I am doing a day trip to Bath and want to do the two hour walking tour (Saturday) that starts at 10:30am. I want to also go see the Roman and Medieval Baths. I see they open at 9am and there is a train that can get me there at 8:30am. My question is can I tour the Baths in 75 minutes or so and still make the walking tour? I am worried that if I try and do the Medieval Baths after the walking tour at 1pm on a Saturday the lines will be horrible. Unfortunately, the online advance ticketing is not working and will not be working before our trip. What do you think, can I do the Medieval Baths tour at 9am and make it to the Walking tour at 10:30?
You could probably rush through the Baths easily in 75 minutes - but, like others here, I consider it a major sight and think you should plan to spend at least a couple of hours. I'd plan a walk in the morning and baths in the afternoon or vice versa with lunch in between.
In my opinion you need at least a couple of hours - I would allow several - to see the baths. It has many levels and some really good museum displays and is much bigger than it appears from the outside. I think your fears about Saturday afternoon crowds are justified but I think you will be seriously short-changing the baths to do them at a fast walk through in an hour. I seriously doubt they have a return later in the day "handstamp" kind of policy at the Baths, but if you could do an hour effectively alone and then come back that would be a great option. I'm very doubtful but maybe you could ask? But I also think the tour is great and very much worth doing because it gives you a much better Bath city experience where the Baths are one really specific historical aspect. My US$.02,
Charles, Yes- 2 hours minimum in the Roman Baths. But do not go to Bath without seeing the Royal Crescent. The best example of Georgian architecture and home to London's rich and famous in the 18th century.
From the FAQ page for the Roman Baths: Can I leave and return later in the day?
No re-entry is allowed as it is a one-way route around the complex and our high visitor numbers would make it impractical. The website suggests allowing 2 hours, but also says the busiest times are between 10:30 and 2:30, so perhaps if you take time for a nice lunch after the walking tour the crowds may have died down a bit by the time you're ready to tour the baths.
The free Bath walking tour remains, years later, the best walking tour I've ever taken anywhere, even compared against tours I've paid for. Not only did it cover a lot of ground, but the guide was exceptionally pleasant, courteous, and genteel, in addition to having a wealth of knowledge throughout the walk. If you Google 'Bath Walking Tour national geographic', there's a really good walking tour map you can download that, as far as I can remember, is mostly the same path of the free guided tour. You could start the walk on your own when you exit the Roman Baths, and along the way you might well catch up with the group that set off at 10:30. When I took the free tour a few people joined in about the halfway mark when the guide saw them looking longingly at us; he welcomed them warmly to join the group. You could supplement the map with info from a good guidebook about Bath.
Thanks to all for your tips and advice. I think I will get off the train at 8:30, go straight to the Baths and get in line. Hopefully I am one of the first ones in and can move through quicker than normal if there aren't very many people. Thanks for the additional insight into the walking tour. I am definately going to do that. Can't wait!!