An Interior Design Lover's Guide to Visiting Bath
It’s been a while since I’ve been away with the family so we recently decided to take a trip to Bath.
For interior design lovers the city of Bath is a real treat. This is my first visit to the city and I found a beautiful mix of historic architecture, museums and cultural centres as well as great shopping and restaurants to relax in.
Approaching the city from the east, once we passed the quaint town of Marlborough it’s noticeable that buildings start to change from red brick into the unfamiliar sandy tones of Bath stone. This unique type of limestone gives the city it’s character and is one of the reasons that the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The other reason is the development of the town by two of history’s great innovators - Firstly the Romans and then the Georgians
The Romans created the town of Aquae Sulis. They built temples and channeled the underground thermal springs to create the roman baths. Still standing as one of the world’s best surviving Roman sites in the world. It was getting dark as we left the baths. The torches were lit and steam was starting to rise from the warm waters. A little bit magical.
A few hundred years later the Georgians built a town of neo-classical buildings in crescents and street formations to create an aspirational city that is still impressive to visit. Here's my interior design lover's guide to visiting Bath.
Interiors and architecture are intrinsically linked so it’s inspiring to take a walk around this classically built city. Whilst you can get a feel for the city without visiting one particular place there are a few impressive landmarks.
The Royal Crescent is the jewel in the crown of the Georgian city of Bath. Grade I listed Georgian houses curve around an open park with a view high over the city.
Just around the corner The Circus consists of a perfect circle of townhouses. In the centre of town wide open streets such as Great Pulteney Street feature colonnaded Georgian houses leading up to the impressive Holbourne Museum. Another unmissable spot is the Pulteney Bridge. Classic buildings span the bridges three arches which overlook a weir famous as a location in the film of Les Miserables.
No1 Royal Crescent is perfectly preserved time capsule of Georgian life. The rooms of the house are richly decorated as they would have been in the 18th century.
Decorative wall papers, patterned carpets, silks, velvets and chandeliers all feature alongside authentic furniture from the period in the upstairs rooms of the house.
Below stairs is also on show with simpler more functional furniture giving an insight into the lives of the servants that ran the home.
Places to stay in Bath
Blow the budget and soak up a slice of Georgian life with a stay at The Royal Crescent Hotel. Located in two town houses of this historic address the hotel combines history with all the luxuries you’d expect of a modern 5-star hotel.
Image: The Royal Crescent Hotel
I’d always recommend Air BnB as a place to find somewhere just a little bit different alongside the comforts of home. Bath has a great selection. I found this gorgeously decorated three bedroom apartment on offer.
A perfect traveller's rest. There's even a nice selection of interior design books on the coffee table!
Beautiful countryside surrounds the city of Bath. Combine the historic sites of Bath with a countryside getaway at The Pig near Bath. A boutique hotel with gorgeous rooms and a stunning rural location.
Image: The Pig near Bath
Interior Design Shopping in Bath
Shopping in Bath is a good mix of large stores and smaller independents. Firstly in the main shopping area I found OKA, India Jane and Salcombe Trading Company.
India Jane Milsom Street Bath
Bath is also lucky to have an Anthropologie store with an interiors department - hard to find outside London.
A short walk north on Walcot Street in an area known as the Artisans Quarter you’ll find Shannon Furniture which has a great selection of scandinavian home wares featuring designers such as Arne Jacobssen, Marimekko and Normann Copenhagen. The Fig Store and Graham and Green are also worth a look.
Eating and Drinking for Interior Design Lovers in Bath
Finally eating and drinking. There are lots of restaurants and pubs in Bath catering for all We stopped for Sunday lunch at a pub called The Huntsman in the town centre at North Parade.
The Huntsman Bath
I loved the interior of this pub. It was like stepping into a country house or shooting lodge. Huge comfy leather sofas, and rooms adorned with stag’s heads and chandeliers. The Sunday roast was very good too.
New in town and definitely worth a visit for an unmissable interior is The Ivy Brasserie and Grill in the main shopping area of Milsom Street. An inspirational treat for lovers of both food and interiors.
The Ivy Bath Brasserie Image: Paul Winch-Furness
Retro shades of blue and orange combine beautifully in this ornate regency building. I loved the large windows flanked by bold botanical prints.
Image: Paul Winch-Furness
Bath is a perfect place for a weekend break and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the beautiful spa town.