The attractions of Bath
It's not just Holiday Inn Express Bath that offer fantastic value in the beautiful city of Bath. Although the grand Georgian architecture would suggest otherwise, Bath is a very affordable family destination.
With that in mind, please have a look at our guide to enjoy the finest free attractions in our wonderful, historic and enchanting city.
Fantastic Guided Tour
Luckily enough there is a fantastic free guided tour around the city centre of Bath during summer months (May - September). The Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides are very much worth-while for any visitor interested in the history and culture behind some of Bath's best known architectural wonders. Conducted by volunteer guides, who themselves are engaging, knowledgeable and obviously passionate; the tours typically last for 2 hours.
The starting points for the tours take place in-front of The Pump Room by Bath Abbey. Generally the tours keep at a more than manageable pace, and however large your group you will always be able to hear what is going on. All manors of Bath's rich history, the Roman and Georgian eras are covered as the tour meanders through the city centre out towards Royal Crescent and Victoria Park.
For a free tour, it's richly informative however the real highlights are the volunteer guides and their unique insight and enthusiasm for this great city.
The Great Outdoors
Visitors and of course the local Bath residents are very lucky indeed. Royal Victoria Park is a handsomely maintained public park to enjoy a spot of sunbathing, a family picnic, a bit of sport or just relax with a good book and watch the world go by.
The lovely, green area of Victoria Park is just on the outer edges of the city centre of Bath, but it's anything but isolated. If the wide open greenery for lounging upon isn't enough to draw you in, the beautiful boating pond, adventure golf course and perfect children's play park make it a fantastic family day out. Slides, swings, spider-web climbing frames and a fort will entertain the little ones for hours, while the gorgeous, Victorian Botanic Garden will intrigue older members of the family. We the time comes to relieve the hunger, there are plenty of refreshment stands, ice cream vans and a great little pavilion café to sit down with a tea and a scrumptious slice of cake.
During the summer months, the park is a special spot to see some of hot air balloons lift-off during a romantic evening. You may also feel like having a game of tennis or try your hand at lawn bowls when the sun shines.
However you chose to spend your time, Royal Victoria Park in Bath is well worth a visit.
An Excellent Evening
Surely one of Bath's most iconic structures, Pulteneny Bridge was originally designed to help make the fortunes of the 1st Earl of Bath, William Pulteney, by forming a connection between the two sides of the River Avon. Today the Bath's famous bridge is admired the world over for its stunning architecture.
The Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River in Florence is the often used comparison for Putleney Bridge as like its Italian counterpart, the Bath beauty is one of only three bridges lined with shops (Rialto Bridge in Venice being the other). One could very well argue that Putleney Bridge however is the most picturesque example of the three, especially with the stunning backdrop of Bath City Centre. Make your way to the Grand Parade for an outstanding view of the rushing water below flowing towards the shaped water falls.
A stroll amongst the plentiful, quaint shops is a memorable for the fact you forget you're actually crossing a bridge. That is until you catch a glimpse of the ducks and pleasure boats gliding below. Pulteney Bridge is one of the most romantic spots for a stroll in the evening.
The magnificent columns and arches lit up against the shimmering water are definitely a sight to see when in Bath.
10 North Parade
Reservations: 01225 330236
Only a short walk from Pulteney Bridge is one of Bath's most talked about restaurants. Sotto Sotto has just a lovely, vibrant quality and of course very good food! Rightfully busy on most evenings, an adventure down the stairs into the restaurant stone-walled 'cellar like' dining room all adds to the anticipation.
Not matter how busy, service is always outstanding, welcoming in with the typically charming, Italian family flare. Sotto Sotto manages to create an ambience that is both lively to not feel formal as well as relaxed so that great conversations can take place. Without question, most of the conversation will centre on the exquisite, fresh, aromatic food. Lamb cooked to melting perfection, handmade pasta that even the finest Southern Italian cooks would be proud of and pizzas packed with flavour all await your eager taste buds. In terms dietary requests, Sotto Sotto is more than accommodating.
Like the truest of Italian restaurants, the varied menu scales up or down depending on your choice of a grand meal or just popping in for a quick pizza in an attractive setting. Everything item is more than reasonably priced especially considering the quality of ingredients and combination of flavours. Two starters, two mains and a bottle of wine would normally come in around £50-£60.
Still considered a gem amongst regulars, Sotto Sotto does tend to get busy and after your first visit you'll understand why. If you do decide to pop in, the restaurant bar is just the place for a relaxing cocktail are most nights you will be seated without any chance of a lengthy wait however, reservations are highly recommended to avoid disappointment (01225 330236).
The atmospheric candle lighting, outstanding service and amazing flavours make a meal in Sotto Sotto memorable for all the right reasons.