Bath's hidden history

Duration: 1h and 45min
Languages: English
Guru: Susan
Registered on December 10, 2022

Hello! My name is Susan and I have a background in ecology, art, and counselling. I have loved Bath since the moment I saw it over forty years ago and it is an absolute pleasure to share with you the less obvious spots in the city. Come join me!

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  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

Bath is a gem of a place to visit any time of the year with so many things to do and it’s stunning architecture 🎇

Be sure to wear warm clothing and give yourself plenty of time to find parking.

I have put together this illustrated tour and have aimed it at grown-ups - it is not suitable for children or pushchairs.

While I'm not a historian, I am a keen local and love sharing the history of this place, so come along as we find the lesser-known and older parts of the city.

In the first part of the tour
I will endeavour to paint a picture of two periods in Bath’s history - how Bath looked before the massive rebuilding of the city in the 18th century, and Anglo-Saxon, Bath with its delightful, monastery and huge gatehouses and walls.  We will trace the route of ancient walls of Bath, look at how they were a vital part of King Alfred's defence against the Danes, see the original Roman and Saxon layout of the city and the part they played in Bath surviving very turbulent times.

The second part of the tour looks at the challenges faced developing the land across the river, and the magnificent job the Georgians did to overcome them, then we explore a delightful green space behind the Holburne Museum and learn about its colourful history.

Our first stop is the only gate that remains, the very hidden and beautiful Old East Gate then continue along following the exact path of the Anglo-Saxon walls and soon discover a section of the original city wall.

We continue the circuit of the walls along the Upper Borough Walls where we find the only complete section of old wall.

At the western edge we reach the site of the beautiful Westgate and its adjoining buildings, before following the wall into Saw Close and the site of the historic timber yard.

Reaching the southern part of the town, we look at the delightful Hetling bath and Cross bath and discover something of the history surrounding them.

In the second part of the tour,
we see where Jane Austin went for entertainment and relaxation, exploring the spectacular Great Pulteney Street, discovering the challenges they faced in building it, and finding a Georgian Pleasure Garden!

Looking forward to meeting you! ☺️

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    9JJR+PR2 Bath, UK
    9JJR+PR2 Bath, UK
    View on map

    Meeting point is Orange Grove near Browns brasserie & bar just east of the abbey. I will be wearing a dark jacket, trousers & cap & carrying a dark backpack 👌

  • 1
    Outside visit

    Very hidden, we look at the history of this, the only surviving gate of the ancient fortifications of Bath, and the once beautiful courtyard beside it.

  • 2
    Outside visit
    The Cross Bath

    If you would like to know how this pretty little Bath looked in former centuries and how it’s got its name this is the tour for you.

  • 3
    Outside visit
    Saw Close

    We uncover the history of this lively corner and see extraordinary continuity of use from the earliest days of Bath.

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Pulteney Bridge

    A beautiful bridge with a fascinating backstory.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    Great Pulteney Street

    This magnificent street has a wonderful history.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

223 ratings
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Jiya 17 Feb 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Feb 2024
Susan was great, informative, energetic, fun and full of facts. We would recommend her for a historical tour of Bath.
Cristina 14 Feb 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Feb 2024
I didn't know Bath at all, so it was very informative and since we did not go to the expected highlights as per classic guide, it was more curious and educational. It could perhaps be a bit shorter as we walked a long way away at the very end after 90 minutes already, but the information shared at Sydney Gardens was worth the extra few minutes.
Dominique 13 Feb 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Feb 2024
Susan sabía muchísimo de la ciudad e hizo que el rato se pasara volando! Es buenísima
mr tom 13 Feb 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Feb 2024
Really enjoyed the tour! Susan has obviously done a lot of research into the area and enjoys conveying it in an accessible and entertaining way on the 2 hour tour. Highly recommended 👍
Chi and 11 Feb 2024

I absolutely love d this tour! It was so interesting to learn more about Bath’s history and the changing architecture. Susan was so enthusiastic about the content and it’s obvious she really enjoys sharing what she knows. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in learning more about the city and how it came to be. Thank you for a lovely experience!
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
A minimum of 5 people is required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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