The Romans visited the natural hot springs in the Avon valley in the first century and settled here, building what would become the city of Bath. The city continued to blossom in the Georgian era and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Despite being an ancient city, it’s pretty accessible for people of all mobility levels. It’s almost impossible to narrow down the options – and if you pay a visit, you’re sure to want to come back to see everything you missed – but here’s a starter for 10:
1. The Roman Baths
Thousands of litres of steaming spring water still pour into this site every day and, while you can’t actually bathe here anymore, you can still walk the original pavements, view the plunge pools and explore the ruins of the temple of Sulis Minerva. Why not sample a glass of spa water, supposedly a remedy for many ailments, in the Pump room upstairs?
The paths around the Roman Baths are a bit uneven but, once inside, the site describes itself as 90% accessible to wheelchair users and tries to be as inclusive as possible for people with sensory impairment and dementia.
2. Thermae Bath Spa
While you can’t bathe in the original Roman Baths, you can take a dip in the naturally warm mineral waters at this ultra-modern spa. Including Roman and Georgian steam rooms, an ice chamber, a celestial relaxation room and rooftop pool, this could be the perfect way to unwind after a long day exploring the sites. It has lift access to all floors and assistance chairs provide access into the baths.
3. Jane Austin Centre
Bath will forever be linked to the author of Pride and Prejudice, and you can learn all about the time she spent in Bath and how it influenced her writing at the Jane Austen Centre. You might even meet a fully-costumed Mr Darcy or Elizabeth Bennett! There are two steps into the building, and ramps are available for wheelchair access to the ground floor if you ring the doorbell by the entrance.
4. The Royal Crescent
The iconic sweeping arc of Georgian townhouses made from honey-coloured bath stone frequently features in TV and film. Enjoy a moment of serenity as you sit on one of the many park benches outside and take in the view. No. 1 Royal Crescent houses a museum displaying Georgian interior design and furnishings. It’s wheelchair accessible with a wheelchair available to borrow. Some of the flooring is a bit uneven so mind your toes if you’re prone to tripping!
5. Pulteney Bridge
Inspired by Ponte Vecchio in Florence, and lined by shops on both sides, Pulteney Bridge spans the River Avon. From the road it’s easy to forget you’re on a bridge, so turn down neighbouring Grand Parade to get the best view of its elegant arches and the cascading water from the weir beneath. Steps, complete with handrail, lead down from the bridge to a pleasant riverside walk or you can take a rest in Parade Gardens, on the other side, which has a ramped path.
6. The Assembly Rooms
Wander through the elegant chandelier-lit rooms downstairs and picture yourself twirling at an Austen-esque ball or sipping tea and gossiping about the latest social scandal. Downstairs, you can take a walk through fashion history and marvel at how clothing styles have evolved over the years. There are clothes to try on too, so bring a camera! The building is wheelchair accessible and the free audio-guides are compatible with hearing aids.
7. Victoria Art Gallery
Take in a range of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts at this public art museum. Regular exhibits (including pieces by Gainsborough and Paul Klee) are free to view. Check ahead for special exhibitions which are charged. It’s wheelchair accessible and there are special tours for people with visual impairment.
8. Bath Abbey
Built from Bath stone, and with a ladder of angels carved into the West front, the Abbey is impressive right from the approach. Once inside, you can admire stained glass windows or sit and take in the serene atmosphere. If you’re feeling energetic, try climbing the 212 steps up the tower which will reward you with a glimpse of the bell chamber and a bird’s eye view of the city. The abbey is mostly wheelchair accessible (obviously excepting the tower).
9. Take a Boat Trip
Sail along the River Avon to take in alternative views of Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey and Bathampton Mill. You can hire a narrowboat if you fancy taking off at your own pace or you could dine aboard a floating restaurant. The Sir John Knill is a wheelchair-accessible waterbus running between Bathampton and Bath on the Kennet and Avon canal at weekends.
10. Green Park Station
Shop for local produce, handmade crafts, antiques and bric-a-brac at this quirky market housed within a former railway station. It’s also a good place to stop for a cuppa in one of the cafes and people-watch. Check the website for when the specialist markets are on.
- More information on all the above is available on the official city website.
- If you feel like taking the weight off your feet, the Bath City Sightseeing buses are perfect. They’re wheelchair accessible too!
- Shopmobility offer electric scooters, powered wheelchairs or manual chairs for hire.
- Bath is pretty good for public toilets.
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