Are you road tripping England and wondering if doing a quick stopover in Bath is doable? As someone who recently just did this, I can wholeheartedly say YES! One can easily see the best of Bath in 3 or so hours. Here’s exactly what we saw on our quick stop in Bath when making our way across England!
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Earlier this year, Dan (the wanderful boyfriend) and I went on an exciting adventure down to the incredible county of Devonshire in southern England.
We road tripped all the way from Chester — which is a medieval Roman city near Manchester and the border of Wales — to South Devon and Cornwall, where we stayed in a magical Shepherd’s Hut, explored all the quaint little seaside villages, hiked our way through Dartmoor National Park, and constantly admired all the gorgeous coastal views!
But what really made this England road trip stand out was our quick stop in Bath when making our way back up north.
It was like the cherry on top of an already delicious and sickly sweet weekend away sundae!
Though our drive back up to Chester was already going to be somewhere around 4.5 hours, Bath had been high up on my bucket list and I wasn’t going to miss the chance to visit when we were in this area of England!
So, with a lot of convincing (and maybe a teensie weensie bit of begging), Dan finally agreed to make our drive even longer by doing a quick stop in Bath to satisfy my incessant urge to explore this historic city!
And, the second we drove into the city center and I saw the incredible architecture, I knew we’d made a great decision!
But the thing is…
Since we were on our way back home to Chester, we really only had a few hours to spend here. Thus, we made the most of our time and saw the best Bath sites and attractions in just 3 hours!
SEEING THE BEST OF BATH IN 3 HOURS
The Roman Baths
Without a doubt, the Roman Baths are THE most famous attraction and historic site in the city… so we obviously couldn’t miss out on visiting this magnificent place!
When we initially walked, I thought, “Hey, this’ll probs only take around 30 mins or so, right?”
We spent a good hour and a half wandering about the ancient baths, reading all about the Roman bath culture and history. Though it took up a good chunk of our time, they are absolutely fantastic!
Located right beside The Roman Baths, we headed to Bath Abbey next! A gorgeous medieval church featuring beautiful Victorian Gothic architecture, it’s one of Bath’s best historic attractions.
Though we attempted to quickly walk through Bath Abbey, as we spent more time than planned at the baths, we actually got caught up talking to one of the abbots! Which was well worth the extra minutes.
He told us fascinating facts about Bath Abbey, like how there are thousands of bodies buried underneath the flooring that are slowly decaying, resulting in the floor collapsing!
(Which is why a good chunk of the Abbey was closed off during our visit! As there’s a major project underway to reconstruct the flooring.)
He also told us how Bath Abbey was initially started by an Abbess named Bertana, who was given land to start a “Convent of Holy Virgins.” (How cool is that?! I personally love badass woman who have major roles in history.)
But his super interesting information didn’t stop there — our Abbot friend walked us to the front of the abbey and mysteriously told us to place our hands on the stone floors…
And to our surprise, the stones were incredibly warm! He told us Bath Abbey flooring has been reconstructed into a clever drain system for The Roman Baths hot springs. This eco-drain system is now being used as renewable energy to heat the abbey. So cool!
After wandering about The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, our legs ached for a short break.
So, as we made our way to the Pulteney Bridge, we stopped by the beautiful Parade Gardens to take a seat, relax, and simply admire the wonderfully beautiful city of Bath.
Next up on our Bath must-do list — the gorgeous Pulteney Bridge! Crossing the River Avon, the bridge is incredibly unique, featuring shops built on both sides and going across its entire span.
(One of only 4 bridges in the world to have this structure!)
The Pulteney Bridge is absolutely stunning, especially when viewed from the side that also features the River Avon weir, which is the U-shaped barrier/dam spanning across the river, resulting in quite a beautiful scene.
Oh, the Royal Crescent. The gorgeous row of terraced housing — shaped in a sweeping crescent, hence the name — where you’ll find one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the UK.
(Not to mention, loads of wildy expensive cars, well-dressed individuals, and an air of luxuriousness about it.)
An iconic landmark in Bath, the Royal Crescent was high up on my Bath to-do list due to its architectural importance and interesting history, most notable the infamous No. 22 resident, Miss Annabel Wellesley-Colley.
In the 1970s, she painted her door yellow, instead of the traditional white. And Miss Wellesley-Colley had to publicly defend herself and fight two enforcement order from the Bath City Council.
Ultimately, she successfully stood her ground and it was declared the door could remain yellow — which is how it still is today!
Simply walking about the city is one of the best things to do in Bath (even if you only have a few hours here!).
The magnificent Palladian, Georgian, and Victorian architecture; beautifully light, golden-colored stone buildings that give the city an invigorating feel; and the historic sites and attractions that make Bath the wondrous World Heritage Site that it is today is something out of a fairytale.
When visiting Bath, don’t forget to look up. Some of the best features of the buildings are higher than you might think!
After our visit to the Royal Crescent, Dan and I literally ran back to the car — as our 3 hours for parking maxed out faster than we thought!
Thankfully, we made it back in time and, just as the rain started to drizzle, we left Bath to resume our drive back home to Chester.
Although our short 3 hours in Bath featured numerous amazing attractions — like The Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent — our visit has only enhanced my desire to go back to this magical city and further discover what it has to offer!
So, with that said… I’ll be back, Bath. Just you wait.
Tell me, are you planning a trip to Bath? Or is this historic UK city high up on your bucket list? Share in the comments below!
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