The Secrets of Bath: A Resident's Guide To The Spa Town

Like most beautiful cities, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the well-oiled tourist traps Bath has set. The Thermae Spa, Pump Rooms, Abbey… All great, but what you need are some insider tips from a man born and raised on spa water…
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Like most beautiful cities, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the well-oiled tourist traps Bath has set. The Thermae Spa, Pump Rooms, Abbey… All great, but what you need are some insider tips from a man born and raised on spa water…

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The view from Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park, Bear Flat, BA2 4RE

The guide books will suggest the six-mile Skyline Walk for the best views of Bath. That’s three hours of your weekend gone without actually giving you the most stunning view of the city. You get that from Alexandra Park. It’s a 5-10 minute drive from the centre, or you can catch the 13 bus from the central bus station (plus a short walk). Once you’re there, follow the path along the left side of the park and you’ll soon see the real thing.

Manhattan Burger Bar

23 Claverton Buildings, Widcombe Parade, BA2 4LD; Opening hrs: Mon-Sat 12-2pm, Mon-Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am, Sun 5.30pm-12am.

This truly is a hidden gem – and only a five minute walk from the train station. Bath-born writer Danny Wallace speaks of how much he grew up loving the place and I certainly haven’t come across a better BBQ bacon cheeseburger in my time. Inside you’ll see a few ‘Certificate of Achipment’ awards, and trust me: they don’t just give those away.

Victoria Falls Adventure Golf

The Royal Avenue, Royal Victoria Park, BA1 2NR; Website

It is mentioned in most guide books, but merely as a footnote to Victoria Park. If you’ve got kids, they’ll absolutely love it. If you don’t, it’s still worth checking out. Breathtakingly landscaped, the holes are well designed and the price reasonable (£4 adults, £3 children).

Hansel und Gretel shop and strudel bar

9 Margarets Buildings, Brock Street, BA1 2LP; Opening hrs: Mon-Sat: 9am-5.30pm, Sun 11am-3pm.

In between the Circus and the Royal Crescent lays a cobbled street that holds a pretty unique little place. The ground floor showcases a bounty of handcrafted wooden toys, Cuckoo clocks and other traditional Alpine treats. Downstairs there’s a fully authentic strudel bar, which needs to be seen – and tasted – to be believed.

Mai Thai Restaurant

6 Pierrepont Street, BA2 4AA; Website

There are quite a few Thai restaurants in Bath, but this is the best, and certainly the most authentic. The ornate walls, hand-carved tables and chairs are a joy in themselves, but the food is equally top-notch and brilliant value.

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