Bath’s attractions, parks and gardens are reopening, ready to welcome you back in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a selection in and around the city, but don’t forget to check in advance about visiting times, advance ticket purchase and what you need to know before you go.
The Roman Baths
With social distancing and safety measures in place, you're once again able to walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors at the Roman Baths, a multi-award-winning, immersive attraction. With pre-booking required, see one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, where 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water fills the bathing site each and every day.
The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum has been able to reopen following a successful crowdfunding initiative. Boasting a collection of fine and decorative art, plus the current exhibition, Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years, there’s lots to check out. Three more exhibition programmes are also in the pipeline, due to open from January 2021 – Canaletto: Painting Venice, Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld and Thomas Lawrence 1779–1791: Coming of Age – meaning there’s plenty to look forward to!
The site of Christian worship for over a thousand years, Bath Abbey has undergone many transformations, changes, architectural and religious reforms, and has survived a number of major conflicts, including two World Wars. Adding coronavirus to the list of changes the site has seen, the Abbey is still standing as an iconic city landmark, and is open again — with distancing and hygiene measures being observed.
City Sightseeing Bus Tours
Hop on one of City Sightseeing’s red double-deckers to see Bath’s landmarks in one go. Back in action, their fleet have implemented a number of measures, including social distancing and hand sanitisers, to ensure a safe trip. Though they are operating a reduced timetable, their two brilliant routes – City and Skyline – are still operational seven days a week, meaning you'll still get to glimpse Bath’s sights during your visit.
American Museum & Gardens
The only museum outside the United States to showcase the country’s fascinating decorative arts, the American Museum & Gardens has reopened much of its site. Their stunning gardens, special exhibition – Night & Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs – and main collection in Claverton Manor are all open and ready to welcome you back safely.
Bath Walking Tours
Having been certified as ‘Good To Go’ by VisitEngland, Bath Walking Tours are now offering Post-Lockdown Private Tours for up to six people. Hear about Bath’s history from expert and friendly Blue Badge Guides, whilst safe in the knowledge that all the necessary precautions are in place.
Herschel Museum of Astronomy
While the museum rooms are still closed, the Herschel’s garden has reopened for family solar and stargazing sessions over the summer holidays, with bookable, timed slots now available.
The Soul Spa
If the past few months have left you feeling mentally frazzled and in need of some relaxation, look no further than The Soul Spa. Continuing their online meditation sessions, which they ran throughout the lockdown period, they have also reopened their doors to offer therapies once again, from massages to reflexology – with all necessary safety measures being followed.
For some fresh air, head just nine miles north of Bath to the National Trust’s Dyrham Park. Whilst the seventeenth-century mansion is still closed, the expansive deer park, tranquil garden and kiosk have reopened – lush green spaces perfect for stretching your legs. Simply book your tickets by 3pm on the day before your visit.
Prior Park Landscape Garden and Bath Skyline
Another equally beautiful setting, the National Trust’s Prior Park sits in a sweeping valley above Bath, from which you can enjoy magnificent views in the ‘Capability Brown’-designed eighteenth-century garden. Again, book your tickets before 3pm on the day before your visit to enjoy a walk on the circular one-way route. Also close-by is the Bath Skyline, a six-mile circular walk in the countryside above the city which is free and open to enjoy, with social distancing measures required to be observed.
Take to the skies with Bailey Balloons and gain a new perspective of Bath and the surrounding rolling countryside. The friendly local company are offering exclusive balloon flights for small ‘bubble’ groups of two to five people, making for the ideal socially distanced treat. All other new vouchers purchased are also valid for 12 months from when they resume flying.
Bowood House and Gardens
Pre-book your tickets in advance to visit the beautiful Bowood House – set in the Wiltshire countryside and home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne – and its 100 acres of stunning landscaped gardens. Open daily for visitors from 11am to 6pm, it’s the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens
Head to the historic city of Wells, a short drive from Bath, to visit The Bishop’s Palace. The Gardens, Chapel, Café and medieval Palace itself are all open to visitors once again, operating a one-way system and other measures to ensure you can enjoy your trip safely.
Museum of Bath at Work
Having been working hard behind the scenes to clean, preserve and care for their unique collection, plus put safety measures in place, the Museum of Bath at Work is open every afternoon from 1:30pm–5pm, offering a fascinating look at Bath's working heritage, spanning 2,000 years.
Avon Valley Railway
Visit Avon Valley Railway, just outside Bath, in Bitton, to see a lovingly restored section of the Midland Railway branch line. They are running a limited timetable of trains during weekends in August, plus the three-day bank holiday weekend, and are working towards offering more in the coming months. Tickets need to be booked in advance and each family group will be seated in separate compartments.
No.1 Royal Crescent
No.1 Royal Crescent is due to reopen in August for pre-booked, timed-ticketed visits. A specific date is to be confirmed — check their listing and website for more details in due course.