Bath is the perfect city to see in a weekend; intimate, but packed full of amazing history and a buzzing nightlife. The Abbey, the Roman Baths and Thermae Spa are all must see sights, and thanks to the compact nature of the city, you can do them all in a weekend.
The North Somerset countryside is a playground for the active weekender! As Bath is a small city, you can be out in the countryside in no time; whether hiking or cycling, the undulating routes provide great views of the city and an amazing day out!
1) Late Dinner at Yammo
In Naples, ‘Yammo!’ means ‘Let’s go…’ so there isn’t a better place to start your active weekend! Head to Yammo for authentic Neapolitan street food. No frills; it’s fun, informal, and exactly what you need after a long week. Yammo! lets the food speak for itself, and it shouts pretty loudly; the pizza’s are the best in Bath!
Dirty Tip: Have freshly-made arrancini to start, washed down with a Negroni Spagliato. It’s made with Prosecco instead of soda; perfect for starting the weekend off with a bang.
2) Early breakfast at Society Cafe
Start your morning at the Society Cafe for a Shoreditch-esque breakfast. The coffee is excellent and pastries are fresh, and their freshly-made cakes make for the perfect mid ride snack. Opening at 7.30am is ideal if you’re heading out on a ride, and they even have bike parking. Regular art exhibitions mean that there’s always something interesting to discover whilst you prepare for the day.
Dirty Tip: Ask about the guest coffee. usually an unusual blend, and definitely worth trying. Comes with a free coffee lesson from the barista!
3) Morning Ride!
Whilst it is tempting to spend all morning in bed; you’ll feel so much more relaxed after a cycle. The feeling of achievement afterwards will set you up for a great weekend!
Both cycling and walking in Somerset is hugely rewarding, due to the challenging terrain (hills) and the beauty of the scenery. There are hidden gems as well, in the shape of iron age forts, 18th Century follies, and fantastic country pubs!
Dirty Tip: North Somerset is surprisingly hilly, so prepare for climbing, and allow yourself a bit of extra time. Take plenty of water and energy bars.
Bath to Bradford on Avon Loop (Easy Route)
A lovely ride out from Bath to the quaint and picturesque village of Bradford on Avon. Stop at one of Bradford’s famous Tea Shops!
Distance— 44km (2 hours). Route details and map Click Here
Bath to Cheddar Gorge (Intermediate Route)
Riding west from Bath, this route takes you into the Mendip Hills Area Of Natural Beauty and finally the cycling mecca of Cheddar Gorge! The Gorge area is quite hilly, so be prepared for climbing! Stop at the Cheddar Gorge tourist centre to refuel.
Distance— 80km (3.5 hours). Route details and map Click Here
4) Lunch at Sam’s Kitchen
Head to Walcott Street, Bath’s trendy artisan district, and grab lunch at Sam’s Kitchen. More an open kitchen come deli than a cafe, the food is freshly prepared every day from very local sources, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Lunch is roasted meat (from the family farm 12 miles away) and/or fresh salads, followed by mouthwatering, made-in-house cakes and pastries. Regular art and music events also keep the diners entertained, so pop in and see what’s on.
5) Visit the Roman Baths and Thermae Spa
Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to visit Bath’s must see sites. After brunch head to Bath Abbey to see where England’s first king was crowned. The Abbey is closed from 2:30–4:30pm on Sundays, so get in early. After the Abbey it’s onto the Roman Baths for a tour of this World Heritage Site — an amazing glimpse into Roman life in 70AD! Get a free audio guide and listen to American author Bill Bryson’s insightful commentary.
Dirty Tip: Buy a ‘Spas ancient and modern pass’ for access to the ancient baths, champagne tea in the Pump Room and bathing in the modern Thermae Spa and rooftop pool! Perfect for recovering after yesterdays cycle.
6) Dinner at Sotto Sotto
Now the exercise and culture part are out of the way, the real fun can begin! After the Spa, head to Chandos Deli for a glass of wine (or two) and some nibbles before dinner. The two best places to eat in Bath are Circus or Sotto Sotto (book in advance). Circus is a modern British restaurant that prides itself on locally sourced, fresh ingredients and its reputation as Bath’s best family run eatery. Subterranean Sotto Sotto (above) recently won ‘Bath’s best Italian’ for its fresh, traditional Italian dishes, with a contemporary twist. The setting is beautiful, and the food fabulous!
Dirty Tip: Head to Cheap Street after dinner for a Romantic stroll around the lit Abbey — It’s quieter at night and less touristy; you won’t be disappointed!
7) Brunch at Wild Café
Tucked away down a tiny cobbled street in the city centre, Wild Café is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday morning. They produce the freshest and most local brunch in Bath with the motto being ‘west is best’. Have the fair-trade organic coffee, poached eggs and ‘Bath pig’ chorizo. The café is also run on 100% renewable electricity, and future plans include the first zero carbon Eggs Benedict! After a delicious brunch and a wander around the town, head back home feeling relaxed and ready for Monday morning!
Dirty Tip: You can’t book at Wild Café, so grab the Sunday papers and relax in the café’s waiting area.
Where to Stay
This boutique B&B is a 10 minute walk from the centre and boasts great views of Bath. The staff couldn’t be more helpful and the breakfast, served in the Japanese inspired garden, is delicious. The rooms are an eclectic mix of modern decors, boasting Asian antiques and a vast modern art collection. White Company products, marble bathrooms, power showers and a coffee machine can be found in all rooms.
Dirty Tip: Secure bike storage is possible, just let the house know you will be bringing them when booking.
Bath is very accessible by car, only 2.5 hours drive down the M4 from London. We recommend leaving early if you can, as the traffic can get quite bad. Exit the M4 at Junction 18 and just follow the signs for Bath!
Bath is also incredibly easy by train, and it’s also really simple (and free) to book your bicycle on as well. The best way is to phone The Train Line and book your ticket and bike space all at the same time. Check train times online (www.thetrainline.com) but then call 0871 244 1545 to book. Remember to book bike(s) space, as if you don’t, they might not let you on the train with them when you arrive.