From Roman ruins and quintessential tea rooms to the fabulous Thermae Bath Spa, discover how to spend the perfect girls’ weekend away in Bath in this guide.
Blessed with Roman ruins and elegant Georgian architecture, Bath is so beautiful that it’s the only city in the UK to be a designated World Heritage Site in its entirety.
With its honey-coloured buildings and tiny cobbled lanes, a weekend away in Bath will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Jane Austen novel.
While you can still see the remnants of high society in Bath today, if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll also find a folksy, laid back city. Bath brings together the best of both worlds. Browse designer boutiques or vintage shops, socialise in Georgian tea houses or hipster cafes, and enjoy champagne in the elegant Pump Room or a cocktail in a lively gin bar.
There is so much to see in Bath but luckily the centre is quite compact so you can fit a lot into a weekend trip. In this guide, I’m covering the very best things to do on a girls’ weekend away in Bath, plus tips on where to eat, drink, and stay to help you make the most of your time in Bath.
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A GIRLS’ WEEKEND AWAY IN BATH: DAY 1
Start your weekend away in Bath by visiting the impressive gothic Bath Abbey. With towering stained-glass windows, honey-gold stone columns, and an extraordinary fan-vaulted ceiling, Bath Abbey is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
The Abbey has been a place of worship for over 1,200 years but the existing building was constructed in the 12th and 16th centuries. Whilst the Abbey is currently closed for general sightseeing until at least 17th May, you can still admire its exterior.
Afterwards, wander down Abbey Street and Church Street where you’ll find independent shops and some of Bath’s most renowned tea shops.
Sally Lunn’s is one of the most well-known tea rooms in Bath and visitors from all over the world flock to this famous café to try the Sally Lunn bun. It’s a delicious secret recipe so be prepared to queue! The Bath Bun is another of my favourite tea rooms and is definitely worth a try if you are in Bath for the weekend.
Bath is home to one of the world’s best preserved bathhouses which was built almost 2,000 years ago. The temple and bathing complex sit on top of the hot springs and were once the heart of the Roman town, Aquae Sulis.
The highlight for many visitors is the terrace which overlooks the centrepiece of the complex, the Great Bath. However, the site is a lot larger than people think and actually extends under the street level and runs underneath adjacent streets!
The Roman Baths are currently closed until at least 17th May.
The Pump Room
Located next to the historic Roman Baths is the iconic Pump Room. The original structure was built in the 17th century so patients could access and drink the thermal waters. However, as the spa’s popularity grew, high society flocked to the city believing the water would cure their illnesses and relieve discomforts. The Pump Room was extended to accommodate the crowds and became a fashionable meeting place.
Today, the Pump Room is one of Bath’s most elegant dining venues. If you’re looking for somewhere special to eat during your girls’ weekend away in Bath, I’d highly recommend booking a table in advance. It’s a lovely spot for a fancy lunch or indulgent afternoon tea. And if you want to, you can even try the hot spa water. It contains 43 minerals but be warned, it does have a rather unusual taste!
Jane Austen Centre
If you’re a Jane Austen fan then don’t miss the Jane Austen Centre where you can learn more about one of Bath’s most famous residents. The centre is set in a beautifully decorated Georgian townhouse and gives visitors a glimpse into what it was like to live in Regency times.
Bath Assembly Rooms
Continue to the Assembly Rooms, one of Bath’s most prestigious venues. If you’ve read Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey or Persuasion, you’ll know these rooms were the hub of the 18th century social scene and the venue for grand and lavish balls.
There are four rooms – Tea Room, Ball Room, Card Room, and Great Octagon – which had a specific purpose as their names suggest. Today, the rooms are still used for functions and conferences but they’re also open to the public when they aren’t in use.
Originally called the King’s Circus, the Circus is made up of three curved segments of Grade I listed townhouses, which together form a circle with three entrances.
It’s said that the architect, John Wood, admired the Druids who created many prehistoric stone circles. If you look closely at the stonework, you’ll notice lots of masonic symbols, such as serpents and acorns which appear in many of Wood’s architectural designs.
The Royal Crescent
Just along from the Circus, you’ll find another beautiful example of Wood’s work – the Royal Crescent. Built between 1767 and 1774, this row of terraced houses is laid out in a sweeping crescent and is a spectacular example of Georgian architecture.
It’s no surprise that the Crescent is a popular location for films and period dramas. It’s been featured in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the 2008 film The Duchess featuring Keira Knightley, and most recently, in the Netflix TV series, Bridgerton.
Today, the Royal Crescent is home to the luxurious five-star hotel, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, the museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent, and private residences.
The view from the lawn is incredibly picturesque which makes it a great spot for a picnic during your girls’ weekend away in Bath. If it’s a sunny afternoon, pick up some food and prosecco from M&S and sit and soak in the view.
Victoria Park and Botanical Gardens
Another great picnic spot is the nearby Victoria Park. Originally an arboretum, the park is a beautiful green space that spans 57 acres and includes botanical gardens and an 18-hole mini golf course. It’s a lovely place to sit and relax after a busy day of sightseeing.
Thermae Bath Spa
A girls’ weekend away in Bath wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Thermae Bath Spa, home to the only natural hot springs in the UK that you can bathe in. They have a wide range of treatments and packages, including my personal favourite, The Twilight Package. If you just want to use the facilities then you can opt for the Thermae Acqua, a 2 hour spa session for £35 (Monday to Friday) which includes access to the rooftop pool.
A GIRLS’ WEEKEND AWAY IN BATH: DAY 2
Start your day by exploring Walcot Street. Lined with independent stores, restaurants and galleries, this is Bath’s artisan quarter. It’s quite the contrast from the main shopping centre which is home to the big name stores and much more commercial.
Once you’ve finished browsing the shops, head to the photogenic Pulteney Bridge. It’s one of the most photographed spots in the city and is very unique in the fact that it’s one of only four bridges in the world with shops along both sides. If you’re feeling a bit peckish at this point, the Bridge Coffee Shop on the bridge serves delicious cakes and bakes, as well as savoury lunch treats.
Bathwick Meadow and Bath Skyline Walk
For a fabulous view of the city, walk up to Bathwick Meadow. It’s a short walk from the centre with a slight incline but you’ll be rewarded with a sweeping panorama of the city. If you have time then carry on along the Bath Skyline Walk. It’s a 6 mile route through woodlands and meadows but there are lots of footpaths for shorter routes.
Prior Park Landscape Garden
If you have time, continue to Prior Park where you’ll find a striking 18th century landscape garden and a beautiful Palladian Bridge which crosses a small lake. The park offers wonderful views over Bath so don’t forget your camera! The garden is now open but you need to book your tickets in advance through the National Trust.
Where to eat and DRINK in Bath
For a special evening meal try Sotto Sotto. It’s a romantic little restaurant serving fresh, authentic Italian dishes and is located in a candlelit stone cellar.
This family run restaurant is Bath’s only Nepalese restaurant. Their authentic dishes are made from local ingredients along with unique Nepalese herbs and spices imported from Nepal. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and serves a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes.
This Thai restaurant offers some familiar favourites but also serves experimental dishes. The floral interior creates an elegant dining environment which is complimented by the warm hospitality.
This chic cocktail bar blends the old and new in an intimate and friendly atmosphere. If you’re looking for some decadent cocktails during your girls’ weekend away in Bath, this is the spot.
Wander down the cute cobbled Queen Street and you’ll find one of Bath’s best gin bars. Serving over 200 gins, Canary Gin Bar has a long list of inventive cocktails and is often packed at weekends. They also offer cocktail-making classes where you’ll have the chance to get behind the bar!
Set in an old bakery, Walcot House is an upmarket bar and live music venue. The main room hosts swing, jazz and Latin musicians before becoming a dance floor later in the evening. There’s also a second room and bar for DJs which plays disco, soul and R&B.
The Bath Brew House has a gorgeous garden which is the perfect spot to enjoy some local and international craft beers on a sunny day. The microbrewery runs tours everyday and there is often live music, comedy shows and pub quizzes.
Where to stay in Bath
Bath has plenty of luxury hotels, grand guesthouses and chic apartments to suit every budget.
Booking your trip: If you book your trip via my hotel links I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me keep this blog running. Thanks for your support – Steph.
APEX CITY OF BATH HOTEL
Just steps from the Roman Baths and Thermae Bath Spa, the Apex hotel is a contemporary and stylish hotel. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury then this is a great place to stay during your girls’ weekend away in Bath.
MACDONALD BATH SPA HOTEL
Located 10 minutes from the city centre, Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is a luxury and stylish choice for a girls’ weekend. The spa features a swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, and tranquil treatment rooms. When you’ve finished relaxing, head to the terrace for an inventive cocktail overlooking the gardens.
THE FRANCIS HOTEL BATH
The Francis Hotel Bath is a beautiful Grade 1 listed hotel made up of seven original 18th century townhouses on the south side of Queen Square. It’s a timelessly stylish hotel that will make you feel as if you’ve walked into a Jane Austen novel.
HOW TO GET TO BATH
Bath is located in Somerset in the South West of England, 97 miles west of London and 11 miles southeast of Bristol. There are regular trains and buses from both directions, making Bath very accessible for a weekend getaway.
The closest airport to Bath is Bristol Airport which has daily flights from many European destinations. Once you arrive, you can hop on a bus to Bath. Air Decker and National Express both run frequent buses from Bristol Airport to Bath city centre. It takes about 50 minutes and costs £15 per person.
Bath Spa railway station is well connected to many cities in the UK. From London, it only takes around 90 minutes.
National Express also runs frequent coaches from London Victoria Coach Station and the fastest journey will get you there in just 2 hours 20 minutes.
The UK is home to so many beautiful and interesting places. Here are a few more suggestions to inspire your next trip, whether that’s a weekend away or a day out.
- 5 Ideas for a Girls Getaway
- A weekend in Edinburgh
- A guide to London’s prettiest mews streets
- A short walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door
- Everything You Need to Know to Hike the Seven Sisters
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.