Get away! Bath

Ele­gant and vi­brant, Bath has been ranked as the num­ber-one feel­good city in the UK

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Shop till you drop

1Re­tail ther­apy comes in the form of some won­der­ful in­de­pen­dent shops.

Top­ping & Com­pany is noted for its amaz­ing col­lec­tion of first-edi­tion books (top­ping books.co.uk, 01225 428 111).

Sur­round­ing the his­toric Bath Abbey is a maze of al­ley­ways lined with stores sell­ing con­fec­tionery, glass­ware, fash­ion and ac­ces­sories.

While the mar­ket on the high street has been known for its flow­ers, cheese, sil­ver, iron­mon­gery and leather­ware for over seven cen­turies.

His­tory buff heaven

2Be sure to visit Num­ber One Royal Cres­cent, a metic­u­lously re­stored 18th-cen­tury house. The knowl­edge­able guides bring the fur­nish­ings and fam­ily oc­cu­pants vividly to life (no1roy­al­cres­cent.org.uk, 01225 428 126).

Leave plenty of time for the mag­nif­i­cent Bath Abbey, where you can ad­mire the beau­ti­ful in­te­rior and stun­ning stained­glass win­dows. There are also reg­u­lar art ex­hi­bi­tions and mu­sic recitals to en­joy.

Ro­man around

3The Ro­man Baths (adult ticket £16.50) in the heart of the city is also a great place to see, at­tract­ing over one mil­lion visi­tors a year. Be­gun in 70AD, the baths take ad­van­tage of the nat­u­ral ther­mal spa wa­ter. It is now among the world’s best pre­served Ro­man re­mains.

And re­lax!

4A visit to Ther­mae Bath Spa is a must. The fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a fab­u­lous open-air rooftop pool filled with the nat­u­rally warm, min­eral-rich wa­ters, an in­door pool, a cafe, and a new well­ness suite. It costs from £36, with a towel, robe and slip­pers in­cluded. Treat­ments (booked in ad­vance) in­clude the Watsu wa­ter mas­sage, where the ther­a­pist cra­dles your head while ma­nip­u­lat­ing your body in a pri­vate pool – bliss (ther­mae bathspa.com, 01225 331 234).

Lux­ury lodg­ings

5Two miles out­side the city, Bath Mill Lodge Re­treat is a tran­quil re­sort with lux­ury lodges sleep­ing from two to eight peo­ple. You’ll also find an ex­cel­lent bar and restau­rant, plus a small gym on site.

Or choose the four-star Abbey Ho­tel. This for­mer wealthy mer­chant’s house dat­ing from 1740 is be­hind the Abbey, a stone’s throw from shops and his­tor­i­cal at­trac­tions.

Fine din­ing

6You won’t strug­gle to find some­where to eat! Set in a Ge­or­gian town­house, the Olive Tree Restau­rant (the queens­berry.co.uk, 01225 447 928) boasts three AA rosettes, serv­ing English cui­sine with Mediter­ranean in­flu­ences.

Or take in a leisurely brunch at the cool Bos­ton Tea Party in Al­fred Street (boston­tea­party. co.uk, 01225 425 318).

And if you’re a fan of York­shire pud­ding, then you’ll have to try the fab­u­lous lamb sausages served in a huge York­shire at The Clifton Sausage (clifton­sausage. co.uk/bath, 01225 433 633).

Un­wind in style at Ther­mae Bath Spa 6rea­sons to­visit...

The Ro­man Baths are a na­tional trea­sure

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