Bath

During their brief stay in the British Isles, the Romans established Aquae Sulis in the sheltered green hills of Somerset in the west of England. The Georgian spires and terraces of Bath Spa sit on the site of the temples and baths they built around hotsprings bubbling up from the bedrock. The stately buildings of this golden city-in-miniature are built from locally-mined bath stone - even brand new houses have to be constructed from this signature limestone. This relaxed and beautiful city, declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, is a taste of more elegant times.

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  • The Circus & Royal Crescent

    Sight

    • The Circus and The Royal Crescent are archetypal examples of Bath’s Georgian architecture. The Circus was laid out and planned by John Wood the Elder, although the architect never lived to see his plans put into development. Wood’s son, aptly named John Wood the Younger, oversaw the construction between 1754 and 1768 and went on to draw up plans for the Royal Crescent in 1767. The Palladian facades and Ionic columns that adorn the terraces on this sweeping street have been minutely preserved by the local community, making it a fascinating place to visit for those interested in the city’s rich history.

    • The Circus, Bath, BA1 1EE | Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS, United Kingdom

    • N/A N/A

  • The Royal Crescent Hotel

    Hotel & spa

    • Embraced by John Wood the Younger’s panoramic golden curve of Grade 1 listed terraces, The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa is the don of classic Georgian elegance among Bath’s luxury hotels. Rooms are sumptuous and suites breathtaking, while the spa and bath house’s chapel-like hush envelopes a himalayan salt sauna, blossom-infused steam room, and private treatment rooms. In summer, take afternoon tea among the garden’s fragrant sprays of flowers and leafy borders; in winter, warm through in the Montague Bar with its extensive list of single malts.

    • 16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS, UK

    • 01225 823333 http://www.royalcrescent.co.uk

  • The Halcyon Apartments

    Boutique hotel apartments

    • The Porter’s Halcyon Apartments offer a thoughtful alternative to a hotel stay. Traditional hotel trappings, from duck-down bedding to complementary breakfast in the adjacent Clayton’s Kitchen, meet with modern home-from-home comforts including espresso machines, smart TVs and free Netflix. Inside these beautiful apartments, lofty Georgian proportions meet a muted modern palette of gentle greys and greens, with views over Bath’s rooftops, bustling streets and stonewalled gardens.

    • 15a George St, Bath, BA1 2EN, UK

    • 01225 585 100 http://www.thehalcyonapartments.com

  • The Queensberry Hotel

    Hotel

    • The Queensberry Hotel on Russell Street manages to smoothly coalesce the traditional sophistication of its Georgian façade with the clean, minimalism of a modern boutique hotel. The suites are open, light, and comfortable, and the quiet from the street imbues them with a serene atmosphere.

    • 7 Russell St, Bath, BA1 2QF, UK

    • 01225 447928 http://thequeensberry.co.uk

  • Colonna & Small’s

    Speciality coffee shop

    • It was not until Colonna and Small’s opened among the honey coloured terraces of Bath’s city centre, that this small city became renowned for its coffee. Targeting the nation’s relatively undeveloped speciality coffee scene, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has set out with the aim of providing his customers with a richly varied and educational tasting experience. Every aspect of Colonna and Small’s, from its stripped back, minimalist décor to its purpose built, exacting equipment, is geared towards making the flavour of the coffee the primary focus.

    • 6 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HN, UK

    • 07766 808067 http://colonnaandsmalls.co.uk

  • Society Cafe, The Corridor

    Coffee shop

    • A well-loved staple institution for artisan coffee in Bath, the small and efficient sister of Society’s larger Kingsmead Square site shares the same uncompromising standards and positive attitude, with a select menu of single origin coffee, fine loose leaf teas, cakes and pastries. A comfortable handful of seats makes this pit-stop on the beaten track to the station an equally well-suited spot to linger and people watch. Look out for the brightly lit COFFEE sign.

    • 19 High St, Bath, BA1 5AJ, UK

    • 01225 442433 http://www.society-cafe.com

  • Hunter & Sons

    Cafe & bar

    • This coffee shop and bar is a carefully considered space where minimal but subtlety eclectic decor reflects the marriage of speciality coffee and craft ale at its heart. Always impeccably researched, a selection of craft beers celebrating innovative and unusual flavour notes and a small but enlightened choice of wine are served alongside light dishes and coffee of the highest caliber.

    • Milsom Place, Milsom St, Bath, BA1 1BZ, UK

    • N/A http://hunter-sons.co.uk

  • Sam’s Kitchen

    Cafe

    • Situated on Walcot Street, a winding boulevard filled with delis and independent boutiques, Sam’s Kitchen is the idyll venue to enjoy quality local produce (look out for the charcuterie!) and single origin coffee in a relaxed, comfortable environment. During the spring and summer, the French doors of the café open on to the street, allowing patrons to sit with a coffee in the morning sun. In the winter months, Sam’s becomes a cosy getaway from the biting chill.

    • 61 Walcot St, Bath, BA1 5BN, UK

    • 01225 481159 http://samskitchendeli.co.uk

  • Cafe Lucca

    Cafe

    • Located within the elegant, spacious interior of The Loft, Café Lucca serves up a fresh, Mediterranean menu that includes locally renowned paninis and bruschetta. After lunch, customers can peruse the furniture and design store Obi and Moo that is adjacent to the restaurant. The café also sells high quality extra olive oil and single blend coffee.

    • 1 Bartlett St, Bath, BA1 2QZ, UK

    • 01225 335380 http://cafelucca.co.uk

  • The Marlborough Tavern

    Pub and restaurant

    • Placed around the corner from The Royal Crescent, The Marlborough Tavern has taken the model of the quintessential English pub and stripped it back, creating an elegant, yet homely space. Offering a simple, wholesome menu, featuring roasted Berkshire boar with smoked garlic mash and salted Cornish pollock ceviche, the Tavern is an excellent choice for a meal after a ramble in the Avon Valley.

    • 35 Marlborough Buildings, Bath, BA1 2LY, UK

    • 01225 423731 http://marlborough-tavern.com

  • The Scallop Shell

    Restaurant

    • Bath was bereft of a decent chippy until local chef Garry Rosser opened the now multi-award winning Scallop Shell in 2015. Exemplary in all the essentials of hand cut chips, lightly battered fish, mushy peas, and curry sauce, the takeaway and restaurant also serves fish from the grill and a daily catch of (season-depending) razor clams, oysters, mussels, langoustines, scampi, and other fresh seafood, with a fine list of wine, beer and other drinks to wash it all down.

    • 22 Monmouth St, Bath, BA1 2AY, UK

    • 01225 420928 http://www.thescallopshell.co.uk

  • Topping & Company Booksellers

    Book shop

    • In terms of independent bookshops, Topping and Company is up there with the best. When stepping through its door, one is immediately hit with the wonderful oaky smell of old books. This is a fantasy bookstore, one that might be seen on a Hollywood film set. With an incredible collection of fiction, non fiction, art, travel, and signed first editions, Topping can enthral a customer for hours (and the friendly staff offer complementary tea, coffee and biscuits).

    • The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS, UK

    • 01225 428111 http://toppingbooks.co.uk

  • Bath Old Books

    Book shop

    • Should Bath’s rich literary history inspire you, the two densely-filled floors of this modestly-sized bookshop, found at the top of Margaret Buildings’ charming street of boutiques, shops and cafes, draw on the collective experience of five distinguished dealers. While away an hour or two browsing books old and antiquarian, or unearthing signed and first editions.

    • 9c, Margarets Buildings, Bath, BA1 2LP, UK

    • 01225 422244 N/A

  • Found

    Concept store

    • Designed by the Scottish neoclassical architect Robert Adam, Pulteney Bridge, which straddles the River Avon, exemplifies Bath’s plethora of striking Georgian architecture. Over its Palladian arches sits Found, a concept store that houses an intricate range of clothing, accessories, jewellery, stationery, and homewares. Owned and curated by Olivia Brewer and Nik Blake, the shop aims to blend classic and contemporary labels while adhering to the pair’s singular aesthetic.

    • 17 Argyle St, Bath, BA2 4BQ, UK

    • 01225 422001 http://foundbath.co.uk

  • Meticulous Ink

    Stationery shop & letterpress studio

    • Using traditional printing techniques, so labour intensive that at times a single order can take up to 40 hours of work, Meticulous Ink produces bespoke stationery of the highest quality. Athena Cauley-Yu and her team work tirelessly to ensure design, colour, and card stock seamlessly complement each other, rendering the shop’s everyday merchandise as detailed and considered as their custom products.

    • 134 Walcot St, Bath, BA1 5BG, UK

    • 01225 333004 http://meticulousink.com

  • The Holburne Museum

    Museum

    • The august approach to The Holburne Museum is formed by Great Pultney Street as it expands onto a grander scale than elsewhere in the city. The museum itself houses an impressive hoard of paintings, miniatures, ceramics, and other art objects, originally bequeathed to the City of Bath by collector William Holburne’s sister in 1882 and and enriched with many new additions since. 2011 saw the addition of an acclaimed extension by architect Eric Parry; the contrasting glass space surrounded by gardens incorporates new exhibition rooms and a beautiful cafe scattered with Wegner style Elbow Chairs, which has become a destination in itself.

    • Great Pulteney St, Bath, BA2 4DB, UK

    • 01225 388569 http://www.holburne.org

Additional Recommendations

Credits

Words & Photos: Cereal