World Heritage City of Bath
Where is the 'West Country'?
The counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset make up this beautifully green region. Bath is in the north eastern corner of the historic county of Somerset. It is close to the city of Bristol, and the borders of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
In 1987, Bath was recognised as having such historical significance, it was inscribed on UNESCO’S list of World Heritage sites. This ranks Bath’s historical importance alongside cities such as The Vatican, Cuzco in Peru, and Valletta in Malta. This award was unique. It recognised the significance of the city’s social evolution over the last 2000 years, and also its place in natural heritage.
The city regularly features in the work of 18th century writer, Jane Austen and is located at the heart of the valley of the River Avon. It is surrounded by hills which have been quarried for their honey-coloured limestone since the Romans arrived in the 1st century AD. This limestone was used during the time of Austen for extensive developments in the city. It continues to characterise Bath’s architecture today, and is one of the city’s finest and most recognisable qualities.
Writer and philosopher, J.B. Priestley once said of Bath’s limestone walls, that it is “as if they knew the trick of keeping the lost sunlight of centuries glimmering about them.“
How easy is it to get to Bath?
Today, Bath is within easy reach of London, around a 2.5 hour drive west of the capital. It is also a 1.5 hour train journey from London’s Paddington Station from where trains leave up to every 30 mins. Bath is just 12 miles to the east of Bristol which is south west England’s most populous destination which also has a thriving visitor economy.
Bath is around a 1 hour drive from Bristol Airport and there is regular direct bus service to the city leaving from outside the airport’s arrivals area. The city has a great selection of hotel, B&B, and self-catering accommodation to suit all budgets.
What's special about Bath’s food & drink heritage?
Bath is a hotspot for creative individuals in the culinary industry, showcasing new or unusual food & drink, and arguably always has been!
2000 years ago the Romans arrived here and began to use the UK’s only thermal springs. We’ve been using those springs ever since and you can see them when you visit the city today. However, the Romans served visitors unusual foods we wouldn’t dream of eating today such as flamingo tongue, and dormouse! Today you’re more likely to get handcrafted fudge, award-winning gelato, artisanal baked goods, or world champion cheeses. These all seem rather more pleasant than the Roman-era offerings!
In the 18th century the healing powers of the hot, mineral water springs built Bath’s reputation. Visitors came in their thousands to drink and bathe in the spa water during their prescribed period of convalescence.
The city became a fashionable spa resort, and we rose to the challenge to provide interesting food & drink. This enhanced the entertainments, and the trend to do so has never stopped! The spa water still attracts visitors but its not as tasty as the city’s modern offerings. Bath’s artisans today provide more pleasant offerings such craft beers, small-batch gins, orthodox teas, and speciality coffees.
Today Bath and the surrounding area is home to some of the best artisanal food & drink production and retail outlets in the UK. Book a tour now to experience the best of Bath during your next visit!