Lost in Bath-Travel Guide
Oh, Bath! You have been on my list with places to visit since forever... I am so glad to finally meet you!
Bath has been a desired destination for years, yet somehow being a student I could never quite afford to travel to the enchanting town and later being a working adult I struggled to find the time. I've wanted to get lost in its beautiful streets for so long, and now that I have, the wait was totally worth it. The town has its own special charm and frankly a true authentic English feel, without too many distractions. Yes, there are tourists and screaming groups of students, but magically the city stays tranquil, polite and very sophisticated.
It brought me back to my 'expectations' before I first set foot on English soil. Perhaps Coventry was not exactly dreamland, but having read most of Jane Austin books and watched how her characters develop in their own 'noble' and undisturbingly pretentious ways, this is what I have expected of Britain this whole time, and I am so happy to finally have found it. I guess Bath is the closest I would get to that initial image I aspired for so many years growing up. I hope you get me, if not... grab Pride and Prejudice and then travel to the West Midlands, now you see...
How to get to the city?
Located in the South West of England, Bath is easy to reach, just 90 minutes from London by train and a short drive from both the M4 and M5 motorways. The town is also just 19 miles from Bristol Airport and well connected by regular bus services. The Railway Station and the coach and bus stations are right next to each other, situated strategically in the very heart of the city centre.
If you travel by train avoid rush hour, or you might be left standing in a crowded train with no place to sit for an hour or so. It might be worth purchasing a later train and staying the night, that way you'll get to spend more time in the beautiful town and explore its treasures in more detail. Trust me when I tell you, just a day is not enough!
How to get around in the city?
Ride a bike or... walk! Bath is a small town with a compact city centre. You can walk almost anywhere and you will hardly get lost. If you do however, pick a group of tourists and follow them. be mindful with the students though, it might look a little bit creepy if you just follow a group of young students, just saying... An alternative option is to download a free map or jump straight to 21st century and open Google Maps 😅!
If walking, however, is not your thing, you could easily explore Bath using the hop on hop off City Sightseeing Tour bus. The buses stop at over 20 locations around the city, covering all the most popular sights and attractions within the centre and across Bath Skyline.
What to see?
Of course I am not going to spare you the main tourist attractions, like:
The Roman Baths
The Jane Austin Centre
but for a true Bath Spa experience try to get lost in the little cobbled streets and explore them. They are full of gems, interesting corners, beautiful facades. Look around for quirky signs or funny shopfront messages. Look up for beautifully lit victorian chandeliers. Explore and discover and while doing so, I would recommend you to pay a visit to:
3 Fountain Buildings, Lansdown Road, Bath, BA1 5DU
Located on the ground floor of a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, this beautifully curated gallery was recommended by the sales adviser at Aesop. The space marries English and Korean aesthetics, balancing the cultural heritage of gallery director, Rosa Park, with a respect for the local setting. The front room exhibits a collection of Korean antiques and ceramics, as well as art, all presented in a relaxed atmosphere. The back room has the feel of a comfortable study, encouraging visitors to engage with the works displayed there, on a personal level. The space is also inspired by the soothing aesthetics of Cereal Magazine. If you are familiar with the journal I 100% recommend you to visit the gallery, you won't be left disappointed.
Aesop and its hidden upstairs venue
16 New Bond St, Bath BA1 1BA, UK
This is Aesop’s first store in Bath, designed in collaboration with JamesPlumb. I will get into more detail about the store design in a separate post. The focus here, though is the Upstairs of the shop. A hidden layer of domesticity emanates from a glowing library. A space for serenity and stillness. What grabbed me was the way the soft summer light entered the room and brightened the visually imperfect walls, complementing the concept and the tranquility of the space.
Where to coffee/brunch?
Now we are talking... Bath Spa has plenty of coffee and brunch spots. Of course I came well prepared with a list of places to try. But how much coffee and cakes could one drink and eat in a day? If you are anything like me, that means a lot and I applaud you for that! But if you would prefer a local recommendation, you must definitely pay a visit to:
61 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BN, UK
A newly artisan independent bakery and a real gem and a happy place. Just outside the busy town centre the place offers excellent sourdough bread and delicious sandwiches. The ingredients are seasonal and locally sourced. If you are looking for an alternative to the overused and served avocado toast, this is your place! I had the ricotta on toast with fennel cucumber and hazelnut. A combination of ingredients made in heaven! The staff was super laid back and even sold me a bottle of their refreshing home made fig leaf cordial, which made it all the way to Bulgaria. Oh, i miss this place so much, I can only imagine what their pastries taste like... unicorns and rainbows perhaps!
Others on the list were:
Good Day Cafe
12 Upper Borough Walls, Bath BA1 1RH, UK
A neon sign and delicious blueberry almond cake to satisfy your sweet tooth
19 High St, Bath BA1 5AJ, UK
An Instagram famous and very aesthetically pleasing cafe for your afternoon refill
Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House and Museum
4 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX, UK
Serving a traditional bath bun for those of you eager to try the classic!
Where to shop?
As in any other British town, you will find the usual high street stores, but I will challenge you to explore the concept stores and independent places, so you can discover something new and extraordinary to take back home with you and really remember your Bath experience.
16 New Bond St, Bath BA1 1BA, UK
Because that just never gets old! If there's an Aesop just, jut go... and no they are not sponsoring any of my posts, I am just obsessed and you should be too!
14 Pulteney Bridge, Bath BA2 4AY, UK
A pretty shop, situated in the very middle of the bridge. Beautifully executed space where you can get a living souvenir to care for and look after, remembering magical Bath.
22A Broad St, Bath BA1 5LN, UK
Magalleria stocks a vast range of high quality magazines sourced from the UK, US, Europe and around the world. Check out their website too, where they share reviews and update their blog regularly.
Toppings & Company Booksellers
3 Bladud Buildings, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS, UK
A dreamy almost Harry Pottery bookshop that all book worms would appreciate. The booksellers even have a podcast, where they chat to authors, booksellers, and readers about books, reading, and writing. How cool is that!
Graham and Green
92 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BG, UK
Lifestyle merchandisers that run an independent family company for more than 40 years. If you are looking for a special gift or are in the search of a unique piece to bring joy and character to your interior, this is your shop. You'll definitely find something to leave with. Check out their website, where you can find out more about their business and products they sell.
Some 'Insta' Stops
And because I am once again a Millennial that loves sharing aesthetically pleasing imagery on the gram, here are some picturesque spots you might want to pay a visit to and snap yourself. I strongly believe that we are all capable of interpreting the same locations through a lens and share the way we perceive a space in our own way. So I challenge you to do just that! Get creative, show me and everyone else what you see!
And while doing so, here are a few stops for you:
The Bath Bun
The Antique Map Shop
I hope you enjoy Bath, just as much as I did! Stay tuned, more travel guides are coming? Where are you off to next?I might have a few suggestions for you!