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, the Roman Baths will reopen on 17th May, subject to Government guidance, letting you walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors at the multi-award-winning, immersive attraction. Pre-booking will be required to 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.
Thermae Bath Spa
Thermae Bath Spa is now open. Visitors will once again be able to bathe in Bath’s natural thermal waters and enjoy a range of specially selected spa packages. Measures have been put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of guests and staff. Please see their website for available services and facilities.
No.1 Royal Crescent
No.1 Royal Crescent, the museum at the end of one of Bath's most iconic landmarks, plans to reopen on Wednesday 2nd June with a brand-new immersive experience. Enjoy a remarkable audio-visual tour allowing you to see life as it was lived in Georgian Bath during the late 1700s.
The Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum plans to reopen on 17th May, but their Garden Cafe is currently open for outdoor food and drink. Boasting a collection of fine and decorative art, there will be lots to check out in the galleries in May. Exhibition programmes in the pipeline later this year include Canaletto: Painting Venice, Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld and Thomas Lawrence 1779–1791: Coming of Age.
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 will open again for sightseeing and visiting on 17th May, with distancing and hygiene measures being observed.
Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Reopening from 19th May, a brand-new audio tour is available at the Herschel Museum, bringing the house to life with stories about how the Herschel family lived and worked in Bath, exploring their contributions to science and music during their time in 19 New King Street. Also new for 2021 is an audio-visual guide for children; kids can 'meet' Caroline Herschel as she takes them around her home and helps them to explore the home and collections, encouraging their own discoveries.
Beckford's Tower and Museum
Opening by appointment from 17th May, book a guided tour or self-led visit at Beckford's Tower. Follow in the owner, William Beckford's, footsteps, and explore the museum displaying original furniture that has been found and brought back to the Tower, alongside paintings, prints and objects, illustrating William's controversial life. Visitors can also climb the spiral staircase to the beautiful Belvedere and experience the spectacular, panoramic views.
City Sightseeing Bus Tours
Currently operating again, hop on one of City Sightseeing’s red double-deckers to see Bath’s landmarks in one go. Their fleet have implemented a number of measures, including social distancing and hand sanitisers, to ensure a safe trip. Book your tickets online to enjoy their two brilliant routes, City and Skyline.
American Museum & Gardens
The only museum outside the United States to showcase the country’s fascinating decorative arts, the American Museum & Gardens' café, play area and gardens are currently open. While the Museum and exhibition remain closed (planning to reopen on 17th May), takeaway service is available from the café, and the grounds remain as stunning as ever, making for a relaxing family day out.
Museum of Bath Architecture
The Museum of Bath Architecture reopens by appointment on 17th May. Using maps, designs, drawings, videos, paintings and tools, including a 1:500 scale model of Bath which gives a miniature, bird's-eye view of the whole city, you can discover Bath’s famous architectural treasures including the iconic Royal Crescent and The Circus, before seeing them for real just a short walk away.
Bath Walking Tours
Having been certified as ‘Good To Go’ by VisitEngland, Bath Walking Tours opened for socially distanced tours of Bath on 12th April. 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. They also offer special Bridgerton tours, taking in the Netflix filming locations, operating on a daily basis.
Iford Manor Gardens
A family-run idyll just seven miles south of Bath, Iford Manor Gardens are ideal for a peaceful escape. Located close to Bradford-on-Avon, the tranquil gardens are Grade I listed and make for a beautiful space to enjoy and recharge; their newly restored cloister recently won the prestigious 2020 Sotheby’s Restoration Award.
Having opened at the start of April, visit with family or friends and look forward to their new café and restaurant opening in May to offer lunches, afternoon tea and snacks. Capacity to the gardens is limited, so remember to book your ticket in advance to guarantee entry.
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 reopened their doors on 12th April 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. Booking is essential: 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 reopened on 12th April, subject to Government restrictions, for small exclusive balloon rides. They hope to resume shared balloon flights from 17th May. All 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 & Gardens. Set in the Wiltshire countryside and home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, the 100 acres of stunning landscaped gardens are open daily for visitors from 11am to 5pm. With the Adventure Playground open now, it’s the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. The team hope to reopen Bowood House on 17th May.
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 are open to visitors once again from 10am until 6pm, and the Palace plans to reopen from 17th May.
Museum of Bath at Work
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 plans to reopen from 17th May, 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. Their Station Cafe is back open offering takeaway food and drink every day from 9am to 3pm. They plan to re-run their train schedule soon.