What to do in Bath this summer

PUBLISHED: 10:22 22 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:59 26 July 2016

River Avon and Pultney Bridge. Photo csfotoimages / Thinkstock

River Avon and Pultney Bridge. Photo csfotoimages / Thinkstock


From sipping Champagne overlooking the city to exploring 100 years of fashion, here’s Phoebe Cleghorn’s guide to how to spend the summer in Bath

Thermae Bath Spa. Photo: csfotoimages / ThinkstockThermae Bath Spa. Photo: csfotoimages / Thinkstock

Bath really is a Somerset gem, with a wealth of food, drink, history and culture to offer, but it’s during the summer that the city really starts to come alive. If you’ve never spent a summer in the heart of Bath before, or you’re looking for new ways to enjoy the season, we’ve rounded up some of the delights on offer this year.

Summer nights

For cool drinks and warm summer nights, both the Perrier-Jouet Champagne Terrace at Sub13 and the Canary Gin Bar would be wonderful choices. Whether you’d prefer to sip on a glass of Champagne on a beautiful Georgian roof terrace or sample a variety of unique and uber fashionable gin tipples, these establishments will cater to your needs.

Bath Gin BarBath Gin Bar

A bite to eat

There’s no shortage of al fresco dining. Thanks to two new restaurants in the centre, The Oven and Dough, there is a wealth of Italian food to choose from. For an authentic experience, The Oven offers artisan pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. For a lighter choice, Dough offers a variety of bases (including multi-grain and pumpkin), helpfully explaining the health benefits of each choice. For honest, British food, dine at the Cowshed – the roof patio boasts a satellite view of the city and a welcome touch of countryside. What’s more, their ethos is refreshingly simple: they aim ‘to serve good, honest British food in a relaxed and comfortable environment, with a menu comprised of locally-sourced produce.’ They also serve meat prepared by their own butchers, as well as receiving ‘a daily delivery of fish direct from the Cornish coastline.’ You can’t get much fresher than that.

Jane Austen FestivalJane Austen Festival

Relax and unwind

Bathe in the naturally warm, mineral-rich waters when you visit Thermae Bath Spa. Relax in the stunning open-air rooftop pool or the Minverva Bath - or treat yourself to a spa session. Treatments include massages, facials and hot stones spa therapy. Spa users can enjoy delicious dishes from the extensive menu and interesting drinks in the Springs Café Restaurant.

Meanwhile, the free Spa Visitor Centre portrays the colourful role which the venue has played in the social and cultural history of Bath. Through interactive displays and exhibits you can see the story unfold from the times of the Romans, through to the days of the Saxons, Elizabethans and Georgians, up to the recent revival of the spa.

Wearable art

Combining both history and fashion, the Fashion Museum Bath’s exhibition on A History of Fashion in 100 Objects showcases wearable art from the 1600s to the present day. According to the organsiers of the exhibition ‘Fashion touches everyone’s life – it is intrinsically linked to society – and A History of Fashion in 100 Objects references moments in history, as well as more personal stories’.

One of the earliest garments on show is an intricately embroidered waistcoat worked in coloured silks and glittering metal thread worn by an aristocratic woman from the time of Shakespeare.

Fast forward more than 300 years later and the exhibition also includes an appliqué embroidered jacket by Paris couturier Lucien Lelong, worn by Gone With The Wind actress Vivien Leigh.

Don’t miss

Bath Thai Festival, 2-3 July: This two-day event offers you the opportunity to sample the taste of Thailand in Royal Victoria Park.

Bath Dragon Boat Challenge, 6 August: An annual event which takes place at the beautiful riverside Boathouse and is a day of fun for all of the family, with races raising money for local charities.

Royal Horticultural Society Spring Garden Tour and Lunch, 18 August: This magical event offers a tour of the Bath Priory Hotel gardens by head gardener, Jane Moore. This will be followed by a three-course Michelin starred lunch, with wine, coffee and petit fours.

The Jane Austen Festival, 9-18 September: Another annual event, this celebration of one of our greatest writers consists of walks, talks, tours and day trips, as well as recitals, concerts, workshops and dancing!

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