Trains (www.nationalrail.co.uk; [tel] 08457/48-49-50; 90 min., twice an hour; £16 with advance purchase) leave from Paddington and let off in Bath Spa, an ugly section of town about 5 minutes’ walk from the good stuff.
Because buses take twice as long, we don’t recommend National Express (www.nationalexpress.com; [tel] 08705/80-80-80; 3 hr.; £11 single).
Drive west on the M4 to the junction with the A4, and then continue west to Bath.
Visit Bath/Bath Tourist Information Centre (Abbey Chambers, Abbey Churchyard; www.visitbath.co.uk; [tel] 090/6711-2000 [50p/min.], from overseas [tel] 011-44-844-847-5257).
One of the best ways to explore Bath is by bike. Rentals are available at the Bath & Dundas Canal Company, Brass Knocker Basin at Monkton Combe (tel. 01225/722292; www.bathcanal.com).
The Mayor’s office provides professionally guided free 2-hour Walking Tours of Bath (www.bathguides.org.uk; Sun–Fri 10:30am and 2pm, Sat 10:30am; May–Sept also Tues and Fri 7pm). Meet by the Abbey Churchyard entrance to the Pump Room.
Bath's graceful Georgian architecture provides the setting for one of Europe's most prestigious international festivals of music and the arts, the Bath International Music Festival. For 15 days in late May and early June each year, the city is filled with more than 1,000 performers. The festival focuses on classical music, jazz, new music, and the contemporary visual arts, with orchestras, soloists, and artists from all over the world. In addition to the main music and art program, the festival offers walks, tours, and talks, plus free street entertainment, a free Festival Club, and opening-night celebrations with fireworks. For information, contact the Bath Festivals Box Office, 2 Church St., Abbey Green, Bath BA1 1NL (tel. 01225/463362; www.bathmusicfest.org.uk).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.