The best of the sights in Bath you can visit while you are staying with us at Bath Luxury Lets
The Royal Crescent, one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks, was built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younger. This impressive landmark is arranged around a perfect lawn overlooking Royal Victoria Park and forms a sweeping crescent of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses. It is without doubt one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture anywhere in the UK. The 500-foot-long crescent has an impressive ha-ha, which was designed to keep grazing animals out of the more formal areas of the garden. Many notable people have either lived or stayed in the Royal Crescent since it was built, and some are commemorated on special plaques attached to the relevant buildings
Constructed in around 70AD as a grand bathing and socialising complex, the Roman Baths is one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, where 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water, reaching 46°C, still fills the bathing site every single day. The Roman Baths is the site of extensive ruins and an interactive museum filled with many treasures and visual snippets that transport you back to Roman times and the lives of the Aquae Sulis people. Walk on ancient pavements as the Romans did 2,000 years ago, and explore chambers historically housing changing rooms and tepid plunge pools.
There is nowhere else quite like Bath Abbey. Magnificent stained-glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world, create an extraordinary experience of light and space. But there is more to it than that. There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for over 1,200 years and the Abbey remains a living church with services taking place throughout the entire week. Come and experience the special atmosphere and rich history of this holy and uplifting place. The first sight most visitors have of Bath Abbey is the West front’s unique ladders of Angels, which was inspired by Bishop of Bath, Oliver King’s dream of ascending and descending angels.
One of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture in the city and one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides, Pulteney Bridge was designed in 1769 by Robert Adam. The bridge is named after Frances Pulteney, wife of William Johnstone Pulteney. William was an important man in Georgian Bath, owning a lot of land in the surrounding area. He had grand plans to create a 'new town' to rival that of John Wood's on the west side of the city. His grand scheme needed a new bridge and he didn't want just any old bridge, he wanted a spectacular bridge, one which everyone would talk about. The architecture is classical, with pediments, pilasters and tiny leaded domes at either end. The shops are small and the roadway is not wide, but when the bridge opened in 1770 it was a revelation. Today it is surely one of the world's most beautiful and romantic bridges, best viewed from Parade Gardens and the crescent weir. Famously, it was the scene of Javert's suicide in the 2012 film version of Les Misérables.
The magnificent Assembly Rooms were at the centre of the social scene during the eighteenth century, when the Ball Room, Octagon, Tea Room and Card Room would have been used for dancing, card playing, tea drinking and conversation. The rooms are still in use for functions and conferences, and you can visit them when they are not in use. Grand and elegant, the Assembly Rooms are home to spectacular, original Whitefriars crystal chandeliers and the largest eighteenth-century room in the city.
With its Corinthian columns, glittering chandelier and spa fountain embodies what was once the heart of the Georgian social scene, when high society flocked to the city for the waters which they believed would relieve all their illnesses and discomforts. Whilst the Romans would have bathed in the mineral-rich water, it was the Georgians who began drinking it in the late seventeenth century. They came here to take the waters, which you can still do today. The novelist Jane Austen was very familiar with the Pump Room, and used it as a setting in her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
The Circus, originally called King's Circus, was designed by the architect John Wood, the Elder. Construction began in 1754, however Wood died less than three months after the first stone was laid and so his son, John Wood, the Younger, completed the design in 1768. The Circus consists of three curved segments of Grade I listed townhouses, forming a circle with three entrances. When viewed from the air, the Circus, along with Queen Square and adjoining Gay Street, form a key shape, which is a masonic symbol similar to those that adorn many of Wood's buildings. Look a little closer at the detail on the stonework and you’ll see many emblems, such as serpents, acorns, and nautical symbols. Wood was known to admire the druids, the creators of prehistoric stone circles. Convinced that Bath had been the principal centre of Druid activity in Britain, Wood studied Stonehenge, and designed the Circus with the same diameter. It is said that the Circus is joined to the Royal Crescent by a ley-line, and that their design represents the sun and the moon. It’s no surprise that such an extraordinary landmark has been home to many famous people over the years. The artist Thomas Gainsborough lived at number 17, between 1759 and 1774, using the house as his portrait studio. More recently, Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage also lived at The Circus.
On the impressive approach to The Holburne Museum, the building’s grand façade and gardens provide an inkling of its grandeur and history. The Grade I listed building was originally designed and constructed as a hotel but is now home to a collection of fine and decorative art. The fascinating pieces that adorn one of Bath’s most beautiful buildings vary from Renaissance treasures to masterpieces by Gainsborough. There is so much to see and explore, and even if you’re a regular visitor you can discover something new with the continually-changing temporary exhibitions. Upstairs you can experience themes of eighteenth-century culture through porcelain, paintings and sculpture. In the impressive former ballroom, silver and china are laid out as though for a banquet, sparkling under a crystal chandelier, while glamorous members of seventeenth and eighteenth-century society look down from the walls. Just across the hallway you’ll find the impressive collections of Sir William Holburne, who founded the museum. You’ll get a real sense of what Sir William enjoyed in his art with a strong presence of Golden-Age Dutch works and miniature objects such as gems and portrait miniatures. The top floor of the museum is home to pieces from the Golden Age of British painting. Discover more about the history of Bath as the works embrace Bath's history as a fashionable and artistic spa city. William Hoare and Thomas Gainsborough lived in Bath and examples of their work can be found at the Holburne. Their paintings are hung alongside canvases by Zoffany, Ramsay and Stubbs amongst others
Great Pulteney Street
At over 1,000 feet long and 100 feet wide, Great Pulteney Street is the widest, grandest thoroughfare in Bath, flanked on either side by beautiful Georgian properties. One of the longest streets, it is also home to the shortest street in the city. A side street just off Great Pulteney Street, Sunderland Street, has only one address! This beautiful street, completed in 1789, was commissioned by Sir William Pulteney and designed by Georgian architect Thomas Baldwin. At one end you will find Laura Place, with its pretty fountain at the centre. At the other end stands the magnificent Holburne Museum, the city's first public art gallery, and Sydney Gardens, the only remaining eighteenth-century pleasure gardens in the country. In-between are some of the most prestigious addresses in the city.