Named after its famous Roman-era baths that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites since the ‘80s, the town of Bath is one of England’s premier historic and recreation destinations.
With just shy of 90,000 residents, it’s small by big-city standards, but it’s located on a particularly beautiful stretch of the River Avon only about 100 miles west of London.
In addition to baths, the town features an abundance of traditional and contemporary eateries, as well as museums, galleries, and a number of fairs and festivals that are held annually.
Below are 15 of the best tours of Bath and the surrounding area.
1. Roman Baths and City Walking Tour
Bath Abbey is one of the area’s premier Roman-era attractions, and it features some of the country’s most impressive gothic architecture.
On this two-hour tour, guests and their guide will set out on foot to explore the baths and abbey while learning about the Romans’ cultural and historical traditions.
Tours also include brief stops at the Royal Crescent, several prominent homes built in the Georgian style, and Pulteney Bridge, which made a cameo appearance in a famous filming of Les Miserables.
Tours are available with morning and afternoon start times to accommodate those with different schedules.
2. City Boat Trip and Walking Tour
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site city, Bath draws tourists from all over the world.
This 80-minute tour allows guests to see the city from land and water while benefiting from their guide’s unique insights into what makes it such a special place.
Tours meet at a convenient location in central Bath, after which participants depart on a scenic river cruise followed by a leisurely walk through town.
Highlights include St. John’s Church, Half Penny Bridge, Bath Abbey, and Paradise Gardens.
For those who’ve just arrived, this tour would be a great way to see lots of attractions quickly and familiarize yourself with the town’s layout.
3. City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
For do-it-yourselfers and those who prefer not to commit to lengthy traditional tours, hop-on-hop-off tickets are both fun and economical alternatives.
One ticket gives guests access to two distinct bus routes, each of which offers a full list of attractions to explore.
Tickets are valid for 24 hours from the time of purchase, which means eager sightseers have an entire day to make the most efficient use of their time.
City Tour attractions include the Roman Baths and the historic Abbey that was the coronation site for the country’s first king.
Skyline Tour highlights include the Terrace Walk, Manvers Street, and the Holburne Museum.
4. Small-Group Tour to Stonehenge and Bath with an Oxford Professor
Tours that offer guests access to more than one of the county’s premier sites are great value for savvy travelers.
This small-group combo package has the distinction of being led by an Oxford professor and includes tours of both Stonehenge and Bath.
The Bath portion of the tour includes Pulteney Bridge, the Circus, and the Abbey, where guests will learn about each attraction’s significance and have time for questions and photos.
Then the group will make their way to Stonehenge, where they’ll enjoy skip-the-line tickets to one of the world’s most alluring and mysterious sites.
Tours include everything except meals and tips.
5. 25-Minute Boat Trip to Pulteney Bridge
From the comfort of a restored ‘60s river cruiser, guests and their guide will take to the water to see one of Bath’s most iconic attractions.
During the warm summer months, guests can bask in the sun on the deck as their skipper points out key sights on the way to historic Pulteney Bridge.
Tours wind their way past several canals that link to nearby cities. It’s common to see a variety of birds as well as North Parade Bridge, St. John’s Church, and Bath Abbey.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, participants can retreat indoors and relax with a coffee, beer, or glass of wine.
6. 1 ½-Hour Walking Tour with Blue Badge Tourist Guide
Stretching your legs and exploring the historic city of Bath couldn’t be easier for those who take advantage of this 90-minute walking tour.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town of Bath is chock-full of significant attractions that are best explored with an official Blue Badge guide.
Tours include premier sites like the Royal Crescent, Circus, Queen Square, and the majestic Abbey. At each stop, guests will benefit from their guide’s unique local perspectives and insights.
Guests typically discover things that those on larger tours tend to miss, so don’t be shy about asking for suggestions for things to see and do later on.
7. Jane Austen Center Ticket
Though it’s not so well-known outside literary circles, author Jane Austen is Bath’s most famous deceased resident.
Her works have been favorites for generations, and there’s a museum in Bath that’s dedicated to preserving and promoting her legacy.
Guided tours of the Jane Austen Center are offered every 30 minutes; they’re given by enthusiastic local docents decked-out in Georgian garb, which makes for a truly memorable experience.
While on-site, guests will have the option of having their photo taken with a Jane Austen wax figure, sampling period food, or relaxing with a drink in the Regency Tea Room.
8. Short Orientation Walking Tour
Apparently, most visitors to Bath have pretty tight schedules, because short tours are more prominent than they are elsewhere.
For those who bore easily and value free time, that means lots of opportunities to see prominent attractions without dedicating big chunks of time to traditional tours.
This 50-minute walking tour focuses on Bath’s city center and is a great option for those with kids who’ve got short attention spans.
Plan on seeing the Roman baths, the Abbey, and Queen Square, and learning about what makes each so unique and significant.
Tours begin at the Quay Waterside and require a moderate amount of leisurely walking.
9. Canapés and Prosecco Boat Cruise
There may be no better way to spend a relaxing hour while in Bath than by relaxing on a laid-back river cruise while noshing delectable finger foods and enjoying a glass of Prosecco.
Tours are available in the morning and afternoon to accommodate those with varying schedules. They take guests past some of the city’s premier attractions, like the 17th century Bath Abbey, St. John’s Church, and Halfpenny Bridge.
Depending on the prevailing weather conditions, participants will have the option of both in and outdoor seating areas, and tours begin and end in a convenient location along the Quay.
10. The Cotswold
Though many visitors spend most of their time within Bath’s city limits, getting out into the countryside is a great way to see things from a different perspective.
The English countryside is characterized by rolling hills, quaint villages, and obscure historic attractions that are well worth checking out.
This full day excursion focuses on discovering the Cotswolds. As such, guests aren’t likely to run into buses full of camera-wielding tourists at every turn.
11. Ghost Hunters Silent Disco Guided Tour
Rumor has it that more than four decades ago, a young ghost hunter descended on Bath in an attempt to prove once and for all that the historic town harbored spirits from the past.
Sadly, his work was inconclusive, primarily because he met a mysterious and untimely death.
For those interested in picking up where he left off and listening to the music that was pumping through his Walkman’s headphones at the time of his death, this ghost hunters silent disco tour would be a great fit.
Tours are unique, fun, and eerie, and are open to groups of between 10 and 28 participants.
12. Cotswold Discovery Tour from Bath
Featuring historic villages, impressive castles, and one of the country’s most picturesque Abbeys, the Cotswolds are the perfect day-trip destination for those looking to get out of town for a few hours.
Tours begin and end at a convenient central location in Bath and include stops at attractions like Castle Combe, Bourton-on-the-Water, the tomb of King Athelstan, and the quaint market town of Malmesbury.
From their local guide, guests will learn about the region’s history, culture, and economy. They’ll visit a few filming locations for popular movies like War Horse and Dr. Dolittle, which was filmed in the area in the ‘60s.
13. Stonehenge Private Half Day Tour from Bath
Stonehenge is arguably England’s most unique archaeological site, and it’s just a short drive for day-trippers staying in Bath.
According to those in the know, the site dates back more than 5,000 years. Though it’s been studied for centuries, it’s still full of fascinating mysteries and unsolved riddles.
Along with their private guide, tour participants will learn about the world-famous landmark, get close enough to take stunning pictures, and maybe formulate their own theories as to why it was built in the first place.
The return trip winds its way through the impressive Salisbury Plain before ending back in central Bath.
14. Lunchtime Cruise to Riverside Pub
Scenic cruises along the beautiful River Avon are popular vacation activities for visitors to Bath.
This lunchtime cruise makes its way past many of the town’s most iconic attractions, including the junctions of Avon and Kennet canals, St. John’s Church, Bath Abbey, and Pulteney Bridge.
Along the way, the skipper will describe each attraction, while guests relax in comfy chairs with refreshing beverages.
When the boat has docked at Locksbrook Inn, guests will enjoy stunning riverside views from the comfort of their reserved tables.
Each guest also gets a complimentary drink to sip while they’re deciding what they’ll have for lunch.
15. Wells, Cheddar Cheese and Cheddar Gorge Day Tour from Bath
The small city of wells is home to one of the region’s most impressive cathedrals that dates back to the 13th century.
On this value-packed combo tour, guests will delve into the past while enjoying a number of prominent human-made, natural, and culinary centerpieces of the English countryside.
After Wells, guests will drive to the town that’s the birthplace of Cheddar cheese.
According to locals, it’s the world’s most popular variety. Guests will visit the last remaining cheese making facility in the area.
Before the drive back to Bath, the group will stop at Cheddar Gorge, which is consistently ranked as one of Britain’s most iconic natural attractions.