Bath is arguably Britain’s most beautiful city. Founded by the Romans, who used the area’s thermal springs to create a spa retreat, it’s now the premier tourist attraction of southwest England. It’s also celebrated for its magnificent Georgian architecture, with grand squares and crescents defining the city.
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Start at the beginning with the Roman Baths complex, which is divided into four main parts: the Bath House, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple and the museum, which displays fascinating finds from the ruins. Next, have a wander around Bath Abbey, a huge medieval church that you can climb to the top of. The Marlborough Tavern gastropub serves seriously impressive, substantial dishes.
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If you have time, it’s worth staying in Bath for the weekend. Wander the streets, enjoy the architecture, including two of the city’s Georgian masterpieces – Pulteney Bridge and the Royal Crescent – and take time to relax in Thermae Bath Spa.
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Direct trains travel from London Paddington twice an hour, and the journey time is about an hour and a half. Driving takes around two and a half hours, but traffic around the city is often heavy, and parking is very limited.