Bath is England’s Jane Austen, fashion history and Roman Baths capital. It is a short train trip from London Paddington station, but a few centuries behind the rest of the McDonalds-eating mad world. Story Jessica Adams.

Bath, England Bath Buns at The Fashion MuseumI’m always amazed at how many women of taste and style visit England, settle in London and completely skip Bath. It’s totally worth two days of your time and £100 of your British holiday budget. I guarantee you’ll fall in love staring through the train window as you pull into the station. This is time-travel and it’s real. No wonder Prince Charles has a shop here.


You’ll hardly see the walls of your hotel room while you are here, so think about a budget room at The Redcar Hotel, which is a Georgian town house with a bar and hairdriers – what more does a Holiday Goddess need? You can walk ten minutes from Bath train station, and it’s another ten minutes into town. A single room is £45 and a double is £50. By the way, if you’re on a serious budget, think about the bus. Book at the website – fares cost from £5 and although it’s three hours to travel from London Victoria Train Station to Bath you can always read Pride and Prejudice again, on the way.

Shopping and Restaurant Heaven in Milson Place

If Jane Austen was alive today she would be writing about the women of Milson Place. It’s a little bit of London in the heart of Bath. Yo Sushi, Carluccio’s and Cote are all here along with Cath Kidston and Hobbs. It’s one long street and a tiny shopping centre, packed with chic foodie places and some wonderful vintage and charity shopping too. See the full list and map here

The Best Bookshop in the World?

Topping Books described by Alexander McCall Smith as ‘one of the finest bookshops in the world’ has a bestselling author guest list like no other. Before you visit Bath see who’s scheduled to appear and sign books for the night. Celebrity chefs often give talks and tastings here.

Bath, England and The Fashion Museum

The Fashion Museum

The Fashion Museum hosts a new exhibition, Georgians, from January 25th 2014, closing on 1st January 2015. Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen are on the roll-call of designers, but it’s the rare and precious 18th century frocks that will pull crowds (

This is the place to have a Bath Bun (evil carbohydrate invented locally) in the tea room, just to say you’ve tried it. Beyond that, the Fashion Museum has the most fantastic bookshop and – depending on the curator when you call – Mary Quant, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Prada behind glass. The Jane Austen-era shoes are wonderfully dainty


Bath face towel £5.96 BloomsburyThe Bloomsbury Store

You’ll bump into this store if you’re traipsing around town, and be smitten – but if you want the map, the website is here. The buyer here has incredible taste so this is a two-storey paradise packed with Miller Harris candles, Tintin, Cowshed, Orla Kiely, Marvis toothpaste – you get the picture. If you want face towels with woodland creatures on them, this is the place to come.


Bath, Prey Soap £7.50Prey – The Most Beautiful Soap in Britain

Prey sells everything, not just soap, but their beautifully wrapped, retro, chunky bars of soap make the best presents to take home. I’ve never seen it anywhere else except Bath. The soap is made in France and the scent fills the room, or is a great suitcase freshener. How much more beauty can you have for under £10?


Bath’s Nicest Pub

The Raven of Bath is in the middle of town. There is no blaring Miley Cyrus or television. There is seafood pie. And also salmon terrine and salad – all served upstairs (get there early for the table by the window). If you want to instantly feel like a local, go to one of the talks at The Raven – there is a Science Café held here every month, and also a storytelling circle. This place is not glamorous, not expensive, much loved by locals and men go mad for the pies. The pub sign is lovely. It’s a picture of a fully-dressed raven. The last time I was here I ended up talking to one of Pink Floyd’s lighting guys from the Sixties at the bar.


The Roman Baths

This is Bath’s most famous tourist attraction. It is completely worth it, but definitely not worth the long summer queues. If I have one tip about Bath it is to go in Autumn or Winter when you won’t be fighting with half of Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet for staring-space. Once you are inside, you can walk around one of the world’s oldest preserved swimming pools, with the steam still rising from the revolting green water. Inside you will find the head of Minerva, the Romans’ goddess of wisdom. Her body was stolen or lost, unfortunately. It’s dark, dank, a little creepy and hugely atmospheric. Allow an hour to wander around and be amazed.


Read more about Bath in The Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide to London, available at the iTunes store for your iPad now.

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