Keith shares some of his favourite ways to while away a weekend in Bath and the surrounding area, as well as some of the best cycle routes for those keen to explore on two wheels.
Bath ticks all the boxes for the perfect short break. With its famous honey-coloured Georgian terraces and its thermal spa waters, Bath is one of England’s most beautiful cities. One of my much-loved things about Bath is that it is unique and unspoilt. The city has so many historic buildings, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it boasts a wonderfully vibrant food and drink scene. Furthermore, Bath is in a superb location – in that you are near to the boarders of North Somerset, Wiltshire and the Cotswolds, which makes Bailbrook House Hotel the ideal all-year-round place to base yourself.
Bailbrook House is one of the few hotels in Bath that has onsite parking and is set in its own grounds, so please make time to stroll around our beautiful gardens. Once you have settled into your room, I recommend sampling one of our menus in the candlelit arches of our two AA Rosette restaurant, Cloisters, which enjoys unparalleled views over the Avon Valley.
Choose from a Full English or Continental breakfast buffet, or even one of our cooked fresh to order speciality breakfast items, to get a great start to your day. Bath is a wonderful place to discover by bike as you see so much more. Dependent on your time and ability, there are three leisure routes into the surrounding countryside that range from 12.5 to 17.5 miles, or two much shorter city centre routes that still offer plenty of sights. For more information, maps and videos click here.
Park your bike up, all the main attractions are in walking distance and visit the Roman Baths and The Pump Room. To get the most out of one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, listen to one of the audio guides as you go around. Use of the headsets is included in the admission charge, as is a glass of supposedly health-giving spa water, which I would advise against! Instead pop over to North Parade Passage for a cup of tea and a famous Bath Bun at Sally Lunn’s tearoom, I always opt for the Welsh Rarebit. After all that exploring, relax away any aches or pains at the state-of-the-art Thermae Bath Spa. With some of the UK’s warmest geothermal springs, it offers a wide range of treatments and stunning views across Bath from its spectacular rooftop pool.
After a busy day, the elegant Conservatory Bar is the place to relax with a perfectly chilled drink and dinner – weather permitting you can also enjoy al fresco service on the terrace.
Following a leisurely breakfast, there are many attractions to visit after you have checked out. I recommend joining the A46 heading north out of Bath and visiting the National Trust’s Dyrham Park (it is also on the regional cycle route 17 should you wish to get back in the saddle). With 270 acres of open parkland, Dyrham Park is perfect this time of year as the leaves start to turn, the annual deer rut usually starts in October, too, and is a worthwhile sight.
If you carry on up the A46 it will take you into the Cotswolds. Home to 15,000 trees, autumn at Westonbirt Arboretum is their most spectacular time of the year and is very popular with locals with a glorious showdown of colour. After, head to the nearby historic town of Tetbury for a spot of lunch in one of the many traditional inns and hostelries. Browse the many antique shops or, again make the most of the dramatic season and tie it in with a visit to the royal gardens at Highgrove. I of course, will be having a cappuccino and looking at my dream Italian bikes at Veloton cycle shop.