City Guide

Bath

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Introduction to Bath

Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset and is best known for and named after its Roman-built baths. Situated in the valley of the River Avon, the city lies 97 miles west of London and 11 miles southeast of Bristol.

The Romans took advantage of the area’s natural hot springs by building the majestic Roman baths in circa 60AD, which are now a UNESCO heritage site. The city’s elegant Georgian architecture is best appreciated on foot – you can take a free walking tour to admire the stunning Royal Crescent, the spectacular Bath Abbey and the historic Theatre Royal. Tourists also flock to the Jane Austen Centre to learn more about the enigmatic writer, while real enthusiasts dress up in Regency regalia for the annual Jane Austen Festival in September.

The city is home to two universities, the University of Bath and Bath Spa University. The University of Bath received its Royal Charter in 1966 and is now established as a top 10 UK university with a reputation for research and teaching excellence, offering programmes in politics, languages, the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, architecture, management and technology. Bath Spa University was first granted degree-awarding powers in 1992 as a university college before being granted university status in August 2005. It has schools in Art and Design, Education, English and Creative Studies, Historical and Cultural Studies, Music and the Performing Arts, Science and the Environment and Social Sciences.

For a relatively small city, Bath punches above its weight in terms of its nightlife and cultural offerings. Top pubs and bars include Circo, Hall & Woodhouse and The Garrick's Head, while those looking for a later night out can head to clubs like Po Na Na or Zero/Zero  There is a wide variety of venues for drama, music, dance and performance – Komedia, for instance, hosts everything from big name comedians to the latest up-and-coming bands.

For sports fans, the Recreation Ground is home to Bath Rugby, who compete in the Premiership league, while Bath City FC play their football in the Conference Premier. Many cricket clubs are based in the city, including Bath Cricket Club, who turn out at the North Parade Ground and play in the West of England Premier League. The Bath Half Marathon is run annually through the city streets, with over 10,000 participants each year. TeamBath is the umbrella name for all of the University of Bath sports teams, including football, athletics, badminton, basketball, bob skeleton, bobsleigh, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, netball, rugby union, swimming, tennis, triathlon and volleyball. The City of Bath Triathlon also takes place annually at the University.