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Best Things To Do in Bath in the Rain

I will be ending a 13-day Best of Southern England tour in Bath at breakfast on this coming Tuesday and staying Tuesday night and taking a train (or should I be taking a bus?) to the airport on Wednesday, But the weather looks like rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. Could I have some suggestions for the best indoor things to do on rainy days? Thanks!

Posted by
6502 posts

With regard to transport to the airport National Express bus will be the easiest, as it is just direct there, no changes anywhere. Also, if the weather deteriorates as looks possible, there is the potential for significant disruption, if the winds bring the electric wiring down east of Reading.
On Wednesday there is the potential for a significant storm. Presently it is tracking further north- I am right in it's current path, but it could change track.

There is a bus as early as 0400, which would suit a flight as early as 0900, then quite regular throughout the day.

For things to do see this web page-

Posted by
14175 posts

According to the RS tour itinerary, there is just a walking tour of Bath after you arrive and before the farewell dinner. There is SO much to do in Bath!

  • Roman Baths
  • The Holborne Museum
  • Number 1 Royal Crescent (a renovated town home at the end of the Royal Crescent with very informative docents who are dressed in period costume)
  • Bath Abbey (there may be a tower climb if that is of interest to you)
  • Have afternoon tea at The Pump Room
  • If you are a spa person there is the Thermae Spa
  • I've never been but if you want to do one more museum, there is the Herschel Museum. He and his sister were both astronomers and he was the one that discovered Uranus I think. (or Pluto??)

I am sure the Fashion Museum is currently closed as it is moving to a new venue.

Skip the Jane Austen Centre even if you are a diehard JA fan. She didn't live there, they have nothing original of hers. It was disappointing even though I had read that it was pretty worthless!

If there is a period of sun, walk along the Avon River to the Kennet and Avon Canal and see if any canal boats are going thru the locks.

Have a wonderful time!

PS I'd take the National Express coach as well. Are you flying out that day or spending the night and flying the next?

Posted by
27367 posts

In addition to the Holborne Museum, I enjoyed the Museum of East Asian Art. It's in one of the row houses and not terribly large. The focus is on decorative art.

Posted by
1137 posts

The forecast isn’t looking that bad for Tue and Wed. It’ll be showery. Just put your raincoat on and you’ll be fine!

Posted by
3813 posts

Another thumbs up for The Holburne Museum!
A great way to spend a rainy day.

They have a cafe for lunch:
Even though it's called The Garden Cafe, at least half of their seating is inside, so
still a good lunch option even with the rain.

Another thumbs up for Bath Abbey!
You might catch an afternoon organ practice.
And the interior is lovely with interesting memorials around the walls to read and examine.

Posted by
6502 posts

The UK Met Office has now named the storm as Storm Agnes- and it is now tracking in further south than originally forecast-

Bath is currently on the edge of the yellow warning area, the up to date forecast being for 50mph + winds and heavy rain forecast for Wednesday afternoon.

It would be irresponsible not to warn of the potential of this storm and to watch it's progress.

Posted by
1137 posts

Anyway today has been pretty decent weather wise with quite a bit of warm sun after 9am and only one shower.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you so much to everyone for the VERY helpful and thoughtful answers. Turns out that - as always - what the weather report says is not what is likely to happen so I got to do a lot more walking outdoors than I expected. My biggest disappointment is not having time for the Holborne Museum...but that just means that you have a reason to visit again! I was in Bath 10 years ago, and it was thrilling to catch up on the excavations that have been done at the Roman Baths.
I did take the National Express bus and was miserable the whole spite of the clouds and rain they had the air conditioning cranked up as high as it would go and I froze for 2 1/2 hours.
I managed to avoid the rain until today just as I was arriving at the bus station - got out of the taxi and into a downpour, but I was still grateful for all the relatively good weather I had in Bath. Now if I can just navigate the horrors of Heathrow and get on a plane tomorrow I'll be all set.
Thanks again to all of your for your help!

Posted by
6502 posts

It makes a change for Americans to be saying about AC here being set too high!!

It's not normal for a NatEx coach to be too cold. Wonder if anyone asked the driver to reset the heating level. If anything they are often a bit warm.

The storm came in anything up to 12 hours later than expected. But in those areas of England (I don't know yet about Wales or Scotland) where it did hit, it was a period of heavy weather- around 6 to 8 hours. Not as bad, at least for me, as feared, but the first good storm of winter. I know it's still blowing itself out in Yorkshire now. And it did keep a more westerly track than at first expected.

Irrespective of the wind, yes you got lucky for the rain. I gather it's a very nice morning in London this morning, from what I have just heard from someone- who has added in an extra visit on their way to LHR this morning to take advantage of the good weather.