I was taking my lunch break in Bath the other day when it struck me that most of the people in the city at any given moment are actually visitors, wandering about and stumbling upon the sights as they stroll around!
“I should write a blog post about visiting Bath”, I thought to myself.
So I did! And here’s another one! This time about what you should know before your visit.
1. Parking and traffic is terrible in Bath – so arrive with a plan!
The parking in Bath has always been bad. It’s slightly better than it used to be these days, but it’s still difficult to drive in and park on peak days.
If you want to park in the city centre, I’d reccomend the following:
|🅿️ Short stay||🅿️ Long stay|
|– Southgate (6hrs £9.60, 12-24hrs £16). Built right underneath the new Southgate shopping area, the Southgate car park is the best place to park in Bath, with stairs and lifts directly up to the main shopping street at the bottom of Bath’s city centre, near the station.|
– The Podium (6hrs £10). Also known as Waitrose Car Park, this is a short 5 minute walk from Milsom Street at the top of the city centre.
|– Charlotte Street (£15 per 24hrs ). A short 7-10 min walk to the centre, this is the largest car park in Bath, and the best value for long stays and multiple day parking.|
Even if you’re not staying in Bath for long, if you can’t find anywhere to park in any of the short stay car parks, this is a good bet.
Public transport really is often the best way to get in to Bath. The train station is directly opposite the Southgate shopping area at the bottom end of the city centre, so taking the train is a very convenient way to get in to Bath.
By far the cheapest way to park in Bath is to use the Park and Ride.
The journey time from all 3 Park and Ride sites is around 10 minutes to the centre of Bath.
Parking is free at the park and ride site. then bus tickets are only £3.20 return Monday to Friday and £2.50 at weekends.
You can leave your car at the car park for multiple days if you want, making this a good way to save money when visiting Bath!
2. Book a table at a restaurant in advance if you know where you want to eat
Bath can be extremely busy, especially on peak days, so if you know here you’d like to eat, it’s worth getting a table booked to avoid queueing.
3. Prepare for crowds
Bath can be a very busy place, often absolutely packed with tourists on peak days, all flocking to see the sights. The weeks before Christmas, especially during the Bath Christmas Markets are also extremely busy, so be prepaired!
The Roman Baths and the Thermae Bath Spa for example often have 1hr+ queues outside their entrances, whatever the weather.
I’d recommend having any tickets and reservations booked in advance if you can to avoid unnecessary queueing.
4. Try to avoid match days if you can
If you’re flexible on visiting dates, have a look on Bath Rugby’s website to see if they’re playing at home. Bath can become extremely busy on these days because of the influx of people!
5. Take your time!
Bath is a city, but it’s a very small one.
You can walk from Bath Spa Station in the south of the city centre, right through the centre up to the Circus in the north in 15 minutes.
Of course, there’s plenty to see on the way, but the fact is, Bath is a small place, especially the historic city centre.
Take your time when you’re wandering the streets of Bath, and be sure to explore the side streets and stop for coffee whenever you fancy – don’t rush around, you’ll miss so much!
Thanks for reading!
Do you have any tips for visiting Bath? Please share in the comments below.