Why you should visit Bath: fabulous things to do in Bath with kids

Roman Baths, Bath - one of the best things to do with kids in Bath

Bath is one of my favourite small cities in England; it’s a tough choice between York, Cambridge and Bath as to which is the best!  We live around an hour’s drive away and as we visit Bath fairly often, I thought it was about time I wrote a guide to the best things to do in Bath with kids.

Bath has everything that we look for in a city; it’s got beautiful architecture (Georgian, in this case), it’s easily walkable, it’s got lots of history, and plenty of green spaces for the children to run about in.  And I haven’t even mentioned several great shopping streets and good restaurants.  The whole city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, if you like ticking these off your list!

So let me tell you about the best things to do in Bath with kids, and take a look at a suggested itinerary for spending a weekend in Bath.

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The best things to do in Bath with kids

Walk around Bath’s historic streets

Bath’s streets are beautiful; honey coloured and historic, many of them are arranged in striking, uniform crescent shapes.  Bath lies over seven hills – just like Rome and Amman! – and like in both of these cities, there are lots of places where you can get a great view over the rest of Bath, so if you’re walking up a hill, stop and look back!

The centre of Bath is quite compact so you can get from place to place easily, and just wandering about is one of the best ways to get a feel of the city – and best of all, it’s free.  You can take a free walking tour from outside the Pump Room in Abbey Church Yard – this tour lasts about 2 hours and is run by the Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides.  More details are on their website.

If you’d rather walk about by yourself, then here are some of the things to look out for in Bath’s streets…

The Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent Bath seen from No1 The Crescent Museum - best things to do in Bath with kids

The Grade 1 listed Royal Crescent is probably the most famous street in Bath so you’ll definitely want to stroll along it (perhaps pretending you’re in an Austen novel, or is that just me?).  The street is made up of 30 terraced townhouses laid out in a sweeping crescent.  It’s been used in numerous TV shows and films due to its fabulous good looks.  The street is still mainly private homes, although there is a boutique hotel here in the centre.  No 1 houses a brilliant museum – see below for more details.  In front of the Royal Crescent you’ll find a large green which is perfect for a picnic and a run around for the kids.

The Circus

Houses at The Circus, Bath; one of the best things to do in Bath with kids

Just a street away from the Royal Crescent you’ll find the Circus.  This is another of Bath’s unique addresses and it’s a fantastic example of Georgian architecture – there’s nowhere else like it in the UK.

Townhouses are arranged in a perfect circle around a small green, with three roads branching off from points equally spaced around the circle. One of these roads leads to the Royal Crescent, another down Gay Street to the Jane Austen Centre and Queen’s Square, and the third road will take you to the nearby Assembly Rooms.

The houses have Roman and Masonic symbols carved onto their facades as well as being decorated with a series of pillars, and if you look at the Circus from the air it forms a key shape along with Gay Street and Queen’s Square.  If I could choose a house in Bath it would probably be one of these.  Just don’t ask how much a home here costs!

Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge, Bath. A must-see when you visit Bath.

Not only is this bridge extremely picturesque, it’s one of only four bridges in the world which are inhabited (two others are in Italy – the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the Rialto Bridge in Venice; and the fourth is the Krämerbrücke in Erfurt, Germany).  When you’re walking over it, Pulteney Bridge just feels like a normal street full of shops, unless you peer through the windows to see the weir below.  There’s a cafe here with great views over the river which makes a good pit stop, although you might have to fight for a window seat!

You can take a boat cruise from Pulteney Cruisers on the far side of Pulteney Bridge.  This boat trip takes you on an hour’s cruise up the River Avon to Bathampton where you can look around the village and get a later boat back, or stay on the boat for the return journey.  You can get more information on the Pulteney Cruisers’ website here.

If you cross Pulteney bridge you’ll walk past the Laura Fountain and along Great Pulteney Street towards the Holburne Museum.  Great Pulteney Street is one of Bath’s finest and widest streets; it’s another street that has barely been touched by time and looks pretty much as it did when it was first built.

Shopping in Bath

Bath is one of the best places in the South West for retail therapy.  There are several streets full of the usual chains, including a large modern shopping complex down by the train station (there’s a great toy shop here).  But it’s the little alleyways that I like best; these are full of independent shops, restaurants and craft centres and are much more atmospheric than the main thoroughfares.

The Makery is a good stop for a rainy afternoon – kids (and adults) can get crafty making jewellery, cushions, pencil cases and more, and even take an animation class.  Click here for more details.

Minerva’s Owls

From the end of June until the week of 10th September 2018 a sculpture trail is running in and around Bath.  Minerva’s Owls are gorgeous and the kids will love hunting for them.  We ran into plenty on our last visit and each one had to be carefully examined and photographed!  There are around 80 large owl sculptures to find and you can pick up a trail map from Waterstones or get some more information from the website here.  The owls will be auctioned off for charity in the autumn.

Roman Baths

Roman Baths, Bath - one of the best things to do with kids in Bath

Bath’s most famous attraction and probably one of the best things to do in the UK, the Roman Baths in the centre of the city should be high on your list when you visit Bath.

Bath was once a Roman town called Aquae Sulis.  The Romans took advantage of one of the few natural hot springs in England to build a large public bath house and temple to the goddess Minerva, probably beginning in around AD60.  The Baths still work today although you can’t bathe in them (you’ll have to cross the road to Thermae Bath Spa to do that).

On the site there’s an extensive museum which explains about how the Baths and the temple were used, including reconstructions of how it would have looked.  As well as walking around the main bath you can also look into the heated rooms and plunge pools next to it, see the changing rooms and hypocaust heating systems, and explore the site of Minerva’s temple. You can also find out about the real people who lived and worked here.  Don’t forget to try a taste of the mineral-heavy water before you leave.  It’s, erm, interesting.

Kids haven’t been forgotten – they can listen to a child-friendly audioguide as they walk around, and pick up activity sheets at the entrance to keep them busy.  When we last visited my kids liked meeting costumed characters the best – these actors are great with kids and can answer all their questions.

TIP: The Roman Baths get really busy during the day and the queue to buy tickets can be huge.  Book your tickets online in advance and time them for the first slot of the day or for after 3pm.  In the summer months the Baths stay open late into the evening and may be less crowded at this time.

Bath Abbey

Just next to the Roman Baths, and dominating the skyline, is the immense Bath Abbey.  There’s been a church of some kind on this spot for over a thousand years – first a monastery destroyed by Normans, then a large church which was ruined until after Henry VIII’s reign.  The present Abbey has changed a huge amount over the years and most of the building that you can see was built in Victorian times, hence its gothic features.

Make sure you look inside; it’s got beautiful detailing on the pillars and ceilings, and fabulous stained glass windows showing the coronation of the first King of England, King Edgar, at the site in 973AD.

If your kids are aged 5 and over you can take a Tower Tour and get a great view of Bath as well as seeing how the bells work.  You can buy your tickets on the day from the shop but check the website for timings before you go.

Sally Lunn’s teahouse

Sally Lunn's teahouse - best things to do in Bath with kids

Sally Lunn was a Huguenot woman who is credited for inventing the famous Bath Bun.  Somewhere between a large brioche roll and a teacake, the Bath Buns are served hot with sweet or savoury toppings.

The teahouse serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is in what is believed to be Bath’s oldest standing house, dating from 1482.  Once you’re inside it definitely feels as though it could be that old – it’s got low ceilings, twisty staircases and is decorated in a very old-fashioned way.  Sally Lunn lived in it in 1680, and there’s a little museum downstairs showing how the buns were made in the kitchen that Sally used.  You can also buy your Sally Lunn buns and other assorted goods here too.

 

We usually have trouble getting our kids to try new foods but they wolfed the huge buns down and asked for seconds.  So now there are two restaurants they will eat at in Bath (they usually insist on Wagamama).  You can check out the menu at Sally Lunn’s here.

Museums in Bath

You can certainly get your fill of educational activities in Bath as it has an extensive selection of museums in addition to the Roman Baths Museum.  As Bath was at its zenith in the 18th and 19th centuries, many of the museums cover this time period.

Most of these museums are even suitable for young children as they have specific kids’ activities running and/or activity packs which help keep kids engaged as they walk around.  These museums are especially good to visit in the winter or on rainy days.  Here are some of our favourites museums in Bath (there are still more which we’ve not managed to get to).

Jane Austen Centre

Jane Austen Centre in Bath. One of the best museums to visit in Bath

“Oh!  Who can ever be tired of Bath?”  Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey

Bath features heavily in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, two of Jane Austen’s novels. It’s hardly surprising since she spent several years living here, so Bath is a must-visit for any Jane Austen fan.  Of course I Persuaded (sorry) the rest of the team to come with me to the Jane Austen centre; a museum dedicated to Jane’s life and her works, and to life in Bath in general at the time.

Inside the centre you’re greeted with a brief talk about Jane’s life from costumed guides, and then you’re free to look around the rest of the exhibits in your own time.  While the kids were too small to understand much about Jane, they had a good time trying biscuits, rummaging through the dressing up box (I did too) and looking and some of the more hands-on things to do.  The girl had a go at writing with a quill and the boy was intrigued by some of the toys and games of the time.  The costumed staff are attentive and knowledgeable, and will of course take a photo of you decked out in your Regency finest.

Upstairs there’s a tea room which always goes down well with everyone, and you can get all manner of Austen-themed souvenirs from the gift shop.  If you’re interested in finding out more about places in Bath associated with Jane Austen then you can pick up a map from the gift shop that will show you where she lived and more.

If you’re visiting Bath in the autumn then you might catch the Jane Austen Festival.  In 2018 the dates for the festival are 14th – 23rd September.  Costumed enthusiasts will descend on Bath for tours, talks, readings, balls and more.  More details on the festival website here.

Entry to the Jane Austen Centre costs: £12 per adult; £6.20 per child aged 6-16 years.  You can get a family ticket and the tickets are cheaper online.  You can get a museum saver ticket too; see more details at the end of this post.

No.1 The Royal Crescent

Inside No1 The Crescent museum: best things to do when you visit Bath

If you’ve walked around the outside of the Royal Crescent you’ll no doubt have been wondering what the homes look like inside.  Well, happy days, you can go into No.1 and see how Georgian ladies and gents would have lived!  This is a wonderful little museum which is also good for children as it has detective activity packs to keep them busy.  Inside many of the rooms are curiosities from the time – make sure you look in the cabinet under the stairs for some gruesome travel souvenirs.

The guides in each room are well worth talking to – they know a huge amount and we got some great little facts and anecdotes this way.  For example, pineapples were rented for dinner displays to show your wealth.  You didn’t buy them because they cost as much as a carriage.

The most shocking thing we learned was that if you needed to relieve yourself while at dinner you went behind a screen in the corner of the dining room where there was a bowl for your convenience.  Can you imagine?  Why on earth wasn’t it in a different room?

Almost as disgusting was a fact we learned about beauty regimens in the kitchen.  Did you know that thick eyebrows were a thing back in the 18th century too?  The high lead content of makeup caused eyebrows to fall out, so drastic measures were called for. Instead of drawing their eyebrows on with pencil, ladies used mouse skins collected from traps in the kitchen.

Perhaps being an Austen heroine wouldn’t have been that romantic, after all.

Entry to No.1 The Royal Crescent costs: £10.30 per adult, £5.10 per child (6 – 16).  Family tickets are available.  You can book your tickets online. There’s a combination ticket available with some of the other museums – see the end of this post for more details.

Bath Assembly Rooms

Bath Assembly Rooms - things to do in Bath with kids

The Assembly Rooms is where all of the Regency action would have happened.  Gowned, bejewelled, powdered and with their best pair of mouse-brows on, ladies assembled here to be introduced to the gents by the Master of Ceremonies and tried their best to sort out the Mr Darcys from the Mr Collinses.

There were in fact two sites for the Assembly Rooms and they took it in turns to host the soirees for Bath’s finest inhabitants.  Much of London’s high society would de-camp to Bath for the season’s parties and engagements (unlike us, they got to leave their kids at home).  These rooms date from 1771 and include the large Ball Room, a Tea Room and a room called the Octagon Room linking the two.  Not everything here is original sadly as the buildings were heavily damaged by bombing during WW2.

Today you can walk through the rooms and admire their spectacular chandeliers and Regency decor, and the former Card Room is now a tea room.  Admission is free, but check that the rooms are available before you visit as they’re still in use for functions.  Underneath the Assembly Rooms you’ll find the Fashion Museum.

Fashion Museum

Gowns in Bath's Fashion Museum - one of the best things to do in Bath

Bath’s Fashion Museum shows off a fabulous collection of clothes, some, incredibly, are 500 years old or more.  You’ll see examples of formal wear and more everyday garments for men, women and children right up to the present day.

It’s fascinating to see how tastes have changed and seeing the clothes set out in separate time periods you can really see how fashion has developed throughout history. At the moment there’s an extensive collection of Royal gowns worn by Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Alexandra and Queen Mary, so some really beautiful pieces are displayed.  We could show the kids what our grandparents and parents would have worn when they were young, and some great outfits from the 80s took me back to my childhood!

The Fashion Museum runs family friendly activities, especially during the summer holidays so check before you visit to see what’s on (some activities have to be pre-booked).  Of course, the best thing at the Fashion Museum for kids (and grownups) is getting dressed up in Regency costume.  There’s a large dressing up area but it can be a bit of a scrum as everyone gets stuck in!

Entry to the Fashion Museum costs: £9 per adult, £7 per child (6-16) and family tickets and combination/saver tickets are also available.  Click here to book your tickets.

Holburne Museum

Holburne Museum in Bath - things to do when you visit Bath

Sir William Holburne was a collector who lived in Bath in the 19th century.  After he died one of his sisters left his vast collection of paintings, porcelain and various trinkets to the city of Bath for everyone to enjoy.  This collection forms the core of the items on display in the Holburne museum at the end of Great Pulteney Street which has been open since 1883.  Many more portraits, pictures and furniture have been added to the museum over the years, always building on what Holburne himself collected.

At the museum today you can explore the galleries, different exhibitions, and take part in a variety of events and family friendly workshops (details online).  There’s a cafe at the rear of the museum, and entry to Sydney Gardens.

Entry to the museum is free, although you have to pay for some workshops and events.

Victoria Art Museum

This museum is right by Pulteney Bridge and has a large collection of paintings and sculptures from classical and contemporary artists, many of whom have lived and worked in Bath.  Different displays are put on throughout the year and while entry to the main gallery is free you may have to pay to see some of the exhibitions.

There are children’s activities available in the main gallery to keep kids occupied.  The Victoria Art Museum makes a good stop on a rainy day!

Herschel Museum of Astronomy

One of the most famous astronomers of all time, William Herschel, lived in Bath in the 18th century.  Herschel is most famous for discovering Uranus from his home in Bath which now houses the museum.  He was also a gifted musician and composer which is why he was in Bath in the first place, and he became an astronomer almost by accident.

The house has been carefully restored to how it would have looked when the Herschels lived there, and it’s a good example of a middle class home from the time (it makes a good contrast to the more ostentatious No. 1 The Royal Crescent).  As well as finding out about how people lived at the time, there’s a lot of information on the Herschels themselves; William, his sister Caroline who was an astronomer in her own right, and William’s son John.

The museum has a collection of telescopes, globes and planetaria, Herschel’s tools for making telescopes and more to look at.  Fittingly, Queen’s Brian May who is himself a musician and astronomer, is a patron of this museum.

Entry to the Herschel Museum costs: £6.50 per adult, £.20 per child (6-16) and you can buy family tickets and combination/saver tickets.  Click here to buy your tickets.

Parks and Gardens in Bath

Bath has some fantastic green spaces for you and the kids to kick about in when all the sightseeing has become too much!  We always like to take a break in one of these parks and you’re spoilt for choice in Bath, really.

Parade Gardens

Pulteney Gardens, Bath, in spring. One of the best gardens in Bath

The Parade Gardens are just past the Abbey and one of the best places to get photos of Pulteney Bridge.  Here you’re able to get a great view of the bridge and weir (but be prepared to wait patiently for a chance to get your snap of the bridge). Afterwards, walk about in the manicured gardens with their immaculately kept flowerbeds and sculpture art, while the kids tear about on the lawns.  It’s the perfect place for a break after looking around the Abbey or the Roman Baths.

Beazer Garden Maze

Not strictly in Parade Gardens but across the river near to where you’ll see the Pulteney Cruisers boats departing is a little “maze” which the kids are bound to love.  The Beazer Garden Maze is a series of stone slabs set into the ground so it’s not a traditional hedge maze as you can see where you’re going.  Kids will have to play fair to reach the middle!  However it’ll go down a storm.

Prior Park Gardens

Palladian Bridge in Bath's Prior Park Gardens - one of the best things to do in Bath with kids

My personal favourite garden in Bath, Prior Park Gardens’ history goes back to the 18th Century when they were designed by Ralph Allen with input from the poet Alexander Pope and none other than Capability Brown.  However the gardens fell into disrepair after a time and it’s only since an extensive restoration in 1993 that the public have been able to enjoy the gardens again.  The star attraction is the Palladian Bridge (one of only four left in the world) and its three lakes, separated by dams.  The gardens are a wildlife haven; we spotted plenty of fish in the large lake and electric blue dragonflies danced around us as we ambled through the garden.

Prior Park Gardens Bath

The steep climb up the wildflower meadow behind the bridge is worth it for lovely views over Bath.  On the upper levels of the garden you can also find some swans and their cygnets and pretty paths through the foliage.

Prior Park Gardens are a National Trust property.  Prior Park Gardens are set on a hill high above central Bath and it’s a bit of a hike to get there, but do-able with kids.  Alternatively take the City Sightseeing Bus or the bus No.2 from stop BK on Dorchester Street.  Click here to book your City Sightseeing Bus Tour; it’s also a good way of seeing the Bath Skyline.

Prior Park Gardens are worth making an effort to get to!

Entry to Prior Park Gardens costs: £8.20 per adult, £4.10 per child and family tickets are available.  You can buy your tickets when you arrive at the garden. Entry is free for National Trust members.

Royal Victoria Park

Botanical Gardens in Victoria Park, Bath. One of the best gardens to visit in Bath

Royal Victoria Park is an extensive park spanning nearly 60 acres, and you’ll find it just past the Royal Crescent.  There are several different areas each with their own attractions.  The main part of Victoria Park is a large green which we’ve seen being used for hot air balloon lift offs. There’s a mini golf course by the Pavilion tea rooms and an ice rink here in the winter.

Further into the park is a botanical garden which is a peaceful place and pretty in most seasons.  On the way to the botanical garden you’ll pass a huge adventure playground which is probably the best playground in Bath.  It was packed when our kids visited and you’ll have a hard time dragging your kids away.  This can be used as a bribe for good behaviour in the museums!

Sydney Gardens

The canal goes through Sydney Gardens in Bath - a great park to visit with kids in Bath

Sydney Gardens is Bath’s oldest park and was designed in 1795 by Harcourt Masters.  It was a popular place for society to visit, including Jane Austen who lived just opposite the park at no 4 Sydney Place.  Inside Sydney Gardens today there are several large leafy green spaces, manicured flowerbeds and a playground for children, as well as some pillared buildings hidden amongst the trees.

The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through Sydney Gardens, making the gardens a good place to see the canal from.  You can walk to the park from Great Pulteney Street, enter from behind the Holburne Museum and walk back to the city centre along the canal paths or vice versa.  In addition to the canal, trains also run through the park and kids will love watching the trains flash past from the iron bridges above the railway line.

How to spend a weekend in Bath: a 2 day Bath itinerary

Although you can visit Bath as a day trip from London, it’s best suited to a weekend break or longer.  I’ve written this weekend in Bath itinerary with families in mind but if you’re not visiting Bath with kids, then I’ve suggested some alternatives for you!

Friday evening:  Collect the kids from school and jump on the train to Bath Spa or risk the traffic and drive in.  Check in to your accommodation and chill out before heading out to a family friendly restaurant for the evening (ours love Wagamama).

Saturday morning: Hit the Roman Baths as soon as they open to avoid the crowds.  You’ll need a good couple of hours inside to see everything properly.  Take a break in the Parade Gardens to admire Pulteney Bridge before looking inside Bath Abbey and climbing the tower for a great view.

Saturday lunch: Have lunch in Sally Lunn’s just around the corner from the Abbey.

Saturday afternoon: In the afternoon you could walk up to Prior Park Gardens to enjoy a lovely view over Bath, or take the City Sightseeing bus to walk along the Bath Skyline.  Alternatively, do a bit of shopping or pop in to one of the museums like the Herschel Museum or the Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum.

Saturday evening:  If the kids are old enough you could take in a performance at Bath’s Theatre Royal.  Click here to see what’s on.

Sunday morning:  Meet outside the Pump Rooms to take a free walking tour of Bath, or simply set off by yourselves.  Stop off at the Jane Austen Centre and the museum at No.1 The Royal Crescent to learn about Regency life.

Sunday lunch:  You could risk a lunch or afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms – gorgeous rooms which are part of the Roman Baths.  Best behaviour is probably called for – we’ve eaten here before we had kids but so far we haven’t dared to take our kids here!

Sunday afternoon: Explore Victoria Park and the botanical gardens, and let the kids loose in the amazing playground here, or take a relaxing boat trip on the river.  If you’re kid-free or you have older teens (15+) then you could treat yourselves at the Bath Thermae Spa.  The hot rooftop pool is my favourite bit, and the treatments are also fabulous. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of your weekend!

Things to do near Bath with kids

Wells cathedral - things to do near Bath

If you’re in Bath for longer than a weekend, read on because there are plenty of places to visit near Bath.  You’re on the edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so Bath makes a great base from which to explore this lovely part of England.  Keep an eye out for our upcoming post on the top things to do with kids in the Cotswolds.

Some of our favourite things to do near Bath include Dyrham Park (a National Trust property famous for its deer and best visited in the autumn months) and Longleat Estate and Safari Park.  Some of the nearby towns are stunning, like Castle Combe (often voted one of England’s prettiest villages), and Bradford Upon Avon.

You can easily take day trips from Bath to the following places.  Stonehenge isn’t too far and is a must-see if you’re visiting the UK.  Nearby Avebury also has an ancient stone circle with a very different feel to Stonehenge.  You can read more about Stonehenge in this post. Cheddar Gorge

If you want to see more of England’s natural beauty then you can head to the Mendip Hills and visit the spectacular Cheddar Gorge or Wookey Hole cave systems.  Click here to find out which is most suited to your family.

England’s smallest city, Wells, is very close to Bath and we’d recommend visiting if you’ve got time.  We thought Wells was picture perfect and you can read about what to see in Wells by clicking here.

Glastonbury Tor - things to do near Bath

The spiritual town of Glastonbury is also very close and is a quirky stop, especially if you’re interested in English paganism.  Don’t miss the view from Glastonbury Tor on a sunny day (we went in January and wouldn’t recommend going then; ye gods it was cold!).

Know before you go

The best hotels in Bath city centre: where to stay in Bath with kids

Hotels in Bath city centre are not cheap!  Book early as the best budget options will probably run out first.

Some of the top-end hotels in Bath include:

The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa is the hotel in the middle of Bath’s most famous street. It’s a great choice for a special occasion.  Extra beds can be put in the rooms for kids.  Click here to take a look at the hotel and book your room.

No.15 Great Pulteney Street is a luxurious, boutique hotel in another of Bath’s prestigious streets.  There’s an on-site spa, bar and restaurant which also serves afternoon teas.  The Large Deluxe Doubles can be made up as family rooms.   Click here to book your stay. 

The Roseate Villa is a small boutique hotel next to Henrietta Park, with beautifully decorated, light rooms.  Family rooms can be made up.  You can eat breakfast here, and there’s a bar on site.  Click here to book your stay.

A reliable budget hotel chain is Premier Inn.  We’ve used them all over the UK; their family rooms are a good size and beds are comfy.  Click here to book the Bath hotel which is located right in the city centre.

Apartment hotels in Bath could be a good choice for families as they often have more room than typical hotels.  Take a look at some of the best apartments in Bath:

Try Henge House, Sarsen Apartment.  This lovely two-bed apartment is family friendly and has a fully equipped kitchen.  The apartment is centrally located.  Click here to take a look and to book your stay.

SACO Apartments are in the middle of Bath and have a two bed option which is perfect for families. There’s living and dining spaces as well as kitchens so you’ll have everything you need.  Click here to check prices and availability.

For larger families try 1 Georges Place Apartments.  A short walk along the canal into central Bath, this apartment has 3 bedrooms and a large living area.  The kitchen is fully equipped and includes a baby highchair.  Games are provided for children too.  Click here to book your stay.

Alternatively you could consider staying elsewhere in the Cotswolds.  Our local town is Cirencester which is an hour away, and we’d recommend staying here if you also want to see more of the Cotswolds.  Click here to read more about Ciren and its surrounds.

When should you visit Bath?

Bath is a year-round destination; we’ve visited in all seasons and there’s always something to do.  The gardens are glorious in spring, summer and autumn and there are plenty of activities to do indoors on a rainy day or in the winter.  So it really doesn’t matter, although my personal preference is spring or autumn as Bath can get very busy in the summer months, especially in school holidays. However that adds to the atmosphere and there are often lots of special things for kids to do at many of Bath’s attractions.

How to get to Bath

Reaching Bath by train

Bath is easily reached by train from London, Birmingham and Bristol, where you’ll also find the nearest airports.  Start out early and you can make a day trip of it, although a couple of days would be best.  Bath Spa train station is right in the middle of the city so you don’t have to faff about with taxis and buses to get to the centre.  You can book your train tickets online at National Rail.

Trains take about an hour and a half to reach Bath from London and depart frequently from London Paddington station.

A trip from Birmingham will take you about 2 hours and you’ll have to change at Bristol Temple Meads.

Driving to Bath: parking in Bath

Getting to Bath by car is a bit of a pain – the traffic can be bad and the one way system isn’t much fun to navigate.  It might be best to make for one of Bath’s Park and Ride car parks where you can leave your car and get into the centre by bus.  However we haven’t ever bothered with this and drive in anyway.

We park at Charlotte Street car park which is a large, long stay car park close to the centre.  If you’re going to Bath on a Saturday arrive as early as you can or it might be full up.  Of course, you’ll have to pay more to park in the centre.

How to save money in Bath and free things to do in Bath with kids

All of these Bath attractions can add up quickly, especially if you’re eating out a lot.  There are a couple of museum passes and combination tickets available which may help to save money but you’ll have to be planning on visiting them all to make it worthwhile:

The Herschel Museum, No. 1 The Royal Crescent, the Bath Architecture Museum and Beckford’s Tower can be visited on a combination ticket.  Click here to buy it.

You can see the Roman Baths, Victoria Art Gallery temporary exhibitions and the Fashion Museum on another combination ticket.  You can buy this ticket here.

Free things to do in Bath include the Holburne Museum, the main part of the Victoria Art Gallery, the parks and architecture.  The Bath City Farm and the Bath Abbey are free however a donation is appreciated.


That’s about it for the best things to do in Bath with kids.  Have you visited Bath with your family?  What did you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments!

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Read this guide to the best things to do in Bath England with kids. Find out about Jane Austen, see Bath's spectacular Georgian architecture, see the Roman Baths, find out where to stay in Bath for families. #bathengland #cityguides #familytravel

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