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Bath is lovely, an easily accessible getaway from London, known for and named after its Roman-built baths – as well as Jane Austen, and more recently, Bridgerton filming sites. I had a half day adventure from London with Alex in 2016 (great!) and with Galen a return overnight in November 2023. The main sites could fill 2-3 hours, so this doesn’t need to be a full weekend, but the leisurely pace of staying at a hotel was a nice experience. Crowds are intense, even in winter, but it’s still a pretty and worthwhile destination.

Be prepared for high prices everywhere – the “off peak, discount 2nd class train ticket” ran £40 (one way), and museum entry passes were in the £15-25 range (each).

In the summer – there are quite a few appealing looking hotels/restaurants along the river, within walking distance of town. Also the boat tours look very popular (some run year round, but they’re very weather dependent, we missed out).

Sites

  • **Bath Abbey: Founded in the 7th Century, rebuilt multiple times in the more modern era, the Abbey has a gorgeous ceiling and is worth a (very quick) visit. It’s been restored very recently and the interior walls are immaculate, white.
  • **The Fashion Museum is world class, a large and elegant collection. It’s closed for several more years (as of 2023) as they build out their new location in central Bath.
  • ***No. 1 Royal Crescent was our favorite museum stop. It’s a large and impressive house, and the treatment is thoughtful (audio and visual storytelling of a typical renter during ‘the season’). Plus it gets you over to the Royal Crescent, which is of course worthwhile as well.
  • **The Roman Baths: this is an impressive site with a lot of archaeological investment. I’ve been twice, and definitely won’t be back, and would hesitate to recommend it because of the crowds (just ridiculous). You probably should go, but it’s not the most fun experience. Also shockingly expensive, £25/person.

Dining and Lodging

  • ***The Bath Priory is a Relais & Chateaux property, and they do a great job living up to the brand name. Staff was wonderful, rooms are elegant, public spaces and the impressive garden are very well done. There’s a small sauna, indoor pool, and a very pretty outdoor pool (summer only). We liked being just a little out of town – it was an easy walk, though the lovely Victoria Gardens, to all the sites. The very high end restaurant is good, classic French, rather expensive, high-end wine list. Everything was tasty, some dishes quite special.
  • Clayton’s Kitchen was my the most appealing place we saw walking around town (very popular, looked like a more local crowd). For next time…
  • **The Raven shows up on all the food recommendations lists, for their British pies and beer. It’s nothing particularly standout on the interior, but the pie was good!

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