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Discover Independent Bath

For a break with a difference, discover Bath, a city with independent spirit flowing through its veins.

Bath has long been a city bursting with independent makers, artisans, business owners and craftspeople. It must be something in the mineral-rich water that makes Bath so proudly unique!

Just as you won’t find another city in Britain where you can bathe in natural thermal springs, Bath has an assortment of shops, cafés and restaurants that can’t be found elsewhere.

The city’s independent retailers and restaurants make shopping and dining in Bath truly special. From the alternative Artisan Quarter to a covered market in a restored train station, each area has its own distinctive character.

Book a stay, and become acquainted with the city’s many personalities, by exploring Independent Bath.  

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Celebrating Independent Businesses

To showcase Bath's diverse independent scene, Visit Bath commissioned local artist Jessica Palmer to paint an Independent Bath artwork. Jessica created a celebratory scene, painted on a reclaimed Victorian door, showing a variety of creative craftspeople and reflecting the eclectic fabric of the city. 

Artist Jessica Palmer said, “This project was the perfect opportunity for me to combine design, painting and a touch of collage. The brief asked for a colourful, vibrant image which would spark interest in Bath's independents. The finished artwork features glass blowing, cocktail mixing, cheese making, bookselling and much more, with decoupaged references to traditional crafts and the history of Bath.”

The finished piece will now be auctioned to raise funds for We Get It, a local organisation who provide much-needed support and information for people in Bath dealing with cancer.

The artwork is touring Bath's independent businesses, and can currently be found in the American Museum and Gardens. Make sure to drop by and take a closer look! 

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Unique Boutiques

Support local businesses and treat yourself to a handmade treasure at one of Bath's many independent shops.

Milsom Street is a real fashion runway, with a host of shops and boutiques offering high-end fashion, gifts and interiors. Step into one of the very best independent bootmakers, DuoBoots, or peruse designer Chantal Pilon’s limited-edition shoes and handbags crafted using fine leathers at her shop Chanii B in Milsom Place.

At the top of Milsom Street, browse a cluster of independent retailers along George Street, from exquisite jewellery at Noha’s Art, reams of colourful fabric at V V Rouleaux, or lose yourself in the bookshelves of Topping & Company.

Since the 1960s, London Road and Walcot Street have been affectionally known as Bath’s Artisan Quarter, due to the area’s alternative spirit and vibrant collection of characterful independents. The ‘Brooklyn’ of Bath, you can find everything from vintage dresses to quirky artwork.

In the heart of Bath lies a treasure trove of independent shops and cafés. Resembling a Parisian arcade, The Corridor has been a prime shopping spot since 1825, whilst Bath’s oldest shopping venue, Guildhall Market, is overflowing with stallholders selling everything you might need, all under one roof.

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A Taste of Independence

Discover Bath's thriving independent food scene, from street food to Michelin stars.

Fast becoming a foodie hub in Bath, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to street food in Kingsmead Square. Enjoy luxury authentic Thai cuisine from Thai Balcony and, just a few doors down, satisfy a sweet tooth with a scoop or two of artisan gelato from Swoon.

Take a break from shopping at Good Day Café, one of Bath’s newest, dog-friendly spots for brunch or a slice of cake. Their bright pink beetroot lattes are a must-try and match the neon sign wishing you a good day. At Champagne o’clock, seek out French bistro Comptoir+Cuisine for bubbles perfectly paired with cheeses and charcuterie. 

Housed in a beautifully restored Arts and Crafts former church house, tuck into contemporary Italian cuisine in the sophisticated setting of Aqua Restaurant and Bar or for pizza in a relaxed setting, book a table at Dough, where you can choose from a wide variety of bases and toppings.

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Makers and Workshops

Bath is home to an impressive and diverse mix of artisan makers. Ceramics artist Julia Davey stocks her range of handmade products including tableware, jewellery and accessories in her shop on Bear Flat, where she also holds intimate workshops for small groups looking to learn a new crafting skill, from weaving to brush lettering. 

The Artisan Quarter is home to Bath Aqua Glass’ Studio where they invite you to watch their beautiful hand-blown pieces be made and you can even have a go yourself at one of their workshops. Situated just outside the city, Bath Soft Cheese produce their delicious, award-winning organic cheeses by hand using milk from their own herd of cows on their farm in Kelston.

For something special and sparkly, head to Northumberland Place to browse Nicholas Wylde’s collection of magpie-worthy jewellery that has been winning him awards since he set up his business in the South West 30 years ago or commission a bespoke piece that will be made and designed on the premises.

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Marvellous Markets

Browse fresh, local produce and artisan delights at one of Bath's markets.

Discover flourishing covered markets loved by locals under the vaulted glass ceiling of Green Park Station. Once Bath’s main railway station, the remarkable restored building provides space for local businesses and monthly markets.

Shop for the pick of the best local and organic produce at the Saturday morning Bath Farmers’ Market, meet amazing artisans and artists from the South West at Bath Artisan Market, and discover timeless glamour at the monthly Vintage and Antiques Market (on the last Sunday of the month). With second-hand furniture to swoon over, paintings to pounce on and collectables to cough up the cash for, you will struggle to walk away empty-handed.

Don’t miss the popular Saturday flea market in Bath’s Artisan Quarter, ideal for searching out preloved bargains, including crockery, clothes, books and trinkets you never even knew you wanted. 

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Stay Independent

With so many independent shops, cafés and restaurants to explore in Bath, it’s a good idea to stay overnight. Complete the Independent Bath experience by picking from one of the city’s many boutique hotels, characterful bed and breakfasts or one-of-a-kind self-catering apartments.

Tucked away on a cobbled side street in the city centre, Harington’s Hotel oozes style with statement feature walls in each of its uniquely designed bedrooms or, for a warm welcome, check into Three Abbey Green, a family-run guesthouse where their freshly cooked breakfasts are guaranteed to put a spring in your step to start the day. If you’d like some privacy, One Hot Bath Street is a self-catering apartment brimming with Georgian elegance and provides a convenient base for exploring independent Bath on foot.

Independently-owned and set in three Grade-I listed Georgian townhouses, No.15 Great Pulteney is a stylish hotel full of surprises and curiosities. Eight, the aptly-named boutique hotel, has eight charming rooms and eight seasonal dishes on the menu, and Brooks Guesthouse serves delicious breakfasts using the best locally-sourced organic ingredients.

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We Get It

Visit Bath are proud to support We Get It, a newly-formed cancer support group run by people who have experienced cancer or are still being treated.

We Get It offer help to those at all stages in their cancer journey, whether they’ve just been diagnosed or are adjusting to life after treatment, as well as everyone who has been touched by cancer, including patients and carers.

As part of their support, We Get It run nutritional and exercise regimes with workshops, talks and advice tailored to cancer patients. From eating well to exercising and accessing your local cancer community, these support groups not only provide valuable guidance but bring cancer patients and former patients together in the Bath area so that they can make new friends and share their experiences.

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From Our Blog

Independent Bath

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Six Independent Foodie Spots in Bath

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Explore the Brooklyn of Bath — Savouring Bath’s Guide to Walcot

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Cycle through City and Country in Bath

Whether you’re a road cyclist, mountain biker, triathlete, cycle tourist or just enjoy the freedom and fun a couple of hours on a bicycle provides, Bath has it all. Darroch Davidson from Wild Swim Bike Run recommends three cycling options to enjoy in and around the city...

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Shop Independent – Stores You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Bath is absolutely brimming with independent retailers who are proud to show off their handmade and often bespoke clothes, shoes, accessories and homewares, that you just can't find anywhere else! Here's the lowdown on some of Bath’s most unmissable indie stores...

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A lovely way to become familiar with Bath and its history is to immerse yourself in stories set in the beautiful city, or written by authors who lived and wrote in Bath. Here, Diane from Bookbarn International introduces us to five books with a novel Bath connection...

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