Bath Day Trip from London: A One-Day Itinerary

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by Audrey Webster

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A little over one hour away from London is the historic city of Bath – famous for the ancient Roman baths and intricate architecture that have been expertly preserved to capture a period in time. The city offers a wonderful supply of activities, foods, and sights to explore and makes for an excellent day trip from London.

Even if you’re only able to spend one day in Bath, you can explore the ancient baths and still have time to enjoy what else the town has to offer – and perhaps even make a few stops along with way from London. 

Getting To & Around Bath

As a major city in the West Country, you have several options for how to reach Bath from London.

Firstly, you can opt for a guided tour, which will likely include one or two stops between London and Bath for your one-day itinerary.

Usually, you’ll choose between a trip that includes Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath such as this full-day tour or Bath and the Cotswolds such as this full-day tour.

Bath, England
Bath, England

If you prefer full independence on your day trip, it’s an easy train ride away. Take the train from Paddington Station in London.

Every day, there are countless direct trains from London to Bath. The trip takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, we recommend this option if you only want to visit Bath and not make other stops outside of the city. You can view train schedules here.

If you’d like to make stops between London and Bath, the train isn’t always the most efficient method. Renting a car is also an option as well and takes about the same travel time as a train and you will be able to make stops in places such as Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Salisbury. You can view car rental options here.

Upon arrival in the city of Bath, your feet will be your main mode of transportation. Everything worth visiting is within walking distance from the train station.

Tour buses drop visitors in a centrally-located square where they can set out on foot to further explore the town. The centre of Bath is very small, so you’ll have no trouble seeing much of the city during your one-day visit.

Old Roman Baths
Old Roman Baths

Bath Day Trip Itinerary

Seeing the highlights of Bath one day is doable, even with a few stops outside the city added to your itinerary. Here is a list composed of places to see both in Bath and the surrounding area.

The first three stops are best done if you are driving yourself as it can be tricky to incorporate all of them when relying on public transit.

Windsor Castle

An easy day trip from London on its own, Windsor Castle is a perfect stop to add if you’ve hired a car. Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, most notably home to the royal family.

Construction of the castle began in 1070 and it quickly grew into a sprawling site with impressive architecture, gardens, and history. Much of the grounds are available to visitors, with only a few areas sectioned off for residents.

There are several tours from London available that include a stop at Windsor Castle on their way to Bath. You can also take the train from London’s Paddington Station to Oxford then switch to a smaller local train to reach the castle. The castle is a five-minute walk from the train station. You can pre-book entrance tickets here.


The mystery of Stonehenge continues to delight and impress visitors to this day. This prehistoric monument is a set of upright concentric circles located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England.

There are several historical accounts and folklore tales to explain how Stonehenge came to be. The site grew to fame because it’s the most sophisticated stone circle in the world. This World Heritage Site is bigger than it looks, with each stone weighing approximately 25 tons.

Similar to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge is a favourite stop on many day trips to Bath. You can pre-book entrance tickets here.

Iconic Stoneheng
Iconic Stonehenge

Salisbury Cathedral

Near Stonehenge is Salisbury Cathedral. This is Britain’s largest cathedral that also boasts the tallest spire at 404 feet.

Along with being an architectural wonder, Salisbury Cathedral is home to the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta and the oldest working clock in Europe. The Salisbury Cathedral Close is 80 acres, making it the largest in Britain and a great stop for a break.

Visiting the cathedral is an easy train ride from London. Even if you can’t make it to Salisbury, consider taking a look at their peregrine falcons. The falcons have been nesting in the cathedral since 2014 and have become so popular that they have their own live stream. 

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Royal Crescent

For your first stop upon arrival in Bath, consider visiting the Royal Crescent. This is a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in the shape of–you guessed it–a crescent.

It was designed by the architect John Wood, the Younger in 1767 and remains one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the United Kingdom.

Here you’ll find Ionic columns, some of the first terraced houses, and early Palladian architectural styles. Many famous or notable people have stayed in these homes.

There is also a hotel and spa. The Royal Crescent is a short walk from the main thoroughfare of Bath, so you can easily pay it a visit during your time in the city. 

Pulteney Bridge

Make sure to leave time to take a stroll over the Pulteney Bridge in Bath before leaving. The bridge is famous for its romantic and intricate architecture.

It was completed in 1774 and spans the River Avon. You’ll find the best views of Pulteney Bridge from Parade Gardens, where you’ll catch clear views of the bridge’s three arches and the weir, a low-head dam, designed to prevent the town of Bath from flooding in the late Middle Ages.

The bridge is lined with shops on both sides, making it unclear that it’s a bridge while walking across. If you have some time to spend wandering, we recommend heading to the bridge, perhaps with a Bath bun to snack on, to relax and enjoy the view of the Pulteney Bridge. 

Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge

Bath Abbey

One step inside Bath Abbey will have you instantly marvelling at the architecture. This tranquil and historic abbey is filled with music, art, and history seated in the heart of Bath.

For over 1,200 years, Bath Abbey has been a place of worship. Over the years, several modifications have been made to preserve and protect the abbey, making it one of the most impressive sites to visit in Bath. It’s free to explore the abbey, but donations are welcome.

You can opt for a guided tour to learn more or wander the halls yourself. Make sure to look up when you enter, the ceiling is largely considered one of the best examples of fan vaulting in the country. 

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

Roman Baths

The Roman Baths might very well be the most iconic stop on your Bath itinerary. Here, you’ll find thousands of archaeological artefacts from pre-Roman and Roman Britain.

The site was constructed between 60-70 CE. Their development opened the door for a small Roman settlement in Somerset, England known as Aquae Sulis. During the Roman Era, it was not uncommon for every city or town to have a public bath.

People would visit the baths to worship the goddess Sulis Minera and lounge in the waters warmed by natural thermal springs. These same water sources still heat the baths today. While visitors can’t bathe in the historical Roman Baths today, there are similar spas nearby that visitors can enjoy. 

If you want to learn more about the history of the Roman Baths and the city, it is possible to organise a guided tour here.

Roman Baths
Roman Baths

Get Lost in Bath’s City Streets

Now that you’ve explored the historical and architectural sites that Bath has to offer, it’s time to explore the town itself. You can do this independently or join a walking tour.

As we mentioned, if you want to soak in a bath like the Romans did, you can head a few blocks down the street from the Roman Baths to the Thermae Bath Spa. It’s a modern and relaxing spa with an open-air rooftop pool, spa treatments, and steam rooms. 

While you stroll across the Pulteney Bridge, pause to have tea at a cute cafe or explore a charming local shop. You can take a lunch break here and look out over the river. Visit the Bath Distillery Gin Bar to try some of the 230 gins, each with unique flavours that bartenders will assist you in exploring.

Finally, consider seeing a show at the Theatre Royal where you’ll have the option of seeing a play, comedy, or opera. 

Exploring Bath
Exploring Bath

Have 2 or 3 Days in Bath?

Should you find yourself with a little more time to spend in Bath, there are a few extra places you can visit to fill your time. First stop, visit a museum. There are several museums ranging in historical and niche topics that cater to all different kinds of visitors.

We recommend the Jane Austen Centre, Sally Lunn’s Museum, the Holburne Museum, or the Bath Fashion Museum. Should you visit the Sally Lunn Museum, or even if you don’t, make a stop at Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House. Here you’ll find the famous buns. These are effectively large tea cakes served with tea. They’re the perfect sidekick to an afternoon tea. 

Finally, if you have extra time to spend in and around Bath, pay a visit to the Cotswolds. They’re famous for being some of the most picturesque villages in the country. There are several villages to choose from and the entire Cotswolds area is huge.

Castle Combe is the prettiest and most photographed of the villages. Cirencester is the most central town, often called “The Capital of the Cotswolds”, due to its location, size, and large market district that makes it the most bustling of the Cotswolds towns.

The Cotswolds are best visited during summer and fall when the weather is more likely to be sunny. While exploring, you’ll be outside and walking for most of the time, so try to plan a visit during good weather. You can arrange a guided tour here if you prefer to visit on an organised trip.

Typical Cotswolds cottage
Typical Cotswolds cottage

Where to Stay in Bath

White Guest House – This cosy guesthouse is a great option for mid-range visitors to Bath. They have a range of comfortable rooms available and an excellent location for exploring the city.

The Yard in Bath Hotel – For those looking for a bit of luxury during your stay in Bath, then this boutique inn is an excellent choice. They have a number of plush rooms on offer and a location that is perfect for exploring all Bath has to offer.

Georgian House – If you’d like to have your own space when visiting Bath, then this 2-bedroom apartment is a great option. It has a great, central location and is fully furnished with everything that you may need.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Bath hotels!

Planning the ideal London to Bath day trip can be a bit overwhelming when consider all of the great things to see and do in this historic city. However, with only one day in Bath, you will be able to see many of the city’s historic sites and beautiful scenery.

Are you planning to visit Bath? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Audrey Webster is a writer for The World Was Here First. She is an Oregon native who has visited countries across the globe and currently spends her weekends exploring the Pacific Northwest and surrounding states. Her approach to traveling combines exploring famous tourist sites and wandering off the beaten path to discover new destinations.

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