Getting to Bath
We’re very lucky where we live in Oxfordshire and especially the fact that we are so close to the Rail network. We can travel to London by train in just under an hour or we can travel in the opposite direction and reach Bath in just under an hour. We could also drive to either of these but taking the train is actually easier and far more relaxing.
The Train Station in Bath is in the City Centre and only a short walk to shops and Roman Baths and Thermae Spa.
Bath is a great destination for a day trip for us as its not too far away so we’re not spending too much time travelling and there’s lots to see and do.
Bath is a beautiful city and it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and obviously famous for it’s thermal Baths; but it also great for shopping and general wandering.
Our day trip was planned so that we could spend the whole day in Bath, which meant we took an early train. As well as shopping, lunch and dinner we also planned a 2-hour Spa session at the Thermal Baths.
A morning spent shopping and meandering
I love shopping and just meandering around Bath as it has so many independent shops and markets as well as the usual High Street shops that you can find in any large City. If you are visiting on a Sunday be sure to check out the stalls of Bath VA Vintage & Antiques Market (first and last Sunday of the month) or Bath Artisan Market (second Sunday of the month) at Green Park Station The Old Bank Antiques Centre on the London Road is definitely worth a visit if you like antiques and quirky objects. There are also a number of other antique shops on the London Road, so you can easily spend a couple of hours meandering along popping in and out to browse.
Bath has something for everyone one when it comes to shopping and it has very distinct shopping areas, these four are my favourites.
- Artisan Quarter – The London Road area and Walcot Village have a buzzy, eclectic collection of independent shops where you can find everything from vintage clothes to designer homeware emporiums, independent galleries and good foodie havens. There’s also a popular Saturday flea market.
- Central Area – The central streets of Bath are where you’ll find the main High Street stores. Explore behind the main streets and you can meander through the small passages and alleyways, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of smaller independent retailers. The covered Guildhall Market has a selection of traders specialising in second hand books, vintage jewellery, leather handbags and speciality food stalls.
- Milsom Area – You can find top fashion designers, department stores and smaller retailers. At the heart of Milsom Street is Milsom Place, based around a pretty cobbled courtyard. This is where you’ll find Jollys, a House of Fraser store that has been open since 1831 and is now one of the world’s oldest department stores.
- Western Bath – The Western Area of the city is where you’ll find the Green Park Station covered market.
Visit Bath have a good Map
On our day trip to Bath we spent the morning meandering around these areas (we didn’t manage to get to the Green Park Station) picking up a few bits and pieces along the way.
We stopped for a coffee and a piece of cake mid morning in one of the many independent cafes. As we had booked a fairly early dinner we just grabbed a quick sandwich for lunch before heading to the Thermae for our Spa session.
Eating Out In Bath
There is no shortage of place to eat in Bath, you’re spoilt for choice which can make it tricky to choose. You can choose from an authentic Nepalese meal at a very reasonable price at Yak Yeti Yak in the basement of a Georgian townhouse, it’s a family run authentic Nepalese restaurant with a varied menu of curry’s. Or you can go high end and opt for somewhere like The Olive Tree in the basement of the Queensberry Hotel, probably one of the best places in Bath for posh dining. Chef Chris Cleghorn serves contemporary British cuisine, with an emphasis on local, seasonal produce. It has a very good wine list which is arranged by flavours rather than countries and regions. The wine list was put together by Laurence & Helen Beere
“Putting together the wine list for the Olive Tree restaurant, we wanted to bring together an eclectic balance of the traditional and the new, the serious and the fun. We have enjoyed ourselves, we hope you will have as much fun drinking from it.”
We opted for something in between and reserved a table at Claytons Kitchen. It has a fairly informal atmosphere and is in a lovely Georgian Townhouse. Robert Clayton, the restaurant’s Chef Patron since its inception in 2012, creates uncomplicated dishes that showcase the freshest and very best ingredients. He is inspired by Mediterranean and modern French cuisine.
Mr J started with the Roasted Wood Pigeon and I had the Pembrokeshire Little Haven Crab both were very tasty and well cooked. For our mains Mr J went for the Loin of Venison and I had the Creedy Carver Duck Breast. Both main dishes were full of flavour and had a nice selection of sides. We enjoyed a bottle of Umone Nero Pinot Noir Oltre Pavese DOC 2015 Italy with the mains, it had a palate of rich black cherry, blackcurrant, plum, liquorice and spice and paired very well with both the Duck and Venison. We skipped dessert and finished the meal with a double expresso.
Time to Go Home
After a very full but relaxing day it was time to go home. As we wandered back to the Train Station we passed by the Bath Rugby Club which has its home in the centre of Bath on the Recreation Ground. They were playing a late evening game and you could hear the crowd cheering from across the river and we could see the action on the large screens they had in the stadium, so we paused for a while to watch.
Finally we continued on our short stroll back to the Station and caught our train home. Another wonderful day out and looking forward to my next trip to the Thermae.