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Bath Museums and Galleries Walking Tour (Self Guided), Bath

Discover Bath's rich history of commercial development, fashion and Roman heritage. The astronomer Hershel lived and worked here. Bath is also well known for its architecture. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the great museums and galleries Bath has to offer, including its principal attraction - the Roman baths.
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Bath Museums and Galleries Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Bath Museums and Galleries Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Bath (See other walking tours in Bath)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Gallery Nine
  • Museum of Bath at Work
  • The Fashion Museum
  • Building of Bath Collection
  • Jane Austen Centre
  • Adam Gallery
  • Bath Postal Museum
  • Victoria Art Gallery
  • Beaux Arts Bath
  • Roman Baths
  • Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Gallery Nine

1) Gallery Nine

Gallery Nine is owned by Sarah Denholm. It offers beautiful contemporary works of art. The Gallery specializes in British art. It displays ceramics, jewellery, paintings, sculpture, and textiles. It also displays works by leading artists.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm.
Museum of Bath at Work

2) Museum of Bath at Work (must see)

Situated on Julian Road, a five minute walk north of the city centre and close to the historic Royal Crescent and the Assembly Rooms, the Museum of Bath at Work offers a walking tour of 2000 years of working life in the city. The museum is housed within a real tennis court that dates from the 1700s, and was regularly visited by author Jane Austen. The route through the museum leads you through a recreated history of industry in Bath, from the Roman era to the present day. The highlight is a full size recreation of a Victorian soft drinks factory. On other floors you can find a fully functioning Bath stone mine, and a number of exhibits celebrating the city’s successes in industry in the last two centuries.

The museum houses educational exhibitions on inventions and industrial development within the city, as well as large historical collections of photographs and sound recordings which document the industrial history of Bath. The museum is open seven days a week from April until October. Opening hours are 10.30am until 5.00pm, with the last admission at 4.00pm. The museum is open on weekends all year round, and was recently refurbished to improve disabled access. Entry is £5.00 for adults and £3.50 for senior citizens, children and other concessions. A family ticket allows entry for two adults and two children for just £12.00.
The Fashion Museum

3) The Fashion Museum (must see)

The Fashion Museum is located inside Bath’s historic Assembly Rooms, a ten minute walk north of Bath city centre. The museum houses historical fashion collections from the 18th century until the present day. Early exhibits include Victorian men’s waistcoats and elaborately embroidered silk gowns. The museum is known for its impressive collection of works by 20th century fashion designers, including Vivienne Westwood and Norman Hartnell. The museum also houses regular additional exhibitions, with recent collections ranging from 17th century fashion accessories to cutting edge contemporary trends. In addition, the Fashion Museum offers educational fashion workshops for kids, and study facilities for fashion students.

The museum also awards a Dress of the Year prize each calendar year, and the 2011 winner, designed by Vivienne Westwood, can be seen at the museum throughout the year. The Assembly Rooms building also has an affordable café, serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and pastries. The building is fully adapted for wheelchair users, and also offers audio guides to all collections in seven different languages. Entry prices to the Assembly Rooms include entry to the Fashion Museum, and costs £7.25 for adults, with a range of concessions available for senior citizens and children under 18.

Operation hours: January - February: 10:30 - 16:00; March - October: 10:30 - 17:00; November - December 10:30 - 16:00
Building of Bath Collection

4) Building of Bath Collection (must see)

For the many visitors that come to Bath, getting an understanding of the events that led to its transformation is essential. Formerly a sleepy provincial town, Bath was transformed into a wealthy spa town and major tourist destination in the Georgian era. The Building of Bath Collection is a must-visit attraction to learn more about the events of the time that led to this rejuvenation. The collection is housed in The Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel on the northern edge of the city centre, just off the Paragon, one of many grand Georgian avenues that led travellers into town from Bristol and London.

Maintained by the Bath Development Trust, the Building of Bath Collection is home to the Bath Model, a model reconstruction of the Georgian city. Numerous documents and artefacts show the design principles behind the Georgian transformation of Bath, whilst detailed architectural studies show how the town’s famous crescents of three storey houses are constructed. The Collection can be viewed from 10.30am until 5.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. In February and May, the attraction is open through the week. Adult tickets are £4, concessions are £3.50, and a family ticket costs £10.00. Guided tours are available, and large groups may be eligible for discounted entry.
Jane Austen Centre

5) Jane Austen Centre (must see)

Jane Austen Centre is a renown museum in Bath, which exhibits the life of the famous novelist Jane Austin during her years of living in Bath and the impact the city has had on her writing. Jane Austen resided in Bath from 1801 to 1806, and it is here where she wrote two of her six published novels: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. In an 18th century atmosphere you can view exclusive films, costumes, maps and books, perfectly reflecting Jane Austin's experience in Bath. Annually, the Centre holds the Jane Austen Festival, which is a 9 day event delightful to both locals and tourists.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Adam Gallery

6) Adam Gallery

Adam Gallery offers paintings by major 20th century artists. The special focus is on British abstract painters, particularly the St Ives group. The Gallery also holds contemporary art exhibitions with an emphasis on abstract and landscape paintings. Also, the gallery holds regular exhibitions by leading contemporary artists.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Bath Postal Museum

7) Bath Postal Museum (must see)

The Bath Postal Museum charts the history of the British postal service from a local perspective. The museum is situated in the basement of the Post Office on Northgate Street, in the heart of the historic city centre. The presence of a postal museum in Bath has historical relevance. The first Penny Black stamp was posted just yards away on Broad Street, at the previous home of the museum.

Founded by a local couple thirty years ago, the Bath Postal Museum offers a wealth of exhibits and information relating to the postal service in the UK, with particular focus on local figures who helped shape the service. The museum also covers post throughout history and across the world, and has an impressive range of postal artefacts. There is also a permanent exhibition studying the history of a British design institution: the humble red post box.

The museum is open Monday,Tuesday: 11 am- 5 pm; Wednesday-Saturday: 2 pm- 5 pm, but closes earlier in the winter months. Large groups may be able to book a visit for Sundays. Entry costs £3.50 for adults, £3.00 for senior citizens and children, and offers £1.50 entry to students. The museum is wheelchair accessible and offers assistance to visitors with sensory impairment.
Victoria Art Gallery

8) Victoria Art Gallery

Situated opposite the famous Pulteney Bridge, amongst the bohemian shops and cafés that run alongside the banks of the River Avon, Victoria Art Gallery is Bath’s largest public art gallery. The gallery is a rare example of Victorian architecture in a largely Georgian city, and even features a statue of the monarch herself, who lends the gallery its name. The main galleries house an extensive art collection, much of it handed down to the gallery by the many entrepreneurs and luminaries that made Bath their home in recent centuries. The gallery is particularly well known for its collection of oil paintings by British artists. There are also exhibitions by modern and local artists and photographers.

The Victoria Art Gallery is open Monday-Sunday: 10:30 am- 5 pm. Entry is free. The entrance to the building and galleries within are all wheelchair friendly. Guided tours and educational workshops for groups of schoolchildren are available for a fee. The gallery is perhaps best enjoyed as part of a tour of Bath’s hidden delights, taking in the nearby indoor market, Postal Museum and municipal gardens to the south, down by the River Avon.
Beaux Arts Bath

9) Beaux Arts Bath

Beaux Arts Gallery is a well-known commercial gallery in Bath. It is lodged in a Georgian building. The gallery displays the works of art by the twentieth century painters, sculptors and ceramicists. They usually have around eight exhibitions in a year. Young painters are welcome to present their works at these exhibitions.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Roman Baths

10) Roman Baths (must see)

The Roman Baths are Bath’s most famous tourist attraction. A beautifully preserved relic of the town’s foundation as a Roman settlement, the baths lay ruined for centuries prior to extensive restoration in the 18th century. Now fully restored, they are one of the world’s only examples of naturally heated swimming baths – although you can no longer swim in them! The Roman Baths as a visitor attraction is divided into four sections – the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the original Roman Bath House, and a museum which exhibits the remarkable array of Roman artifacts found within the site. The Roman Baths lie below street level, and are housed in elegant Georgian buildings. The site is Grade 1 listed by English Heritage, and attracts over a million visitors each year.

The Baths are situated in the square next to Bath Abbey, in a historic corner of this famous city. Opening hours vary throughout the year, with the baths generally open from 9.30am until 5.30pm, with later opening times in the summer months. Adult admission is £12.25, with concessions for senior citizens and children. Prices may be marginally higher in July and August. There are a number of package deals available, including a family ticket for two adults and two children, available for £35. Packages that also allow entry to the redeveloped Thermae baths nearby are available from £65.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Herschel Museum of Astronomy

11) Herschel Museum of Astronomy (must see)

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy is located at 19 New King Street, the former home of astronomers William and Caroline Herschel. Situated on a quiet side street close to the bustling Seven Dials area of Bath, the Herschel Museum is housed entirely within a compact Georgian townhouse. The Herschels lived in the house for five years in the 18th century. In that short time, William Herschel discovered the planet of Uranus through a telescope that can be seen inside the museum. The museum houses a number of other historical artefacts, including many items of apparatus that the Herschels used to map the stars.

The museum is split over three floors within the house, with an ornamental garden attached, and a cinema within the vaults that shows documentaries on astronomical discoveries. There is a virtual tour available on the ground floor for wheelchair users. A new gallery opened within the museum last year, providing a new space for contemporary astronomical exhibitions. The museum’s patron is British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, and the site is managed by the Bath Preservation Trust. It is open on weekday afternoons until 5pm (except Wednesdays) and from 11am to 5pm on weekends. The museum closes for several weeks either side of the Christmas period, but is open throughout the rest of the year.

Operation hours: Weekdays 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm; Weekends and Bank Holidays: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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