The Roman Baths were constructed in the middle of the first century so that the Romans could enjoy the wonderful water supplied by the hot springs. A little later in the same Century, the town we now know as Bath began to be constructed.
Today the Baths are considered to be best preserved Roman remains in the world, as well as one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe. Just over an hours drive away from Lakeside, this is a tour well worth it, as you get to see the way things were more than a millennium ago.
The Roman Baths are six metres below street level and have four main features – the Sacred Spring, which sits at the very heart of the site and produces naturally hot water at 46ºC – which has risen from here for thousands of years. The Roman Temple, which is one of only two remaining temples from Roman Britain, the Roman Bath House and finds from the Roman Bath. While the ancient baths are no longer used as baths, there is so much to see that if you choose to visit this destination, make sure you give yourself at least two hours to fully explore.
Aside from these main points of interest, there is also the Terrace, which overlooks the Great Baths and is lined with ancient statues of Roman Emperors and British Governors that date back to 1894, and an area where you can ‘Meet the Romans’, which is a mini museum containing models and film projections. There is also the area of Roman Worship, where people used to come to worship the Goddess Sulis Minerva, which is accessed via a suspended bridge over the Temple Courtyard. For the kids, there are storytellers and characters in costume throughout the day, who are based on real people that lived in the city – then called Aquae Sulis – over 2,000 years ago.
The Roman Baths offers the chance to partake in Tunnel Tours, where you can explore the hidden, underground history of the site – book in advance for this, as they are very popular and get booked up quickly.
The site is open daily throughout the year, except for the 25th and 26th of December. Until the end of June, they are open from 9am until 5pm with the last exit at 6pm.
Tickets cost £15 for adults, £13.25 for senior citizens (65+) and full time students from outside Bath (aged 17 and over with a valid ID). It is £9.50 for children between 6 -16 and family tickets (family of four, or two adults and up to four children) is £44. Children 5 years and under are free. (Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.) It is not possible to buy tickets online but you don’t need to book a ticket in advance. You can simply purchase the tickets when you arrive at the Roman Baths.
90% of the site is accessible to wheelchair users. Lifts are available and the handrails have been improved. However, to reach the entire site, you will need to be able to use some stairs. The Roman Baths Kitchen is a child-friendly place for a meal or a snack, while The Pump Room is a great spot for afternoon tea. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the site.
The site is located in the City Centre and there are excellent coach and rail connections to Bath. While there is no parking at the Roman Baths there are car parks within easy walking distance as well as several Park and Ride services on the outskirts of Bath, which drop off in the city centre.