Bath, UK complete walking tour

Bath, UK complete walking tour


The city of Bath is England’s second most
popular visitor destination after London. Bath is a town of supreme harmony constructed
mostly during the 18th century with beautiful cream-colored limestone in the Georgian style
of architecture. Along with the urban beauty there are numerous historic sites and many
quiet lanes containing hundreds of little shops that produces an awesome combination
that’ll keep you happy for several days. The town center has a human scale with lowrise
buildings and quiet streets lined with shops and galleries ideal for strolling, all contained
in a relatively small area only about 1000 meters in one direction and 500 meters in
the other. A nice place to start walking is the small Abbey Green, a peaceful courtyard
with a large tree in the middle and historic old buildings all around. This courtyard is
quite central. It’s just one block over from the Bath Abbey and yet is easily missed because
it’s really not very conspicuous. The adjacent lane of North Parade has some great little
restaurants including Sally Lunn in the oldest building in town. Typical of our walking tours
we like to take you out of the way along with bringing you to the main highlights. It’s
very easy to navigate when you’re walking around in Bath because there is one main street
— it’s about a kilometer long. It changes names a few times variously called Milsom,
Union, Stall and Southgate streets, and it has different characters you go from one end
to the other, but throughout this one street is a fascinating and fun place to walk. You
are guaranteed to see quite a few street performers as you walk along in the lanes of Bath. There
are jugglers, there’s clowns, musicians, there’s bubble blowers and all sorts of activities
to keep you entertained, and if you are amused they will accept your tips. The southern end
of this main pedestrian street is an excellent example of urban redevelopment. It’s Southgate
Street, which is kind of like a shopping mall in the middle of the historic center. It blends
in very nicely with the pedestrian lanes around it and is anchored by department stores and
a nice variety of clothing stores and eateries in a very well organized and clean place.
The street itself was actually purchased by the private developers who have transformed
it into a new town center. It’s marvelous how the Southgate Mall blends seamlessly into
its extension further north on Stall Street and into Union Street, which is really the
busiest part of town filled with locals and tourists alike. Most of the other street surrounding
this main lane are also fascinating to walk along. The best strategy for the savvy traveler
is stroll up one direction and then back down another street, crisscrossing the sidestreets
in a semi-organized way until all the possibilities are covered. Perhaps you’ll be drawn into
Bath Street lured by the colonnades on both sides and tempting shops along the way. Bath
Street is only one block long, ending in a small curved intersection called Cross Bath
with more columns. Take a look through the archway to the tranquil courtyard of St. John’s
Hospital and then look up to see the rooftop pool of the Therme Spa where you can get a
full treatment in naturally heated mineral rich waters. Walk a block over through St.
Michael’s Place to Westgate Street another attractive lane with more shops on both sides.
It’s called Cheap Street on the east end, but this side seems more for locals than for
tourists. This leads to Kingsmead Square, another local gathering place, nicknamed Seven
Dials due to the converging streets around it – recently renovated with wide sidewalks
outdoor cafés and bike lanes. It’s a very popular place to hang out and a great example
of urban preservation and reuse located only three blocks from the tourist center, but
most visitors never get here. A block north brings you to Theater Royale, the main venue
for plays and live musicals in town. They usually have something going on most evenings
ranging from comedies to concerts to drama. The theater has its own restaurant and in
the side lane, Garrick’s Head Pub, another cozy neighborhood with quiet streets and more
restaurants. Then turn around and walk back towards where you started in the center by
the Abbey into a lovely tangle of small pedestrian alleys lined with shops. Between High and
Union streets there are several little pedestrian malls with more shops including the Corridor,
Northumberland Place and Union Passage. You could easily miss them but they’re worth looking
for. Too often in life we stay on the main road when the real treats are just nearby
on those side alleys. One could spend several fun hours shopping and exploring these small
lanes that wind through the commercial heart of town. These little malls are easy to find,
so close to the Abbey, but their entrances are sometimes inconspicuous. The Guildhall
was built in 1776 as the Town Hall and it still used today as Council Chambers and for
special events like weddings and concerts. Adjacent you’ll find the Guildhall Market,
an old covered arcade with 25 small shops and food stalls open from 9:00 to 5:30 every
day except Sunday. The market has some craft people such as for knitting supplies and for
having a custom leather belt cut. “What’s the price range of an average belt?” “They
go from 30 up to about 45 depending on how wide they are really.” “And how long does
it take to cut one and fit it?” “Well if it’s already made it’s a five minute job to cut
it.” Guildhall Market the oldest shopping venue in Bath. It’s been in action for the
last 800 years on the same location. One block over continuing on Bridge Street you arrive
at Pultney Bridge across the River Avon but you never realize it’s a bridge because it’s
completely lined with shops that block any view of the river down below. It’s one of
only three major bridges in Europe covered in shops along with the Ponte Vecchio in Florence
and the Rialto in Venice. The River Avon flows through the center of town creating a delightful
watery ambience with parks along both sides and boat rides on offer. Also along the river
you’ll find a rugby stadium which can hold nearly 14,000 people, and then during the
summer when the rugby season is over they remove some of the stands and it becomes a
cricket pitch and an open recreation ground for the people of Bath, used for hockey, croquet,
football, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis and drama. However a conflict has developed because
the rugby club wants to expand the stadium and many in the public want to expand the
park grounds. At the next block on Northgate Street you’ll come across a modern shopping
complex The Podium, a small multilevel indoor mall. New Bond Street will tempt you until
it intersects with Old Bond Street, another short pedestrian mall. This is the very center
of Bath’s shopping district with main roads, little alleys and small indoor malls providing
lots of temptations, so take your time wandering about in a major shopping break. It really
helps when they remove cars and convert streets to pedestrian areas. More traditional scenarios
of traffic and wide sidewalks lined with shops also works well such as here a long Milsom
Street with historic architecture retaining character from previous centuries. For many
years Milsom was the main shopping venue in Bath, but in recent decades the development
along Southgate, further south along Union Street has really shifted the center of gravity
and balanced things out nicely, so that they’re all doing very well. Quick views of Milsom
from our bus tour that we will show you more of in a later movie. At the top you come to
George Street, with raised paving that elevated patrons above the mud and horse splatter of
past centuries. It’s another fine shopping and café venue. We’re very close to the city
center, just 500 meters from Bath Abbey, so it’s very easy to reach, and around the corner
is Gay Street that lead you to one of the main highlights of town The Circus. This circle
of 33 elegant townhouses is an ideal example of town planning with beautifully designed
buildings that efficiently use the land yet also provide open green space for the residents
with private yards in the back and a circular park in the middle. The circus was designed
with back in 1750 by John Wood the Elder and completed by his son. It’s just two short
blocks further to the Royal Crescent, one of Bath’s most famous sites. The Royal Crescent
is the crowning achievement of the city and has become the symbol of Bath. For a pleasant
route back towards the town center that will get you off the city streets for a while,
enter the leaf the Gravel Walk and stroll through Royal Victoria Park, which then becomes
the Georgian Garden, lushly landscaped with many flowerbeds and towering trees. Perhaps
like yourself, this old doggie was feeling tired and just didn’t want to get up and walk.
You’ll exit through the garden gates at Queens Parade which is connected to Queen Square.
This green park occupies one block in the heart of town surrounded by elegant homes
and a fine hotel, The Francis, part of the luxurious Sofitel M Gallery collection. The
park and a obelisk in the center date back to the early 18th century, as do the buildings
along the north side designed by John Wood the Elder. Stroll a few blocks over and you’ll
reach the Assembly Rooms, a prime social gathering place for the 18th-century music and dance
gatherings of high society. That completes the main highlights of a Bath walking tour,
and from here you can just stroll back towards the city center soon arriving at the intersection
of John, Wood, Quiet and Queen streets. There is a famous vegetarian restaurant here, the
Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen. It’s been around over 20 years and they’re fully booked every
weekend dinner so you have to either reserve or come at lunch time – featuring local
fresh ingredients and excellent service. You’ve got a pine nut risotto, with pepper and lemon
on the top, then you got wild garlic and pepper sprouts and broccoli. Brilliant, so you’ve
got the Wie Valley asparagus with hazelnut gnocchi and savignon scoop. Thank you very
much. Then you’ve got the confit onions and carrots, you’ve got two different styles of
carrots there, you’ve got purple and orange. And that’s puy lentils and an onion cider
cream And then you got the smoke-filled mushrooms, with walnut and mushroom pate, salt baked
celaria and the potato gallete. And then you’ve got the calabrese broccoli with the almond
salt-grain emulsion and the confit Jersey royals. You’ve got a sweet onion and garlic
dahl with a cauliflower heart on top and then some pickled cauliflower around, risotto on
the side, and some purée on the side. Of course you don’t have to be a vegetarian to
appreciate a delicious meal like this.Too often vegetables are just the neglected side
dish but here they come to front and center. A chocolate tart with peanut butter sorbet.
We left feeling very happy and satisfied. If you have any questions or comments about
Bath type it in down below and I’ll be happy to answer and respond. All travel suggestions
questions and comments are very welcome. This video was photographed on a recent trip with
many more episodes coming to our YouTube channel. We upload a new travel movie every week so
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27 thoughts on “Bath, UK complete walking tour

  1. When I went to Bath last year we only had a couple hours so we pretty much just stayed in the Bath Abbey-Parade area, but for sure next time I'm there I will stay longer and explore more!

  2. Love Bath! Have been there a few times, but I learned many new things in your video! Will be there with my 16 year old daughter in June and will visit many of those shopping streets you highlighted! Thanks!

  3. Super interesting video. I totally disagree that it's just a ruined city with a lot of shops. If it was ruined, it wouldn't be standing, it wouldn't still be called a city and it certainly wouldn't be one of the most popular locations to visit in the UK. So well done for the video. I'm now actually considering going there myself. Thanks

  4. I will study abroad to the Bath for 4 month from August 5.
    The purpose is study of sightseeing.
    I am excited to see this video!
    Look forward to it now

  5. Fui a Bath por recomendação de minha mãe que a achou linda. Realmente é uma cidade que surpreende. Um dos lugares mais prazerosos em que já estive.

  6. A remarkably competent and encyclopedic description of central Bath in an unlikely accent. This beautiful city is no more ruined by shops now than it was back in the 1960s. Quite a few of the names have changed and will continue to do so. Your film shows that is now much more relaxed and aimed more at pedestrians [and shoppers.] Rather than catering for the horrendous, through traffic of decades ago. The traffic really ruined Bath from very suddenly in the early 60s and for the decades to follow.

  7. I lived in the center of Bath a few years ago, Wonderful city to visit and live. For locals, the centre of Bath was more like a village. Everybody knew you. Many, many unique characters lived there in my days.

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