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As a newcomer to the North West, I often hanker after my old stomping ground of Bath. This Roman City attracts tourists in their droves throughout the year but venture just a little bit off the beaten track and you’ll experience a different Bath; the Bath enjoyed by its locals every single day.
Now is the perfect time for a getaway to Bath when the late autumn sunshine somehow makes the city look even more beautiful. Find a wonderful cottage in Somerset and explore the county at your leisure. Cheer on Bath Rugby or enjoy a pint in a traditional pub or follow our guide for an insider guide to Bath.
As soon as the sun makes an appearance, the vast majority of visitors to Bath make a beeline to the gardens just in front of the Royal Crescent. Who can blame them; the architecture is simply stunning. But, if you’re looking for a quieter spot to spread out your picnic rug, why not try Sydney Gardens. Just a five minute stroll along Great Pulteney Street and you’re in the heart of 12 acres of lawns, trees and flower beds. Wide pathways make this an ideal spot for an autumn stroll and the feeling that you’re miles away from the city. The recently refurbished Holburne Museum on the outskirts of Sydney Gardens is well worth a visit if you fancy something to do. Try their cafe for a lazy lunch with spectacular views over the Garden of Lights as the sun goes down.
Hidden away behind the popular Thermae Spa, you’ll find one of Bath’s treasures; the Little Theatre. Showing a range of films from blockbusters to foreign offerings with subtitles, enjoy a film in comfortable and intimate surroundings with a locally-sourced treat. Much nicer than the nearby multiplex, the Little, as referred to by the locals, is the place to head for an afternoon of entertainment or if the skies cloud over.
Approaching Bath Abbey, you can’t fail to notice the hordes of tourist queuing to enter the Roman Baths Museum and the Pump Rooms. Usually hidden behind security guards you’ll find a small plaque advertising guided walking tours run by the Mayor’s guides. This free, two hour tour of Bath is well worth your time and you’ll leave with many new and interesting facts; for example, where does the expression ‘you can’t see the wood for the trees’ come from? You’ll have to take the tour to find out! Even as a local, this is a must-do on my returns to Bath.
Choosing a self-catering cottage for your trip to the West Country is the best way to explore Bath. Eat wherever takes your fancy at one of the city’s many great bars and restaurants. Once you’ve explored Bath, venture into the West Country and enjoy leisurely walks across the Mendips or a stroll along the beaches of Watchet and Brean. Discover the region’s other historic cities like Wells or Glastonbury for an enjoyable cultural mini-break. Start planning you next short break with Sykes and have a wonderful time in beautiful Bath.