The city of Bath has many claims to fame – countless mentions in classic literature, Hollywood connections as recent as 2012’s Les Miserables, not to mention Word Heritage status – and among the most enduring is this: it ain’t cheap. From silver service afternoon tea at the Pump Room to guided boat tours on the river Avon, Bath is the very quintessence of genteel Englishness. Worth paying for, yes? I rather think so. But what happens when you’ve bought your air fare, train tickets, petrol and the all-important accommodation? If you’re anything like me, you start wondering if there might not be a few unfortunate holes in your wallet…
But worry not! As they say in showbiz, it’s not so much what you know as who you know. Stick with me and I’ll make sure you get the best out of Bath, without breaking the bank.
Repeat visitors to Three Abbey Green will already be in the know about my first tip: the BIGHA ‘Big Ben’ discount card. A full listing of participating retailers can be found on the BIGHA website and I guarantee you will find a way to save on something you were planning to do already! Here are a few of my favourites:
The Roman Baths: 10% off all tickets. This offer includes family tickets and combined entry with the Fashion Museum, so you can make an extra saving! The Roman Baths are open by atmospheric torchlight until 9pm throughout July and August, giving you all the time in the world to take in the history of Bath where it all began.
Bizarre Bath comedy walk: £1 off adult tickets. A great evening’s entertainment for the whole family to enjoy, with a little discount to sweeten the deal.
Thermae Bath Spa: three hours for the price of two (Monday to Friday). Go on: spoil yourself. Spend that extra hour floating in the rooftop pool and you’ll be so blissed-out, nothing else will matter.
If it rains during your visit, stay dry and soak up a movie instead, with 2 for 1 on tickets and popcorn at the Little Theatre Cinema on Sundays and Mondays.
A host of Cafes and Restaurants offer discounts and freebies to Big Ben cardholders, from free tea or coffee when you buy cake at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, to a free glass of prosecco and nibbles at Aio Sardinia, and even buy one get one free on pizzas at The Real Italian Pizza Company. I doubt you’d be able to get through them all in one visit, but I dare you to try!
On the subject of food, readers of my previous post will know I very recently discovered the joys of pizza at the Stable – if you want to try it for yourself and you’re trying not to overspend, pop in for ‘Tuck in Tuesday’ and bag a pizza, salad and drink for the princely sum of just £10.
Gascoyne Place is a lively and inviting gastro-pub serving proper British grub with a fresh, modern twist. Capitalising on their location a stone’s throw from the Theatre Royal, they offer a tempting pre-theatre set menu. At £14.50 for two courses or £19.00 for three, this is a great way to stop the dinner bill from escalating and perfect for families who want to eat early in the evening.
Bath’s many museums have something to offer every visitor, whether you’re an astronomy buff or literature lover, art history fanatic or fashionista, so the ‘George-dropping Museums’ initiative is a must for everyone. With a range of really worthwhile discounts of up to 30%, you could save a sizeable sum while enriching your cultural and historical knowledge. Just pick up a flyer at check-in for details of how much you can save and where.
Let’s not forget the easiest and best way to make sure your trip to Bath doesn’t put too much strain on your wallet: take a look at our Book Now page and snap up a last minute ‘Hot Deal’ – you’ll be surprised at just how hot they are! With all these great money-saving tips to choose from, there’s never been a better time to get your skates on and roll into Bath – we can’t wait to see you.