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Summertime in Bath

Bath is beautiful whatever the weather, but it’s even more glorious during the summer months. Bath’s Georgian architecture comes into its own when the stone shimmers gold in the summer sun and the city’s leafy parks burst into colour.  

From following ancient footsteps around The Roman Baths by flickering torchlight to spending balmy evenings dining alfresco, there are plenty of ways to enjoy long summer days in Bath. Book a stay in one of Bath's elegant townhouses, family-friendly farmhouses or city-centre hotels, and enjoy making summer memories as you explore this unique city.

Whether you’re looking to roam the great outdoors, embrace the festival spirit or enjoy a family fun day out in the sun, Bath is the ideal place for a summer staycation.

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Botanical Bath

Bath is a green city, with plenty of pretty gardens to explore.

Take a stroll through Royal Victoria Park and you will come across the Botanical Gardens. Formed in 1887, winding walkways lead you past elegant trees, herbaceous borders, a rock garden and Roman Temple. Take a seat on one of the many benches dotted around and enjoy a little peace and quiet.

Head towards the River Avon to find the beautifully manicured Parade Gardens bordered by vibrant flower beds and with amazing views of Pulteney Bridge. Choose a deckchair to enjoy one of the regular summer concerts in the bandstand and treat yourself to a light lunch or cream tea from the charming café.

SouthGate Bath has been transformed into a secret garden for the summer months with wisteria walkways, wildflower planters and grassy mounds to relax on. Walk under the colourful floral arches and see how many wicker dragonflies and butterflies you can spot.

Situated behind The Holburne Museum at the end of Great Pulteney Street is Sydney Gardens, the oldest park in the city. Designed in the eighteenth century, Sydney Gardens has had many famous visitors over the years including Jane Austen, who lived directly opposite, and members of the Royal family. With access to the Kennet and Avon Canal, tennis courts and a children’s play area, there is plenty to do to keep all ages entertained during the summertime.

Set in a sweeping valley, Prior Park Landscape Garden offers magnificent views over the city, which act as the perfect backdrop to the stunning Palladian Bridge. Created by Bath entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph Allen with advice from poet Alexander Pope and ‘England’s greatest gardener’ Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, Prior Park Landscape Garden is just a short distance from the city centre but you will feel like you're in the middle of the countryside.

For more captivating views of Bath’s skyline, head to Alexandra Park, a tranquil 11-acre park with mature trees and breathtaking panoramas of the city, surrounded by wooded vales and rolling hills. Whether it’s to take a stroll, walk the dog, enjoy a picnic or have family fun at the children’s playground, this leafy park offers something for everyone.

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Alfresco Dining

Savour sensational summer flavours in sun trapped gardens and soak up the buzz of the city. Boasting Bath’s biggest beer garden, The Boater’s weirside terrace is the place to be during the summer months, or escape the hustle and bustle at the Hare & Hounds, which is only a mile from town but feels like a world away in blissfully peaceful countryside with glorious views over Bath. The Locksbrook Inn is another popular summer spot; located on the canal with delicious pub grub and outside bar, it’s the kind of place you can easily while away a whole afternoon in the summer sunshine.

Green Park Station holds alfresco live music events throughout the summer. Enjoy the lively atmosphere under the vaulted ceiling of the covered station as you tuck into pizza with a pint or a prosecco for £10 at Bath Pizza Co.

Nothing says quintessential British summertime more than a traditional afternoon tea. For a sophisticated setting, enter the tranquil gardens of The Royal Crescent Hotel and choose from savoury and sweet options, or bring the whole family along and let the kids tuck into the children’s afternoon tea.

Take in the city’s stunning skyline over a refreshing glass of Pimm’s on the rooftop terrace of Hall & Woodhouse, and bring the evening to a close with a cocktail in Sub 13’s hidden garden.

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Family Fun

Beat summer holiday boredom by taking a trip to one of Bath’s many marvellous museums. Meet costumed characters at The Roman Baths, dress up in Georgian finery at the Fashion Museum and get crafty at Victoria Art Gallery. At The American Museum and Gardens kids can embark on a trail, solving riddles and learning about American history, or have a taster of the true summer camp experience with indoor and outdoor activities for all ages every Wednesday in August.

Little ones can get creative for free at The Edge with artist educator Victoria Willmott on 6th and 20th July or throughout August, pop into No.1 Royal Crescent to make an elegant Georgian bonnet or bicorn hat to take home.

Just outside the city, Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park is the perfect all-weather family day out with animals, tractor rides, indoor and outdoor play areas and wildlife walks to keep kids entertained.

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Summer Romance

Balmy summer evenings are ideal for spending with a loved one.

Thermae Bath Spa’s Twilight Package makes for the ultimate date night. Soak in the Minerva Bath, stop for a light dinner in the Springs Restaurant and watch the sun go down from the rooftop pool. Or, on a bright summer’s day, hire out the Cross Bath for your own private oasis in the middle of the city.

Immerse yourself in history with a torchlit visit to the Roman Baths followed by dinner at The Roman Baths Kitchen. The Roman Baths takes on a magical atmosphere once the daylight fades, the crowds disappear and the flickering torches are lit. Walk around the Great Bath where people bathed nearly 2,000 years ago, explore the displays in the East Baths and see the ruins of the temple of Sulis Minerva. Afterwards, tuck into a delicious three-course dinner for two at The Roman Baths Kitchen.

Alternatively, you can visit both of Bath's famous spas with a Spas Ancient and Modern package, which includes entry into the Roman Baths, a delicious three-course lunch or Champagne afternoon tea in the grand setting of the Pump Room, and a two-hour spa session at Thermae Bath Spa.

For a breathtaking experience, book a balloon flight over Bath. Feel the exhilaration as you take to the skies and the serenity of soaring through the air whilst enjoying stunning aerial views of the city below. 

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The Perfect Picnic

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic spots for a picnic in Bath, and no picnic is complete without a basket overflowing with tasty treats. Pick up provisions from one of Bath’s many independent delis or markets for a fabulous picnic feast. Make a Saturday morning trip to Bath Farmers’ Market at Green Park Station and fill your hamper with goodies.

Provisions packed, head to Royal Victoria Park for a picnic. Pick a shady spot beneath a tree, set down a rug on the grass or find a bench in the play area and let the kids run wild. In Alexandra Park, you can admire magnificent views over the city amongst mature trees or enjoy a spread in the sweeping valley of Prior Park Landscape Garden.

Closer to town you can treat yourself to a scoop or two of gelato from Swoon, and watch the world go by under the shade of an ancient tree in lively Kingsmead Square.

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The Great Outdoors

Summer is the perfect time to explore Bath’s leafy surroundings by foot or bike.

Explore on two wheels with one of Wild Swim Bike Run’s guided cycle tours. Whether you want to see the city’s historic side, get close to wildlife along the Kennet and Avon Canal or venture off-road into the countryside, rides are led by friendly, knowledgeable guides and are suitable for individuals or groups of all levels.

Experience the tranquillity of the Kennet and Avon Canal at a relaxed pace by hiring a Bath Narrowboat for the day. With each boat holding between six and ten people, enjoy a day out with family or friends and float past flower-strewn water meadows, stopping off at country pubs along the way.

For an outdoor activity with a difference, paddleboard along the River Avon with Original Wild. Experience that exhilarating feeling and enjoy a unique view of Pulteney Bridge from the water or try your hand at one of their other unforgettable experiences, including raft building, canoeing, kayaking, climbing and abseiling.

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Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation

Summer memories are made through time spent in our wonderful parks and green spaces in and around the city, and Visit Bath is proud to be working with the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation.  

A new charity aiming to ensure a bright future for our local parks, they want to encourage more people to enjoy these special places, whether as a space to run free, to spend time outdoors with friends and family or just to escape the urban environment. With growing awareness of the impact of green space on our health and wellbeing, parks are increasingly recognised as important for everyone.

Following in the footsteps of the pioneers who shaped our city’s parks heritage, the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation aims to make parks better places to meet, play, learn, grow, breathe and enjoy nature.

Find out more about the Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation and how to support the charity here.

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Travelling to Bath

Skip the traffic and travel to Bath car-free this summer by taking the train; simply sit back and enjoy the countryside views as you arrive in Bath's green setting.

Bath Spa Station is situated within walking distance of all of the city's main attractions, and Bath's compact layout makes exploring on foot a breeze.

Great Western Railway serves the city and South West region with regular high-speed trains from London Paddington, taking just 90 minutes to deliver you to the heart of Bath.

Plan ahead and pick up one of their inexpensive advance fares for your summertime trip. 

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Summer Stay

There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from in the city so you can find the perfect base for enjoying Summertime in Bath.

Conveniently located in the city centre and recently refurbished, YMCA Bath offers affordable, family-friendly accommodation. If you’d like flexibility to come and go as you please and cook for yourself, there are a variety of comfortable self-catered properties like Panda Sanctuaries’ stylish holiday homes, or enjoy family hospitality and the freshest of local food with a break at Fern Cottage, just 15 minutes from Bath and with plenty of space for little ones to run free.

If you’re feeling indulgent, book into Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, a grand country house a short drive from Bath or, Grade II listed and set within 20 acres of private grounds, Bailbrook House has stunning views over the city and the surrounding countryside.

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