30 free things to do in Bath

The beautiful city of Bath has been a popular holiday destination since the days of the Roman Empire. Built entirely for pleasure and relaxation, the city is packed full of art galleries, parks and spas. In fact, it’s so beautiful here that the entire city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the great things about taking a holiday in Bath is that many of the city’s best attractions are free to enjoy. So, it’s the ideal place to visit if you’re on a budget. To help you plan your next stay in this beautiful part of the UK, we’ve listed 30 free things to do in Bath.

1. Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts is the longest-established commercial gallery in Bath. Located in a Georgian listed building, the gallery showcases works from 20th century painters, sculptors and ceramists. The gallery holds eight exhibitions each year and showcases the best modern British works of art. Be prepared to be blown away when you visit Beaux Arts.

2. Visit the University

The hilltop University of Bath may not quite have the architectural significance of some of Bath’s Georgian buildings, but it’s still a stunning place to explore. The main university building and the campus are easily accessible and you can even visit the Sports Training Village, which is used by some of Team GB’s top Olympic athletes.

  • Address: University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 37 minutes.

3. Bath Aqua Glass

The pieces created by Bath Aqua Glass are unique, innovative and fun. They specialise in glass blowing and their shop is full of quirky items such as baubles, earrings and paperweights. Both their shop and factory are open to the public and you can watch the glass blowing for free. If you’d like to get involved yourself, they also run cheap activities and classes.

4. Emma Rose Art Works

If you’re a lover of contemporary art, then you should visit the Emma Rose Art Works. Emma has a working studio where you can pop in, watch her work and admire the semi-abstract art she produces. If you fancy, you can even purchase originals, prints, cushions or cards.

  • Address: The Art Studio, Knight’s Barn, Wellow, Bath BA2 8QE. Opening times here.
  • Driving distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 16 minutes.

5. Bath Artisan Market

30 free things to do - Bath

If you’re in Bath on the first Saturday of the month, then head to the Bath Artisan Market. It’s held in Queen Square and it’s packed with artisan producers and food makers. There’s a really friendly atmosphere at the market and everything is so lovely that you’ll find it’s difficult to leave empty handed.

  • Address: Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HA.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 3 minutes.

6. Guildhall Market

30 free things to do - Bath

The Guildhall Market has served the people of Bath for 800 years. Today, it’s a thriving spot that’s full of local traders who provide an upbeat atmosphere. If you’re looking for a souvenir of your holiday, then the Guildhall Market is the perfect place to visit. As you shop, you’ll find everything from jewellery to fine cheeses.

  • Address: Guildhall Market, 33 High Street, Bath BA2 4AW. Opening times here.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 6 minutes.

7. Bath Antique and Flea Market

The Bath Antique and Flea Market has been held for 40 years. Wander around the stalls and you’ll see a fantastic range of retro items and obscure oddities. The market only contains around 12-15 stalls, but the traders are incredibly friendly and love to chat and share stories about the items they’re selling. You may even find the perfect souvenir.

  • Address: Green Park Road, Green Park Station, Bath BA1 1JB. The market is held on the first Sunday of every month.
  • Walking distance from our Bath City Centre (Bath Spa) hotel: 6 minutes.

8. Bath Abbey

30 free things to do - Bath

Bath Abbey is one of the city’s most famous sights. The exterior of the abbey is worth the visit alone, but the interior is also packed with attractions, including a 56-pane Great East Window depicting the story of Jesus. There’s so much history here and you can even see where King Edgar was crowned in 973. If you do visit inside, a donation is recommended.

9. St John the Evangelist Church

The beautiful spire of St John the Evangelist Church can be seen from almost anywhere in Bath. Inside, nearly two dozen placards tell you all about the church’s storied history. You’re more than welcome to stay for mass, too.

10. St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church is a family-friendly church in Bathampton, just outside Bath’s city centre. Several interesting historic names are buried in the cemetery here, too. They include Admiral Arthur Phillip who was the first Governor of New South Wales and the famous painter Walter Sickert.

  • Address: Church Lane, Bathampton, Bath BA2 6TU. Opening and service times here.
  • Driving distance from our Bath Central hotel: 8 minutes.

11. See The Royal Crescent

30 free things to do - Bath

The Royal Crescent features a set of 30 Georgian houses that were designed by architect John Wood. Not only will you get a wonderful view over the centre of Bath from The Royal Crescent, but the architecture on show is simply stunning and the symmetry is breathtaking. Make sure you take your camera.

  • Address: Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 9 minutes.

12. Visit The Circus

30 free things to do - Bath

If you have fun at The Crescent then you’ll love The Circus. The buildings here were built to symbolise the sun and the moon and they’re another brilliant example of Georgian architecture. The locals in Bath argue over whether the architecture at The Circus or The Royal Crescent is better, so why not see for yourself?

  • Address: The Circus, Bath BA1 2EW.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 5 minutes.

13. Walk Along The Canal

30 free things to do - Bath

The Kennet and Avon canal runs right through the centre of Bath, so it’s easy to pick up the trail and go for a stroll. Due to recent renovation work, it’s also easy to navigate on foot or bike. On your stroll, you’ll walk past Sydney Gardens, Cleveland Tunnel and Cleveland House. The route is also lined with pubs if you want to stop for lunch or a refreshing drink.

  • Address: Sydney Road, Bath BA2 6NT. Download a free route map here.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 16 minutes.

14. Stroll Down Milsom Street

30 free things to do - Bath

Milsom Street is one of Bath’s most-famous attractions because it’s where Jane Austen roamed when she was a resident of the city. Today, it’s a vibrant and lively part of Bath where beautiful architecture meets elegant shops and fine restaurants.

  • Address: 41 Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DN.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 2 minutes.

15. Enjoy a Walking Tour with the Mayor’s Honorary Guides

Keen to see all Bath’s main sights and learn more about the city’s history? Join a walking tour with the Mayor’s Honorary Guides. These walking tours run every day and they’re completely free (tips are actively refused). You’ll see the Abbey Church Yard, Queen Square, Royal Crescent, The Circus and much more. The walk lasts around 2 hours and there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained.

16. Bath Skyline Walk

The Bath Skyline Walk shows this stunning city at its very best. Just travel a short distance from the city centre and you’ll be met with 6 miles of meadows, ancient woodland and secluded valleys. The walk lasts about 3-4 hours depending on how quickly you travel but it offers unrivalled views from its elevated position.

  • Address: Bathwick Hill, Bath BA2 6EN. Route information here.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 16 minutes.

17. Climb Little Solsbury Hill

For one of the very best views in Bath, climb Little Solsbury Hill. Although the hill appears unassuming, it is actually quite steep. But, if you take your time, then little legs can scale it without issue. The ancient paths are beautiful and the hill sits on the site of an Iron Age fort. As you admire the views, you’ll see why Peter Gabriel was inspired to write ‘Solsbury Hill’.

  • Address: Solsbury Ln, Batheaston, Bath BA1 7JQ.
  • Driving distance from our Bath Central hotel: 12 minutes.

18. Two Tunnels Greenway

If you’re searching for a family-friendly walk in Bath, then the Two Tunnels Greenway is perfect. The walk is flat, surfaced and provides plenty of beautiful scenery. The tunnels add a novel twist, too. They’re full of artwork and interesting sounds. The full route is 12.5 miles, but there are plenty of spots where you can loop back.

  • Address: Newbridge Park and Ride, Bath BA1 3NB. Route information here.
  • Driving distance from our Bath Central hotel: 9 minutes.

19. Head to Dundas Aqueduct

30 free things to do - Bath

The spectacular Dundas Aqueduct really does have to be seen to be believed. The aqueduct carries the Kennet & Avon Canal over the River Avon and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It’s a beautiful spot to take the family and a fabulous place for a walk. In the summer months, people like to take a dip or enjoy a canoe ride in the river below.

  • Address: Brassknocker Hill, Monkton Combe, Bath BA2 7JD.
  • Driving distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 9 minutes.

20. Crack the Garden Maze

30 free things to do - Bath

The maze in Beazer Gardens is a great place to spend an hour or so with little adventurers. This small garden labyrinth has been designed to reflect Bath’s history and kids love finding the best routes.

21. Pulteney Weir and Bridge

30 free things to do - Bath

Pulteney Weir dates all the way back to 1603 and it remains one of the prettiest spots in the city. It’s a great place to stop and take some photos and you’re also only just downstream from Pulteney Bridge, which is well worth a visit. On a sunny day, it feels like you’re in Venice or Florence.

22. Sham Castle

30 free things to do - Bath

Sham Castle, as its name suggests, is a fake castle that has been built to look like the real thing. First built in 1762 using stones from local quarries, it was designed and constructed to improve the view from a wealthy postmaster’s estate. Now, it’s a fun and novel place to head for a photo opportunity.

23. Henrietta Park

Henrietta Park is a little slice of heaven in the centre of Bath. It’s off the usual tourist trail, which means it’s often quiet here. Plus, families with young children love Henrietta Park because the plants are beautiful and the trees provide plenty of shade. There are even tree maps dotted around that will teach you all about the specimen trees and planted flowers.

  • Address: Henrietta Road, Bath BA2 6LY.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 13 minutes.

24. Sydney Gardens

The Sydney Gardens are one of Bath’s most tranquil spots. Here, you can sit by the canal and feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Families love having picnics here and events often take place in the summer months.

  • Address: Sydney Place, Bathwick, Bath BA2 4DB.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 14 minutes.

25. Royal Victoria Park

30 free things to do - Bath

Royal Victoria Park sits just below the Royal Crescent, so it’s the perfect place to stop for a picnic as you soak up the views. However, although it’s a great place to relax, the park is also packed with things for families to do. There’s a boating pond, golf course and a botanical garden. There’s plenty of history on offer here, too. Don’t leave before you’ve found the Temple of Minerva.

  • Address: Marlborough Lane, Bath BA1 2NQ.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Central hotel: 12 minutes.

26. Alexandra Park

30 free things to do - Bath

Alexandra Park was acquired by the city of Bath back in 1896. Ever since it opened in 1902, it has been a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. Sat on a hilltop, the park provides mesmerising views. It’s a great place for a stroll and a picnic. Keep an eye out for the informational signs that will teach you all about Bath’s history and heritage.

  • Address: Shakespeare Ave, Bath BA2 4RQ.
  • Walking distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 18 minutes.

27. Visit Bath City Farm

30 free things to do - Bath

The Bath City Farm sits on 37 acres of parkland on the outskirts of the city. It’s a great place to explore, see the animals and admire the views. Admission here is free but donations are encouraged. If you have a couple of pounds to spend, you can buy chicken feed for the animals from the shop or visit the café.

  • Address: Kelston View, Whiteway, Bath BA2 1NW. Visiting information and opening times here.
  • Driving distance from our Bath Waterside hotel: 10 minutes.

28. Great Bath Feast

If you love food and drink then you’ll absolutely adore the Great Bath Feast. Each year, some of the world’s best chefs descend upon Bath for a three-day event that showcases the area’s best local produce. For the festival, hundreds of stallholders line the streets to sell breathtaking food and drink. Expect plenty of fringe events, too.

29. Bath Carnival

The Bath Carnival is a fun and joyous event that the whole family will fall in love with. Every year, the people of Bath take to the streets and celebrate the city they love. Expect to encounter lots of art, dancing and music.

30. Bath Christmas Market 

The Bath Christmas Market is one of the highlights of the year. Every December, chalets fill the streets of Bath and local stallholders come to sell their wares. It’s the perfect place to grab some festive treats and get swept up in the fun of Christmas.

Book your trip to Bath today

Whether you want to learn more about Roman culture, would like to see some of Britain’s most beautiful attractions or enjoy some incredibly scenic walks, Bath is a fantastic place for a city break. If you’re thinking of visiting Britain’s finest wellbeing destination this year, then take a look at our fantastic range of hotels in Bath before you book your trip.