When a town is named after that porcelain tub you jump into to wind down, you know you’re going to be in the right place for relaxation. While you can’t actually swim in the famous Roman Baths any longer (although they’re still worth a visit – try a glass of sulphur-heavy water in the Pump Room), the town’s Thermae spa – the UK’s only natural thermal baths – is the next best thing, with mineral-rich waters and a rooftop pool overlooking the Avon valley. The town’s relaxed vibe and beautiful surrounding countryside aren’t too hectic either. If it’s good enough for the Celts…
Boutique country house The Pig recently opened just outside town. It’s a rural getaway – a spa in a potting shed and locally foraged ingredients in the restaurant. thepighotel.com
There’s a reason you’ll find so many stag and hen dos in Bristol. Not only is it the street party capital of the UK – around 150 are held on its streets every year – it’s also got enough bars and clubs to keep even the most seasoned drinker on their toes. Park Street and The Triangle are a good place to start a pub crawl, while Clifton has a string of good pubs and bars, including The Lido on Whiteladies Road. Or if the weather’s good, you can head down to the water for The Apple – a floating cider pub. In the cider capital of the UK, it’d be rude not to.
Number Thirty Eight is an elegant boutique hotel set in a townhouse across the bridge in Clifton, one of most upmarket areas of the city. number38clifton.com
In an area known for its locally produced cider and cheddar, food is big in Bath. The UK’s first farmers’ market is still open at Green Park, with local producers selling everything from cheese and jam to artisan pasta and cakes. The Great Bath Feastival (greatbathfeast.co.uk), at the end of October, welcomes chefs including Angela Hartnett and Nathan Outlaw, while foodie trips around Bath stop off for treats including scones and a pint of delicious, er, spa water. The Royal Crescent Hotel (royalcrescent.co.uk) has top-notch fine dining.
For more information, see visitbath.co.uk