9 Insider Tips for Visiting Bath, England

7. Walk along the river

The River Avon winds around the outskirts of back Bath, and is a lovely scenic walk on sunny days. (Yes, they do happen.) You can start your stroll just behind the train station—simply cross the bridge, turn left, and follow the river out of town. You’ll pass several pretty gardens, charming houseboats, and as you go farther you’ll hit a few pubs on the riverbank. This is a great way to see another side of Bath—one that’s poised at the edge of the Cotswolds, teeming with British country life.

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

8. Take Bus 1 to Prior Park—Don’t walk!

Prior Park Gardens is a beautiful 18th Century landscape garden filled with meadows and wilderness and a really awesome bridge. Rick Steve, Samantha Brown, and other travel guides highly recommend it as one of the best things to do in Bath.

What they fail to mention is that it’s at the top of a veritable mountain.

On my first attempt to visit Prior Park, I figured I would walk. It started out level enough, but soon I found myself faced with a steep incline. I powered through it, my weak American legs requiring frequent stops (while an old British couple with their grandkids practically skipped past). I cursed the name of all who had failed to warn me what sort of trek I had begun.

There is a fabulously easy fix to this: Just take Bus 1 from the main bus station. If you ask the bus driver (or anyone on the bus) to help you find the stop, they’ll gladly get you there. In my experience, everyone is so relieved that you’ll be spared the hike that they celebrate your hassle-free arrival as much as you do!

Saffron Blaze / Own Work

Saffron Blaze / Own Work

9. Stay the night and enjoy easy day trips

Bath is an excellent hub for several day trip opportunities, so if you can stay on, you won’t be sorry! Here are some of my favorite spots nearby:

  • Corsham Court and village – An old manor house with a definite Brontë feel to it, complete with gardens and extensive grounds. The village itself is charming and quiet. It was also a filming spot for Poldark (whenever he’s in the city, he’s in Corsham). Accessible by bus or by car.
  • Lacock Abbey – About three miles from Corsham, this is an abbey-turned-house stuffed with history. Incidentally, the abbey and village nearby are also famous filming locations for many shows and movies, including: Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and Accessible by car (or taxi).
  • Avebury – The cooler, more hipster Stonehenge. This is a massive stone circle that contains the better part of a village. There’s an excellent pub (where else can you go to a pub inside a stone circle?), manor house, and even some barrows a short distance out of town. Accessible by bus or car.
  • Stonehenge – You know about this already. There are several tour companies that will take you there from Bath. If you can drive, try to be there when the doors open to avoid the worst of the crowds.
Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work

Alyssa Hollingsworth / Own Work



The Most Common Scams from Around the World

There’s nothing like traversing the world and exploring new countries and cultures, but sometimes the experience is spoiled by dishonorable people preying on uninformed travelers. If you make an effort to learn about the classic scams, you’re unlikely to fall victim to them and can just enjoy the positive side of your trip. To help, here’s a list of common scams around the world for you to get acquainted with.

How to Make Friends During Your Trip

One of the biggest fears of people who want to embark on a solo trip is being alone. They think meeting new people will be a struggle, and if they can’t find a partner to travel with, they just cancel or postpone their adventure. The truth is that with a little bit of planning and initiative, it’s actually harder to be alone than you think. The travel community is extremely welcoming and one doesn’t need to try hard to be part of it.

This Is the Fastest Way to Get through Customs

No one enjoys lines, and custom lines are some of the worst. The hundreds of confused flyers with paperwork in hand is daunting, but what if I told you that you can bypass that line for free – without paying for Global Entry? Whether you travel internationally 30 times a year or once a year, you’ll love the app. The Mobile Passport Control app speeds up the process of filling out and processing your U.S. immigration paperwork. This little-known app gets you your own line, away from the crowds, and lets you get to baggage claim that much quicker – likely before your baggage!