When In Bath: The Ultimate Guide To Britain's Most Charming Town

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and strolling is officially back on the agenda. So, pack a bag, book a train, and head to Bath. It’s the perfect place for couples and friends alike. But, don’t think it’s all about Roman history. We’ve scouted out the best bars, spas, cafes, and museums, for you to visit.
Seriously, we’ve done all the planning, so all you need do is relax. Send us a postcard?
Want more local flavour? Like Refinery29 London on Facebook for insider tips on the coolest spots to shop, eat, party, and play.
1 of 18
Bea's Vintage Tea Room

No afternoon of shopping is complete without a spot of high tea — and Bath is the perfect place for just that. So go ahead and savour a slice of cake or a clotted-cream scone at Bea's Vintage Tea Room. The tea parlour has a typically British vibe, with Union Jack bunting and mish-mash crockery. There really is no better place for a cup of Earl Grey.

Bea's Vintage Tea Room, 6-8 Saville Row, Bath, BA1 2QP; 01225 464 552.

Photo: Alice Tate
2 of 18
Royal Crescent

Spend a sunny morning exploring Bath’s Georgian architecture by taking a wander around the Royal Crescent. Admire the beauty of the buildings and the perfectly trimmed private lawn — and like the rest of us, envy the residents who have the bulging bank accounts that let them live there.

Photo: Alice Tate
3 of 18
Little Theatre

Swanky cinemas are overrated. Take a step back through time and visit Little Theatre. The movie theatre shows all of the latest films, but with a retro air, and it's right in the middle of town, making it the perfect post-dinner entertainment.

Little Theatre, St Michael's Place, Bath, BA1 1SF; 0871 902 5735.

Photo: Alice Tate
4 of 18

For homewares and other such trinkets, Grasse offers a grand selection of, well, all sorts. From antique interior decorations, to wooden garden goods, it has a selection of items that will spruce up any home. We just couldn't leave the store without gin-and-tonic bubble bath.

Grasse, 3 Argyle Street, Bath, BA2 4BA; 01225 444 260.

Photo: Courtesy of Grasse
5 of 18

An excellent boutique, with a well-curated selection of indie brands, FOUND promises to stock something for everyone. The concept boutique has a selection of brilliant brands, including Comme des Garçons, Dr. Martens, YMC, and Karen Walker. With plenty of teeny knickknacks, and a fantastic range of gifts, a weekend of shopping isn’t complete without a trip to the store — just don’t expect to leave empty-handed.

FOUND, 17 Argyle Street, Bath, BA2 4BQ; 01225 422 001.

Photo: Courtesy of FOUND
6 of 18
The Francis Hotel

Spend your stay in luxury, and check in to The Francis Hotel. The boutique hotel is perfect for couples and friends alike — and isn’t so big that you get lost in its corridors. Full of character and lavish wallpapers, the rooms are spacious, with four-poster beds that are comfy enough to stay in ‘til noon, and ceiling showers in the bathroom with a muscle-melting massage functionality — nice! Not to forget, the breakfast buffet, which is big enough and brilliant enough to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. We wouldn’t think about staying anywhere else.

The Francis Hotel, Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HH; 01225 424 105.

Photo: Courtesy of The Francis Hotel
7 of 18
Thermae spa

Bath is the home of the U.K.’s natural hot springs, so there’s no better excuse for a spot of self-indulgence. Strip yourself from the stress of the office by spending an afternoon at the Thermae Spa. With four steam rooms, tonnes of treatments, and a rooftop pool, we reccommend visiting at twilight to capture a glimpse of the striking city views.

Thermae Bath Spa, The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath, BA1 1SJ; 01225 331 234.

Photo: Courtesy of Thermae Spa/ Andy Short
8 of 18
Canary Wine And Gin Bar

Nightcap, anyone? With over 80 different gins, The Canary is perfect for anyone partial to the odd G&T. Tucked away on a backstreet, it’s one of our favourite places in Bath for finishing off the night. The bar houses all of the standard gins, as well as many more exotic infusions, so don’t be afraid to ask the bartender for suggestions — they know their stuff. We’re saying it: the best drinks in town.

Canary Gin and Wine Bar, 2-3 Queen Street, Bath, BA1 3QG; 01225 462 457.

Photo: Courtesy of Canary Wine And Gin Bar
9 of 18
Wild Café

Sore head from a night-before bender? It's nothing that brunch at the Wild Café can’t fix. Laid-back, with an easy-like-Sunday-morning vibe, there’s no better place for a full English. Bleary eyes welcome — but, go early to beat the crowds.

Wild Café, 10A Queen Street, Bath, BA1 1HE, 01225 448 673.

Photo: Alice Tate
10 of 18
Paxton & Whitfield

Cheese lovers, meet heaven. Paxton & Whitfield is the 200-year-old destination for dairy-loving foodies and houses a giant selection of cheeses of all shapes and sizes. The historical little store is certainly worth a visit — though prepare never to be satisfied by the supermarket selection again. In the words of Winston Churchill, "A gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield."

Paxton & Whitfield, 1 John Street, Bath, BA1 2JL; 01225 466 403.

Photo: Alice Tate
11 of 18
Fashion Museum

For fashion lovers, Bath’s Fashion Museum is a must-see. Listed as one of the world’s Top 10 fashion museums, the collection dates from the 1580s right through to the present day. You can expect to see contemporary pieces from your favourite designers — Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Raf Simmons, and so many more. You cannot miss it.

Fashion Museum, Bath Assembly Rooms, Bennett St, Bath, BA1 2QH; 01225 477 789.

Photo: Courtesy of The Fashion Museum
12 of 18
Colonna & Smalls

Colonna & Smalls is committed to serving only the best coffee — so the best is what you will get. Slightly off the beaten track, the café is whitewashed and airy, with a smell that will have you drooling. It’s the perfect place for catching up with a friend, thumbing through a magazine, or simply admiring the passersby. Another espresso, please!

Colonna & Smalls, 6 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HN; 07766 808 067.

Photo: Alice Tate
13 of 18
Hall & Woodhouse

Hall & Woodhouse, housed in what used to be Bonhams auctioneers, is a four-storey bar and restaurant. Serving up hearty meals and fine wines, it’s a great place to enjoy a leisurely dinner. Dine in the restaurant, chat in the pantry, and head up to the roof terrace for an alfresco cocktail.

Hall & Woodhouse, 1 Old King Street, Bath, BA1 2JW; 01225 469 259.

Photo: Courtesy of Hall & Woodhouse
14 of 18
Bertinet Bakery

If all the sightseeing in Bath is taking it out of you, be sure to recoup lagging sugar levels at Bertinet Bakery. Full of freshly-baked breads, savoury tartlets, and sweet, sweet pastries, you'll struggle to walk by without stocking up. But, calories don't count on holiday, right?

The Bertinet Bakery, 6 New Bond Street Place, Bath, BA1 1BH; 01225 445 5311

Photo: Courtesy of Bertinet Bakery
15 of 18
The Bell Inn

The Bell pub is best summed up as “Glastonbury in a room.” Many a musician has stopped off on the way to the festival, so, time your visit right and you might spot a star. Though, don’t expect any celebrity treatment — it’s your classic local pub, but that’s why we like it.

The Bell Inn, 103 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BW; 01225 460 426.

Photo: Alice Tate
16 of 18
Bath Abbey

Soak up a slice of real history by admiring the grandeur of Bath Abbey. The stunning architecture and remarkable stained-glass windows promise to impress every type of visitor. Take a pew to make sure you take it all in.

Photo: Alice Tate
17 of 18
Grace & Mabel

Grace & Mabel is a womenswear boutique that offers an eclectic selection of unique pieces and wardrobe updates. Sonia Rykiel, APC, and American Vintage, are just some of the labels on sale. An absolute must-visit.

Grace & Mabel, 7 Broad Street, Bath, BA1 5LJ; 01225 461 274.

Photo: Alice Tate
18 of 18
Sally Lunn's

When in Bath, do as 18th-Century society did, and indulge in a delicious Bath bun. There's really no better place for doing so than at the very home of the Georgian-breakfast delicacy, Sally Lunn's. Drop in for a taste of the local treat, and learn a thing or two while you're at it. (Don’t worry, we won’t judge you for having more than just one.)

Sally Lunn's, 4 North Parade Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX; 01225 461 634.

Photo: Courtesy of Sally Lunn's/ Andy Clist