City of Bath World Heritage Site

Roman Bath, City of Bath
Roman Bath, City of Bath

The City of Bath is located in the county of Somerset in the South West of England, the city has been inscribed in to the World Heritage Site list since 1987 in recognition of its outstanding attributes and universal value. The city was originally built as a thermal spa by the Romans and today attracts visitors from the UK and worldwide keen to see the range of attractions in the city famous for history, art, architecture and culture.

Overview


Bath is located in Somerset in the South West of England. The City of Bath is approx 100 miles from London and with good transport links from cities such as London and regional centres such as Bristol, many visitors visit the city each year. The city is a compact size making it easy for visitors to get around, it also means many of the attractions are in close proximity to each other allowing visitors to see more sites in a short time frame.

The city was founded by the Romans as a thermal spa and during the Middle Ages the Bath became an important place for the wool industry. It was in the 18th Century under the stewardship of George III that Bath developed further and gained the neoclassical Palladian buildings that it is famous for.

The Roman Baths are the most famous attraction in Bath and are at the centre of the World Heritage Site. The Baths are the only hot spring in the UK and reside within a wonderful temple and bathing facility where visitors can still see the natural hot water. Visitors to the complex can discover the source of the water along with walking on the historic stone pavements built and used by the Romans. Today there are still extensive ruins to admire and they have been well preserved. There are number of tours and audio guides available in a variety of languages for visitors to learn more about the site and the history.

The Assembly Rooms were designed in 1769 by John Wood the Younger and were a venue for entertainment and socialising by the fashion conscious in Georgian society. The Assembly Rooms suffered from bombing in 1942 but have been restored to past glories, today visitors can see the rooms resplendent as they would have been in Georgian times. The rooms are now the venue for the Fashion Museum on the lower ground floor.

The Royal Crescent is among the best known landmarks in the UK. Located in the city centre, they were built from 1767 to 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younger. Within the crescent there are around thirty houses, the Royal Crescent Hotel is within the complex as is Number One Royal Crescent that is open to view by members of the public. Number One Royal Crescent is viewed as a great example of superlative Palladian design. Within the house, there has been much restoration work that now gives the house great authenticity creating an image from the 18th century. There is a dining room, drawing room, the bedroom and a Georgian kitchen to view

The Circus is located in central Bath and is circular in shape surrounded by Town Houses. Designed by John Wood the Elder, the architecture is bold and striking, making it a recognised masterpiece of Georgian architecture. The Circus is thought to have helped Bath in gaining the World Heritage Site status with the unique design, bold vision and creativity all in evidence here.

Bath Abbey is located in Bath city centre and is an Anglican Church founded in 1499. On the site of the church there have been a number of different churches on the site over the years, ranging from an Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church that has taken down by the Norman conquerors after 1066. A large Norman cathedral started in approx 1090 however was in ruins by the end of the 15th century. There are still services that take place on a regular basis at the church. There are guides tours available for visitors to learn more about the church and its history, there are over 200 steps to climb to the top of the tower. Visitors are greeted with wonderful, panoramic views of the city.

The Pump Room are a set of chambers that are located above the Roman Baths. The Pump Rooms have been at the social epicentre of Bath for over 200 years, here the upper class folk would come and try the water. Currently the Pump Room is a restaurant that serves drinks, refreshments and lunch.

The Victoria Art Gallery is home to works from a number of renowned artists starting from the 15th century until the present day. Among those whose works feature here are Gainsborough and Sickert along with a number of other leading artists. The gallery contains a range of paintings, prints, and sculptures and hosts a number of national touring exhibitions. The gallery contains one of the finest collections of art works in the region.

The Jane Austin Centre in Bath celebrates the life and times of one of Bath's most famous people. The centre shows visitors what life was like during the time of Jane Austin and explores further how residing in Bath influenced Jane Austin in her works and life. The centre aims to bring to life the period and evoke the atmosphere transporting visitors to the life and times of the famous author. The Tea Rooms on site offer not only tea and light snacks but a wonderful view over the city.

Bath has Roman remains, is a Georgian city with leading architecture and design thus offering authentic examples of great innovation, design and history of two well known and recognised times in history helping it become recognised as a World Heritage Site City.

Being on the WHS List stipulates the site must be preserved and protected and there are a range of preservation and conversation projects and measures in place to ensure the Bath World Heritage City is still here to be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations.


How To Get There


By Car:

Bath is located approx 10 miles from junction 18 of the M4 Motorway. The M4 runs from London towards Bath, turn off at junction 18 and take the A46 and then the A4 towards Bath. Drivers from the South West region and the North can use the M5 to get to Bath.

By Train:

The Bath Spa train station is situated in the city centre located a short distance from the various city attractions and shops. From London there are regular train services to Bath Spa station from London Paddington and London Waterloo stations. The journey times are approx 90 minutes. Alternatively the Bristol Temple Meads station is approx 15 minutes journey time offers an alternative train journey to Bath.

By Bus/Coach:

National Express operates a number of coach services in to Bath from London Victoria Coach Station, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. There are also connections from other major UK cities and towns.

First Group operate a range of local bus services in and around Bath and the surroundings areas. There are a number of services that take visitors to the city centre attractions in the area.


Contact Details


Address:

Bath Tourist Information Centre
Abbey Chambers
Abbey Churchyard
Bath
BA1 1LY

Telephone (UK): 0906 711 2000

Telephone (Overseas): +44 (0)844 847 5257

email: tourism@bathtourism.co.uk

Website: Visit Bath


Facilities and Information


Facilities:

Opening Times:

Roman Baths:

January to June: 09.00/09.30 to 16.00/17.00

July to December: 09.00/09.30 to 16.30/21.00

Assembly Rooms:

From 11.00 to 16.00/17.00

Number One Royal Crescent:

From Mid February until End of November: 10.30 to 16.00/17.00 (closed on Mondays)

Bath Abbey:

From November until March: 09.00 to 16.30 (13.00 to 14.30 on Sundays)

From April until October: 09.00 to 18.00 (13.00 to 14.30 on Sundays)

Pump Room:

Restaurant is open from 09.30 to 17.00

Victoria Art Gallery:

From 10.00 to 17.00 (closed on Mondays and bank holidays)

Jane Austin Centre:

From April to October: 09.45 to 17.30 everyday. There is late opening in July and August from Thursday to Saturday until 19.00.

From November to March: Sunday to Friday from 11.00 to 16.30 and 09.45 to 17.30 on Saturdays.


Further Information:

Admission Fees:

Roman Baths:

Adults: £11 approx, Children: £7 approx, Family Ticket: £30 approx

Assembly Rooms: Free Admission

Number One Royal Crescent:

Adults: £5 approx, Children: £2.50 approx, Family Ticket: £12 approx

Bath Abbey: Free Admission

Victoria Art Gallery: Free Admission

Jane Austin Centre:

Adults: £7 approx, Children: £4 approx, Family Ticket: £18 approx


With a number of attractions highlighted above free and others in Bath without an admission fee there is plenty for visitors to see and do without having to spend too much.


Map



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For Local Search and Directions see: City of Bath Map


Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours of attractions depending on the time of year and other factors. Visitors are advised to double check before going to ensure any attractions and place of interest is open and avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment. Follow travel safety tips and ensure your belongings especially your wallet/purse and valuables are hidden away from public view (particularly at tourist attractions & places with crowds). If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Bath you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the Route Planning tool to find door to door directions for public transport and car journeys.

If you are looking for local car parking in Bath, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The parking rules can be complex if you are not sure it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.


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