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American Museum in Bath

We arrive in Bath on the National Express Bus at 1:05 and plan to do the Mad Max Tour the next day. So we just have that Sunday afternoon and evening to tour Bath. Of course we want to visit the Roman Bath but it is open late in July. Is the American Museum worth seeing or not enough time? I would also like to visit the Georgian House-- the Royal Crescent. Thank you.

Posted by
1188 posts

Don't miss the Fashion Museum in the Bath Assembly Room. It's the history of Fashion and has some fabulous clothing just like you see in all those great movies!

Posted by
2789 posts

I did not go to the American Museum but the Georgian House was very well done-the docents are very knowledgeable. It was the highlight of my day in Bath.

Posted by
41 posts

I am looking forward to the Georgian House. Haven't decided on the Fashion Museum--it is between that and the American Museum.

Posted by
2928 posts

There are so many things to see in Bath, if you haven't been before. The Royal Crescent and the circus. The Abbey. The Georgian House. The Fashion Museum. The Jane Austen center. The Assembly Rooms.

OP, are you American? I could see going to the American Museum if you found yourself with time on your hands and had already seen all that Bath has to offer. But I can't help but wonder why an American would spend their one day in Bath at a museum containing exhibits they can see in their own country. This isn't a criticism. I really am curious.

Posted by
7921 posts

We thought the American Museum was great and very well worth the time. We live in California where we do not have museums on American history so we found it fascinating and very happy we went. We were talking with a docent there, saying how impressed we were and laughing that we had to come all the way to Bath to visit a museum of American history.

The Georgian house was fantastic.

We only had one day there, arriving around 10:00 and left around 6:00... we did the Roman Baths, the Georgian House, the American Museum (by taxi), a Hop On Hop Off bus tour and lunch. We didn't rush and it was a great day.

Posted by
41 posts

I know, I know----there is FAR more to see than time allows --but this is true most places. Makes an excuse to come back. I was curious to see how the British portrayed the American life.CJean, i didn't take it as a criticism. Coming from Oregon, we focus on the pioneers here. The wonderful museums about American life are mostly in the Northeast. I read several interesting comments about it--if not on RS, then on TA. We watch MANY British TV shows and will have 4 days in the Cotswolds region, from north to south, spending one day with a couple from Alcester, England who visited my hometown of Alcester, South Dakota. This will probably be the highlight of our trip. Am having difficulty planning our Bath portion as it is too short of a time.

Posted by
427 posts

I would try to get one of the free Mayor's walking Tours of Bath. They have two a day and are two hours each - one at 10:30 and the other at 2:30 pm. They meet in front of the Roman Bath and Bath Abbey entrance and are run by very knowledgeable volunteers. Well worth your time - loved them. I would also find time for the Roman Baths. I would skip the American Museum. Learn more about the history of the place you're visiting.

Posted by
69 posts

I'd definitely agree about the free walking tour! Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, and we walked past many sites of interest (including the Royal Crescent). Many people peeled off at different points, but we stayed for the whole tour and quite enjoyed it. It also gave us our bearings, so we happily went back to several places we'd passed. You could easily do this and still see the Baths.

Posted by
41 posts

We would love to do the free Mayor's Guide Walking Tour but it leaves at 2:00. Our bus doesn't arrive until 1:05 and we have to get our suitcases to our room and back to the Abbey by 2:00 so doubt we can make it---unless I can talk hubby into taking a taxi to our room and to the Abbey!! Always presuming the bus actually arrives at 1:05!!

Posted by
4528 posts

I always recommend the Herschel Museum - particularly to people who have an interest in astronomy or music, but the Georgian house and garden is interesting enough I think to be of general interest

Posted by
8247 posts

I love Bath! I went to the American Museum last Fall on my 3rd visit to Bath. I thought it was interesting BUT with your very short time frame, I would not spend the time doing it. There is a free shuttle from the area where buses park across from the Parade Ground Gardens. It is interesting to see what is picked out to represent the US. One of the original folks that set it up were from the East Coast and being from Idaho I felt the exhibits were very skewed to the East/NE.

I would rank the No 1 Royal Crescent Georgian House well ahead of the American Museum, but Georgian House behind the Roman Baths. I liked the Fashion Museum but was disappointed it did not have many clothes from the Georgian/Regency era which I particularly like. Don't waste your time or money on the Jane Austen Centre.

I enjoyed the Holburne Museum (had a temporary Canaletto exhibit when I went a few years ago which was amazing) and have done the Victoria Museum which is pretty small. (School group vising the day I went so it was really, really boisterous in there! Not usual, I expect.)

On one of my first visits I did a walking tour with this guide. http://www.bathtours.org.uk/ At that time she was offering an open afternoon tour. It looks like she may have them now, but don't exactly see a schedule in a quick look. Anyway, she was very good and there were 2 tour guides on the walking tour! One was a guide for the Jane Austen tours and another was a Blue Badge guide from London.

One of the neatest things about Bath is just walking around. I love the juxtaposition of the Roman era things alongside the Georgian architecture.

If you have a vegan or vegetarian in your group, the Green Rocket has the best food I might have ever tasted!

Posted by
41 posts

Pam, thank you very much for such an informative reply!! So we will skip the American Museum. I definitely want to do the Georgian Mansion and of course the Roman Baths. I had no plans for the Jane Austen Centre as not enough time. But I would love to do a walking tour. I went to the website you suggested and see that her tour leaves at 1:00 pm. I will still write and ask if she has a guide for 2:30, hoping we can get to our room and back to the Abbey by then. Thanks for all the info.