Planning a family trip to Bath in the UK? Bath has to be one of our family’s favorite destinations in the UK. There are so many family-friendly things to do in Bath it’s somewhere we return to over and over again. In this post, we’re going to share with you our favorite things to do in Bath with children to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time together.
As well as including the best Bath UK attractions, we’ve made some hotel and restaurant recommendations to help you plan your family days out in Bath.
Why visit Bath with Kids?
First of Bath is a fantastic place to bring the whole family, especially children interested in history. The whole city of bath is a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s also one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited.
It’s full to the brim of British history. Bath was an important sight for the Romans thanks to the natural hot springs here. Fast forward a few centuries and Bath became popular with British aristocrats who came to Bath for the summer season (for all you Bridgeton fans it’s mostly based in Bath and one of the filming locations is on this list!) and to recover if they were sick.
It is also important in literary history, like Stratford Upon Avon, thanks to well-known British writers like Jane Austin and Mary Shelly who came to Bath to write some of their most well-known novels.
Where is Bath UK?
Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset in the South West of England. It’s located 4 hours West of London with direct trains and buses running frequently from central London. It’s very close to Bristol, another important UK city, and it’s a must on any UK itinerary whether you’re traveling solo or you’re looking for things to do in Bath with family.
There are so many reasons why Bath should be on your UK must-see list if you’re looking for things to do in Bath with children. We think one of the big pulls for a lot of people visiting the UK from abroad is its proximity to London.
It’s only a few hours on the train or coach from London and if you book in advance you can get really cheap fares (we paid only £7 for our train ride for each!) It could even be done as a day trip. Although there is so much to do, we’d definitely recommend spending a little longer if you can and planning your family days out in Bath.
How To Get To Bath Spa?
Plane – The closest airport to Bath is Bristol which is just 20 miles away. The airport is well connected to Bath by public transport.
Train – If you are traveling from London, it’s on a direct route and takes just 90 minutes from Paddington station. Making rail the fastest and easiest way to get to Bath on public transport. Search for tickets on Red Spotted Hanky. We would 100% advise you to book your train tickets to Bath in advance. Rail prices in the UK are crazy high right now but with enough notice, there are still deals to be had. Ideally, you need to book 2 months ahead of time.
Bus/ Coach – Not as quick or as comfortable as the train. But if you are struggling to find decent-priced rail tickets then getting the bus is a good option (not recommended for families traveling with small children though). To book the bus to Bath, check on Mega Bus and Nation Express.
Car – It’s a short drive from both the M4 and M5 motorways and parking is available in the City Center. Most of the hotels do not offer free parking though so do check with your hotel about parking. We stayed at Hotel Indigo and there was a car park directly opposite that cost £15 per day. It was also opposite the police station which made it feel extra secure, something that’s high on our list of priorities when traveling as a family.
Although you won’t need a car while in Bath city center, if you want to do any day trips or visit close by places like Stonehenge (1 hour away) or Lancok Abby (where part of Harry Potter was filmed), then a car is very useful and can make the planning of your family days out in Bath easier.
If you need to rent a car, then search for the best deals here.
How Long Do You Need In Bath, UK?
Wondering how many days you need to stay in Bath UK to see everything the city has to offer? It really depends on how packed you want to make your days. The first few times we visited Bath we had limited time and we managed to pack everything into one day in Bath. It was a long and busy day, but we did it.
The last time we stayed in Bath we had 4 days and 3 nights, and it felt like the perfect amount of time. We saw everything we wanted to see and still had time to enjoy a lie-in and spend time in the city center. There really are so many amazing things to see in Bath, and you won’t want to feel rushed unless you have to.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Bath With Kids?
We visited back in both the winter and in the summer. Of course, this is England and so the weather is never guaranteed! But summer is the best time if you want to have the best chance at clear skies. That said, we love Bath at Christmas time as they have wonderful Christmas markets and an abundance of pubs with fires where you can sip warm cider or hot cocoa to warm up.
If possible, we’d always recommend visiting Bath during the week. Weekends can get busy, but during the week you will avoid the largest crowds.
5 Interesting Facts About Bath, UK
- Bath is the only city in the UK to be designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. That is the whole city! Not just a part of it. It’s the only city with this status in the UK.
- The City is the only place in the UK that has natural hot springs.
- There are around 5,000 listed buildings in Bath.
- Stonehenge is just an hour’s drive from Bath.
- One of Bath’s most famous residents was Jane Austen.
The Best Family Friendly Things To Do In Bath With Kids
There is a lot to do and see in Bath. Below we’ve listed our favorite things to do in Bath with children, however, for a full list you can check out the Visit Bath website. There are also lots of interesting places to visit in the surrounding areas, and we’ve included some of those on our list.
If you have time, also look at going from Bath to Stonehenge, you can drive yourself or book a tour.
VISIT BATH CITY FARM
Bath City Farm has to be top 3 on our list of the best family things to do in Bath! Located just outside of the city, Bath City farm is a charity organization that is home to a large number of farm animals (including goats, chickens and cows) and they regularly organize community events as well. It’s also one of the top things to do in Bath for kids. There is no entrance fee to the Farm however, they welcome donations as it costs them about £850 a day to run and maintain the farm.
TAKE A FREE WALKING TOUR
At 10:30 am every day and 2 pm Sunday to Friday there is a free walking tour that goes from just outside the Roman Baths. This tour is run by the Mayor of Bath and it is completely FREE. They do not accept any tips at all.
The tour lasts for 2 hours, you don’t need to book and your guide will be a local volunteer. Our tour was brilliant, informative and just the right amount of time. You will get to visit all of the important buildings in Bath and have plenty of time for pictures etc. On your tour make a note of anywhere you want to return to later.
If you decide not to do this walking tour and would rather do a self-guided one, then check out this great tour Clair created on Walkli.
VISIT THE ROMAN BATHS
You can’t come to Bath and not visit the Roman Baths as this really is the main attraction and something that makes Bath so unique. It’s the only natural hot spring in the UK and it’s those healing waters that have cemented Bath’s place in history.
The entry cost is currently £27.50 at weekends for adults and £20 for children between the age of 6-18, or £25.50 (adult) and £18 (child) during the week. In addition to that, they offer family packages too, for adults traveling with 1-4 children. The price includes the self-paced audio tour, which we found very useful. It’s a handset they give you in your chosen language. There are numbers all over the site and when you get to something interesting you type in the numbers to your handset, press go, and the audio begins telling you about the place you are standing in.
It took us around 1.5 hours or so to wander around.
VISIT BATH ABBEY
Once you come out of the Roman Baths head straight next door to Bath Abbey. It’s free to enter and it’s truly beautiful, inside and out.
Our Top Tip: If you exit the Abby to the side you will come out in a little square with lots of benches. There is a super nice coffee and chocolate shot directly in front of you. Go buy a coffee and a cake and take a seat on one of the benches in the square and enjoy the music from the buskers.
EXPLORE THE SHOPS IN BATH CITY CENTER
Bath City Center is beautiful, thanks to all of that bath stone. Even the new shops that were built not so long ago have been built in the same fashion, which is how the city was able to retain its UNESCO status. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, we would recommend taking a wander through just to enjoy the architecture around the city center.
We would also highly recommend visiting the market, which is also a great place to grab some cheap food if you are on a budget.
When you come out of the market you will see the river and the park. On a nice day, we’d recommend grabbing some food to go from the market and then heading down to the river bank to eat it while enjoying the British sunshine.
TAKE THE TO-OT CITY BUS
We’re a big fan of hop-on hop-off city bus tours. Not only so you can rest your legs from all the walking, but also so you can get an idea of where things are in a city, fast! If you miss the free walking tour, or you or a family member has mobility difficulties, then this is a good option. Or, if it’s raining, this would be the dryer option! Plus if you only have a day or 2, then these bus tours are huge time savers.
Doing the Toot bus tour is one of our top things to do in Bath UK because there are two routes and both are included in the price. The City Center loop and the Skyline tour. If you have done the walking tour you may not want to do the city center loop. The skyline tour takes you out of the city center and up to Prior Park. On this route, you can get a great view of the city from the high ground.
Our Top Tip: You can hop off the Skyline bus at Prior Park, a national trust landscape garden and have a beautiful walk around. It’s not cheap but if the weather is nice we’d say it’s worth it. If you already have a National Trust membership, then you can enter for free.
Taking the Toot bus tour is also a good way to finish off the day if you still have the time and energy!
STEP BACK IN TIME AT NO 1 THE CRESCENT
No 1 The Crescent is a must for visitors to Bath, especially if you are a fan of period drama and British history. Interestingly, the outside of the house featured in Bridgerton as the Fethrington house. They only filmed outside and looked into the house as Netflix couldn’t afford the insurance to actually film inside.
You are guided around the house by following footsteps on the floor. Once you enter a room an audio track begins playing to give you a ‘day in the life’ of a typical family of the era visiting Bath to marry off their 19-year-old daughter.
For us the most interesting rooms were the downstairs rooms where the servants would have worked. If you love Downton Abbey, then don’t miss visiting this house!
Booking is advisable, especially on weekends.
GET CREEPED OUT AT THE FRANKENSTEIN MUSEUM
WE LOVED this museum! It’s one of our most recommended things to do in Bath for kids as they can learn more about English literature whilst having fun. We actually didn’t know anything about Mary Shelly and so learning all about her was fascinating. Did you know she was only 19 years old when she wrote Frankenstein? Once you are done learning about the author, if you are feeling brave, then head down to the basement to get scared… not for the faint of heart! Great for older kids and adults alike who still think they are teenagers.
VISIT THE OLDEST EATERY IN BATH SALLY LUNNS
It’s worth popping into the museum on the way past, it’s small so won’t take you long to see, and it’s free. This is where you can buy your fresh Bath Buns.
VISIT THE JANE AUSTEN MUSEUM
If you or your kids are a fan of Jane Austen, then take a walk up to the Jane Austen museum. There are fixed times you can go as it starts with an introductory talk and then you are free to look around. If you aren’t a big fan or pushed for time then we’d recommend going there for an afternoon or high tea. Well, you are in Bath and it would be rude not to!
Afternoon tea is a big thing in the UK and something you really must do while visiting Bath. The Jane Austen Museum had an ok afternoon tea, but if you really want to go to town on this British tradition, check out this list of the best places to take afternoon tea in Bath.
EXPLORE THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS AND FASHION MUSEUM
The Assembly Rooms are made up of four rooms, the Great Octagon, Tea Room, Ball Room, and Card Room as well as a Fashion Museum. After the morning tour, you will have a good idea of the history of Bath and its place in high society during the 18th Century.
These rooms really reflect that and the clothes in the fashion museum give you a closer look at some of the popular styles worn during this time and others.
Day Trips From Bath
If you have access to a car, then there are many beautiful National Trust estates a short distance from Bath. We’ve listed a few below but if you only have time to visit one on a day trip from Bath, then we would recommend visiting Lacock Abbey.
It’s an 800-year-old Abbey and has an important place in the history of photography. It was in Lacock Abbey that one of its former residents William Henry Fox created the first-ever photography negative. And for all you Harry Potter fans the cloisters are featured in 2 Harry Potter films as well as one of the Fantastic Beasts films. It’s also been a filming location for Downton Abbey, The Crown, and many other British favorites.
Once you are done exploring the Abbey and gardens, you can take wander around the village and grab some lunch in one of the pubs.
OTHER FAMILY FRIENDLY DAY TRIPS FROM BATH
- Dyrham Park
- Bowood House & Gardens
- Iford Manor Estate & Gardens
- Salisbury Cathedral
- Bishops Place & Gardens
- Haynes Motor Museum
- Westonbirt, The National Arboretum
Outfits Inspiration for Mom
Outfits Inspiration for Dad
Outfits Inspiration for Kids
Hotels In Bath City Center
It really depends on your budget. We always like to search Hotels.com, Expedia, and Booking.com, and and then book whichever offers the best deals.
The first time Claire visited Bath she was backpacking and on a tight budget. These days, as a family we prefer to stay in something a little nicer so our personal recommendation is Hotel Indigo Bath. We wrote a full review of our stay there that you can read here. Or click this link to check out Hotel Indigo Bath for yourself, it’s right in the city and just a 3-minute walk from the train station. Or if you are driving, it has a car park right opposite.
One of the things we loved most about Hotel Indigo Bath is the restaurant attached to the hotel. The Elder is a restaurant owned by renowned restaurateur Mike Robinson. Although we didn’t get a chance to eat here this time, we were lucky enough to eat in his restaurants in Stratford-Upon-Avon, The Woodsman, and The Forge in Chester. Those meals were some of the best we have ever had, so we highly recommend eating there. If you do want to eat in the Elder, booking is essential.
Here are a few other places we would recommend staying in Bath:
BOUTIQUE HOTELS BATH
Hotel Indigo Bath
Francis Hotel Bath – MGallery by Sofitel
No.15 Great Pulteney
Our recent visit to Bath was made possible by Visit Bath so a big thank you to them! If you are planning to visit Bath with your family, then make sure to check out their website which is packed with information including events and recommendations for the perfect family days out in Bath.
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