There are hours’ worth of entertainment in Bath’s premier attraction, the Roman Baths, with commentary provided by hourly guided tours and audioguides (both free). Highlights include the Sacred Spring, part of the temple of the local deity Sulis Minerva, where water still bubbles up at a constant 46.5°C; the open-air (but originally covered) Great Bath, its vaporous waters surrounded by nineteenth-century pillars, terraces and statues of famous Romans; the Circular Bath, where bathers cooled off, and the Norman King’s Bath.

Among a quantity of coins, jewellery and sculpture exhibited are the gilt bronze head of Sulis Minerva and a grand, Celtic-inspired gorgon’s head from the temple’s pediment. Models of the complex at its greatest extent give some idea of the awe which it must have inspired, while the graffiti salvaged from the Roman era – mainly curses and boasts – offer a personal slant on this antique leisure centre.

You can get a free glimpse into the baths from the next door Pump Room, the social hub of the Georgian spa community and still redolent of that era, which houses a formal tearoom and restaurant.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

England features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best pub walks in Britain

The best pub walks in Britain

From its dramatic coastline to its upland mountains, from its stirring moorland to its bucolic inland shires, Britain’s wildly diverse landscapes make for som…

29 Sep 2017 • Daniel Neilson insert_drive_file Article
The many faces of Bristol: Britain's coolest city

The many faces of Bristol: Britain's coolest city

Bristol's enterprising spirit is one reason we named it the coolest city in Britain. And this spirit is all down to the chefs and artists and innovators that …

26 Jul 2017 • Ruth-Ellen Davis local_activity Special feature
8 things you didn't know you could do in the UK

8 things you didn't know you could do in the UK

So you've gawked at the guards of Buckingham Palace, hiked up Snowdon and hit the beach – what next? From lethal motorcycle races to mountain towns that …

31 Jul 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook