A Literary Tour of Bath

PRACTICAL INFROMATION

Arrival in Bath from London

By Train

There are trains leaving for Bath Spa Station from London Paddington and the whole journey lasts around 1h 30min. It is important to book the tickets well in advance to avoid sky-rocketing prices.

By Coach

There are frequent National Express coaches departing from Victoria Coach Station. If you are planning to take a coach, please ensure that you do leave early, not later than 08:30 am to ensure that you have enough time to see all the sights in Bath. The journey by coach is a bit lengthy as it might take up to 3 hours but it also saves you some money.

On return, I would recommend you to take the coach that departs no later than 18:00 so that you have time to get home or to your hotel in London.

For Tickets and Timetables, please check National Express website: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en

BATH LITERARY TOUR

You can follow the ititnerary below regardless if you arrive by coach or by train, as Coach Station and Railway Station are just situated just next to each other.

GEORGE BAYNTUN BOOKSHOP

Address: Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JW
Website: http://www.georgebayntun.com/

If you collect rare books or you have an interest in antiquarian books, I would recommend you to pay a visit to this bookshop. It is on your way to the centre of the city so you cannot miss it.

It used to be the Post Office and some of the furniture from that period is still used in the bookshop. Bayntun Bookshop is a home to thousands of books, spread over three floors. Needless to say, it is the heaven for all the bibliophiles!

Bayntun Booksellers, Bath

PULTENEY BRIDGE

Once you pass Bayntun Bookshop, you can turn to the left to Railway Street and walk around Southgate Place. It is very nice area with shops and small places where you can grab something to eat. Then go back to Manvers Street and keep going straight until you see the Parade Gardens and North Parade. You can find the way to go down on the north side of the River Avon and then follow the path to Pulteney Bridge. There are some benches you can sit on and have a break and take beautiful pictures of the River Avon and, of course, of Pulteney Bridge. You can also stay on the south side of the river from where you can take stunning pictures and have a moment to admire the architecture and to enter the world of Jane Austen for a few moments.

Pulteney Bridge was completed in 1774 and is reminiscent of the Rialto Bridge in Venice. It is said that it is one of few bridges in the world to have shops spanning both sides.

THE ROMAN BATHS

Address: The Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath BA1 1LZ Website: https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/

Once you wander a little bit across Pulteney Bridge, follow to Upper Borough Walls. If you have enough time, it is worth having a short visit to Guildhall Market and Victoria Art Gallery (located on Grand Parade). Take the first to left (from Upper Borough Walls) to High Street, and then take the second to the right to The Corridor and then then to the left onto the Passage and keep going straight until you reach the Abbey Church Yard which has not changed much since the beginning of 19th century and the times when Jane Austen lived in Bath. Now, you should see the entrance to The Roman Baths. For tickets prices and opening hours, please check their website.

MR B’s EMPORIUM OF READING DELIGHTS

Address: 14 – 15 John Street, Bath BA1 2JL Website: https://mrbsemporium.com/

Once you leave Roman Baths, please follow Bath Street and take the first on the right to St Michael’s Place till you reach Westgate Street. Once you are on Westgate Street, take the first to the right onto Sawclose. Once you reach Queen Square, turn right to Wood Street and then to the left onto John Street where Mr B’s Emporium is located. The space is beautiful and on the second floor they have lovely reading room where you can take a moment to sit down and browse through some of the books.

THE JANE AUSTEN CENTRE

Address: 40 Gay Street, Queen Square, Bath BA1 2NR Website: http://www.janeausten.co.uk

Once you leave Mr B’s Emporium, go back to Queen Square and follow Gay Street till you reach The Jane Austen Centre. Paying the visit to the Centre is a real treat. The tour is extremely informative and the staff is beyond helpful and so lovely. On the second floor, there is The Regency Tea Room where you can have a cup of tea and some scones before continuing with your tour of Bath.

If you have a special fondness for Jane Austen, I would also recommend you to check out these addresses where Jane Austen lived during her time in Bath:

No. 13 Queen Square: Jane Austen along with some of her family members lived here in 1799.

No. 25 Gay Street, Queen Square: Jane Austen, her sister Cassandra and their mother lived there after Jane’s father died in 1805.

Trim Street: Jane Austen lived here for a short time after she and her mum and sister left No. 25 Gay Street. They stayed here until 1806. You can reach Trim Street via Princess Street by the way of Beauford Square.

THE CIRCUS

Once you leave the Jean Austen Centre, walk up to the top of the street until you reach the Circus. The Circus was completed in 1758 which us a coliseum turned inwards. Once can admire the classical elements of Ionic and Corinthian columns. Dr Livingstone was one of the residents of the Circus.

ROYAL CRESCENT

From the Circus, follow the Brock Street till you reach Royal Crescent. You can admire this stunning masterpiece of the architecture with its 114 Ionic columns. If you wish to explore it more, you can visit No. 1 to see restored townhouse. There is a fee to enter the building. Otherwise, you can just admire the building from the outside which is still worth it.

BATH OLD BOOKS

Address: 9c Margarets Buildings, Bath BA1 2LP

On your way back from Royal Crescent, take the left onto Margaret’s Buildings and at the end of the street you will see Bath Old Books which is a treat for every bibliophile, especially the ones who love the literature from the Victorian period.

TOPPING & COMPANY BOOKSELLERS

Address: The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS Website: https://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/

On your way back from Royal Crescent and the Circus, follow Bennett Street and then take the first to the right. You will pass Museum of East Asian Art, Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum which are wonderful places to visit if you have enough time. Especially, Assembly Rooms is another masterpiece of the architecture worth visiting.

Once you reach George Street, turn to the left and keep going straight till you see Topping & Company Booksellers located on The Paragon. It is a must for every booklover. Before visiting, check their website for any interesting events as they have the likes of Margaret Atwood, Phil Pullman and Salman Rushdie invited to the evening talks and book signing.

Once you finish your visit to the Topping & Company Booksellers, take the left onto Broad Street and keep going straight. Once you see the Abbey Church Yard, you will know you are close to Railway and Coach Station. You can wander around old streets or go to the banks of the River Avon before heading back to the station.

 

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