Even in the darkest of months, the golden hue of Bath glows a welcome to families.
What to see
The Roman Baths
From the disgusting – but supposedly health-giving – thermal water (make the kids try it) to the costumed “Romans” who laze about the site and excellent children’s audio guides, this is the most child-accessible historic site in the world. Arrive when it opens to avoid the crowds (romanbaths.co.uk; a “family saver ticket”, for £55.00, will get you in here and to the excellent nearby Fashion Museum).
The life of Bath’s favourite daughter is easier to imagine if you walk in her clothes. Children – and brave adults – can dress up in beautiful but appropriately restrictive 18th and 19th century styles as they wander through this jewel of a museum (museumofcostume.co.uk).
The Royal Crescent
Explore Georgian life with a look around No 1 Royal Crescent (no1royalcrescent.org.uk). Maintained by the Bath Preservation Trust, it is furnished in period style, and a major restoration project has reunited it with its original service wing.
Royal Victoria Park
Burn off excess energy in this, the city’s main green lung. Its highlights include a beautiful botanic garden and one of the biggest and best children’s playgrounds in town (visitbath.co.uk).
- Find more activities in our Bath city break guide
Where to eat
Food has improved enormously in Bath in recent years. For a decidedly more gourmet bent, head to The Royal Crescent’s smart Dower House Restaurant for dinner – the quality and inventiveness of this French-inflected modern kitchen will please all ages.
Where to stay
Move in to one of the townhouses on the city’s showpiece Georgian street at The Royal Crescent hotel, which has its own vast walled garden. While under-12s aren’t allowed in the excellent spa (parents should take turns going or book a babysitter), the hotel has a stunning family suite and a friendly, elegant restaurant. Rooms from £251 per night (read the full review of The Royal Crescent Hotel).
- See our guide to the best hotels in Bath
Before you go
If you can bear Russell Crowe’s singing in the 2013 Les Miserables, you’ll be amused to see his Javert fall from Pulteney into the weir below – Paris clearly has no monopoly on pretty bridges. For pleasanter cinematic experiences, the BBC Pride and Prejudice stands the test of time. Scenes from The Duchess, with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, were filmed in central Bath.
To prepare children ages four to eight or so for their first visit to the Roman Baths, read Usborne Look Inside: Roman Town together.