Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. This small city is teeming with museums, handsome architecture, and exciting restaurants – as well as the country’s one and only natural thermal bathhouse.
Spending a weekend in Bath is all about slowing the pace and getting in check with your wellness.
Here is a 2 night spa break Bath itinerary to help you arrange a restful weekend away.
How to get to Bath
Bath, Somerset, is accessible via private vehicle, coach, or train.
The city is located a short drive from both the M4 and M5 motorways. In order to avoid congestion, the council offers a convenient park and ride service. The cost of parking is free but you will need to pay for the bus.
Bristol is the closest large city. If you’re planning a Bath weekend away from the North, you are likely to change trains at Bristol Temple Meads. Trains depart frequently and take 15 minutes.
Travelling from London? Trains leave London Paddington for Bath Spa every 30 minutes and take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Fares are expensive if you buy tickets at the last minute so try to book at least a few weeks in advance.
You can browse options and purchase tickets via thetrainline.
National Express operates a coach service between Bath and major UK cities. This often works out cheaper than the train but it does increase travel time.
As well as short breaks in Bath, you can plan day trips from nearby cities in the South and Southwest. Bristol, London, and Exmouth are within reach if you have only a day to spend in Bath.
Getting around Bath
This Somerset city is small enough to get around on foot when planning Bath weekend breaks.
If you are spending longer than 2 days in Bath and want to travel outside of the city centre then you can rent a bike. Bath Narrowboats rent out bicycles for £20 per day while Julian House Bike Workshop hires out e-bikes from £25 for a half day.
Where to stay in Bath
As one of the most romantic getaways in the UK, Bath is blessed with a great spread of boutique guest houses and luxury hotels. Rates are comparable to London and you’ll need to book early to secure a decent deal for your weekend in Bath.
Here are some recommendations for where to stay in Bath subject to different budgets.
YHA Bath is situated in an Italian-style mansion and has a communal kitchen where you could save money by preparing your own meals. Dorm beds and private rooms are available.
SACO Bath is a centrally-located block of studios and apartments with full kitchens and private bathrooms. This is a good option if you want the experience of an Airbnb during your Bath city break.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa – Small Luxury Hotels of the World is for those seeking indulgence. This 5-star hotel is the only hotel in the country with access to naturally heated thermal waters within its Spa Village. Perfect for the ultimate spa weekend in Bath.
If you prefer to stay at a cute downtown apartment during your two days in Bath, check out one of these gorgeous Plumguide apartments instead.
- The Austen: A gorgeous one-bedroom in a historical 250-year-old building located in downtown Bath. Less than a 5-minutes walk to the Roman Baths and views over the city centre. Book a stay at the Austen here.
- Aquae Sulis: Located inside an old Georgian mansion, this apartment has been so lovingly decorated. It feels comfortable and yet also luxurious. The balcony in the bedroom is the big selling point for me. Book a stay at the Aquae Sulis here.
- Fitzwilliam: If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you can enjoy this apartment which sits adjacent to where she lived in 1804-1805. It is right beside Green Park, so you get wonderful natural views and a quiet and peaceful start to the day. Book a stay at the Fitzwilliam here.
Best time to plan a weekend in Bath UK
Bath experiences all four of the UK’s seasons. The city has an excellent mix of outdoor and indoor activities and attractions to suit any weather conditions. However, late spring (May and June) and autumn (September and October) offer the most agreeable conditions.
If you are specifically planning a Bath spa weekend then rest assured that the public bathhouse is open all year round.
The city feels busier during the British school holidays, the peak summer months of July and August, and when a festival is taking place in town. During these times, you will need to book accommodation and tickets in advance.
Where to eat during a Bath city break
Bath is an exciting destination for foodies. This 2 day Bath itinerary does contain specific restaurant recommendations but here is a quick overview of some of the best restaurants, pubs, and cafes in Bath. According to how many dinners you spend in town, you can take your pick.
Society Cafe: Light and airy interiors with patio tables and artisanal coffee. Perfect for an afternoon brew and a freshly baked slice of cake.
Saracens Head: A historic pub with an old-worldly atmosphere that Charles Dickens frequented. Visit for traditional pub grub such as fish and chips, pies, and regional ales and ciders.
Clayton’s Kitchen: British cuisine with a nod toward European styling prepared in a simple style using seasonal ingredients. Great for carnivores, pescatarians, and vegans in equal measure.
Ponte Vecchio: An upmarket Italian restaurant with views over Pulteney Bridge that specialises in pizza, pasta, risotto, and authentic Italian fare. The place has a great atmosphere and
Opa Bath: A restaurant by day and a nightclub in the evening. The menu consists of Greek meze, grills, and fresh salads. Besides the atmospheric interiors, the restaurant has a small garden with river views.
Weekend in Bath Itinerary
Over to the specifics of your Bath weekend away. The following itinerary is a proposal of how to spend your city break.
However, do feel free to swap some of these listings around if that suits your preferences.
Day 1 of your 2 day Bath Itinerary
If you can arrive on Friday night on your weekend in Bath, then you can really get a full two days in Bath. If not, try to arrive as early as you can on Saturday to make the most of your time.
Bath Guildhall Market
Bath Guildhall Market is a covered marketplace that was built in 1861 and is a Grade I Listed Building. Besides containing around 20 stalls, the venue is used for events, conferences, and galas.
The traditional market cafe is one of the best places to grab a full English breakfast or a bacon roll. It opens at 8 am in case you want to get an early start on your Bath city break.
Stalls tend to open around 9-9.30 am and focus on quality gifts, books, and pantry items.
As the market doesn’t open on Sundays, you will need to plan to visit it on the Saturday of your weekend in Bath.
The Roman Baths
The Roman Baths hark back to the city’s Roman foundations. The star attraction of the city contains a temple dedicated to Sulis Minerva, the patron deity of Bath. She was an amalgamation of the Celtic goddess, Sul, and the Roman deity, Minerva.
Besides the temple, the baths continue to be fed by the thermal spring waters.
Tickets cost £20 per adult on weekdays and £25 at weekends and include the use of an audio guide. It’s best to book tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment.
Bath Abbey was erected at the turn of the 16th century in place of an earlier church. Originally overseen by Bishop Oliver King, the cathedral has undergone various renovations since then. Particularly in light of the English Reformation and the wars.
The abbey generally opens to the public at 10 am. It is free to visit Bath Abbey although a donation is always warmly welcomed.
It’s advisable to visit on the Saturday of your weekend in Bath as Sunday Service restricts the hours that you can visit.
The Royal Crescent is one of the best examples of Bath’s Georgian-era architecture. These 30 terraced houses were designed by the architect John Wood, son of an architect of the same name. Constructed between 1767 and 1774, the terrace is now a Grade I Listed Building.
Although an impressive sight on its own, you can enhance your experience by visiting No. 1 Royal Crescent.
This museum gives you a sense of what life was like for an elite Georgian family at the time when Bath flourished as a wellness destination.
Interiors are curated exactly as they might have appeared between the late 18th century. In fact, rooms are furnished with original furniture, paintings, and ornamentation.
Admission is £11 per adult. You can usually purchase tickets on the door but if you have your heart set on visiting then you might want to pre-book.
The Royal Crescent is a 15-minute walk from Bath Abbey.
Afternoon Tea at the Pump Room
If visiting the Royal Crescent gave you a nostalgic gnawing for bygone days, head to the Pump Room Restaurant.
This Georgian-style dining room is meticulously appointed with chandeliers, columns, and classic artwork. Live classical music is performed by the resident pianist.
Traditional Afternoon Tea is served seven days a week from 12 noon with the option to upgrade with a glass of bubbles. This is great for a 2-night spa break Bath for a special occasion.
This is another chance to sample the spa water from the fountain. The Pump Room is connected to the Roman Baths and it’s possible to purchase a combination deal.
Booking is highly recommended, especially over weekends.
Evening in Bath
Despite its humble size, there’s a lot going on in Bath at night. Besides going out for a meal and some drinks, you can consider adding the following options to your 2 day Bath itinerary.
Theatre Royal Bath: This elaborate Georgian playhouse provides the setting for performances such as musicals, opera, drama, dance, and comedy. Do plan ahead as tickets on the day aren’t guaranteed.
Little Theatre Cinema: This small arthouse cinema has been in operation since 1935. Two screens play new releases as well as classic films.
Komedia: First and foremost a comedy venue, Komedia attracts big names in stand-up and entertainment. It also hosts club nights, cabaret, and live music.
Day 2 of your 2 day weekend in Bath itinerary
You’ve seen quite a lot on day one in Bath, you can spend your second day in Bath enjoying even more that this beautiful city has to offer.
Bath Skyline – Walk to the View
Bath sits in a basin surrounded by picturesque Somerset hills. Start your second morning with a stroll to experience the beauty of the county.
Bath Skyline Walk to the View is a scenic hike that takes you up to a viewpoint in the hills on the east bank of the River Avon. The full route includes a wander around the city but you can just start at the Bathwick Hill bridge seeing as you covered much of the centre yesterday.
The 3-mile loop only takes 1.5-2 hours to complete and is easy without too much elevation.
There is a longer version of this hike which may appeal if you are spending longer than 2 days in Bath. The Bath Skyline Walk is a 6-mile trail that goes deeper into the woodlands and meadows on the outskirts of the city. This alternative walk takes an average of 4 hours to complete and requires decent hiking boots due to uneven and varied terrain.
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House is a bakery, cafe, restaurant, and museum all rolled into one.
This is where the Sally Lunn Bun was conceived – a hybrid of bread, cake, and bun that resembles brioche.
Meals are presented as per the “trencher” tradition with a piece of bread used as the “plate” as well as a side of the signature bun.
Sally Lunn’s is open daily, 9 am – 9 pm. It’s generally busy and reservations aren’t possible but as it’s a large property the wait isn’t usually too bad. It’s beneficial to go a little ahead of the main lunch rush that starts from around 12.30 pm.
For a quieter experience, you could visit Sally Lunn’s for dinner instead.
Jane Austen Centre
The great British writer dwelled in Bath between 1801 and 1806. In fact, she was a regular at the Pump Room!
Visit the Jane Austen Centre to learn about how her time in the city influenced her writing. The exhibition also provides a wider portrait of the Regency lifestyle in Bath.
Admission is £12.50 per adult and you can book tickets online or at the museum.
Thermae Bath Spa
Thermae Bath Spa is where you can conclude your spa weekend in Bath and experience the lifestyle of the Ancient Romans!
Well, kind of. This contemporary bathhouse is decked out with state-of-the-art spa amenities; the priority is very much on R&R as opposed to having a weekly scrub.
Thermae Bath Spa is built atop an original Roman foundation and benefits from the same healing waters as the historic bathhouse you already visited.
General admission permits access to the Minerva Bath, the spa facilities, and the incredible rooftop pool.
Tickets go for £38 (Monday to Friday) and £43 (weekends) and grant 2 hours to enjoy the baths. The cost includes the use of a towel, robe, and flip-flops.
Spa treatments and massages are available at an additional fee priced per package.
Thermae Bath Spa is the pinnacle of a 2 night spa break Bath so it’s best to pre-book your spot. Reservations can be made over the phone.
The bathhouse is open daily, 9 am – 9.30 pm. Experiencing sunset from the rooftop pool is an unforgettable way to wrap up your weekend in Bath, especially if you catch the sunset.