Bath, England, is synonymous with Stonehenge ― an ancient, circular, stone structure that remains an engineering and architectural mystery. Believed to be a place of ancient worship, Stonehenge circle is built on the axis of the midsummer sunrise.
Older than Bath, Stonehenge dates back to 3,000 BC, when it began as a circular set of earthen banks and ditches. Over the next 1,000 years, the site was fortified with timber, and then with stone. The stone blocks are over 7.3 m (24 ft) high, weigh over 45 tons, and they were transported 150 miles from Wales. The site’s sprawling, 10 square miles also hold 350 burial grounds.
Stonehenge is located 2.5 hours from London, 10 miles from Salisbury, and 52 minutes from Bath. At the Salisbury rail and bus station, you can rent a car or take a public tour bus to Stonehenge. But I suggest staying in the village of Bath. It’s closer to Stonehenge than London, and it has its own nice attractions, including a selection of comfy Stonehenge hotels.
Regardless of where you stay, you’ll need to follow the rules for visiting Stonehenge after arriving at the site. The public is no longer allowed inside the stone ring. A walkway with ropes surrounds the famed circle, so be sure have the lens on your camera set to zoom. The vast, surrounding fields are perfect for walking and exploring other sites, such as the burial grounds.
Stonehenge is open year-round. In my opinion, it’s best to book Stonehenge hotels for a stay during the summer solstice festival. Tens of thousands of thrill-seekers gather around the stone sculptures to watch the sunrise on June 21st. Neopagans and dashingly dressed druids conduct ancient rites in circles, as drummers fill the air with tribal beats. It’s a trip into the past, to say the least.
With a population of roughly 88,000, Bath is a scenic town in the English countryside, with no shortage of things to do. Only 52 minutes from Stonehenge and 90 minutes West of London by train, the town is known for its natural hot springs and Roman Baths, which are some of the most remarkable Roman ruins outside of Rome. The natural hot springs were used long before Romans under Emperor Claudius invaded Britain in 43 AD. Today, the ruins stand at the center of the city, bringing in millions of tourists.
Visit the Roman bath ruins: the Great Bath, set in the remains of the Temple to Sulis Minerva. Plan on two hours for the visit, and go early or late to avoid large crowds. Play your cards right, and visiting the ancient baths is one of the best options for what to do in Bath, England.
Address: Stall Street, BA1 1LZ
Contact: 01225 477785; romanbaths.co.uk.
Prices: adults £13.50 (July and August £14); 65 and over £11.75, children 6-16 £8.80.
Pay for a session in the New Royal Bath, where you can float in natural, thermal waters in the open air rooftop pool. The large, indoor Minerva Bath and various steam rooms are also options. Spa treatments are available, but book your session in advance to ensure your place.
Address: Hot Bath Street, BA1 1SJ
Contact: 01225 331234; thermaebathspa.com
Prices: £27 for a two-hour session in the New Royal Bath and £17 for a 90-minute session in the Cross Bath.
Here, you’ll find beautifully displayed 18th- and 19th-century English paintings and antiques. If you love art and captivating objects from the past, this is one of the best options for what to do in Bath, England, on crisp mornings and quiet afternoons.
Address: Great Pulteney Street, BA2 4DB
Contact: 01225 388569; holburne.org
Prices: admission to the main galleries is free, but there is a charge for temporary exhibitions.
The Jane Austen Centre is dedicated to celebrating Bath’s most famous resident. The Centre offers a snapshot of what it was like to live in Regency times in terms of fashion, food, and society – things that helped inspire some of Austen’s timeless novels. The Centre also explores how the city of Bath impacted Austen’s life and affected the writing of her much-loved novels, such as Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
Built in the 1480s, Sally Lunn’s is one of the oldest houses in Bath. It’s home to the most famous local delicacy: the Original Sally Lunn Bun. According to legend, Sally Lunn ― a French refugee ― arrived 1680 and established her bakery. Today, Sally Lunn’s serves a menu based on the world-famous ‘Sally Lunn’ Bun during the day and fine English food in the evening — and it’s one of the tastiest places to eat in Bath. The museum is open daily, showing the original kitchen Lunn used to perfect her recipes.
Walking off your Sally Lunn Bun calories in Alexandra Park and taking in the Bath Skyline are other things to include in your schedule after a day at Stonehenge and a relaxing bath at the Thermae Bath Spa. The Tasting Room Café and Bar offer wine, whiskey, and gin tastings ― a perfect cap to an exciting day of adventure.
Now that you have exciting options for what to do in Bath, England, it’s time to visit our store, and choose the right attire for your adventure. Shop today!