Bath was a place that I knew one day I would want to revisit. I went once about four years ago when holidaying nearby in Dorset. This December I finally returned for a short trip. It was significantly different the second time round with it being just weeks away from Christmas, last time it was a sweltering hot September day! Regardless of the fact I had been before, I was equally as swept away by the beauty of Bath as I was the very first time. I decided to share the highlights of my trip to Bath before Christmas.
I drove on our latest visit, so was lumbered with my Fiat 500: this meant it was a no-brainer to get the Park & Ride into town. It cost something like £6 between two of us and got to leave the car all day which is amazing. We hopped on a bus super early, so early in fact that we got to watch the sleepy city waking up. Wandering the empty streets of Bath all to ourselves was an incredible experience especially knowing that just a few hours later this would be a totally different story.
Arriving when we did allowed us to appreciate the wintry setting in a more peaceful manner before all the crowds filled it up. The streets were embellished with dainty little Christmas lights, wreaths and other decorations of the season. Outside Bath Abbey in the square was an enormous tree that instantly filled me with excitement and Christmas spirit. It was so lovely getting to see the place with hardly another soul around.
Being there so early also meant we were one of the first lot of visitors into the Roman Baths. Taking a look round the baths was actually a new experience for me as I didn’t get time on my first visit. I’m so glad we went because the baths are stunning and of course filled with fascinating history! Entrance here also sets scene beneath the beautiful abbey and simply every direction you look is filled with incredible historic architecture.
I was expecting there to not be very much so I was quite surprised by the amount there was actually to see. Visitors are allowed to walk around at their own leisure although there are guided tours available too. I preferred being able to walk around on our own. You begin at the top of the baths on a terrace that looks down onto the baths, and even from the top the steam off the water is visible with the naked eye. The layout is set so that you begin at the top and gradually work your way down to the bottom where you are able to get right up close to the water.
Once done looking around the baths, it was like walking out to a completely different place. The square was flooded with a mass of tourists and Christmas shoppers.The difference in an hour really was amazing, however given the time of year its only to be expected. It was such a contrast to the way we saw it in the earlier hours. To escape the chaos of the crowds for a while we decided to take a walk and veered slightly outside of the city.
We headed toward the hill near the station as we had seen on Instagram a really cool picture tagged from Alexandra Park and thought it’d be good to try and find it. As we didn’t know exactly where to go we just followed the hill up and tried to find our way with google maps. After a little diversion off track we managed to find the exact spot. Lets just say the hill was absolutely worth climbing! The view overlooks the entire city of Bath, and honestly pictures don’t really give it justice. It was also quite a nice way to get away from the crowds for a while, only passing a handful of other people on our excursion here. I would definitely recommend a walk up to this spot to anyone visiting.
In a nutshell:
The highlight of my trip to Bath was experiencing the city as it was waking up in the early morning, getting a moment of peace to savour the quiet streets. I also really enjoyed looking round the baths this time around, there was much more to see than I had originally imagined. I was also glad to have found Alexandra Park as the view was amazing. Seeing Bath at Christmas could be a truly magical experience and although I expected it to be busy I was somehow not prepared for the sheer amount of people. So if you ever plan on going ahead of Christmas its something to consider, the relatively small size of the city makes it feel like everyone is just on top of each other and there wasn’t space to hardly move as the day went on. Regardless, Bath is still a truly stunning place and I’m sure that I will be back again one day in the future.