Bath is my home patch. I've lived here since 2004. My children have gone to school in Bath. I walk our dog in the lovely countryside on the fringes of the city. I am the resident expert for the travel section of The Daily Telegraph on all things related to Bath, so as well as knowing all about its history and culture, I am also a mine of information of best places to eat, drink, shop and stay. I have in fact stayed in and reviewed all the best hotels and b & bs in the city for the Telegraph.
I am also bang up-to-date on what's happening in the city. There's lots of news for 2021. A much-needed new World Heritage Centre, explaining why Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is due to open, along with Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein museum (Shelley wrote much of the Gothic novel when living in Bath). And the city is in the spotlight for being a key location where Bridgerton, the runaway Netflix hit, was filmed.
If you're coming to Bath – whether for a day, a weekend or longer – I can help ensure you get the best out of your visit. I can give you advice on how best to structure your time, avoid the crowds and what to book ahead.
SUGGESTED BATH TOURS
Two-hour introductory tour
Ideal for first-time visitors to Bath with limited time, this walking tour provides an overview of the city and visits the major landmarks, including Bath Abbey, the Pump Room, Thermae Bath Spa, Pulteney Bridge, The Royal Crescent, Circus and Assembly Rooms. You'll finish up with a very good understanding of what makes Bath special.
Half-day introductory tour
This longer introductory tour also allows time for guided visits inside Bath Abbey and the Assembly Rooms, and exploring the other side of the River Avon and along grandiose Great Pulteney Street. There will be time for a carefully-chosen pitstop for coffee or tea.
Full day tour
With a whole day as well as a walking tour of the must-see highlights, you'll be able to take in some of Bath's lesser-known Georgian crescents and several of the city's outstanding attractions and museums, including the Roman Baths, No1 Royal Crescent, the Holburne Museum, Fashion Museum and Jane Austen Centre. (I can accompany you but I am not allowed to guide in some of these). I'll structure your day carefully to ensure it works seamlessly, and pick a tried-and-tested, first-rate place for lunch.
Film and TV locations tour – Bridgerton and more
Are you a fan of Bridgerton, Netflix's incredibly popular Regency drama? Some 70 scenes, spread over 14 locations, were shot in Bath for the first series – some of the extensive and ambitious filming ever undertaken in Bath. I can take you on a walking tour of the filming spots, and will provide insights into the accuracy of Bridgerton's portrayal of life in Regency England, and some behind-the-scenes snippets from the filming.
Want a broader TV/film tour than just Bridgerton? Bath has appeared in many dozens of films and TV series over the years – to name but a few Vanity Fair, various adaptations of Jane Austen's Persuasion, The Duchess, Les Miserables and recently ITV's detective series McDonald and Dodds and the BBC's Trial of Christine Keeler. All will be revealed on a walking tour.
Medical history tour
Focuses on how the history of Bath through the centuries is inextricably linked with its thermal waters and their supposedly health-giving and therapeutic properties. You'll hear stories about about Bladud the mythical founder of Bath, royal visits to the city seeking cures, naughty goings-on in the baths, hidden almshouses, the creation of the Mineral Water Hospital, weird and wonderful treatments in the medical spa – and a doctor who invented a healthy biscuit in the 1700s that is still on sale today.
Bath in literature tour
This tour will take you in the footsteps of Jane Austen, who lived in Bath for five years and set two of her novels primarily set in the city, and also uncover Bath's literary links with other famous writers including Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Henry Fielding and John Betjeman.
Five crescents tour
This largely off-the-beaten-track route around Bath's hilly northern side takes in five Georgian crescents, each a curving wonder in honey-hued Bath stone, as well the Assembly Rooms and Circus. Magnificent views across Bath and sheep await.
Pulteney Estate tour
Another away-from-the-crowds tour, highlighting the Pulteney Estate, Bath's fascinating, unfinished Georgian New Town, and its centrepiece, magnificent Great Pulteney Street. The route also takes in Sydney Gardens – elaborate pleasure gardens in Georgian times – a scenic section of the Kennet & Avon Canal, and the meadows of Bathwick Fields, with glorious view over the city.
Images Visit Bath
EASY DAY TRIPS FROM BATH
There are numerous enticing sightseeing options an hour's drive or less from Bath: the time-stood-still village of Lacock; photogenic southern Cotswolds spots such as Castle Combe; mystical Glastonbury and the tiny city of Wells with its wonderful cathedral; the world-famous prehistoric monuments of Avebury and Stonehenge; Salisbury, with another unforgettable cathedral; Bristol with its rich maritime heritage and street art.
I can provide entertaining and informative guided tours to any of these places, whether in a chauffeur-driven private vehicle or coach.