Discover Bath: a city where the 18th and 21st Centuries meet
21st May 2010
Bath is the UK’s only entire city that is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its rich Roman and Georgian history and heritage conjure up images of Roman Baths, Jane Austen and 18th Century architecture. But behind its historic façade, is a lively 21st Century city just waiting to be explored. From the ancient to the modern, visit Bath and see two sides to this beautiful city.
18th Century Charm to 21st Century Chic
One of the reasons Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is because of its incredible architecture, which arguably, makes it one of the country’s most beautiful cities. From the Royal Crescent and Circus to Pulteney Bridge, around 5,000 listed buildings can be found – all constructed in golden Bath stone. When it comes to accommodation, visitors are spoilt for choice, with hotels like the Royal Crescent offering five star luxury set in the centre of the city’s architectural icon. And hiding behind historic Georgian townhouses a number of chic boutique hotels and guest houses can be found. The Queensberry Hotel is an independently run, boutique hotel with individually and stylishly designed rooms, offering the best of modern comfort. Just around the corner from Bath Abbey is The Halcyon, a new boutique hotel that opened earlier this year. The Halcyon offers a contemporary launch pad for exploring Bath with tip-top technology, luxury products, organic breakfasts and a cosy bed in an ideal city-centre location.
Party with Beau Nash to Party in the City
Bath has never been short of social gatherings and celebrations. Beau Nash arrived in Bath from London in 1703 and quickly became the Master of Ceremonies, organising social events for the Georgian gentry and Bath residents. The city has continued to offer the very best entertainment and has a brimming calendar of festivals and events, filled from January to December. The next major festival to take place is the Bath International Music Festival with a free event taking place on Friday 28 May, Party in the City. Bath is also home to several theatres, including the beautiful Georgian Theatre Royal, and entertainment venue Komedia, which provides an eclectic mix of events such as stand-up comedy, live bands, cabaret, cinema and club nights.
Traditional Tea to Tasty Thai
Bath is the home of two delicious buns – the Sally Lunn Bun and the Bath Bun – and is an ideal place to enjoy afternoon tea. At Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House, which is located in the oldest House in Bath, the Sally Lunn Bun is still made to the original, secret recipe and can be served with sweet or savoury accompaniments. Equally tasty is the Bath Bun which is available in the 18th Century Pump Room. Part of the Roman Baths complex, the Pump Room is open daily for lunch and afternoon tea and is the place where Bath’s spa water is drawn for drinking.
As well as its reputation for serving the quintessential British afternoon tea, Bath boasts a huge number of restaurants providing a choice of international cuisine. From Thai to Indian, Nepalese to Italian and Mediterranean to Moroccan – you’ll find just about everything in Bath. The city’s newest addition to the restaurant scene is Yo Sushi! which opened its doors last month. The cutting edge décor is perfect for YO! Sushi’s professionally trained sushi chefs who take centre stage to slice and dice everything in sight. Based on the concept of a ‘Kaiten’ sushi bar (conveyor belt), Yo Sushi! serves over 80 Japanese inspired items such as delicious soups, rice or noodle-based dishes, salads, tempura and hot classics like Chicken Katsu Curry, Salmon Teriyaki or Yakisoba noodles.
Roman Rendez-vous to Romantic Roof-top
The heart of the World Heritage Site can be found at the ancient Roman Baths which was once a magnificent temple and bathing complex. Extensive Roman remains can still be seen at the Roman Baths – one of the UK’s top attractions. The museum uses modern interpretation to tell the story of Roman life in Bath. Audioguides give a fascinating commentary and films and graphics, as well as real-life Roman characters really bring this amazing place to life.
Just a short walk away is Bath’s 21st Century answer to the Roman Baths: the Thermae Bath Spa. Recently voted as the best spa in the world, the Thermae Bath Spa blends historic spa buildings with contemporary design and uses the UK’s only natural thermal springs which the Romans and Celts once used thousands of years ago. The Spa features an impressive roof-top pool where bathers can relax and soak up wonderful views of Bath’s surrounding cityscape.
Georgian Fashionistas to Gorgeous Boutiques
Bath has always been a fashionable place to shop and was popular in the 18th Century with the Georgians fashionistas who wanted to keep up with the latest styles. Bath has recently been undergoing a major shopping transformation. At the top end of the shopping area is Milsom Place which has been completely refurbished. Its modern design has transformed it into a chic shopping and dining area nestled between Broad Street and Milsom Street. At the other end of the city centre is SouthGate, a development with favourite high street stores such as New Look, All Saints and H&M. SouthGate has been opening in phases and the last phase is due to open this autumn featuring a 125,000 sq ft Debenhams.
For more information about the different faces of Bath visit the city’s official tourism website www.visitbath.co.uk. A newly created section about Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage Status can be found at: www.visitbath.co.uk/worldheritage, including information about the city’s 18th Century architecture, Roman history and hot springs.
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Notes to Editors:
For further information or images to illustrate this information, please contact Lucy Weaver at Bath Tourism Plus on 01225 477441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bath Tourism Plus
Working with the public and private sectors, Bath’s destination marketing organisation, Bath Tourism Plus, takes full responsibility for co-ordinating the work of a busy tourist information centre, the marketing of Bath and the surrounding area to leisure and business travellers, PR activity to attract the nation’s top travel writers, a conference office, and development of Bath’s official destination website www.visitbath.co.uk. For more information about the services that Bath Tourism Plus offers to meetings, conference and incentive travel businesses, see www.bathconference.co.uk
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Since 1987 the city of Bath has been listed as a ‘cultural site’ with outstanding value and cultural significance by UNESCO. A dedicated section about Bath’s World Heritage Status can be found at: www.visitbath.co.uk/worldheritage.
Travel to Bath
Bath is easy to access from all over the UK and the world. High speed, direct train services operated by First Great Western link Bath Spa train station to London and its major airports. Bath Spa train station is well situated, just 5 minutes level walk into the city centre’s main shopping and tourist areas. See: www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk . Bath is easy to access by car, from junction 18 of the M4 motorway which links Bath to Bristol, London and South Wales. There are 3243 pubic car parking spaces in Bath with the main long stay car parks at Charlotte Street and Avon Street. There are three Park & Ride services on the outskirts of the city which operate fast, frequent services into the city centre, offering a hassle free, cost effective way of reaching the city centre. There is also a Park & Ride service that operates on Saturdays only from the University of Bath.