They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.
Renowned for its Roman baths, hot springs and extravagant Georgian architecture, Bath is one of England’s most beautiful cities to visit. The city was built for the purpose of pleasure and relaxation, with its history as a destination for wellbeing dating back to the Roman era. It remains today a city where you go to ‘take the waters’, be it from a sip of the water from the ancient Roman Baths, or a swim and spa experience at the modern Thermae Bath Spa, home to the only natural thermal hot springs in which you can bathe in Britain. The mineral-rich waters are said to cure numerous ailments.
Once an important centre of the wool industry in the Middle Ages, Bath developed under George III into a picturesque town made up of neoclassical Palladian buildings, blending the ancient Roman architecture with 17th-century design. The city is historically so important, that it has been classed as a World Heritage Site. Bath’s surrounding countryside is also filled with history, from Longleat Safari Park to the Neolithic and Bronze Age sites of Avebury and Stonehenge.
The city has no shortage of things to do and see. There are many museums and galleries for you to explore, telling the story of the city’s remarkable history, from the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, a restored Georgian townhouse in the famous crescent, to a collection of fashion throughout the ages. Bath has had many famous residents throughout the centuries, including astronomer and composer William Herschel, novelist William Thomas Beckford, and Jane Austen, who used the city as the setting for many of her works, including Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice.
Bath has loads of independent shops, theatres, pubs and places to eat, including two bakeries that have rivalled their bun creations in the city for centuries - the ‘Bath Bun’ and the ‘Sally Lunn Bun’.