Travel writer Alys Haswell gives her top tips on how to survive (and enjoy) a solo tripWritten by Alys Haswell on 23rd November 2017
Cheap Trips: Bath, Somerset
Travel writer Mollie shares how to enjoy the quaint British city of Bath
Bath is renowned for its natural hot springs, Roman-built baths and beautiful Georgian architecture. It is sophisticated, stylish and perfect for a romantic break or family holiday. Its speciality has been highlighted through its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the chance to bathe in naturally hot spa water makes it a popular tourist destination. But how wonderful really is this city?
For university students, Bath does not have that many clubs. According to the Bath Chronicle, there are only seven clubs for young people in Bath and only one of these allows trainers on student nights. Compared to Birmingham, which has seven nightclubs in one section of the city (The Arcadian), Bath seems to pale in comparison. However, it must be noted that Bath is considerably smaller than Birmingham and only has two universities compared to Birmingham’s abundance.
The Bath Chronicle names the main clubs in Bath as: The Second Bridge, Moles, Zero-Zero, XL, The Weir Lounge, The Nest and Po Na Na. For students, a good nightlife is essential – but is it really that important if you’re just looking for a romantic getaway for a weekend? The city is littered with bars which are much more tasteful than your average nightclub which would be much more appropriate for a weekend away.
Hotels are easy to find in Bath, you just struggle to find one that is in your price range! With over two hundred options, you can choose between trendy boutique hotels, high-range spa retreats and budget hotels such as Travelodge. Whilst the Travelodge in the centre of Bath is reasonably priced at roughly £70 a night for a double room, it shares its building with a nightclub and the windows are most definitely not soundproof. There are other options for cheap stop-overs, with another Travelodge on the water front.
It’s also important to note that due to the nature of the city, parking is quite hard to find and central hotels do not tend to offer parking with the room. Just a ten-minute walk from the Travelodge central hotel is a long stay car park which averages about £12 for 24 hours.
Like any city, the food offered within Bath is varied – Indian, Chinese, Italian, smokehouses… The city also, as expected, is home to plenty of chain restaurants such as Nandos, Turtle Bay and Las Iguanas. Obviously, there’s a Wetherspoons too!
The main tourist attraction which really shines through for Bath is the Roman Baths. For just £13.75 for a student or £15.50 for an adult, you can visit this well-preserved Roman site which was formerly used for public bathing. The attraction includes four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum and allows you to take a walk back through history via the audio guides available.
The Bath Abbey is also worth a visit, with its stunning architecture and free entry (donation suggested) making it a rewarding experience.
The Jane Austen Centre is also very aptly placed due to Bath inspiring two of her published novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and her making the city her home between 1801 and 1806. Although the attraction is quite highly rated, it merely takes you through mundane details about her life and analyses images in order to work out whether it is her through different facial details. The inclusion of live actors definitely add something to the attraction and would definitely enrich the experience for the younger generation, however, it seems that for the older generation it just didn’t quite live up to its expectations.
Bath is a more expensive city break, there is no doubt about that, and although you may struggle to do it on a budget and get a good nights’ sleep at the same time, the Roman Baths make it worthwhile. The city is shrouded in history with beautiful architecture and a wonderful ambience, it is certainly worth a visit but it would be a struggle to fill an entire weekend there.
“My advice? Go for a night, arrive early on the first day and make the most of it.