Bath & the English Southwest | A Weekend Travel Guide

01 December 2016

Beautiful, romantic, charming. A visit to Bath, England is as extraordinary as turning the first page of a Jane Austen novel. Settled into the rolling English countryside, Bath is frozen in a time more magical than our own.

Today, I want to share with you a quick guide for three action packed days in one of England's most magical places: Bath and the English Southwest. 

Grab breakfast and head to Paddington Station. From there, catch a train from London to Bath Spa (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes). Bath is a city like no other. Take time to check into your lodging before heading into town for a little sightseeing!

Boston Tea Party may sound like a funny name for a café, but it is one of the most beloved restaurants in the Southwest! Grab lunch at the location on Alfred Street. While BTP has a spectacular lunch, their breakfast is what they are known for (and is served all day)!

A few blocks east is the Royal Crescent, a series of townhomes built in the mid to late 18th century. Most are still privately owned, however plaques commemorating notable individuals can be found outside some of these homes.

Use the rest of the afternoon to explore Bath. The city of Bath became a World Heritage Site in 1987, and rightly so. Its beautiful Georgian architecture mixed with ancient Roman infrastructure is breathtaking. If you want to spend the extra money, visit the Roman Baths or take a peek inside Bath Abbey. If you are looking for the best free way to see the city, take the hike up to Alexandra Park for the best views Bath has to offer.

Bath may be a touristy city, but the locals know a thing or two about hidden secrets. Tucked away on a quiet residential street you’ll find Woods Restaurant, a classic choice for the locals. After you've had a delicious meal, make sure to charge all cameras and grab a bottled water or two before tomorrow!


Morning & Afternoon
Rise and shine! Get ready for an amazing adventure through the Cotswolds! Grab quick pastry from one of the many cafes in the area and head to the Best Western Abbey Hotel to begin your Mad Max Tour! From there you’ll be transported to some of England’s most amazing places such as Castle Combe, Lacock Village, Avebury Stone Circle, and Stonehenge! This is an all day tour and includes a stop in Lacock so you can grab a delicious pub lunch. Don’t forget that the price of admission into Stonehenge, as well as the pub lunch, are NOT included in the tour cost.

Take the evening to relax. Grab a casual dinner from The Raven, a family owned pub with some exceptional pies (the meat kind). If you are into books, browse around Topping & Company Booksellers after your meal. Open late, this quaint bookshop is filled to the brim with classics you are bound to love. 

Hop on a train from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads (approx. 15 minutes). Bristol may be a city you have only heard of in passing, but its rich history mixed with modern culture has made it a place like no other. Take the number 8 bus to Clifton for an awe-inspiring view of Bristol’s most famous landmark, the CliftonSuspension Bridge. Browse around CliftonVillage to get a sense of Bristol’s pride in local produce and products.

Cake for lunch? Well why not! Slowly begin walking downhill towards the City Centre and Park Street, passing the University of Bristol, this author's alma mater, along the way. Winston Churchill was the university's most famous chancellor! When you’ve reached the bottom of Park Street, pop into the Tea Birds for the most delicious, and most reasonably priced, afternoon tea in Bristol.

Just across the way are College Green and Bristol Cathedral. At almost 900 years old, Bristol Cathedral has been a staple on the Bristol skyline for centuries. Admission is free so spend some time learning about the Cathedral’s history.

Next stop is Bristol’s famous harbour! Walk through Millennium Square and take a Bristol Ferry to the ss Great Britain. The largest ship of its time, the ss Great Britain is a truly remarkable example of Victorian engineering. You can explore 3 decks, read all about the ship’s history, and (if you are brave enough) climb the rigging during the summer months! Tell the front desk staff I say hello; I was lucky enough to be a member of the crew for over a year!

Bristol is famous for its rolling hills. Take cross-harbour ferry directly to the other side and head back up Park Street. Make a left on Charlotte Street and walk until you reach the park called Brandon Hill. Grab a seat near Cabot Tower for a truly remarkable sunset. You may even spy a hot air balloon or two.

Evening | Late Night
After a day of exploring Bristol, enjoy the foodie scene and nightlife this city has to offer.

Have a delicious meal of tapas and wine at El Puerto near Queen’s Square.

For a pint or two afterwards, venture to King’s Street for an array of traditional pubs that date back to the 17th century:

- The King William Ale House for a pint and some conversation.
- The Llandoger Trow for some debatable literary history.
- The Old Duke for amazing blues, jazz, and a little bit of dancing.

Take a taxi, the 8 or 9 buses, or even walk back to Bristol Temple Meads. The last train to Bath Spa leaves just after 11pm.


You may have fallen in love with the sights, the culture, and maybe even the food. Alas, it is time to pack up and head back home! Garb a quick breakfast at The Cosy Club near Bath Spa station and catch a train back to London Paddington. Remember, the journey takes an hour and a half, so plan accordingly!

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy guide! The English Southwest is one of my favorite places in the world and I was lucky enough to call it home for two years. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!


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