A trip to Bath and Stonehenge only takes a couple hours from London by train, making this a perfect day trip. Bath is a really fun city to explore for the afternoon: walk around the shops and indoor market, visit the famous Roman Bath House, and take a stroll along the river. From Bath, the drive to Stonehenge is about an hour along some scenic back roads, and if it is the right time of year you will get to see numerous fields full of thousands of yellow flowers (rapeseed, used for cooking oil production). Stonehenge itself is quite impressive, an amazing feat for its time. If you are traveling from London directly to Stonehenge, we have listed some recommendations at the end of this post.
Top Things to do in Bath
The Roman Baths
The Roman Baths complex is a historic public bathing site dating back to the late 17th century. The baths are well preserved to this day, and the hot springs deep underground still warm the water through geothermal energy (you can see bubbles and steam rise from the thermal bath). If you are so inclined, you can also drink some of the clean and safe spa water in the Pump Room, though it does have an iron taste to it!
Tips: Purchase tickets in advance to avoid long ticket queues.
If you are in Bath for the night or a few days, be sure to check out the Thermae Bath Spa, where you can enjoy some thermal baths yourself.
The Bath Abbey, The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a church located right in the heart of Bath founded in the 7th century. Constructed in Gothic architectural style, the abbey is known for its beautiful fan vaulting on the ceiling. The abbey is free to enter, though there is a recommended donation.
Tips: You can purchase tickets in the gift shop located inside to get a guided tour up one of the church’s towers for great views of the city and surrounding area.
This neoclassical building was built in 1778 and now serves as a covered market, with 20 or so stallholders selling all kinds of things: cheese, books, yarn, household supplies, scarfs, leather goods, etc. The Guildhall was originally built as a town hall, but has been a trading market for over 800 years.
Pulteney Weir & Bridge
An iconic attraction in Bath, the Pulteney Weir is a weir on the River Avon just below the Pulteney Bridge. The bridge itself is lined with cute cafes and shops.
River Avon Riverside Walk
After crossing the Pulteney Bridge, you can find a staircase on the right side of the road down to the riverside walk along the River Avon. A nice area to wander around and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Tips: Stop into the The Boater to enjoy a pint on the outdoor terrace near the river. From the center of town, you can reach another walking path along the River Avon (also referred to as Kennet and Avon Canal) by heading directly south. You can pick up the path behind The Forum. Stop at the Victoria Pub & Kitchen for some pub fare at the outdoor garden situated on the riverside.
Food and Drink in Bath
The Bridge Coffee Shop
Located on the Pulteney Bridge, this cafe (note there are two separate sections of this cafe) is a great spot to grab a light lunch or enjoy some afternoon tea overlooking the river.
A classic family-run pub, The Raven is a favorite among locals, serving real ales and pies. It is situated over two storeys inside historic Georgian townhouses.
Stonehenge is a world UNESCO site managed by the English Heritage. As one of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, it is highly recommended to reserve tickets in advance for your preferred day and time. Tickets can be purchased here. They only allow a certain number of people in per hour, so make sure to plan your trip according to the time slot on your ticket. The ticket includes access to the Stone Circle, Neolithic Houses, and Stonehenge Exhibition/ Museum. There is a cafe and gift shop on site as well.
Tips: If you are interested in Stone Circle Access, an opportunity to get up close to the stones, be sure to plan WAY in advance. You need to request a visit from the English Heritage website and the tours take place early in the morning and late in the evening.
Traveling from London
Other than driving, you can take a Southwest Train from London Waterloo to Salisbury station. From there, you can take the Stonehenge Tour Bus from the station to the site for £15). Tickets for the bus can be found here.
The buses run directly from Salisbury train station, every half hour during the high season (Summer) and every hour otherwise. If you have time, Salisbury is also a nice town to visit, including the Salisbury Cathedral, which houses the world’s oldest working clock and one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta.
Day Trip Itinerary
- 08.27: Train from Paddington
- 10.40: Arrive in Bath
- 11.00: Roman Baths (purchase tickets in advance!)
- 12.30-13.30: Lunch (or have tea in the famous Pump Room)
- 13.30-14.30: Explore Bath (Guildhall + Abbey + River Walk, etc.)
- 14.45: Pick-up rental Car in Bath (grab a coffee at Mokoko Coffee on your way!)
- 16.00-16.30: Drive to Stonehenge (purchase tickets in advance!)
- 17.00: Drive to Salisbury
- 17.47: Train from Salisbury (arrive at 19.19 in London)
Be sure to check train timetables.