Six of the best things to see and do in Bath, England

THERMAE SPA

Bath's healing, mineral-rich thermal waters have been used throughout history by the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Georgians, so why should you be any different? Situated in the heart of the city, Thermae Spa is a state of the art complex engineered for maximum relaxation. The main spa consists of two pools, one on the rooftop overlooking the city's stunning architecture and surrounding hills, the other an indoor marvel featuring flowing curves, structured columns and a whirlpool river. There's also a wellness suite with steam room, ice chamber, infrared room and more. Additional massage and spa treatments are also available with pre-booking. See thermaebathspa.com

THE PUBS

One of the great pleasures of travelling England is the sheer ubiquity of fantastic pubs. Nowhere is this more applicable than Bath; pubs are on every other corner. Favourites include the Raven, situated in a Georgian town house and famed for its sumptuous pies, and the Chequers, the place to go for a slap-up Sunday roast. Beer aficionados should hit the Bath Brew House, with its microbrewery onsite and extensive tap list, and those looking for the traditional cosy English pub vibe will love the King William. Other standouts include St James Wine Vaults, great for quiz nights, live music and draught ales and Coeur De Lion, Bath's smallest pub with stained glass windows, a front beer garden and a ye olde England air. See visitbath.co.uk/eating-and-drinking

OPEN-TOP BUS TOUR

Yes, it may be the epitome of a tourist activity but honestly there's no better way to see Bath than from the open-air seat of a double-decker bus. The hop-on, hop-off tour is super flexible; valid for 24-hours from first use, it comprises two main routes, the City and Skyline. Beginning at High Street, the tour takes in Bath's star attractions including the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, Victoria Park, Bath Abbey and more. Supplied headphones provide engaging anecdotal commentary detailing anything from the town's architecture to the reason Queen Victoria railed against the city following a Royal visit. And if you need a reprieve, you can always jump off for a swift ale and re-join the tour again later. See visitbath.co.uk

THE ARCHITECTURE

Bath's glorious buildings are famed throughout England, a fact reflected by its triumph in becoming the only entire city in Britain to achieve World Heritage status. Founded in the first century AD by the Romans, it became a vital post in the wool trade of the Middle Ages but really came into its own under Georgian rule throughout the 18th century, flourishing as an elegant spa city associated with art and high culture. The legacy remains, with the pervasive Bath Stone (a form of limestone) lending a uniformly historic charm echoing the legacy of both Roman and Georgian rule.

THE RUGBY

Rugby has always been synonymous with Bath; ever since the club's inception in 1865 the sport has been entrenched in the culture and Bathonians don't take the club's performances lightly. If your visit falls over a home-match day, be sure to get a ticket, the stadium is located in the city centre right beside the River Avon and the atmosphere on game night is electric. Widely regarded as the most successful amateur club side in English history throughout the 1980s and '90s (before the game turned pro), Bath are now taking strides to recapture those halcyon days with an ambitious CEO at the helm and plans for an upgraded stadium in development. See bathrugby.com

THE ROMAN BATHS

Built around 70AD, the Roman Baths here are among the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world. Constructed as a gathering place for socialising and public bathing, they utilised rainwater water from the nearby Mendip Hills. Though you can't actually bathe in the waters, the site serves as a fascinating historical artefact and interactive museum, transporting you back to the times of the Aque and Sulis people. Allow about two hours to explore the site with the provided audio guide – available in 12 languages with special guides for children – and in June through August take the opportunity to experience the site by torchlight, the space stays open until 10pm. See romanbaths.co.uk

Guy Wilkinson travelled at his own expense.

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