If you’ve looking for the best things to do in Bath in winter, this blog post has all the information you need!
Ancient Roman baths. A modern spa heated by hot springs. Countless fascinating museums. Beautiful Georgian architecture (as seen in Bridgerton). There’s so much to love about Bath.
What’s more, you can enjoy virtually all of its top attractions year-round.
In winter, Bath has its own unique charm. The Bath Christmas Market opens in late November, the festive lights turn on, and the entire city has a pulsating atmosphere.
It’s also worth visiting Bath in January and February. Prices are cheaper, and you can often get a cheap spa day or afternoon tea deals.
Plus, Bath is a jam-packed city in both the summer months and festive period – but in January or February, you’ll have the ancient streets virtually to yourself.
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What’s the weather like in Bath in winter?
Bath can be quite chilly in winter, but snow is rare.
Generally, expect highs of around 9°C and lows of about 3°C. Rain is fairly common, so pack a brolly!
However, don’t worry too much about the weather in Bath during your trip – there are so many indoor attractions to enjoy in this historical, deluxe city!
Things to do in Bath in winter
Thermae Bath Spa
The Thermae Bath Spa has to be one of the best things to do in the city in the winter months.
A must-do during any weekend in Bath, it is the only spa in the UK that’s naturally heated by hot springs and is the modern answer to the Roman Baths which were established over 2,000 years ago.
Nowadays, the spa encompasses a rooftop pool with views over the city, a Minerva spa pool, several steam rooms (some of which are scented!) and treatment rooms.
The rooftop pool is perfect on cold winter days, as it’ll feel especially warm and toasty when it’s cold outside!
Explore Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey stands as a landmark of the city and is one of the best things to do in summer or winter.
Situated right in the city centre, Bath Abbey dates back to 675 AD – which is when a Saxon convent stood on the site.
Edgar, the first king of England, was crowned in Bath Abbey in 973 AD – there’s a plaque that commemorates this on one of the outer walls.
The abbey fell into disrepair for a while, but construction of it as we see it today began in 1499 AD. Bishop Oliver King had a dream about angels travelling to earth via an Olive Tree and thought this was a sign that he should rebuild it.
However, due to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Catholic churches were closed and construction halted.
Construction began again in Elizabethan times when it was restored and built up to the immensely grand scale that you see today.
You can admire the abbey from the outside or venture indoors to see all of its ornate features.
Tower tours also run at the weekend, where you can climb up one of the towers and enjoy an epic view of Bath city centre spreading out beneath you.
Shop at Bath Christmas Market
Bath at Christmas is nothing short of magical, and that’s largely thanks to Bath Christmas market, which turns this Somerset city into a winter wonderland each year.
Running for over 20 years, these European-style festive markets open for two weeks a year (in 2022 it runs from 24th November to 11th December!).
It’s a mix of places to purchase Christmas presents, festive events and a small bar where you can purchase a mulled wine or Baileys and hot chocolate.
Twin that with the magical city illuminations in the main shopping quarter, and you have a truly charming winter experience!
Go back to Roman times at the Roman Baths
The Romans arrived in Bath from 44 AD and quickly settled, thanks to the hot springs.
Romans loved a bath, so they built up their only natural baths in the city, which were generally used for socialising.
You can see the baths themselves and learn a little about Roman history and culture as you go.
The baths are open throughout the winter months.
Wintery walk around Royal Victoria Park
If you have a nice, brisk winter’s day while you’re in Bath, why not take a wintery walk around Royal Victoria Park?
This is one of the most glorious green spaces in the city, and it’s beautiful summer or winter.
Enjoy the Bath botanical gardens and walk up to The Crescent.
Sydney Gardens and the Holbourne Museum
If you want a wintery walk, it’s also worth checking out Sydney Gardens, which are the other side of the Avon.
These classical gardens were a favourite of Jane Austen herself, who enjoyed walking around them.
Also, don’t miss Holburne Museum, which has a wonderful art collection.
Bath on Ice
Bath on Ice runs throughout November to December, and it’s the ideal place to relish in the cold weather and throw some shapes on the rink!
Situated near the adventure golf course (which is also decorated for the season!) in Royal Victoria Park, Bath on Ice is the ideal destination for a fun-packed festive day out for families or groups of adults.
Jane Austen’s Museum
During Bath’s Georgian boom, it had a very notable resident – Jane Austen!
Although she wasn’t actually that fond of the town, she made her mark on it – and today, you can learn all you need to know about the famous Pride and Prejudice novelist at the museum.
It’s well worth visiting if you’re interested in Jane Austen or literature in general!
See the Fashion Museum
The Fashion Museum is a fabulous museum in Bath that’s open year-round.
As the name suggests, it details everything you need to know about the culture of clothes in Bath and wider in the UK.
The collection spans back centuries and goes all the way up to the modern day.
It’s located in the Assembly Rooms and you can use an audio guide to show you around.
Walk past Bath’s Crescents
Bath’s crescents are iconic buildings, and they’re especially beautiful on a crisp winter’s day without many other tourists.
The city of Bath is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the beautiful crescents are a big reason why!
The Crescent is the most famous, which is where some of Bridgerton was filmed. This majestic terrace of Georgian houses is in Royal Victoria Park and is mainly a hotel now. It was created shortly after The Circus in the latter 18th century.
It’s well worth visiting Number 1, The Crescent, which is done up to resemble the house in Georgian times, with period furniture and plenty of information about the Georgian period in Bath.
The Circus is also well worth visiting. Constructed by John Wood the Elder, this circle of houses was constructed in 1768; when Bath was having a heyday as a Victorian spa town.
John Wood the Elder wanted to create something that replicated a prehistoric stone circle. This road is thus perfectly circular, and boasts 33 houses overlooking the middle.
It’s just as grand as The Crescent, but isn’t quite as well known!
Do a Bridgerton Walking Tour
If you’re a fan of the period drama Bridgerton, then there are tonnes of things to see in Bath, in winter as well as summer!
While the Netflix show is set in London, much of it was filmed in Bath; which is no surprise, as walking around the city is literally like stepping back into the Georgian era!
Some Bridgerton filming locations are obvious, like the Georgian street The Crescent, but there are plenty more that you probably wouldn’t find without a guide.
I recommend booking this tour on Get Your Guide, which is available year-round and will show you the Featherington House, Lady Danbury’s Mansion and more.
It’s led by an in-person guide, but there’s also an option to listen to music from the hit show with headphones to make the tour really come alive.
Catch a Panto at the Theatre Royal Bath
Oh no you didn’t!
While you can enjoy pantomimes in cities and towns up and down the nation, if you’re already in Bath on a winter trip, then why not check one out at the Theatre Royal?
The pantomime for 2022 is Aladdin and tickets are available now!
See the Bath Rugby
Bath has one of the best rugby teams in the country, and the season runs throughout the winter months.
It’s definitely a cooler activity – although you can purchase branded scarves and hats – but the cheer will certainly warm you up!
Park run or take a walk to the Bath skyline
Another way to warm up is by doing a Park Run. This is a 9:00 am five-kilometre run every Saturday morning. It takes place in towns and cities around the world, but the Bath edition is one of the most scenic, along the Bath Skyline.
If you don’t fancy running, this is the perfect place for a winter walk too! You’ll take ins some immense views of Bath and the surrounding Wiltshire countryside.
To get to the Bath skyline walk, follow these Google map directions.
Afternoon tea at the pump rooms
If it’s too cold to spend too much time outside, warm up at the pump rooms!
This traditional tea house is right next to the Roman Baths in the city centre.
You can opt for a quick cuppa or a full afternoon tea, with options for meat eaters, seafood fans and vegetarians.
It’s toasty here – because the hot spa water is used to heat the room!
While you’re there, try some of the pump room water – this is from the hot spring and contains 43 minerals.
Bath Weir and Pulteney Bridge
Another must-visit spot in Bath is Bath Weir, located a short walk from the centre.
Pulteney Bridge spans across it; it was the founding of a plan that never came to fruition.
In the 18th century Frances Pulteney inherited Bathwick, which is now a suburb of Bath.
Her husband wished to build it into a city to rival Bath, and constructed the bridge, based on the Italian Ponte Vecchio in Florence, in 1773.
The plans never transpired, largely due to the war with France which was soon to unfold, but the bridge had already been built.
It’s one of the only bridges in the world that’s completely lined with shops.
Crawl Bath’s bookstores
I recommend a pub crawl down below – but if bookstores are more your scene, then you’ll be happy to know that any winter trip to Bath can be spent whiling away time in one cosy bookstore after another!
My favourite, without a doubt, is Topping and Co. I used to live just up the road from here and spent so much time trawling the bookshelves looking for my latest read.
They even offer complimentary tea and coffee to anybody browsing – so you’ll definitely warm up from the cold when you visit!
Alternatively, head to Mr B’s Empourium for one of their reading spas.
This involves talking to a staff member (or a bibliotherapist) about your reading tastes over a tea or coffee, and selecting from a stack of books that they come up with!
At £95, it’s not a cheap experience, but it does include £60 worth of books – so it’s the ideal present for any bookworm!
Visit the city’s best pubs
Of course, no winter break to Bath would be complete without trying out some of the best pubs!
Here are a few of my favourites:
- Saracens Head: the oldest pub in Bath, dating back to 1713
- The Bath Brew House: one of the best places to try local beer, with its own microbrewery
- The Bell Inn: this pub has events and live music most nights
- Hall and Woodhouse: this pub spans over three floors and a rooftop bar!
- Hare and Hounds: one of my favourite hidden gems in Bath! This pub sits right at the top of Lansdown Road and boasts far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside.
Where to stay in Bath in winter
The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel is the only UK hotel that has a naturally-heated spa. That’s right, it’s heated by the same thermal springs that the Thermae Bath Spa takes advantage of! If you want a truly luxurious place to stay in the city, look no further than this opulent hotel, which boasts comfortable rooms with beds that’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud and Nespresso coffee machines. Click here to read more about the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel.
The Apex City of Bath Hotel is located right in the city centre, and boasts a swimming pool, gym, bar, restaurant and room service. Rooms are perfectly comfy, bright and spacious and it’s the perfect spot to recharge after a busy day of exploring Bath! Click here for the hotel’s rates and to reserve your spot.
Z Hotel is a fantastic budget place to stay in Bath city centre. With clean and comfortable rooms, this hotel has all you need with flat-screen TVs and super comfortable beds. The prices will be very kind to your wallet too. Click here to see what I mean!
If you’d like a hostel option, choose Bath Backpackers Hostel, which is right in the centre of the city. Enjoy features like WiFi, laundry and cooking facilities and an on-site bar. This hostel only has dorm rooms, although there are girls only dorms available. Click here for more information.
How to get to Bath
Bath is fairly easy to reach from London, Bristol, Exeter and Birmingham.
If you’re driving from London, simply take the M4 to junction 18 and then follow signs toward Bath.
From Bristol, you can either take the M4 eastwards one junction or take the A38 (?). It takes around 40 minutes.
From Exeter, drive northwards on the M5 and from Birmingham, drive southwards on the M5. Leave at the M4 junction and follow the M4 to junction 18.
If you’re driving in winter, be mindful of icy roads. Main roads usually gritted, but smaller A roads can be a little dangerous at night.
Trains to Bath
Direct trains run from London, Bristol, Exeter and Birmingham. The train from Bristol to Bath Spa Station takes just 10 minutes and from London, it’s around 2 and a half hours.
From other destinations, you can connect in Bristol or London.
Coaches to Bath
National Express coaches connect Bath with cities around the country.
How to get around Bath
Once you’re in Bath city centre, it’s easy to get around on foot. While it’s brimming with incredible attractions, it’s a compact city that is easily walkable.
If you’re staying a bit further out, there are buses that run from Bath bus station (just outside the train station) to the suburbs. These run year-round.
Bath in the off-season – it’s definitely worth visiting!
Whether you’re visiting the city for a festive break or want to brighten up January and February by a trip to a spa town, it’s well worth heading to Bath in winter!