…are no excuse for hiding indoors! There are lots of great ways to see Bath that will enthrall you come rain or shine. So grab your brolly (and your sunglasses) and follow me!
The Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides operate a comprehensive and fascinating guided walking tour of the city centre, which encompasses all of Bath’s iconic landmarks, as well as a wealth of smaller details of historical note that could be easily overlooked by all but the most keen-eyed visitors. I took the tour myself with a visiting relative a few years ago, and was amazed at how much I hadn’t known about the city I’d lived in for most of a decade. And best of all, it’s completely free – your guide will not even accept a tip. The fully trained and knowledgeable Guides are all volunteers, who see it as their civic duty to help visitors understand the history of our beautiful city. Tours depart from just outside the main entrance of the Roman Baths, twice daily at 10.30am and 2pm (except Saturdays, when there is just a single tour at 10.30am); and from 1st May to 30th September there will be an additional tour at 7pm every Tuesday and Thursday. So don’t miss out!
Bizarre Bath Comedy Walk promises something hysterical rather than historical… an irreverent look at the city of Bath, and it doesn’t disappoint. Combining street theatre, magic tricks and stand-up comedy, the walk is described by the Evening Chronicle as “a gentle stroll interrupted by moments of lunacy” – sure to lift even the lowest rain-dampened spirits! Tours cost £8 for adults or £5 for concessions and run nightly at 8pm, beginning outside the Huntsman Inn (just around the corner from Three Abbey Green) and finishing about 90 minutes later, right on our doorstep!
Ghost Walks of Bath are a truly spooky treat for those with a passion for the paranormal – or who just want to prove how brave they are! A city as ancient as Bath, rich with dramatic and even violent history, is bound to have more than its share of resident spirits; this may be your chance to see one for yourself! Tours cost £8 for adults or £6 for concessions and begin outside the Garrick’s Head pub at 8pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, finishing at the same spot around 9.45pm. Do you dare..?
In the Footsteps of Jane Austen is a free-to-download mp3 audio tour of Bath, a must for every Jane Austen fan. The download package includes a map of the route and the tour itself is divided into fifteen chapters, so if you decide to take a break you can easily pick up where you left off – like dipping into your favourite Austen novel. As well as taking in the city’s most famous landmarks and highlights, the audio tour includes extracts from Jane Austen’s novels and letters, giving you firsthand insight into Bath as it was in its Georgian prime. To walk in Jane’s footsteps, download the tour here.
Bath Escape Detective Tours are perfect for those who prefer a more interactive and task-oriented approach to exploring the city. Ideal for groups of two to six people who love solving puzzles and riddles and collecting clues, each tour takes 2-3 hours and to complete it you must solve the crime or uncover the mystery! Unmask the murderer in ‘Case No. 219’ or discover ‘Victoria’s Secret’ (particularly suited for groups including younger players) – if Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple can do it, why can’t you? Visit the Bath Escape website to book your tour: but don’t give away whodunnit!
For those who can’t manage a long walk, or just want to see Bath in style, there’s no better way to go than by taking a ride with Courtyard Carriages. A team of elegant Dutch Carriage horses with groom in traditional livery take you on a 20-25 minute tour of the city centre, including Pulteney Bridge and Great Pulteney Street. Tours cost £11 for adults or £5 for children and depart from opposite Bill’s restaurant on Cheap Street. Full exclusive hire of the carriage is available for £90 which allows for a longer tour of one hour, taking in the iconic Royal Crescent, Circus, Queen’s Square and Royal Victoria Park. Book your tour here and step back in time to the glory days of Georgian Bath!