There’s so much more to Bath than, well, baths.

Melanie Lieberman

People have been traveling to Bath for some 10,000 years for, you guessed it, the baths.

The Roman Baths are a subterranean hot springs complex where people once made offerings to Roman gods. They’ve been closed to bathers since 1978, however, and now house a museum. To actually get your feet wet (or a luxurious, mineral rich soak) head to the Thermae Bath Spa, which has both pools as well as steam rooms.

This wet stretch of western England is one of the best places to travel now, thanks in part to the arrival of The Gainsborough, a luxury spa hotel just a short walk from the train station.

But like the rest of the country, teatime remains one of the most fun things to do in Bath. Head to the city’s most famous tearoom, Sally Lunn’s, for the namesake, brioche-like teacakes with sweet and savory toppings. The house (circa 1482) may very well be the oldest in all of Bath.

What to do in Bath when you’ve finished bathing? Head to the landmark Bath Abbey for a concert. Every year at the Bath International Music Festival, you can hear musicians from across the globe performing in the gothic cathedral.

Bath is also, surprisingly, a historic fashion capital. The Fashion Museum Bathhouses nearly 100,000 objects, some of which are centuries old. Kids (and adults) can play dress-up in the museums replica Victorian costumes. Afterward, go shopping at Jolly, the city’s oldest department store which dates back to 1828.

Jane Austen fans will also find plenty to be excited about on a trip to Bath. The Regency-era author spent years of her life in this city, which celebrates her (and her masterpieces) at the Jane Austen Centre. The annual Jane Austen Festival is held in September—the ideal time for bibliophiles to visit Bath.

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