Bath: the UK’s most romantic city

by gill19

Bath, a magnet for chic society in the 18th century, still attracts romantics from near and far. Why not whisk your beloved off to this charming city for a weekend or dreamy day out?

Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, proposing to your loved one, or just want to spend some quality time together, compact Bath, with its laidback atmosphere and surrounding countryside, is the perfect destination.

WHAT TO DO

Tranquil gardens
Romantic venues include tranquil Sydney Gardens in Great Pulteney Street, with its Chinese-style bridges.  This was a favourite haunt of Jane Austen, who lived nearby at 4 Sydney Place. In her day, the gardens, which at that time had waterfalls, labyrinth and sham castle, were illuminated at nightfall and were often the scene of public entertainments with music and fireworks.

Afternoon tea
Afternoon tea in the genteel Pump Room, accompanied by a string quartet, will transport you to a bygone era of elegance and social intrigue. The see-and-be-seen crowd used to gather here to ‘take the waters’ and socialise. Today the ‘pumper’ is still on hand, dispensing the distinctive Bath spa water, which contains an incredible 43 minerals!

Hot air balloon trip
Take a trip on a hot air balloon and glide over the city’s honey-coloured stone buildings. Companies such as Bailey Balloons take off from Royal Victoria Bath and glide gracefully over the rooftops of the Royal Crescent and the Circus before drifting out to the surrounding countryside.

A walking city
Bath is easily walkable, perfect for couples of all ages to amble through hand in hand. Stride out on the National Trust Skyline Walk, a six-mile circuit of the city, with magnificent views and strategically placed benches. If you prefer something a little less taxing, take a stroll along the Kennett and Avon Canal.

Chocolates, champagne and oysters
Discover tempting treats on every corner: naughty-but-nice hand-made chocolates and champagne from Minerva, oysters at Fish Works or aromatic goodies from Molton Brown.

Glass museum
Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass is a unique working museum where you can watch glassblowers and stained glass artists doing their time-honoured stuff. They will engrave your initials on a pair of entwined swans. It doesn’t come more romantic than that - after all, swans mate for life!

Theatre and dinner
In the evening, take in a show at the Georgian Theatre Royal and cuddle up in the back row of the Royal Circle, then enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner for two at one of Bath's superb restaurants.

WHERE TO EAT

No visit to Bath would be complete without popping into Sally Lunn's House to savour an irresistible Sally Lunn Bun with home-made cinnamon butter and lashings of clotted cream, still baked by hand to a secret recipe. Or keep the romantic mood by choosing salmon with champagne and pink peppercorn sauce. You’ll find Sally Lunn’s beside the Abbey and Roman Baths.

The Hole in the Wall, beside the Royal Crescent, is Bath’s oldest restaurant and somewhere to enjoy a pre-theatre meal.

Have a pot of real leaf tea and homemade cake in the Jane Austen Regency Centre tearooms, located between The Circus and Queen Square.

WHERE TO STAY

On a budget
The University of Bath offers campus accommodation (including en-suite rooms). There are also a number of hostels in Bath. If you prefer an outdoor holiday, stay on a camping or caravanning site or hire a narrowboat on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Splash out a little
Stay in the Abbey Hotel, built in the 1740s and ideally located in the heart of the city, close to the Abbey, Roman Baths, Thermae Bath Spa, shops and theatre.

Splash out a lot
The centrally situated Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant & Spa offers romantic breaks complete with champagne and strawberries, red roses and candles. As you might expect of a Michelin-starred restaurant, the meals are delicious.