Reasons to visit Bath in 2010

Posted on: 21 January 2010 by Mark O'haire

Thousands of visitors make a trip to Bath every year to discover its fascinating history, unique heritage and stunning architecture.

Bath resident and film star Nicolas Cage recently commented that he “loved Bath” and described it as “the most beautiful city in the world”. But the city is not just popular with the Hollywood actor.

With lots to discover and new things to experience in 2010, here are 10 good reasons to visit Bath and discover why everyone falls in love with this beautiful World Heritage city.

Enjoy the original spa experience

If it’s a spa break you’re after, look no further. Bath is the original spa resort, famed for its natural hot springs – the only ones in the UK which can be enjoyed in Britain’s only thermal spa, Thermae Bath Spa – and has been a place for relaxation since the Roman times.

Purchase a spa package from www.visitbathshop.co.uk or the Bath Tourist Information Centre, and enjoy exploring the original spa complex at the Roman Baths, a lunch or Champagne afternoon tea in the elegant Pump Rooms and a 2 hour session at the Thermae Bath Spa for just £59. Extend your stay and book into one of the spa hotels in the city for the ultimate spa break.

New contemporary hotel opens

In February, The Halcyon Hotel will open offering a contemporary launch pad for exploring Bath with 21 rooms and studio apartments. Conveniently located within the city-centre, you’ll find a stunning Grade 1 listed Georgian townhouse in a to-die-for location, tip-top technology, luxury products, organic breakfasts and a cosy bed at an affordable price.

Why not beat the winter blues a book a break to Bath? The www.visitbath.co.uk website has lots of accommodation options for every budget and taste including some excellent special offers: enjoy 3 nights for the price of 2 or stay in a top 5 star hotel for just over £100 a night.

Shop ‘till you drop with even more new shops to discover in 2010

Shopping in Bath has been undergoing a major transformation. Southgate, a shopping area once dominated by 1970s buildings, has been completely redeveloped and will soon feature a total of 56 shops, all constructed in a style befitting Bath’s beautiful Georgian architecture. The first phase opened in 2009 and phase 2 and 3 will open in spring and autumn 2010.

In addition Bath continues to retain its appeal for boutique and independent shops with quirky and fashionable stores you won’t find anywhere else.

On the art trail in Bath

Bath has an amazing collection of galleries; some 16 can be found in the city and reputedly 200 artists work in or near Bath. Whether a serious collector or just an enthusiastic amateur, art lovers will love Bath. Artist Nick Cudworth opened his gallery in Bath 10 years ago to exhibit his original oil paintings, pastel drawings and limited edition prints. Visit his gallery on London Street and pick up a landscape print of Bath.

Beaux Arts on York Street near the Abbey is the longest established gallery in the city and holds exhibitions throughout the year to showcase developing talent. At Mauger Modern Art you’ll find a commercial gallery with work from well known artists such as Andy Warhol and Peter Blake.

The largest gallery in the city, Victoria Art Gallery, holds art from the 15th Century to today as well as a fascinating and changing annual programme of exhibitions.

See lions in Bath

Street art has become popular in Bath in recent years with a number of local and touring exhibitions. Following the success of an exhibition in 2008 which saw over 100 pig sculptures lining the streets, 2010 will welcome 100 life-size lions, all individually decorated.

The exhibition will appeal to visitors and will be great for families who will be able to follow a trail to find the lions dotted around the city.

Celebrate 200 years with the Kennet & Avon Canal

The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the centre of Bath and is a beautiful place to enjoy a walk or a cycle ride leading to the stunning countryside nearby. The canal opened in 1810 and a number of events will be held to celebrate its 200 years of operation. On 13th June organisers will hold a street party in Widcombe, a vibrant high street just minutes from Bath’s city centre.

New food Festival

A brand new food and drink festival will be coming to Bath on 3rd and 4th July this year with a line up of the best food and beverage producers in the country. Over 130 local and regional exhibitors will be showing a vast array of products and leading local chefs will be showcasing delicious produce which will be complemented by a Wine Theatre and a good choice of real ales and ciders. Taste buds are sure to be tantalised at this two day event which takes place in Royal Victoria Park.

The Jane Austen Connection

The annual Jane Austen Festival celebrates Bath’s most famous resident and everything Regency with special theatre productions, concerts, walking tours, talks and dancing, plus the opportunity to dress throughout the week, if you wish, in 18th Century costume!

The event takes place in September and will celebrate its 10th year in 2010.

10th year of Bath Christmas Market

The Bath Christmas Market was voted as the 4th best in Europe in a recent poll. The unique charm of its traditional wooden chalets situated next to the imposing Bath Abbey and historical Roman Baths provides a very special setting.

This year, the market will be extended to run for 18 days so there’ll be even more time to find those perfect presents. Provisional dates for the 10th Bath Christmas Market are 25th November – 12th December.

Explore the area easily

Bath is set in a wonderful location with Wiltshire to the east of the city, Somerset to the south and the beautiful Cotswolds to the north. These areas not only offer some of the most stunning scenery in the country, but are also home to some top attractions and places to visit such as Longleat, Wells and Bristol.

For more information on all of the above, as well as a comprehensive guide to enjoying the best of Bath and the surrounding area, see www.visitbath.co.uk, or order a Visitor Guide from the visitbath.co.uk website or Bath Tourist Information Centre on 0906 7112000. 

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