Fun things to do for couples on a weekend away in Bath
Wandering through the diverse streets of Bath on a damp grey Saturday in January, it was easy to forget it was only a few weeks post-Christmas. We were easily tempted into exploring the cafes, quirky shops and street entertainment that makes a weekend away in Bath an ideal couples’ getaway.
Shop til you drop
Unusually for me we arrived with no agenda. We simply parked in the town centre and just went with the flow, passing by the standard town centre chains and venturing into the independent and slightly boho style shops that Bath has to offer.
My husband and I were enjoying a weekend away in Bath for his birthday, and decided that Bath had just the right mix of culture, green spaces and relaxation that we were after. It was also not too far a drive from our home county of Dorset.
The vibe in the city has a very different feel to the towns in my area. As we strolled up towards the top end of the city and my favourite Milsom Street shopping area, we passed street performers and musicians that had gathered a crowd eagerly watching to see if the live statues would move. This part of the city is home to the UK’s first department store, Jolly’s, luxury interior shops, designer brands and Milsom Place – a collection of shops, cafes and restaurants set within the Georgian architecture that Bath is famous for but with a modern twist.
No weekend away in Bath would be complete without some history and architecture at its finest. As you wander the streets you can’t miss coming across the magnificent Bath Abbey with its unique ladders of angels and welcoming ornate door. Entry to this active church is free with donations encouraged and is open when services are not taking place.
As you step inside you will have a wow moment as you look up at the original fan vaulted ceiling and take in the numerous carved angels which can be found throughout the building, the stunning stained glass windows and the 4,000 pipes that make up the Klais organ.
Taking some time out away from the city hustle and bustle to spend a few moments to reflect, remember loved ones by lighting a candle and just being present in the moment with no distractions other than the beauty that this Abbey offers is well worth it, especially after the hectic festive season and current pandemic world we are living in.
With some peace restored it was time to carry on our weekend in Bath by exploring some more of this vibrant city.
Food glorious food
You really are spoilt for choice when looking for places to eat in Bath, every cuisine is catered for and we found ourselves perusing menus as we passed inviting looking bistros, curry houses, pizza places and independent restaurants tucked away in side streets and courtyards.
Whether you want high end or are eating on a budget like us you will find it hard to choose, but we finally decided on The Stable, drawn in by the colourful flower arch and smell of sourdough pizza.
You’ve got to be joking
Just across from the Stable is the Komedia comedy club, Bath’s first community owned venue dedicated to live entertainment. As it was our first visit to Bath together we impulsively booked tickets for the comedy show later – a bucket list thing for both of us – and let’s face it, who doesn’t need a laugh right now?
The building is a restored Grade II listed former Beau Nash cinema and appeals to our love of old buildings and architecture. You can book a table and eat there or like us grab a drink from the Electric bar and head up to the balcony, safely away from the comedian’s eye line.
After a night of giggles and uncensored comedy, we headed back to the Abbey Hotel for our first night of our weekend away in Bath. Very centrally situated, the Abbey Hotel was just a short walk away from both the Abbey and all the city's attractions. It was good value due to its location as it’s name suggests it sits right behind Bath Abbey.
The rooms have been designed to reflect the hotel’s history and focus on the arts - photography, cinematography and gallery.
We chose to stay at two different locations during this stay because we treated ourselves to a spa hotel for our second night so we had a good mix of exploring and relaxation.
Gardens, parks and a touch of royalty
Bath is a green city with an abundance of parks and gardens to explore.
We started our bright and sunny Sunday morning off by heading towards Royal Victoria Park where you will find one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks, The Royal Crescent. Designed by John Wood and built somewhere between 1767 and 1775, it’s a fantastic example of Georgian architecture and is now home to The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa. plus 30 private Grade 1 listed houses.
From here we explored the botanical gardens, fed the ducks in the pond, and played a few rounds of crazy golf.
If you wanted to explore further you could walk down to Parade gardens, part of Bath’s pleasure gardens where you can see across to Pulteney Bridge and the weir.
For us, refreshments were calling and we headed back into the city in search of a bite to eat.
You cannot fail to miss the brightly coloured pinkness of Sweet Little Thing, an independent tea room in Bath and hands down the prettiest café I’ve ever been in. You will spot the pink tables and chairs, the beautiful floral décor and catch a glimpse of the neon sign as soon as you enter into the Lower Borough area. We shared a slice of Victoria sponge and a cup of tea served in pretty pink china. Despite the pink overload it is appealing rather than tacky and we look forward to visiting again to sample their gorgeous looking afternoon tea.
Our afternoon was completed by watching a movie in The Little Theatre, another throwback to days gone by and built by community theatre pioneer Consuelo de Reyes and her husband in 1935. Today it retains its old world charm with only two small screens and a balcony where you really get the feel of how things once were.
We ended our weekend away in Bath by checking into the luxurious Gainsborough Hotel and Spa where we took full advantage of its spa facilities.
Set within the Unesco World Heritage site, a status that the area gained in 1987 due to its rich history and distinguished Georgian and Victorian facades. The hotel was originally built in the 1800s and is named after the artist Sir Thomas Gainsborough. Despite being two Grade II listed buildings the hotel is described as welcoming, elegant, vibrant and social. We found this to be true and if you are after a more up market stay then this will suit you perfectly.
We particularly liked the outstanding personal service we received, nothing was too much trouble and the staff made us feel very welcome and well looked after.
Bath is a multifaceted city and you will find one visit may not be enough, there is something to suit every age and taste. Whether you are a couple or are bringing the family a weekend away in Bath will keep you entertained from start to finish and like us looking forward to visiting again.