Studies suggest that learning something new can actually make you feel happier, and with that in mind we have uncovered a few of Bath’s hidden gems and secret stories. Discover some of this spa city’s lesser known sights next time you visit Bath, and feeling good will follow.
1. Venture Beneath the Baths
Undoubtedly the city’s most visited attraction is the ancient Roman Baths, but deep underneath the baths run a series of meandering tunnels that date back centuries. The Roman Baths offer a select few Tunnel Tours to explore this underground treasure-trove, so don your comfy shoes and make sure to book early as places are limited.
2. Discover a Hidden High Street
Arriving at the train station, the majority of visitors venture north into Bath city centre, but just behind the station and across the Halfpenny Bridge lies Widcombe Parade, a charming street that runs towards Prior Park and features a number of great eateries, pubs, cafés and shops – definitely worth a look.
3. Stroll Through Sydney Pleasure Gardens
Tucked away behind the iconic Holburne Museum at the top of Great Pulteney Street, Sydney Pleasure Gardens was a favourite haunt of both royalty and famous Bath resident Jane Austen during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Explore the 12 acres of landscaped lawns on foot or simply gaze out at the view from The Holburne’s contemporary glass-walled Garden Café.
4. Stay in The Circus
The iconic architecture of The Circus is no secret, but did you know that you can stay there? Set atop Circus House, Circus House Apartment sleeps up to four people and boasts bird’s eye views over the surrounding Georgian buildings – an ideal hideaway right in the centre of Bath.
5. Find the Fake Castle
Ever wished you could improve the view from your living room window? Well back in the 1700s you could do just that – and so began the fad of the folly, a building constructed just for decoration. Bathampton’s Sham Castle only has three sides, and was constructed to 'improve the prospect' from the townhouse of famed philanthropist and entrepreneur Ralph Allen.
6. Explore Secret Stone Circles
Okay, so we’ve all heard of Stonehenge, but have you heard of Stanton Drew? Less than 30 minutes’ drive from Bath, the Stanton Drew stone circles site is one of the largest prehistoric monuments in the country. If you fancy a nice walk, stop at Pensford, and stroll across the weir, under the viaduct and along the banks of River Chew to get there. Afterwards, enjoy a cold drink or hearty lunch at the charming Druid’s Arms pub.