Bath has long been a tourist destination with its gorgeous Georgian architecture, golden stone buildings and fascinating Roman history.
This year has had us looking closer to home for places to explore, and Bath shouldn’t be left off your list.
A new Netflix show, Frankenstein experience and creative cooking are among the latest reasons to visit the UK’s prettiest spa town.
Read on below to find out what the city has to offer.
The new Downton
Set for release in its entirety on Christmas Day, and labelled as Netflix’s answer to Downton Abbey (with a splash of Gossip Girl), big-budget show Bridgerton was largely filmed in Bath, with the stately Royal Crescent and Assembly Rooms aiding its evocation of Regency England.
Adapted from Julia Quinn’s novels, and produced by Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy supremo Shonda Rhimes, the eight-part costume drama sees Oscar-winning actress Julie Andrews play the author of a scandalous gossip pamphlet exposing high-society philanderers.
There’ll be plenty of rumpy-pumpy, then, along with beautiful backdrops recognisable to recent Bath-goers.
Venice, footwear and Frankenstein
Secluded in Sydney Gardens, the handsome Holburne Museum will soon borrow 23 of Canaletto’s Venice paintings from Woburn Abbey and put them on public view elsewhere for the first time in more than 70 years (begins January 22, £11).
Elsewhere, and starting on March 29, get a taste of Shoephoria, as Bath’s Fashion Museum depicts evolving shoe tastes over the past three centuries, featuring more than 3,000 pairs from its collection (£9.50).
And due to open in time for Easter, spooky Mary Shelley’s House Of Frankenstein is a four-floor multi-sensory immersive experience devoted to the novelist and her monstrous creation.
Rural luxury with a twist
Three miles south, hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor have just debuted the Mallingford Mews: ten charismatic and luxurious garden bedrooms on their Homewood Hotel & Spa country house estate.
Some boast hot-tub terraces and Avon Valley views, with all – from their quirky artworks and vibrant wallpaper down to the doorknobs – devised by Ian.
‘Each has its own personality but always with warm palettes,’ he says. ‘I’ve also tried to provoke conversation by finding and featuring unusual objects, such as wooden Kokeshi dolls from Japan.’
From £199 room only, including afternoon tea.
Another new, more central, place to stay is South Parade’s Hotel Indigo, typifying the chain’s brightly designed, boutiquey style (from £128 B&B).
Inside its Georgian townhouse, amid dark green panels and wooden floors, The Elder is a restaurant that sees chef Mike Robinson let loose.
Co-owner of Fulham’s Harwood Arms, Robinson is famed for his creative meat cookery – hence The Elder’s venison-infused mash, hare faggots and treacle-cured steaks (three courses from £35).
Though there are some omnivorous plates, vegetarian and vegan readers might prefer heading to recently arrived gastropub The Moorfields, where an array of options includes Thai sweetcorn burgers beside chilli jam and skinny fries (mains from £13).
An amble with appetite
Tour & Taste is the latest offering from Ginger Bird Explores, Bath’s specialist in food-and-drink walking tours.
It’s a 90-minute stroll, which according to the Ginger Bird herself (aka Anthea Keeping), ‘visits key points of interest plus amazing hidden gems, stopping three times for tasty nibbles or tipples along the way’.
Expect fascinating anecdotes as well as foodie tips. The tour costs £22.50pp with dates to be announced soon.
As well as its honey-stoned Georgian facades, Bath has Roman history too – including its legendary spa complex. Though the original Sacred Spring and Bath House can be toured, bathing isn’t permitted.
For that, one must make for the newer Thermae Bath Spa’s two natural pools, which receive the same mineral-rich waters. Just like at the museum, prices are slightly cheaper on weekdays (£35) than weekends (£40) – and the crowds will be thinner to boot.
Be aware of tier restrictions before planning any visits.
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