As we all know, going on holiday can be an expensive business. But thankfully, if you know where to look, there are all sorts of great things to do and see in Bath, for free and gratis. Behold…
The Holburne Museum. Situated in its own beautiful garden grounds at the end of the iconic Great Pulteney Street, the Holburne is an ever-changing treasure trove of art and history, and it won’t cost you a penny to visit! Bath’s self-proclaimed ‘Museum for Everyone’ currently plays host to an eclectic range of exhibits, the scope of which is guaranteed to offer something for everyone – from the modern works of Julian Opie, displayed alongside pieces from his own extensive art collection, to the macabre skeleton-fairies of Tessa Farmer’s ‘Unwelcome Visitors’, an installation that finds the aforementioned beasties wreaking miniature havoc throughout the museum.
Bath Abbey. With a rich history spanning more than a millenium, Bath Abbey stands on a site that has been a place of worship since the year 757AD. The building itself has grown and evolved throughout that time, even being resurrected after standing derelict for over seventy years following King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Visitors are welcome to attend church services if they so choose, and the Abbey is open daily; a testament to the marvels of architecture and human ingenuity, worth a visit as a beautiful building in its own right. No admission is charged, though donations are encouraged.
Prior Park Lanscape Garden. Owned and operated by the National Trust, Prior Park is a stunning 18th Century landscape garden, the work of local entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph Allen. The park was designed by poet Alexander Pope and renowned landscape architect, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, and encompasses 28 acres of land, four lakes, a Gothic temple and grotto, and one of only four Palladian bridges still standing worldwide. Admission is free to National Trust members – find out how to join and support the Trust in preserving and restoring this and other sites of historical and natural beauty, here.
Many readers will no doubt be return visitors to Bath – perhaps you have friends or family in the city? If you’re a Bath resident with guests coming to visit, make sure you’re set up with a residents’ Discovery Card. The card allows every Bath resident free entry to a number of local attractions including the Roman Baths, the Fashion Museum and Parade Gardens, and cardholders are also entitled to discounts at other sites such as No.1 The Royal Crescent and the Jane Austen Centre. A full list can be found here. This is a great way for visitors to get a ‘local’s eye view’ of the city – and for us locals to see what all the fuss is about!