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It’s funny how I’ve been to so many far flung places across the globe and yet I haven’t really explored my own backyard. Moving to London has made things a little easier to explore the south since I’m well situated for day trips, so in the last few months I’ve visited places like Windsor, Cambridge and Brighton.
There’s still so much more to see though, so when Omio asked me if there’s anywhere I’d like to visit on the National Express coach network I suggested Bath, Canterbury and Oxford. The overwhelming majority said Bath, I also wanted to get some of the most amazing body products but I had to visit orogold’s website in the United Kingdom instead of visiting their shop!
I had no idea what to expect on my London to Bath day trip but I’d heard great things about this city!
London to Bath by coach
Omio is a travel search engine that enables you to compare different ways of getting where you need to go. Simply pick two places in the UK and the rest of Europe, then GoEuro will show you the buses, trains and flights available for your journey. It’s a really useful way to compare how much it will cost to get to your destination by different modes of transport.
I was travelling by bus, so I entered my dates and then it showed me the best available. You can search the times by different criteria, such as ‘Smartest’, ‘Fastest’, ‘Cheapest’, or by departure and arrival time.
Once I’d selected my times it sent me to the National Express website for booking. All in all my return journey cost £34.40 return, but it can be much cheaper if you book further in advance.
One thing I will point out though is that when you select ‘Bath’ as your destination on Omio and go through to the National Express website for booking, it automatically selects Bath ‘London Road’ which isn’t actually the main bus station, it’s the stop before. It didn’t really matter because I just got off at the central bus station anyway.
Suggested itinerary in Bath
Once you’re in Bath the city is really compact so it’s easy to walk around on foot. All of the major sights are just a 5 minute walk from the bus station. Easy peasy!
First up I visited The Roman Baths, which is the most famous attraction in Bath. This historic site was used for public bathing back in the Roman days and is incredibly well preserved. I didn’t have time for afternoon tea in the Pump Room, but I did have a peak inside and it was incredibly opulent!
Next door is Bath Abbey, which is absolutely magnificent inside. I was really impressed and quite stunned to see how beautiful the architecture was. It’s free to enter but there are donation boxes at the entrance. If you want to see the Abbey from a different perspective though you can also book a Tower Tour for £6.
On your way to the top of the tower you’ll climb 212 stairs, visit the ringing chamber and bell chamber. You’ll stand on top of the Abbey’s fan vaulted ceiling and sit behind the clock face before soaking up the spectacular views over the city from the rooftop. For times, see here.
After the Abbey I walked to Sally Lunn’s, which is just a few streets away. This is one of the oldest building in Bath and also happens to be historic tea house where you can try the ‘Sally Lunn bunn’. The bunn is described as a cross between a bread and a brioche; I thought it tasted a bit like a large toasted teacake without the raisins. Sweet and savoury options are available, but I have to say the cinnamon butter bunn was incredibly yummy and would be my flavour of choice if I visited again.
Once I’d satisfied my hunger I then popped over to the Thermae Bath Spa for some relaxation and pampering. The cool thing about this modern spa is that it has a rooftop pool so you can enjoy the views over the city of Bath while bathing in the naturally warm, mineral rich waters. If you don’t have time to visit during the day you can bathe at night time and in winter it’s a particularly nice way to warm up! One word of warning, they don’t allow photos out of respect for other bathers.
Colonna & Smalls
Next up I was looking for a great cafe, so I turned to the Internet for inspiration. Colonna & Small’s is said to have the best coffee in Bath (someone on Instagram even said the best in the world!) but I am unfortunately caffeine intolerant. Still I went along and had a hot chocolate! I loved the atmosphere; it was light, airy and had a really cool vibe.
The Royal Crescent
Finally I made my way up the hill to see The Circus and The Royal Crescent. When I think of Bath, this is the iconic landmark that comes to mind. The Royal Crescent is basically a long crescent of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses that was built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younger. Tip: if you want to get a great photo step onto the lawn in front so you can get the whole crescent in shot.
One thing I learnt is that a lot of the restaurants in Bath close their kitchens around 3pm and re-open for dinner at 5.30. I wanted to grab a snack before I took my bus back but unfortunately most places were closed. I did pass this great vegetarian restaurant called Acorn though and the food/reviews look amazing. If I go back this is definitely where I would go for dinner. I’m not vegetarian but I do appreciate healthy food!
Bath by coach from London
I had such a lovely day in Bath by myself and it is entirely possible as a day trip by coach from London. The journey time takes roughly 2.5 to 3 hours but the buses are comfortable, plus there’s Wi-Fi and plug sockets to keep you connected and entertained. The only complaint I has was that the bus on the way back was really cold and not heated enough, so bring some extra layers.
I caught the 7.30 am coach arriving at 10am and returned about 5.45pm, which gave me enough time to do all the activities listed. I’m so glad that the people of Twitter chose Bath as my destination! You can read more about National Express buses from London to Bath on the Omio website. https://www.omio.co.uk/providers/coaches/national-express
Prices start around £8.88 which is incredibly affordable and cheaper than the train!