Our city guide to Bath

Bath is a city of unrivalled charm and beauty harbouring a rich history waiting to be explored. With foundations built in Roman times and a rebirth in the Georgian era, today the entire city has been granted UNESCO world Heritage status.

Nestling in the rolling wooded hills of the Avon Valley Bath is located close to Bristol, but holds an altogether more tranquil atmosphere. The lazy river flows through peaceful gardens and between stunning works of architecture which offer treats and surprises around each corner.

The city dates back to around 850 BC when the inhabiting Romans discovered natural water hot springs in the area. They quickly inhabited to make use of the sacred waters and their perceived healing and therapeutic properties. The Aquae Sulis, which dates back to the first century, was once considered one of the finest bathing stations of the Roman Empire and attracted visitors from across Europe. Today it remains magnificently preserved, and along with adjoining museum and stunning collections of Roman artefacts, continues to attract visitors from far and wide.

The city was inhabited by different peoples throughout the centuries, and maintains hallmarks from across the years including the stunning 16th century Bath Abbey which stands in a cobbled square adjacent to the Roman Baths. The city boomed however in the Georgian period of the 1700s when it experienced a resurgence as a spa town. It became an affluent hotspot for high society with residents including the likes of Thomas Gainsborough and Jane Austen who took inspiration from the city and set some of her novels here.

It is from this Georgian resurgence that Bath gains its unrivalled beauty; a stroll through the city's cobbled streets viewing her opulent Regency architecture leaves you feeling as if you have stepped in to one of Austen's novels. Wide terraces and crescents of honey-coloured stone-work and cast iron railings over look sweeping greens and garden squares; most notable is the circular Kings Circus and definitely worth a wander is the sweeping Royal Crescent offering magnificent hill top views over the valley. Also not to be missed is the intricate Pulteney Bridge which was designed taking inspiration from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Bath remains to this day an affluent city, its decadent streets offer some of the finest boutique shopping outside of London with a number of fashionable independent clothing and jewellery outlets. Noted for its grandeur, opulent architecture and rich heritage, Bath is fittingly one of only three cites (alongside Rome and Florence) to achieve World Heritage status and as such is not to be missed when exploring England.

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