Bath is a beautiful and historic city in southwest England famed for its Roman baths. The town center is typified by grand Georgian architecture and the picturesque river Avon. If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Bath you won’t have to look far as there are lots of excellent accommodation options.
I’ve been visiting Bath for years, both as a lover of Roman history and for the excellent hiking and biking opportunities (Bath is right on the doorstep of the stunning Cotswolds). With so many wonderful places to stay in Bath, this charming west country city should be high on the list of all travelers to the UK.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere quiet and relaxing or would prefer to be in the heart of the action, within this guide I’ll tell you about the best areas to stay in Bath, as well as some handy tips on what to see and do, and where to eat. Discover posh hotels and spa resorts, gorgeous townhouses, budget options, and more.
Quick Look: Best Areas to Stay in Bath
The relaxed suburb of Bear Flat lies just to the south of the city center across the river and is within easy walking distance of all the main attractions. This is the best area to stay in Bath if you want easy access to the town but would like a quiet and leafy neighborhood to retreat to after a day’s sightseeing.
There is plenty to do from walking into town to strolling around some of the neighborhood parks for impressive views of the Bath Skyline. Alexandra Park and Beechem Cliff are two of the best spots.
You can also walk along the river or pop into one of the many cafes and pubs in the area.
There are lots of excellent accommodation options around Bear Flat making it one of the best places to stay in Bath. With a selection of guesthouses, hotels, and inns, to choose from you’re spoiled for options. Below are my top three picks:
1. Pass the Keys One Bedroom Flat: If you’re looking for places to stay in Bath with parking, this modern one-bedroom apartment with stunning views is just the place for you. The flat comes with free WiFi, a large, flatscreen TV, and a fully fitted kitchen.
2. Devonshire House: This cozy guest house is just a 20-minute walk from the city center and 5 minutes from Alexandra Park. All rooms come with an en-suite bathroom, tea, and coffee-making facilities, a TV and DVD player, and a fan.
3. The Bear Inn: There’s something I love about staying in pubs (probably the easy access to the bar) but I always feel a sense of history in such rustic settings and the Bear Inn is no exception. The en-suite rooms come with cotton linen and fluffy towels and are tastefully decorated.
Bear Flat is just a 20-minute walk into the center of Bath so there’s plenty to do around the area. Thanks to its location on a hill above the city, taking in the views is one of the best things to do here. There are lots of vantage points such as the one at Alexandra Park.
1. Sightseeing Cruise on the River Avon: This sightseeing cruise on a 1960s river cruiser is the perfect way to see the city in ultimate relaxation with a glass or two of prosecco. You’ll get to see Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey, St John’s church, and more.
2. Take in the Views from Alexandra Park: If you’re looking for the perfect place to have a picnic with panoramic views of the city skyline then head along to the beautiful Alexandra Park where you’ll find a playground, table tennis, public toilets, and the Bath Lookout for the best views.
3. Explore the Devonshire Tunnel: The Devonshire Tunnel is a duel-use tunnel for walkers and cyclists which links Bear Flat to the city center and countryside areas south of the city. I’ve cycled part of this route, which is formed from an old railway line, and it’s a great way to explore the area.
4. Prior Park Landscape Garden: Prior Park is an 18th Century-inspired landscape garden with winding paths, picturesque pools, and some unique bridge designs that can’t be found anywhere else. The Tea Shed is located at the top of the garden and serves hot and cold drinks and snacks.
4. See St Luke’s Church: St Lukes’s dates back to 1864 and expanded in 1919 to deal with the ever-growing parish around southern Bath. Although not the oldest church in the city, it’s worth a visit for the impressive architecture.
There are plenty of excellent eateries around Bear Flat from cafes, takeaways, and pubs to more formal restaurants. Here are three of the best in the area:
1. The Good Bear Cafe: This cute little cafe in the heart of Bear Flat serves up a great selection of breakfasts, sandwiches, and homemade cakes. The full-cooked breakfast is a great way to start the day, especially if you’re going to be doing a fair bit of walking. Click here for directions.
2. The Bear Inn: Continuing with the bear theme (well, this is Bear Flat), the Bear Inn is a traditional pub, restaurant, and B&B where you can enjoy a pint, a selection of hot bar snacks, or a full meal from a menu of pub classics and contemporary British cooking.
3. Velo Lounge: The relaxed Velo Lounge has a range of menus to cater to all tastes. From vegan and gluten-free to brunch, sandwiches, tapas, freshly made cakes, and a whole lot more, this is an excellent option for a bite to eat.
If you’re wondering where the best place to stay in Bath for nightlife is, then look no further than the historic city center. This is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to be close to all the major attractions such as the Roman baths, museums, spas, shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. I always stay in the city center as it’s so convenient.
For nightlife, start off with one of the many pubs in the center like the Pulteney Arms (see below), before going to a cocktail or late-night bar such as the excellent Sub 13.
The city has a large selection of places where you can party the night away, watch a live band, or even catch a comedy show.
If you’re looking for where to stay in Bath’s city center, check out the below accommodation options that are perfect if you want to experience the city’s lively pubs, bars, and clubs.
1. The Z Hotel: This is one of the best Bath hotels near nightlife and is very reasonably priced considering the location. The Roman baths are just a three-minute walk away, as are some of the top bars in the city. All rooms come with a desk, flatscreen TV with Sky, and an en-suite bathroom.
2. Hiding Space Westgate Apartments: This studio apartment is one of the best places to stay in Bath for nightlife thanks to its central location in the heart of the city center. Apartments come with one bedroom, a fully fitted kitchenette, and a walk-in shower.
3. The Gainsborough Bath Spa and Luxury Hotel: If you’re looking for some serious pampering, then this exclusive five-star spa resort is one of the top places to stay in Bath center. It’s the only hotel in the UK with access to naturally heated thermal waters and features a gym and bar on site.
There’s so much to do in central Bath from marveling at the ancient architecture to relaxing in the same thermal waters that first drew the Romans here (though not in the Roman bath themselves), as well as stopping by the interesting museums dedicated to famous former inhabitants such as Jane Austin and Mary Shelley.
1. Visit the Roman Baths: Arguably the number one attraction in Bath is the thermal baths that date back over 2,000 years from when ancient Rome ruled over Britannia. See the turquoise pools of heated spring water and marvel at the ancient technology and architecture. Click here for directions.
2. Take a Walking Tour of the City: One of the best ways to experience all the city has to offer, including a trip to the baths, is by taking a walking tour. Learn all about the city’s history with knowledgeable guides, and explore other famous attractions like the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge, and the Abbey.
3. Relax at Thermae Bath Spa: Although you can’t “do as the Romans” and dive into the tempting waters at the Roman baths themselves, you can certainly enjoy the same naturally heated waters at the Thermae Bath Spa. There’s even a rooftop pool with views across the city. Click here for directions.
4. Visit Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein: Take a journey into the spooky world of Mary Shelley’s famous monster Frankenstein in this fun museum and interactive exhibits. This is an excellent place for lovers of literature, families, and those who are looking for something a little quirky. Click here for directions.
5. See Bath Abbey: Officially known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath’s beautiful, gothic Abby is a must-visit. The building dates back to 1611 and was a former Benedictine Monastery. Click here for directions.
There’s no shortage of excellent places to eat and drink around the city center. Whether you fancy a hearty meal in a cozy pub, Italian, seafood, or upmarket, contemporary cuisine, you certainly won’t go hungry.
1. The Pulteney Arms: This traditional pub in the center of town is one of my top pubs in Bath. With a ton of rustic charm, an excellent selection of real ales, ciders, and a tasty menu, this is somewhere I come back to every time. Expect burgers, fish and chips, and a range of homemade pies and other pub classics. Click here for directions.
2. Henry’s Restaurant: This top eatery in Bath is run by local chef Henry Scott who prides himself on using only the freshest, local ingredients. The menu makes use of the wide array of local produce on offer from around the west country. There are five and seven-course tasting menus available from £65 and a two-course set lunch for £26. Click here for directions.
3. The Scallop Shell: This excellent little seafood restaurant is a great place for a family meal at very reasonable prices. The menu consists of British classics like fish and chips to more modern takes such as Moroccan spiced chickpeas, lemon sole, and Porthilly oysters from Cornwall. Click here for directions.
Walcot is a small suburb around Waclot Street and London Road and is just a short walk from the city center. It’s been the artisan quarter of the city since the 1960s and is home to a selection of independent shops selling everything from vintage fashion to handcrafted goods and local produce.
The village hosts a weekly flea market every Saturday where you can shop for antiques, clothes, books, and more, and the area also has lots of places to eat and drink with a selection of cuisines from around the world.
This is definitely the best place to stay in Bath for shopping and one of the coolest areas of the city.
There are lots of excellent hotels around Walcot Street making it one of the best Bath neighborhoods for visitors. Here are three of my top picks:
1. DoubleTree by Hilton: I often book a few nights at the Hilton when traveling (I’ve stayed at the ones in London, Sighisoara, and Bath) and love the attention to detail, facilities, and excellent breakfasts. This particular hotel is located in Walcot a few minutes walk from the city center and right next to the River Avon.
2. Broad Street Townhouse: This hotel is one of the best places to stay in Bath and is conveniently located close to all the major attractions, restaurants, and bars. Rooms come with a desk, en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, free WiFi, and city views.
3. The Luxe Maisonette: This two-bedroom apartment with river views comes with free parking, a 4K TV, voice assistance, and a fully-equipped kitchen. There’s also a living room and bathroom with complimentary toiletries and it’s just a short walk from the city center.
Although there isn’t a huge number of attractions in Walcot, it’s only a few minutes walk from the city center which offers plenty to do nearby.
1. See Pulteney Bridge: Pulteney is a picturesque stone-arch bridge across the River Avon in the center of the city. It was completed in 1774 and is unique to England in the sense that it has shops and buildings built into it, rather like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Click here for directions.
2. Explore Wild Walcot: This community project aims to bring a green corridor for wildlife along the length of Walcot Street which has been ongoing since 2017. The initiative also includes the Vegmead Community Garden and culminates at Hedgemead Park. Click here for directions.
3. Visit Saint Swithin’s Church: This historic church and Grade II listed building dates back to 1790 but was built on a site that dates as far back as the 10th Century. St Swithen’s is where Jane Austin’s parents were married, and her father is buried in the churchyard. Click here for directions.
Check out these excellent eateries around Walcot:
1. Walcot House: This upmarket restaurant is located on the site of a former bakery. Choose from the house set menu, à la carte, or breakfast menu. Expect contemporary British and European cuisine and an excellent Sunday lunch. Click here for directions.
2. The Bell Inn: The Bell is an excellent little pub on Walcot Street that’s home to the (self-proclaimed) smallest pizzeria in the world. Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the pizza oven in the garden is fired up to make delicious 10″ sourdough pizzas. At just £10 per pizza, they’re a tasty bargain. Click here for directions.
3. Hudson Steakhouse: If you’re looking for an award-winning steak then you’ll find it at Hudson Steakhouse. The steaks are handpicked by local butcher Terry & Sons and aged for 30 days before serving. Click here for directions.
The Bath neighborhood of Camden is one of the hippest places in the city, just like its London namesake, and one of the top places to stay in Bath for families. Camden is located on a hill and offers stunning views of the city skyline.
There are lots of fun activities available nearby from kayaking to mini golf and hiking, and it’s an easy walk into town.
Camden is a quiet suburb above the town, not far from Walcot and the city center, and one of the best neighborhoods in Bath for families. Here are a few of the best places to stay in the area:
1. Seventeen the Town House: This four-bedroom townhouse in Camden is perfect for large families and groups of friends. The apartment features two bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with city views. There’s WiFi throughout, and even a tennis court for guests to enjoy.
2. Milliners Cottage: This one-bedroom Grade II listed house is an excellent option for small families as it’s in a safe neighborhood in Bath. The property is over two floors with the bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor and the kitchen and living room above.
3. No 12: This three-bedroom holiday home is just the thing for larger families or one of the best places to stay in Bath for groups. The property comes with free parking and a private garden, a fully-fitted kitchen, and a living area with entertainment including a flatscreen TV.
There’s plenty to do in and around Camden from exploring the riverside area and parks to some excellent museums. It’s also easy to get into the center on foot or by public transport.
1. Museum of Bath at Work: This interesting museum recreates a selection of different workplaces that span two thousand years. Inside, you’ll find Victorian ironmongers, a stone mine, soft drinks factory, and engineering works among other fascinating spaces. Click here for directions.
2. Hedgemead Park: Hedgemead Park separates Walcot from Camden and is a great place for a stroll, a picnic or to just escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. You’ll find features such as a bandstand and an old fountain as well as a children’s play area and excellent views. The park is free to enter and is open year-round. Click here for directions.
3. Kensington Meadows: Serene Kensington Meadows sits next to the River Avon and has paths along the riverbank as well as a full-size football pitch, a children’s play area, and information signs pointing out the local flora and fauna. This is one of my favorite places for a walk. Click here for directions.
There are some excellent cafes and restaurants in Camden. Here are my top three:
1. Avellinos Deli Cafe: With fresh products straight from Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily), Avellinos is an excellent little cafe and deli in the heart of Camden. Pop in for a coffee and pastry or some real gelato that comes from Turin (it’s got to be mint choc-chip and pistachio). Click here for directions.
2. The Claremont: The Claremont is a homely, family pub offering local beers and ciders and fresh, stone-baked pizzas amongst other pub classics. There’s outdoor seating in a quaint courtyard out the back, and the inside is equally cozy on colder days. Click here for directions.
3. Bathwick Boatman Riverside: If you’re after modern, European cuisine with a perfect, riverside location then you can’t miss the Bathwick Boatman. With some great offers like a three-course set lunch for £30 (Fridays and Saturdays only), this is one of my favorite places for a bite to eat in beautiful surroundings. Click here for directions.
It should come as no surprise that the Bathwick area around the university is one of the cheaper places to stay in Bath (students love a bargain). Here, you’ll find the local youth hostel and it’s also possible to stay as a guest at the uni itself – you can even take advantage of the facilities.
The uni is surrounded by lots of large parks with stunning views over the city. Although at 2.3 miles (3.7 km) it’s a bit far to walk into town (though perfectly doable for those that enjoy a stroll), the Unibus U1 service runs 24 hours a day between the center and the university.
Bathwick and the area around the university is one of the best places to stay near Bath thanks to the low-priced accommodation options. Here are three excellent choices:
1. YHA Bath Hostel: I’ve stayed at many YHA (Youth Hostel Association) hostels over the years and they’re always a great bargain and are usually found in picturesque locations. The YHA in Bath is no different. The property is a large Italian-style mansion with private gardens, dorm rooms, and privates.
2. The Lodge: This two-bedroom house close to the university sleeps up to four people so is a great budget option for groups of friends. There’s a garden and terrace with city views, a fully fitted kitchen, a living area with flatscreen TV, and a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries.
3. The Apartment Bathwick: This one-bedroom apartment has a private bathroom, a fully fitted kitchen, and a seating area with a TV. There’s free parking on-site and a private garden to enjoy.
The area around Bathwick has lots of green spaces and some incredible views of the city. Here are some of the best things to do in the area:
1. American Museum and Gardens: If you’re looking for a great day out then head along to the American Museum and Gardens which is home to 125 acres of gorgeous natural landscapes, rolling hills, forest, and waterways. Labeled as the “best day out in Bath”, this is the perfect place for the whole family. Click here for directions.
2. Sham Castle: This folly is a recreation of a medieval castle that was actually built much later in 1762 and is well worth a visit for its interesting architecture and surrounding scenery. Click here for directions.
3. Bath Skyline: Bathwick Meadow is home to a large open space above the city that offers stunning views of the Bath skyline. This large area sits just across from YHA Bath and is the perfect place for hiking, picnics, and playing games in the great outdoors (be sure to bring a frisbee or football). Click here for directions.
As Bathwick mainly consists of parkland there aren’t many dining options in the area. However, the university has several restaurants open to the public.
1. Vellore: The Bath Spa Hotel in Bathwick has an onsite restaurant open to non-guests. There’s a formal restaurant offering contemporary British cuisine fusing local ingredients with modern techniques. It’s also a great place for afternoon tea and cakes in pleasant surroundings. Click here for directions.
2. Lime Tree: The Lime Tree is a canteen on the university campus that serves hot and cold snacks such as pizza, sandwiches, paninis, and more. The cafe is open to non-students and offers some bargain lunches. Click here for directions.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about where to stay in Bath:
The city center, Bear Flat, Walcot, and Camden are some of the best areas in Bath for tourists as they are all just a short walk from the main attractions.
There isn’t anywhere I’d advise you to avoid in Bath as the city is incredibly safe (in fact it’s the safest major town in Somerset).
All areas of Bath are safe for tourists, though keep an eye on valuables when in the city center, as you would do anywhere else.
The city center, Walcot, and Camden are great areas for shopping with a variety of stores selling everything from high street fashion to local produce, arts, and crafts.
Bath is definitely worth visiting and is one of my favorite cities in the UK. With a history dating back over 2,000 years and a setting within some of England’s most beautiful countryside, this is a destination you don’t want to miss.
Three to four days is the perfect number of days to spend in Bath to see the major sites. However, if you want to explore surrounding areas such as the Cotswolds, Bath makes a great base and a week would be better.
Now you know where to stay in Bath to get the most out of your trip to this gorgeous English city. As it’s a small city most places are within walking distance which is one of the things I love about the place. With so many vantage points around the town offering amazing views and lots of opportunities for getting outdoors, make sure you add Bath to your UK itinerary.