The golden city of Bath has been welcoming visitors for over 2,000 years. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Bath presents some of the finest architectural sights in Europe, such as the Roman Baths and Pump Room, the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and the Circus. The surrounding seven hills, the river Avon running through the heart of the city, and the towers of Bath Abbey combine to create a wonderful first impression.
Moreover, Bath takes a real pride in sharing its secrets and unique heritage, which can be explored in a variety of 40 museums, galleries, gardens and attractions. Yet Bath is very much alive and offers an intriguing mix of theatre, festivals, good restaurants, sporting excellence and quality shopping. Bath is framed between two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds and the Mendips. It is also the gateway to the lakes, valleys and villages of North East Somerset.
Alongside other World Heritage sites such as Salzburg and Florence, Bath is full of architectural masterpieces and curiosities. Bath has inspired the works of many great artists, writers, actors and musicians including Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Sir Walter Scott, Gainsborough, Handel and more recently, Alistair Cooke, Jan Morris and Peter Gabriel.
But it is Jane Austen who is most famously associated with Bath. She lived at 4 Sydney Place opposite the Holburne Museum, between 1801 and 1804. You can visit the places familiar to Jane Austen, such as Milsom Street, the Assembly Rooms and the Crescent as portrayed in "Northanger Abbey". Visit the Jane Austen Centre and gain a real insight into her life and inspirations. Film-makers come to Bath to recapture the authentic atmosphere of Jane's Regency England. "Persuasion", "Remains of the Day" and "House of Elliot" are just three of many productions filmed in the area.
At the heart of the city is the magnificent Bath Abbey. The present building has just celebrated its 500th anniversary but it was constructed over the site of a Saxon Monastery where the first King of England was crowned in 973. The fan vaulting and its vibrant colours are considered to be the finest in Britain. To discover the ecclesiastical history of Bath, take a journey through the Abbey Heritage vaults, which tell the story of 1600 years of Christianity.
Alongside the Abbey is the amazing Roman Baths complex, where you can experience over 2,000 years of history and see one of the finest ancient monuments in Europe. You can walk where Romans walked on ancient stone pavements and imagine the grandeur of Aquae Sulis, as Bath was called by the Romans. To see how Georgian Bath was created, take a look at the Building of Bath Museum in the Paragon. Number1 Royal Crescent has been authentically restored and furnished, it appears as it would have been when it was designed by John Wood as an 18th century town house.