tea room, where you can enjoy a leisurely pot of tea with cakes.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There are great views of Bath from this centre.
    • Open daily, although times vary. Check the centre's website for more details.
    • The centre is located between Queen Square and The Circus.
    • The gift shop sells Jane Austen books, DVDs and other souvenirs.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 125 things to do in Bath
    • Better places to visit in bath 20/01/2019
    • Arguably the least researched museum ever 15/01/2019
    • The Jane Austen Centre
    Address:
    40 Gay Street
    Bath BA1 2NT
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 443000
    Hours:
    Sun - Fri
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Sat
    9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • Sally Lunn's Museum
    History Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    Foodies and history lovers will revel in the chance to try one of Sally Lunn’s world-famous buns in one of the oldest buildings in Bath. Inside the 15th century café and museum, you can see the original kitchen used by Sally Lunn more than 300 years ago to create her regional treats. The recipe is still a well-kept secret to this day!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm; and from 11am to 9pm on Sunday.
    • You can enjoy the bun with sweet or savoury toppings.
    • It's best to make a reservation for the pre-theatre menu or dinner.
    • It's a popular venue so there is often a queue, especially from midday to 2.30pm.
    • The kitchen museum is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday; and 11am to 6pm on Sunday. Entry is free if you order food.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 125 things to do in Bath
    • takes you back 400 years 21/01/2019
    • typical tourist spot 16/01/2019
    • Sally Lunn's Museum
    Address:
    4 North Parade Passage
    Bath BA1 1NX
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 461634
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Museum of Bath Architecture
    Art Museums, Speciality Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    This museum provides an interesting look at how Bath became a world-famous Georgian spa city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Housed in a chapel built by the Countess of Huntingdon to fight decadence in Bath in the 18th century, the Gothic Revival building itself is stunning, while inside you'll find a fascinating model of the city - a great way to get a bird's eye view of its historic design.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can get a joint ticket with No. 1 Royal Crescent.
    • It is closed on Mondays.
    • The museum is near the Fashion Museum and Assembly Rooms.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Small but perfectly formed! 01/12/2018
    • Interesting museum 06/11/2018
    • Museum of Bath Architecture
    Address:
    Countess of Huntingdon Chapel Vineyards
    Bath BA1 5NA
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 333895
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Fashion Museum Bath
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    Followers of fashion will enjoy a trip to this museum, which displays costumes spanning more than 400 years. There are about 150 figures whose various outfits chart the change in styles over the centuries, and you can even try on some of the garments yourself! It’s great for all the family to see just how much fashion has transformed over the years, and see first-hand the attire worn in the 'olden days'.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Open every day from 10.30am to 4pm from November to February; and until 5pm from March to October.
    • Save money by purchasing a Saver Ticket which gives you access to several attractions, including this one.
    • You can easily visit the Circus and Royal Crescent from here.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Really interesting 20/01/2019
    • Wonderful 14/01/2019
    • Fashion Museum Bath
    Address:
    Bennett Street
    Assembly Rooms
    Bath BA1 2QH
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 477789
    Price range:
    US$15 - US$15
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    Other:
  • American Museum & Gardens
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    A fascinating collection of American history is housed within the impressive 19th century Claverton Manor, set in 120 acres of parkland and gardens. It’s the only museum of its kind outside of the USA to give an insight into American heritage and folk art.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is a free shuttle bus from Bath city centre.
    • Closed on Mondays, except for bank holidays.
    • There is a Quilting Bee held here every Tuesday from 12pm to 4pm.
    • Many special events, including music, dance and literature, are held here. Check the website for updates.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An amazing place to visit 10/12/2018
    • Not worth the visit 06/11/2018
    • American Museum & Gardens
    Address:
    Claverton Manor
    Bath BA2 7BD
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 460503
    Price range:
    US$23 - US$23
    Other:
  • Holburne Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    Even by Bath's high standards, the Holburne Museum is one of the city's most beautiful buildings. The Grade 1 listed property was originally built as a hotel, but now houses a lovely collection of art, silverware and porcelain.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Entry is free, although there is a charge for the temporary exhibitions.
    • Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm; and from 11am on Sunday.
    • The museum has a garden cafe overlooking the historic Sydney Gardens.
    • You can hire the venue for a wedding.
    • There is a small car park which charges a fee.
    • The museum is a 10-minute walk from Bath centre, heading straight along Great Pulteney Street.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Expensive 19/01/2019
    • Frustrating 18/01/2019
    • Holburne Museum
    Address:
    Great Pulteney Street
    Bath BA2 4DB
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 388588
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Beckford's Tower
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    Built for the wealthy and unconventional Bath resident, William Beckford in 1827, this neo-classical tower contains his archives, library and collections. You can also enjoy great views from the top of this 19th century folly - climb up the restored tower for far-reaching views over Bath and the surrounding countryside.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Open Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays only; from 10.30am to 5pm; March to October.
    • The tower is two miles from the Royal Crescent, heading towards Bath racecourse.
    • There is limited parking onsite.
    • There are buses from the city centre to the Lansdown Park & Ride, and it's a five minute walk from there.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #38 of 125 things to do in Bath
    • Great views and an interesting history. 19/01/2019
    • You can stay here!! 27/12/2018
    • Beckford's Tower
    Address:
    Beckford Tower Lansdown Tower
    Lansdown near the Park and Ride carpark
    Bath BA1 9BH
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 460705
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$6
    Hours:
    Sat - Sun
    10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Victoria Art Gallery
    Art Galleries, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    This popular art museum houses paintings by artists ranging from Gainsborough to Turner, as well as contemporary works. There are also rotating temporary exhibitions, which keep fans coming back time and again.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Closed on Mondays.
    • Free entry to the permanent collection.
    • There are charges for some of the temporary exhibitions.
    • Special events are often held here, including historic dance displays. Check the website for more information.
    • The museum is near Pulteney Bridge, so you can combine your visit with a trip on the River Avon.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Always worth a visit 19/01/2019
    • Thank goodness its temporary 10/01/2019
    • Victoria Art Gallery
    Address:
    Bridge Street
    Bath BA2 4AT
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 477233
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Herschel Museum of Astronomy
    Science Museums
    See more photos
    Sarah F Says:

    The museum is in the former home of astronomer and musician William Herschel. Inside the Georgian townhouse, you can explore Herschel's workshop, music room and garden. It was here that Herschel discovered the planet Uranus with a telescope he had built himself!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can watch a film about the universe here, narrated by the late Sir Patrick Moore.
    • Open every weekday from 1pm to 5pm; Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 11am to 5pm.
    • Last entry is 4.30pm.
    • Non-flash photography is allowed inside; selfies sticks are not permitted however.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 125 things to do in Bath
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Uranus ‘rules’ 29/12/2018
    • Excellent slice of important history 24/12/2018
    • Herschel Museum of Astronomy
    Address:
    19 New King Street
    Bath BA1 2BL
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1225 446865
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
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