Follow this itinerary for a successful day trip to Bath from London. Learn how to get there, places to visit in Bath, my favorite coffee shops, and more. This is one of my favorite day trips from London and is easy to do on your own!
Every time I visit London, I plan at least one day trip to get out of the city and experience something a bit different. Narrowing down my options hasn’t always been easy.
When researching the best London day trips, the results either list 10 plus options or don’t provide enough information to sell a certain destination. The last thing you want is to waste time traveling too far or visiting a so-so destination. If you're in the same situation and are thinking about a day trip to Bath...you've chosen well.
Bath is one of my favorite day trips from London and I can't recommend it enough!
It's easy to get to and just big enough to fill a days worth of sightseeing. Stick to this day trip to Bath itinerary and you'll hit all the top attractions.
This map shows all the top places to visit in Bath, England. Click the icon in the very top left to see a list view of each pinned location. Click the top right button to enlarge the map. Click the star to save to your own Google Maps account. To access this map once saved (after clicking the star), open Google Maps (on your phone/computer/tablet), click the menu button, go to "your places", select "maps", and you will see this map listed.
- Blue - must-visit Bath sights
- Red - coffee shops, lunch, cream tea
Is Bath worth visiting
First things first...is Bath worth visiting? My answer is YES!
Bath is as picturesque as can be. The Georgian architecture presents a well-preserved and stately city. As a whole, Bath is very clean, walkable, and charming. While it can get crowded from day trippers, it's still a nice change from busy London.
Bath is just the right size for a leisurely day trip from London. It's not overwhelming and you can easily see all the top sights in a day and still have time for lunch and a few coffee breaks.
Out of all the day trips from London that you can easily do on your own via train, Bath makes the top 3 (for me). Cambridge, Windsor, and Bath are my favorite.
Getting to Bath from London
Direct trains run from London Paddington to Bath Spa every 30 minutes. The journey takes less than 1.5 hours each way and is non-stop. Getting to Bath from London is quick, painless, and easy.
If you buy your tickets early (you can book 12 to 24 weeks in advance) you can find them for around £60 roundtrip.
The train station in Bath is smack dab in the city center...a mere 5-minute walk from the Roman Baths and the Bath Abbey. It’s an easy and safe walk.
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How much time to spend in Bath, England
A day trip to Bath from London will require an entire day. Plan on spending a minimum of 6 hours in the city. Preferably 8 hours. This will give you enough time to see the sights below, allow you time to wander the streets, enjoy a quick meal, and one or two coffee stops.
Places to visit on a day trip to Bath from London
The first stop on this day trip to Bath itinerary is the Roman Baths. It's one the most popular things to do in Bath and is what gave the city its name after all. The original baths were built around 70 AD and are one of the best-preserved Roman sights in the world.
Tickets are £23.50 for a weekday visit and £26 for a weekend visit with varying discounts for students, families, etc. Supplement your visit with the included (and very well done) audio guide to get the full story of this ancient sight.
The Roman Baths are most crowded in the afternoon from day trippers, specifically 11:00 to 3:00, so try to go as early or late as possible. Double-check opening times as they vary throughout the year. Typically, the Roman Baths open at 9:00 am (9:30 am in the winter).
I book the earliest train to Bath in order to arrive as close to opening time as possible.
Avoid wasting time in line and buy your tickets online in advance. Plan to spend around 2 hours here.
Bath is a stunning and wonderfully preserved Georgian city with beautiful architecture and an interesting history. Take a walking tour to fully appreciate the story of this city.
The Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides gives outstanding 2-hour tours of the city for free! Tips are not accepted and the quality of guides and information is top-notch. Tours begin at 10:30 and 2:00 every day except Saturday, which only has one tour time at 10:30 (double check times as they can change). The meeting point is conveniently located right outside of the Roman Baths with a sign “free walking tours start here”.
This will also take you through some nice areas and streets that you may want to make a note of to explore further after the tour. This is a great introduction to the city and should be on the top of your list of what to do in Bath.
As with most free tours, you never know how big your group will be since you don't sign up in advance and they can't limit how many people show up. Check out these options if you'd prefer to book a tour:
- Walking Tour of Bath with Blue Badge Tourist Guide - max of 25 people
- Roman Baths and Bath City Walking Tour - max of 15 people
- Best of Bath Walking Tours - Georgian Tour - max of 12 people
The site of Bath Abbey has a long history as it’s been a place of Christian worship since 757 AD. The current Abbey you see today is actually the third to be built here. The biggest claim to fame of this sacred ground is that King Edgar (the first king of all England) was crowned here.
The service used for King Edgar set the precedent for the coronation ritual we see to this day with the Kings and Queens of England. Along with the Roman Baths, this is one of the top places to visit in Bath.
The £10 50-minute guided tour is more than worthwhile and will give you an inside look at the Abbey. If you can time it right, I highly recommend doing the tour vs visiting on your own.
You’ll see the ringing room and bell chamber, have a look behind the clock face, and climb 212 steps to see beautiful views of the city below and a peek at the Roman Baths from above. The tour schedule is not listed online and can only be booked via the welcome desk at the Abbey. Typically they are every hour 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Regular entrance is £6.50 (additional £3.50 for the audioguide).
Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House and Museum
Now would be the perfect time to stop for lunch or a cream tea on this day trip to Bath itinerary. For a traditional experience, there's no better place than Sally Lunn's. Known as a "world famous tea and eating house", it makes for a memorable stop to try the famous Bath Bunn among other English dishes.
I recommend ordering the Sally Lunn cream tea which comes with a toasted and buttered Sally Lunn Bunn, strawberry jam, clotted cream, and tea.
No. 1 Royal Crescent and The Circus
Next up on our day trip to Bath itinerary is a visit to the No. 1 Royal Crescent Museum. It's a 13-minute walk from Bath Abbey or Sally Bunn's to the Royal Crescent.
The museum will give you an inside look at how the rich and famous lived back in the 1700s. No. 1, as its name suggests, is the first house in a crescent of 35 Georgian townhomes…some of the priciest real estate in the city.
The rooms are decorated and furnished to look as they would have from 1776-1796. Wander through bedrooms, servants’ quarters, the kitchen, and parlor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to the docents. They are filled with information on how people lived during this time period and the fascinating quirks and details about life in the Georgian era.
No. 1 Royal Crescent is open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 to 5:30 and tickets are £15. While walk-in visits are available, they are extremely limited, so I would book your time slot in advance.
Don’t forget to step outside when you’ve finished your visit to see the entire crescent and admire its uniformity.
Walk 3 minutes to see The Circus. Similar to the Royal Crescent except that it’s a circle of townhomes instead of a semi-circle.
From The Circus, walk 10 minutes to Pulteney Bridge. Cross the bridge and walk down the steps and along the river to get the best views of Bath. The bridge is (kind of) similar to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence with shops and buildings along both sides. If you’re looking for that Instagram shot, this is your spot.
Another beautiful view of the Pulteney Bridge is from the Parade Gardens. While the £2 fee to enter the gardens is annoying, they are well manicured and a nice spot to relax and enjoy the views.
Best coffee shops in Bath, England
I'm sure you'll want a few coffee breaks during this day trip to Bath itinerary. I've made sure to include spots located by popular sights so you aren't going out of your way. These are my favorite coffee shops in Bath and are perfect for a coffee and snack:
- Society Cafe - I love the location at Kingsmead Square. There's patio seating in a pretty square. The other location on High Street is close to Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths.
- The Colombian Company - close to the Roman Baths.
- CASCARA - vegan cafe.
- Pulteney Bridge Coffee Shop - while the quality is so-so, it's a fun location inside the bridge.
- Boston Tea Party - great for brunch.
***Thermae Bath Spa (New Royal Bath)***
Looking to take a dip in the same thermal waters that the Romans enjoyed over 2,000 years ago? You have two main options in Bath. Thermae Bath Spa (now called New Royal Bath) is the only natural thermal spa in the UK and it will cost you a pretty penny to enjoy. A two-hour weekday visit will cost £40 and a weekend visit will be £45.
You’ll have access to the open-air rooftop pool, the indoor Minerva bath, and the wellness suite with a steam room, infrared room, ice chamber, and more.
Skip the Cross Bath. It's £40 for 1.5 hours to sit in a small, open-air, circular pool (think large hot tub).
Is it worth your time and money? My personal travel style says no…but I completely understand why some people make this a priority. Just keep in mind that a visit to the thermal baths on a day trip to Bath from London (as opposed to an overnight trip) will be pushing it time-wise.
If you decide to take a plunge in the mineral waters you will most definitely have to cut out a sight or two from above.
Shopping - Milsom Street
Those that whirled through this Bath itinerary and have extra time to shop will want to check out Milsom Street. This is the go-to shopping street in Bath and is also very picturesque.
Bath tour – visiting Bath as a combined tour from London
If you want to fit several sights into one day trip, there are plenty of tour companies that combine a day trip to Bath from London with one or two other stops.
I’ve visited Bath both on my own and with a combined tour. In a perfect world, you would spend an entire day in Bath, but if you’re short on time and want to fit a few more sights on your itinerary, a “bus” tour is a great option.
A combined tour will give you a quick taste of Bath. You won’t have time to see all the sights, but it’s a good option if seeing the stone circles like Stonehenge or Avebury are important.
I would stick with tours that operate with smaller vans like The English Bus or Rabbies. These tours will have a max of around 16 people versus the big bus tours that can easily have 30, 50, or more tourists.
I would also skip the tours that include Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle should be visited as a separate trip as it deserves more time than a quick stop on a combined bus tour. Being just 30 minutes from London by train, this is also a very easy half-day trip to do on your own.
If you don't have time for a separate day trip to Windsor, then I recommend this group tour Small-Group Day Trip to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor from London or this private tour Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Private Car Tour from London.
It makes more sense to pick a tour that includes a combination of Bath, the Cotswolds, and/or Stonehenge/Avebury. A tour with this combination will give you the most possible time in each location and won’t squeeze in several big and time-consuming spots in one trip…which just leads to rushing through each destination and not visiting them properly.
I did the Small Group Stonehenge, Bath and Secret Place Tour from London and can't recommend it enough. Probably one of the best day trips I have ever joined.
The below tours are with companies I like/have used before and combine worthwhile stops:
I hope this day trip to Bath itinerary helped you not only decide if this day trip is right for you but also how to plan your time.
Bath is an easy day trip to do on your own and is a nice change of pace from London. The entire city feels historic with its Georgian architecture and charming streets.
A day trip to Bath will reward you with picturesque streets, quaint cafes, fascinating sights, and a very interesting history. It won’t be hard to fill an entire day’s worth of tourist sights and activities!
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