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If you’re looking for a romantic trip in the UK, head to Bath. This beautiful city is the largest in Somerset and is known for (and named after) the Roman-built baths in the centre. The entire city centre is a World Heritage site and there’s plenty to do for families, friends and especially couples looking for some quality time together. Check out these 11 romantic things to do in Bath.
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Romantic Idea #1- Relax in the famous waters of the Thermae Spa
If you’re truly looking to treat someone special in Bath, you’ve got to book into the Thermae Spa. This is now the only way to enjoy the naturally warm, mineral-rich waters of the hot spring the city was built on- it’s the only hot spring in the UK!
The waters in Bath were first pronounced as ‘healing’ as early as 863BC, when Prince Bladud cured from his skin disease after bathing in the waters. From there the city grew, reaching its peak during Roman times when the rich and powerful gathered to soak, relax and share their days. In fact, the word ‘spa’ comes from the Latin phrase ‘Salus Per Aquam’ or ‘health through water’.
The thermal waters contain over 42 different minerals, the most concentrated being sulphate, calcium & chloride. Over 1 million litres of this water bubble up from the underground source each day and are fully used in Thermae Bath Spa.
There are four ‘baths’ at Thermae and the water is actually cooled down to the optimum bathing temperature of around 33.5°C (92°F).
The most romantic is the New Royal Bath (which is actually two baths).Children under 16 are not permitted, so you can relax in the quiet atmosphere. You can also enjoy spectacular views over Bath and the surrounding countryside from the open-air, rooftop pool.
The other bath is Minerva (the Roman Goddess of Health & Wisdom). This is the largest of the thermal baths and includes massage jets, whirlpool and a lazy river to enjoy.
Thermae Spa also offers couples massage treatments and beauty packages if you wish to indulge further. If you want to really have some peace, you can hire the ‘Cross’ bath, across the street for a private relaxation.
Romantic Idea #2- Take to the water
If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying Bath during nice weather, take a trip on the river. By far the best way to do this is to head to the Boating Station- a charming Victorian building where you can hire rowing wooden boats, canoes and even punts (some are 100 years old!). Boats are available for hire by the hour or day and can be used to explore along the River Avon.
The Boating Station is an easy walk from the city centre and can also be reached by bicycle or car (parking is available.) There is a lovely tea room and restaurant on site and the whole thing is set in beautiful gardens; they even allow you to bring your own picnic to either eat in the boat on the river or enjoy in their gardens- what could be more romantic?!
Romantic idea #3- Take to the air
For the ultimate romantic moment, book a hot air balloon ride and experience the city from a totally new perspective. If you’re lucky, you can book a Champagne flight at either sunrise or sunset and really treat your partner to an unforgettable moment. You’ll really appreciate the beautiful yellow of the Bath stone as it glows in the ‘golden hour’.
Flights are run between April to October and the experience takes about 4 hours, with an hour for the flight. Depending on wind direction you may even soar over the Cotswolds, the Mendips, or even the historic Kennet and Avon Canal.
Romantic idea #4- Enjoy a traditional cream tea in an unforgettable setting
If you’ve done a lot of England road trips, you’ll know that a cream tea is mandatory and available almost everywhere. But Bath takes it to a whole new level. In fact, their cream teas almost rival London for sheer decadence.
One of the best places to indulge is to book the High Tea at the Pump Room at the Roman Baths (no, you don’t need to buy a ticket to the actual baths to book into their tea room, although seeing the original baths and how they were built is well-worth it!)
Here, you’ll enjoy delicious sandwiches, scones so light they melt in your mouth and cakes which make you forget the word ‘diet’, all set to an incredible backdrop with a talented musician to serenade you in the background. They can accommodate dietary requirements and allergies, and arrange things like birthday cakes, so call in advance to chat about your needs.
Romantic idea #5- Go back to nature
For nature lovers, head to the breathtaking botanical gardens in Royal Victoria Park. Formed in 1887 and covering 9 and a half acres, it’s one of the finest collections of plants on limestone soil you’ll find.
As well as trees, shrubs and beautifully-tended borders, you can also enjoy a rock garden and pool, a scented walk, old shrub roses and a replica of a Roman Temple.
The paths are full of colour and wildlife and there are plenty of benches for you to rest upon and even enjoy a picnic in the peace and quiet, away from the crowded city centre.
Romantic idea #6- Go for a walk
The Bath Skyline is a 6 mile walk (shorter options are available) which showcases the best of the countryside surrounding Bath. Protected by the National Trust (you don’t need to be a member to enjoy the walk), the woodlands, meadows and views back across the city will give you a new appreciation for the area.
No matter which time of year you’re visiting, there is always something to see. There are also plenty of benches or flatter areas where a picnic can be enjoyed along the way.
TIP: Some parts of the walk are quite steep. Good footwear is recommended.
Romantic idea #7 – Take a road trip
If you have time on your break, why not take your vehicle (or hire one!) and plan a road trip.
There are some incredible places to see in the area on a day trip, including the Cotswolds, Bristol, Cheddar Gorge and Lacock Abbey.
If you have a little longer, you can extend your adventures and visit Salisbury and Stonehenge or even enjoy a road trip to Devon and the magnificent beaches there.
Romantic idea #8 – Enjoy some history
As well as the Roman Baths, one of the most famous historical landmarks in the area is Bath Abbey. Founded in the 7th century, this place of worship has been rebuilt several times.
The architecture is incredible and the floor has recently been completely restored. The Abbey has many church services and events, but outside of that time you’re welcome to explore and there are guided tours to help you see everything. You can also take a tour up to the top of the Abbey, including a visit to the bell-ringing chamber, through secret rooms and up onto the top of the ceiling.
Romantic idea #9- Dinner at the Ivy
The Ivy is a Bath institution- for good reason. Regularly voted as one of the best places to eat in Bath, the atmosphere and food are both fantastic. You can enjoy private dining and, if the weather permits, eating al fresco on their outdoor terrace. Make sure you save room for dessert!
Romantic idea #10- Adopt a painting
For a uniquely romantic gesture, why not visit the Victoria Art Gallery and adopt one of their paintings to be restored. This wonderful charity allows individuals or businesses to pay for the costs of restoring a piece of history. You can even pay to have the picture stay with you at your house for a year.
If you’re spoiling an art lover, it’s a wonderful way for them to be part of the art world, as their name will be displayed alongside the painting once it is restored and displayed in the gallery.
Romantic idea #11- Snuggle up with a good film
If the weather isn’t playing nicely, or you want to relax after a long day sightseeing, head to the ‘Little Theatre’, which used to be a theatre but is now one of the cutest cinemas you’ve ever seen.
You can take alcohol, popcorn and even locally made ice-cream to your seats, where you can book couples ‘love-seats’ and have plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy your film.
Romantic Places to Stay in Bath
If you’re going for romance and want to spoil someone rotten, book into the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa.
This famous, Grade-One listed hotel is a great place to base yourselves- you can even enjoy a Champagne high tea and spa package on the grounds. The gardens are beautiful, the staff are welcoming and the bedrooms are tastefully decorated. It’s one of the only grade-one listed buildings in the world you’re allowed to stay in overnight, so take the opportunity while you can!
About the author: Kathryn Bird quit her job as an air traffic controller and get out of the rat race in order to explore the UK and Europe in a motorhome with her husband and puppy. In less than three years they’ve visited 19 countries and driven nearly 60,000 miles in their motorhome- not including the times they were lost (and not helped by global pandemics…)
She is passionate about inspiring others to have their own adventures and experience the freedom of life on the road, whether it’s a long weekend or a month away. You can read more about Kathryn’s adventures, tips and ‘How to’ guides on their award-winning travel blog www.wandering-bird.com. Follow them on social: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube
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