Guides

Arts and Culture in Bath

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Bath has always showcased a strong love for the arts, evident in its many galleries which range from sumptuous international collections to tiny independent stores. The city itself can feel like an open air museum – much of it is a World Heritage Site thanks to its rich Roman history and gorgeous Georgian architecture.

 

Historic landmarks

 

Wherever you walk in Bath you’re bound to stumble across a historic landmark. Despite Bath being bombed in the war, much of the city centre has maintained its glossy, Georgian design - elegant townhouses and terraces carved from honey-white stone. Hidden within some of these buildings you’ll find a much deeper and older heritage.

 

Roman Baths

 

Walk through an ornate 19th century façade dotted with graceful colonnades, and across a smooth marble floor, and begin your journey into the Roman Baths. This well-preserved site leads you past ancient relics - from Roman coins to bronze statues - to the baths themselves. Formed by natural hot springs, these aquamarine baths were established thousands of years ago and looks as majestic today.

 

Stall Street, Bath BA1 1LZ. Tel: +44 0 1225 477785

 

Roman Baths website

 

Art galleries

 

Looking for some artistic inspiration? Then check out Bath’s galleries. They will cater to all tastes, showcasing historic local collections which let you delve into 19th-century Bath, as well as contemporary avant-garde creations fit for the international stage.

 

The Holburne

 

Located in the vast, flower-flecked grounds of Sydney Pleasure Gardens, the Holburne is a hub of high culture. This immense Grade 1 listed building houses a permanent collection of fine and decorative art, including sculpture, porcelain, and paintings, while the top floor displays rotating contemporary exhibitions.

 

Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB. Tel: +44 0 1225 388569

 

The Holburne website

 

Museums

 

As a city with so much enthralling history, it’s no wonder that Bath is home to wide variety of museums, which range across fashion, literature, and ancient heritage. The museums are spread throughout the city centre, as well as being dotted in the surrounding countryside of sloping hills and forests.
Jane Austen Centre

 

The Jane Austen Centre draws fans of the sparkling novelist from all over the world. The author of Pride and Prejudice lived and wrote in Bath, and was inspired by the city’s beauty and charm. Set within a period building, and displaying maps, costumes and all kinds of Austen items, this is a charming portal to the 1800s.

 

40 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT. Tel: +44 0 1225 443000

 

Jane Austen Centre website

 

 

Fashion Museum

 

For anyone interested in how Brits used to live and dress, Bath’s Fashion Museum is a must-see. Situated in the Assembly Rooms, an 18th century setting decorated with glistening chandeliers, the museum displays intricately embroidered clothing from across the epochs century, and spans the history of fashion up to the present day.

 

Bennett Street, Bath BA1 2QH. Tel: +44 0 1225 477789

 

Fashion Museum website

 

Churches

 

Bath’s skyline is strewn with spires, and when you’re walking through the winding streets, you’re guaranteed to find yourself gazing at the sublime stained glass and detailed facades of the city’s churches, temples, and chapels - the most stunning of which is undoubtedly the abbey.

 

Bath Abbey

 

With a remarkably tumultuous heritage dating back over to the 7th century, Bath Abbey is a monumental marriage of architectural styles, from the medieval angels that decorate its exterior to the mighty Victorian Gothic ceiling that spans its interior. After you’ve walked through its great halls, relax in the adjacent Abbey Square and enjoy a coffee while listening to the city’s buskers.

 

Bath, BA1 1LT. Tel: +44 0 1225 422462

 

Bath Abbey website