11 of the best things to do in Bath this autumn

Discover how important the baths were to our Roman ancestors

Discover how important the baths were to our Roman ancestors - Credit: Visit Bath

With a chill in the air, shorter days and crunchy golden leaves carpeting the ground and cobbled streets, now is a perfect time to plan an autumnal trip to Bath, according to Visit Bath.

Austen autumn 

Bath has many attractions for Jane Austen fans.

Bath has many attractions for Jane Austen fans. - Credit: Visit Bath

Find out about Jane’s life at the Jane Austen Centre, explore Georgian Fashion at the Fashion Museum Bath, or take the waters at the Pump Room, just as high society did when they visited the city.

Promenade along the elegant streets on a Jane Austen walking tour and stop for a visit at No. 1 Royal Crescent, where the new immersive experience brings the house alive around you – meet the family and the servants as they plan for an evening at a Bath ball in the height of the season. 

Celebrate All Things Foodie
Discover autumn flavours in Bath. Savouring Bath offers tours visiting suppliers around the city with their Culinary Comforts, Food Heroes walks and new Cheese Tour. 

You can also discover a wide range of cuisine, from Michelin-starred dining at The Olive Tree, to comfort food at gastropub The Moorfields, located in the Oldfield Park area. Don’t forget the local specialities either, including the famous Sally Lunn bun and look out for a number of Great Bath Feast fringe food events throughout October.

Take a mini tour

Take a tour of the city in a Mini

Take a tour of the city in a Mini and get a different perspective on the highlights - Credit: Visit Bath

The Bath Adventurer city tour in a Mini convertible takes you to all the must-see sights in Bath, including the Royal Crescent, the Circus and the Bath Abbey, but with a difference.

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Travelling in a Mini means you can go where other tours can't go and being in a Convertible means amazing views. You'll get off the beaten track and visit secret squares, crescents and hidden gems that only locals usually see, as well as film locations and beautiful countryside. The tour takes an hour with a local guide who is passionate about Bath and can recommend the best places to eat, drink and experience the city. The route can also be varied to cater for special interests.

Get arty with Rossetti’s portraits at The Holburne
This autumn sees a unique show devoted to one of the giants of Victorian art open at Bath’s Holburne Museum – the first ever exhibition dedicated to Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s portraits.

Rossetti’s Portraits features some of his most iconic artworks, including The Blue Silk Dress (Jane Morris), 1868, which reveal the artist at the height of his creative powers, alongside his less well-known, but equally compelling early drawings of friends, family and fellow Pre-Raphaelite artists. The exhibition also explores the artist’s intimate relationship with his muses and their influence on his depiction of beauty.

Soak up the spa water

 Thermae Bath Spa, watching the sunset over the glorious, landscaped hills.

Thermae Bath Spa; watching the sunset over the glorious, landscaped hills - Credit: Chris North

As the nights draw in, what better way to spend an evening than at Thermae Bath Spa, watching the sunset over the glorious, landscaped hills. There’s nothing like feeling the early chill of the autumn air on your face as you’re immersed in the steaming thermal waters.

Finish the experience in the Wellness Suite – a multi-sensory area with a state-of-the-art infra-red room, an invigorating ice chamber and two aroma steam rooms. 

Roam with the Romans 
Immerse yourself in history and see how Bath’s former residents relaxed all those centuries ago at Bath’s main attraction. Interactive exhibits and CGI reconstructions bring this unique ancient site back to life, showing how important the baths were to our Roman ancestors.

Look out for the new World Heritage Centre opening soon which will explore the reasons why the city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Bath Abbey 
There is nowhere else quite like Bath Abbey. Magnificent stained-glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world, create an extraordinary experience of light and space. But there is more to it than that. There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for more than 1,200 years and the Abbey remains a living church with services taking place throughout the entire week. 

Come and experience the special atmosphere and rich history of this holy and uplifting place. Enjoy Organ Recitals, Choral Evensong and Evening Prayers or ascend the 212 steps of the tower for magnificent views of the city on a guided tower tour. 

Tea time! 

Enjoy afternoon tea in the stylish setting at No. 15 Great Pulteney 

Enjoy afternoon tea in the stylish setting at No. 15 Great Pulteney - Credit: Visit Bath

Afternoon tea has long been a popular pastime in Bath, and the tradition is still very much a favourite thing for visitors to do. Experience the ultimate in Georgian refinement in the famous Pump Room, enjoy afternoon tea in the stylish setting at No.15 by GuestHouse, Bath or The Roseate Villa on Henrietta Street, or tuck into a classic afternoon tea at the gorgeously decorated Sweet Little Things. 

Marvellous markets
There will be multitude of markets to enjoy during October. Bath Farmers Market runs every Saturday at Green Park Station – sample a wealth of foodie delights including fruit and veg, organic meat and home-made produce all sourced within 40 miles of the city.

On October 10, Bath Contemporary Artists’ Fair also comes to Green Park Station and The Abbey Quarter Market, with a range of independent crafts and gifts will run on the last Sunday of the month. The region’s leading antiques fair – the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair comes to The Pavilion October 21-24.

The interval is over 
Take your seats again at the Theatre Royal Bath or the Egg Theatre. Built in 1805, the Georgian Theatre Royal was beautifully refurbished in 2010. The Main House offers a year-round programme of top-quality drama, including many West End productions, opera, comedy, dance and frequent Sunday concerts.

With a full programme announced, book now for the autumn and winter performances including The Good Life with Rufus Hound, Looking Good Dead with Adam Woodyatt, and Private Lives with Nigel Havers and Patricia Hodge.

The Theatre Royal also houses the egg theatre for children, young people and their families, and the egg café; the cutting-edge Ustinov Studio, which produces nationally acclaimed seasons of UK premieres, interspersed with contemporary drama, comedy and music from visiting companies

Wrap up for an Open-Top Sightseeing Bus Tour
Eye-catching and easy to spot, the bright red open-top bus can be found at 38 stops throughout the city. The City Tour, taking approximately 50 minutes and free to hop on and off as many times as you wish, it's the perfect way to discover the city.

Some buses are live guided whereby you'll be joined by a knowledgeable tour guide who provides interesting – and sometimes surprising – facts about Bath and its history.

The bus stops are perfectly placed to hop off and explore some of Bath’s most iconic sites, including the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge. Once finished, it’s easy to re-join the tour and continue sightseeing. If it’s raining pick a seat inside the bus.