Top things to do in Inverness

Top things to do in Inverness

My brother and I recently popped up to Scotland for a couple of days away from London. On this trip, we discovered some excellent things to do in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands.

While I am absolutely a seeker of Nessie (the Loch Ness Monster) and all good things that are the Highlands. Especially exquisite landscapes and interesting history. It hadn’t even occurred to me that we could get to Inverness so easily.

Yet, just one hour’s flight from London, you can find yourself amongst the fresh air and friendly people of Inverness. 

There's plenty of things to do in Inverness - just wander and explore the city

Things to do in Inverness

Exploring Inverness

The city of Inverness is quite small and easy to get around on foot.

There’s plenty of things to do and see in Inverness. We started with a walk through town to get our bearings. Inverness is well signed, so you can easily find your way around. We explored the older areas and Victorian market, down to the shopping pedestrian high street area. The visitor information centre staff are friendly and helpful.

From Inverness’ shopping strip, you can wander up to Inverness Castle, and then down the hill toward the Ness River. We stopped to explore beautiful churches, Inverness castle and take photos from the pretty bridges that link both sides of the city.

Things to do in Inverness: visit historical Inverness Castle


Exploring the area

Inverness is a tourist hub with numerous tours on offer that you can pre-book or sort when you’re there. I’d suggest you head as far out as Skye or back down to Edinburgh or Glasgow.

While in the city we stayed on foot which was fine.

Our two day itinerary was carefully considered so that we could take in a taste of Inverness without exerting ourselves.

Things to do in Inverness - go exploring on foot either side of the River Ness


Urquhart Castle ruins and Loch Ness

A visit to a castle is a must, and the ruins of Urquhart Castle area easily accessible by car or coach.

For about £10 you can take a coach from Inverness’ bus station (the transport centre is near/behind the train station). It’s half an hour along the shores of Loch Ness, to Urquhart Castle.

This medieval castle’s ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries. It’s set on the shores of the loch and a fabulous experience.

You can also reach and view the castle by taking a cruise on Loch Ness, which again, you can arrange when you’re in Inverness.

Things to do in Inverness - Urquhart Castle ruins are a highlight on the banks of Loch Ness

En-route to Urquhart you pass the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, which will fulfil all your Nessie needs. Keen to find out more about the story behind the folklore and buy souvenirs here.

You can also wander underneath the store and the road to the banks of the loch for more beautiful photo opportunities.

We did this trip in an afternoon and I’d highly recommend the experience as part of your ‘things to do in Inverness’ list. Just be organised with when the coach is due to return. They only run every hour or so. 

Things to do in Inverness - you can't miss famous Loch Ness


Culloden and Clava Cairns

For a true slice of Scottish history as well as some unbeatable landscape view. Get out of the town about half an hour to the Culloden Battlefield and visitor centre.

Culloden Battlefield is the site of the 1746 Jacobite Rising that came to a brutal head in one of the most harrowing battles in the history of this region.

There is an immersive cinema experience as well as café and rest spot. Of course you can respectfully visit the site yourself.

Things to do in Inverness – the ancient ruins of Clava Cairns

When we were heading out this way we got to chatting to a local on the bus, and she told us about an incredible ancient site called Clava Cairns.

As a fan of the series Outlander, I was actually aware of the site and to discover it was so accessible (with a little adventure along the way), we decided to go and explore.

Read about our adventure to Clava Cairns

Bus no. 5 gets you to Culloden Battlefield’s visitor centre, from where you can walk to Clava Cairns. The return trip was about £5.

Be mindful not to get other buses that say they are going to Culloden, as they are going to the residential area, not the destination intended if you’re seeking the experience outlined above.

This experience is well worth it. The weather can change though so be prepared. It’s the best part of a day trip from Inverness, but still close to town which is very handy.

Things to do in Inverness – the ancient ruins of Clava Cairns, inspiration for the books and tv series Outlander


Eat and drink in Inverness

I’d recommend trying a Scottish whiskey at a pub around town – there’s plenty to choose from.

Our favourite pub is The Castle Tavern, which is positioned just above Inverness Castle, and has a delicious menu, nice drinks including local options, and a cool view across the city.

Things to do in Inverness - wander along Ness River


Getting around

We found transport in Inverness easy and reliable. While you do need to be prepared ahead of time and know when your bus to the airport is due, for example, we found it all ran efficiently to time.

Buses to and from the airport run every half an hour or an hour at quieter times, at just over £4 each way (2018).

There’s plenty of other ferry and bus or coach options that will help you discover things to do in Inverness and on the town’s outskirts. You can find out more by dropping into the train station, bus station or the visitor information centre in the middle of the mall in town.

You’ll also find many tours that will take you around the region and up to Skye, ranging from periods of one day to three or four – these can be booked in advance online, or ask for more information in the tourist information centre.

And if you’re an Outlander fan like me, there are indeed a number of tours that will show you around famous filming sites.


30 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rugby in England (updated 2024)

30 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rugby in England (updated 2024)

Hey there, fellow explorers! It’s Sarah here. I recently revisited Rugby, a charming market town nestled in the heart of England, and oh my, how it’s blossomed since our last jaunt here in 2016! If you’re mulling over where to venture next, let me share with you 30 compelling reasons why you should visit Rugby in England.


Visit Rugby in England: video guide


Travel to Rugby in England: A 2024 Guide


  1. Rugby Art Gallery & Museum: A Cultural Hub

The Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, one of the town’s cultural highlights, offers free admission to all visitors​​. It’s a fantastic spot for art enthusiasts with its range of events and exhibitions, including the Rugby Open 2023 exhibition and engaging drawing workshops.

  1. A Calendar Brimming with Events at The BENN Hall

The BENN Hall in Rugby is bustling with events in 2024. Notably, the Phantom Revival Concert on January 20, priced at £17.50​​, and the Bay City Rollermania on February 23, for £29.00​​. The New Year’s Eve Party is another highlight, with tickets at £28.99​​.

  1. Family-Friendly Performances at Macready Theatre

The Macready Theatre offers delightful family-oriented shows, like The Man Who Wanted to be a Penguin, with ticket prices ranging from £0.00 to £14.00​​. It’s a perfect venue for families seeking entertainment in Rugby.

  1. Alexmas at The Alex: An Artistic Christmas Celebration

The festive event Alexmas at The Alex, located at Alexandra Art, 72-73 James Street, is a free event​​. It combines art with festive cheer, offering a unique experience during the Christmas season.



Rugby UK - ideal to visit on days out in Warwickshire

  1. Rugby Town Concert Band: Melodies that Resonate

The Rugby Town Concert Band performs at various venues, including St. Peter and St. John’s Church. Their concerts are priced at £12.00 – £14.00, with some events being free​​​​.

  1. Santa and the March of the Penguins: A Festive Delight

This charming free event in Rugby’s town centre runs from late November to early January, bringing the magic of a winter wonderland to life​​​​.

  1. A Glimpse into the Past: Celebrating Rugby’s Heritage

The 200th anniversary of Rugby football at Rugby School in 2023 was a milestone for the town. The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum, which commemorates this heritage, offers adult tickets for £8, concessions for £5, and free entry for under 12s​​.

Days out in Warwickshire - explore Rugby


Rugby’s Rich History and Modern Charms


  1. Rugby School Shop & Tours: Walk Through History

Rugby is synonymous with the game that shares its name, and no visit is complete without exploring the Rugby School Shop & Tours. Walking through the corridors of this prestigious school, where the game was born, was like stepping into a historical novel. The tours are insightful, and the shop is a treasure trove for rugby enthusiasts.

  1. The Outdoor Splendour of Rugby: Draycote Water and More

The town isn’t just about history; it’s also about embracing the outdoors. Draycote Water has become one of our favourite spots for a peaceful walk or a bit of bird watching. And if you’re into nature, don’t miss the Swift Valley Nature Reserve and the Great Central Walk – perfect for those who love to explore the natural beauty of the English countryside.

  1. Fun for Kids: From Toft Studio to Elliotts Field

Rugby is incredibly family-friendly. Take your little ones to Toft Studio – they’ll have a blast. For a day of shopping and leisure, Elliotts Field Retail Park offers a great mix of stores and eateries. It’s ideal for families looking for a variety of activities.


Days out in Warwickshire - Clifton upon Dunsmore


The Culinary Scene: A Taste of Rugby


  1. The Bull Inn: A Culinary Delight

We loved The Bull Inn on our last visit. It’s still there, offering the same warm, inviting atmosphere. The food is as delicious as ever, and the vibe is just perfect for a relaxing evening. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic English pub cuisine.


  1. Summersault: More Than Just a Vegetarian Café

We revisited Summersault, and it remains a gem in Rugby’s culinary crown. The vegetarian fare is scrumptious, and the quirky gift shop adds to its charm. It’s a place that leaves you feeling content, both in heart and stomach.


The Architectural Beauty of Rugby


  1. St. Marie’s Church: A Historic Marvel

On our stroll around town, we were drawn again to the architectural splendour of St. Marie’s Church. The history embedded in its walls and the welcoming community make it a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and local history.

Wrapping up the Day


  1. A Country Escape in Clifton upon Dunsmore

Our stay in a quaint Airbnb in Clifton upon Dunsmore, just outside Rugby, was the cherry on top of our visit. Overlooking the serene countryside, it was the perfect blend of rural tranquillity and proximity to the town’s attractions.

Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby school


Rugby: Where Every Street Tells a Story

  1. Caldecott Park: A Green Oasis

Amidst the bustling town lies Caldecott Park, a verdant oasis that offers a tranquil escape. Its well-maintained gardens and playgrounds are perfect for a family day out or a quiet stroll to enjoy nature’s beauty. It’s amazing how this park combines the charm of old England with the vibrancy of modern landscape design.

  1. Rugby Theatre: A Cultural Beacon

The Rugby Theatre continues to be a cultural beacon, showcasing a variety of performances. Whether it’s a gripping drama or a light hearted comedy, the theatre’s vibrant community spirit makes every visit memorable. It’s a testament to Rugby’s thriving arts scene.

  1. The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum: Celebrating Rugby’s Legacy

No trip to Rugby would be complete without a visit to The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum. This small yet fascinating museum offers a deep dive into the history of the game and its roots in this very town. It’s an absolute must for sports enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Days out in Warwickshire, Rugby architecture


Discovering Rugby’s Hidden Gems


  1. The Adventure Zone: Family Fun Unleashed

For those travelling with kids, The Adventure Zone is a gem. It’s a place where laughter and excitement fill the air, and children can have a blast while parents relax. We loved the vibrant atmosphere and the range of activities available.

  1. Great Central Walk: A Journey Through Nature

The Great Central Walk is a hidden treasure for nature lovers. It’s a peaceful trail that takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Warwickshire countryside. Ideal for a leisurely walk or a cycling adventure, this path is a wonderful way to experience the natural beauty surrounding Rugby.

  1. A Peek into Rugby’s Artistic Side: Local Art and Craft

Rugby’s artistic scene is vibrant and diverse. From local galleries to craft shops, the town is brimming with creativity. We stumbled upon several local artists’ studios and were mesmerised by the talent and variety of artwork on display.


Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby, Sommersault


Rugby: A Blend of Tradition and Modernity


  1. A Taste of the Local Life: Markets and Shops

Exploring the local markets and shops in Rugby is a delight. From fresh produce to artisan crafts, these markets are a window into the everyday life of the town. The friendly vendors and the quality of goods reflect the town’s commitment to maintaining its rich heritage while embracing modernity.


  1. Rugby’s Culinary Diversity: From Traditional to Contemporary

Rugby’s culinary scene has something for every palate. From traditional English fare to contemporary cuisine, the variety of dining options is impressive. We enjoyed everything from cosy cafes to elegant restaurants, each offering a unique taste of the local culture.


Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby, St Marie Church


Rugby: Where Past Meets Present


  1. Rugby’s Festive Spirit: A Victorian Christmas

One of the highlights of our trip was experiencing Rugby’s festive spirit. The Victorian Christmas events at the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum were a delightful journey back in time. Making our own Christmas crackers and listening to readings from A Christmas Carol truly captured the essence of a traditional English Christmas.

  1. Engaging Workshops at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum also offers a range of engaging workshops. A popular recent example friends of ours attended was the Drawing Workshop with Jamie Boots, focusing on wildlife themes like elephants and tigers. These sessions are not just educational but also a fun way to interact with local artists and like-minded art enthusiasts.

  1. Exploring Rugby’s Outdoor Adventures

Beyond its historical and cultural offerings, Rugby has plenty of outdoor adventures. Draycote Water is ideal for water sports and picnics, while Swift Valley Nature Reserve offers tranquil walks amidst diverse wildlife. For the more adventurous, The Adventure Zone provides a thrilling experience for all ages.

Days out in Warwickshire - stay in an airbnb in Rugby


Rugby’s Community Spirit


  1. Rugby Town Concert Band: A Musical Treat

Another gem we discovered was the Rugby Town Concert Band. Their performances, filled with energy and community spirit, are a testament to the town’s vibrant cultural life. The blend of classic and contemporary pieces makes their concerts enjoyable for everyone.

  1. St. Marie’s Church: Architectural and Spiritual Grandeur

A visit to St. Marie’s Church is a journey into Rugby’s spiritual and architectural heritage. The church’s stunning architecture and the warm community make it a serene and welcoming place for reflection and admiration.


Days out in Warwickshire, Rugby, St Marie church


Unwinding in Rugby’s Serene Countryside


  1. A Country Retreat in Clifton upon Dunsmore

Our stay in Clifton upon Dunsmore offered the perfect balance between rural tranquillity and accessibility to Rugby’s attractions. The countryside’s scenic beauty, combined with the cosy and comfortable Airbnb, provided a much-needed retreat after our days of exploration.

  1. Rugby’s Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Adventure

Rugby’s culinary scene is as diverse as its culture. Whether you crave traditional English pub food or contemporary vegetarian dishes, Rugby’s restaurants cater to every taste.

Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby school


A Town That Leaves You Wanting More


  1. Rugby: A Tapestry of Experiences

As our reminiscing on Rugby comes to a close, I’m reminded of the town’s unique charm. From its historic roots in the sport of rugby to its lively arts scene, vibrant community events, and picturesque natural surroundings, Rugby is a tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered.

So, there you have it – 30 reasons why Rugby should be on your travel radar in 2024. Whether you’re seeking history, culture, nature, or culinary delights, Rugby offers an enriching and diverse experience. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in this captivating English town! Drop us a line in the comments to share :)

Looking for other ideas on easy trips out of London? Have a browse here for inspiration.


Do you have any tips on this part of England, or questions? Let us know in the comments.

Expat explore Europe in summer | a recent traveller’s top tips

Expat explore Europe in summer | a recent traveller’s top tips

Last year, 21-year-old Jordan Lea Hart, embarked on a once-in-her-young-lifetime trip abroad. While she’d enjoyed a holiday or two closer to home and with family, this was her first significant trip overseas – just she and her best friend, Rachael. We’d spoken to the girls a few times about travel and life abroad, and were very excited to hear when they took the massive step to book and confirm it all.

Jordan Lea and Rachael enjoyed the same tour of Europe with Expat Explore that we did in 2011 (on just the second 26-day itinerary since the group launched it), and I was keen to find out more about the experience, their tips and stories of travel and friendship. Most importantly, I was keen for insights into why they too, advocate taking the chance to travel, live and learn!

When did you travel to Europe?

In July and August 2015, European summer time.

This was your first major overseas trip – how did the decision come about to do it?

Throughout high school, my best friend and I always talked about travelling to Europe, specifically London, because we love historical buildings and English boys! Once we finally had enough coin we booked it.

When did you decide what type of travel option to pursue?

I wanted to do a coach tour as it just seemed like the most cost-effective way to get a taste of each country. Originally the plan was to go on a month tour, then rent a car and road trip around Ireland, Scotland and Wales, however that didn’t end up on the agenda due to work and study commitments.

We decided on Expat Explore’s 26 Day Ultimate Europe Tour because it is great value for money (even considering the conversion from Aussie dollars).

One of the first things our tour guide, Will, said was, “You guys are travellers, not tourists, we are not going to hold your hand everywhere you go, it’s up to you. YOU create your journey, we just guide.”

It was awesome because that’s exactly what he did – told us the way to our hotel, how to get home, and what time we would be leaving for the next trip. We never considered a party-type tour, we really wanted to make the most of our travels, not spend the time in bars 24/7 and hung-over every day! Not to say we didn’t have a few cheeky drinks.

Was there anything you were worried about prior to taking this big trip so far away from home?

I was worried about missing home too much; I was in a brand new relationship so this trip was a massive test on us. I missed him terribly but we survived it, thank God for Viber.  

Jordan Lea Expat Explore story travellivelearn 2016 Prague Castle

Do you think you were well prepared for the trip, or did you learn along the way?

Prior to us leaving I quit my job! I was treating this trip as a fresh start for me, to get perspective on what I really want. I had to be very careful with my money, budgeted a lot, made trips to the local supermarkets to get fresh fruit and snacks for the long coach journeys.

Clothing was something I was not prepared for. I was under the impression Europe would have cold days, and I would only need so many shoes or pairs of socks. The little things ran out fast, and I packed about 10 jumpers and no summer clothes. That was a massive wake-up and I spent a lot of money buying summer basics (most of Europe is hot in summer!). But I learned little tricks after a few weeks, like washing delicates in the sink then rolling them up in the bathroom mat so they dried a lot faster.

I also thought this would be a great best friend trip, just myself and Rachael the whole time! But we met some lifelong friends, we created ‘the squad’ after two days on tour – myself, Rachael and three rowdy British girls – we were inseparable.

What were three highlights of Europe?

The whole trip was a highlight but I do recall a few special moments.

Our first stop was Amsterdam, and Expat scheduled an optional activity for day one on the road. Everyone else on the bus went except Rachael and I; We ditched it. Woke up late, caught the train into the city centre, wandered around just taking it all in for six hours. We walked away from all the tourist areas and went local. We found all these amazing hidden cafes and lunch hot-spots. It was beautiful and so peaceful to just wander and soak up all the culture. Once we got back to tourist-central, we naturally tested the devil’s lettuce from the local coffee shop (not to be confused with cafe) and ended up having the wildest night of our lives.

Sneaking into random hotels, running along the canals and eating the best yogurt and fruit anyone could ever have – our first day was done right.

The second highlight for me was meeting the squad, Alice, Anya and Sara. Here are five girls with completely different backgrounds and we clicked instantly as if we were long-lost soul-mates. We had one night in the Rhine Valley where we all had too much wine, ended up smashing karaoke with a Spice Girls comeback, and we were almost as good as the real thing. So many nights were unforgettable with these girls!

Barcelona was an absolute highlight for me personally; the culture of that place blows my mind! Oh and the sangria!

The last highlight, even though bitter-sweet, was our final night of the tour in France, sitting under the Eiffel Tower and its 9pm light show, drinking mini bottles of wine, with our cheese dips and chocolate.  

Jordan Lea Expat Explore story travellivelearn 2016 with mates

Some England highlights?

The UK was a short but sweet stay, four days in total, but so full of life. We went to the markets, Harry Potter studio tour and stayed walking-distance from Oxford Street. Also spent a night drinking cocktails with some of my favourite people. It was the perfect end to our trip.

What did you learn about yourself through this experience?

That if I set a goal to do something it will be achieved. And, that I can successfully catch public transport in any country! It helped me also appreciate how lucky I am to have had the chance to do this at 21. Most people don’t get that chance, even couples on our tour said this was their first holiday overseas and they were well over 50.

How has such a significant travel experience shaped the way you are now planning for your future?

It only makes me want to plan for more! I have the thirst for travel, the way it opens your eyes is something else. The world is a fascinating place.

What’s your advice for anyone planning to travel or tour Europe in the summer?

You need a reliable water bottle, sunscreen and good walking shoes.

Be warned of the crowds in Italy, it will have you feeling like you’re suffocating, so go see all the major sights in the afternoon, because in summer the sun doesn’t set until 9pm so it’s nowhere near as hot then.

Learn the underground in European cities. Local trains usually work like clockwork and will take you anywhere you need to go. It all works in colour lines so don’t worry about not knowing the language if you need to get around.

In France, buy souvenirs from the salespeople on the street, not stalls; the sellers are lovely and you get the same thing but for half the price!

Jordan Lea Expat Explore story travellivelearn 2016 on the road

What are your essential travel planning websites and apps?

In Europe, always search for the city metro map and have a screen copy on your phone for reference. In London, download the app Kabbie. I would have been lost without this – it’s like Uber but cheap. Another helpful tip is to buy your food and alcohol for your trip. This saves you so much money; the supermarkets have everything you could ever need! Don’t get stuck buying supplies at expensive bars or corner stores.

Would you recommend a tour and why?

Yes! Especially if you have never travelled to that country before, it helps you get your bearings and you have a whole coach support system; a tour guide who you can bother with a thousand questions as they know all the good spots, and you meet amazing people. Once you have done a tour, you can go back the places you enjoyed and you’ll already have knowledge to get around like (nearly) a local!

What does travel mean to you now?

A world of opportunities! I have found what I want to do: work, save, travel.

Follow Jordan-Lea’s adventures on Instagram

Eating in London

Eating in London

If you’re a foodie eating in London, you’d be mistaken to think there’s only over-cooked food and fish and chips. Far from your typical pub fare, London offers so much for the discerning foodie, especially when you know where to look.

eating in London - Mozz Tozi -

Best spots for eating in London

Fine dining

Located in London’s Victoria and serving some of the city’s finest Italian fare, diners at TOZI will find something so much more than the expected. TOZI specialises in Venetian cicchetti, or smaller sized plates designed to share as well as a selection of wood fired pizzas. Dishes at TOZI are inspired by the casual dining of the Veneto regions with a strong emphasis on seasonal and quality ingredients, sourced where possible from the best Italian producers.

Italian born, head chef Maurillo has years of experience running Italian restaurants in some of the city’s most exclusive private member clubs including Shoreditch House, and the menu reflects exactly the fine dining calibre you’d expect.

Paired with an Italian wine list and a sophisticated classic Italian (of course) cocktail menu, don’t be surprised if you find yourself already planning your return. And if you’re the type to get a bit of ‘menu paralysis’ whereby you’re unable to order when there’s just too amazing choices, you can leave the ordering in the very capable hands of the wait staff at TOZI and you won’t be disappointed.

Meals are generously portioned, deliciously fresh and cooked to perfection. And while the meals are certainly a win, it’s the friendly service that adds so much more to the experience.

The bar menu includes a signature Spritz, home-made barrel-aged Negroni and Amaro TOZI, served straight from the barrel.

eating in London - Tozi rabbit pasta -

Casual dining/street food

Truly one of the most fun places for eating in London – street food at the Brick Lane Food markets!

Located a short walk from East Aldgate and Shoreditch stations, you’ll find absolutely every cuisine you could possibly imagine (and many you didn’t even know existed!) here.

Just walking into the food market area, your senses will certainly be overcome with the buzzing atmosphere of authentic cuisines served up with pride. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Just make sure to arrive hungry!

And if street food isn’t your thing, while you’re in the Brick Lane market area, you can visit boutique food shops, bars, restaurants, cafes as well as a cereal bar called Cereal Killer (yes they serve boxed cereal only and yes people queue to eat it). There’s truly something for everyone here.

While you walk off those calories, enjoy the art, craft and second-hand  markets that spill out over several streets and include hundreds stalls selling clothing, artwork, handmade items, vintage items and antiques, collectibles, you name it. It’s essentially more shopping than you’d likely be able to do in a day.

eating in London 10_UK_London_Brick Lane Market_Gwen OToole

Afternoon tea

It’s the quintessential London experience to enjoy an afternoon or high tea and Scoff & Banter, located just below The Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street Hotel in Covent Garden is just the place to do it.

Located a short stroll from many of the city’s theatres such as the popular Cambridge Theatre, it’s a great spot to enjoy a matinee and high-tea experience. Scoff & Banter offers afternoon tea experiences that are often themed to accompany the performance taking place at the theatre.

The afternoon experience offers a menu both adults and children will adore with the traditional tea sandwiches, scones, jam and cream and decadent sweets.

After tea, enjoy a bit of retail therapy in the popular Seven Dials shopping district loaded with a heavy mixture of international brands as well as smaller boutiques.

No matter your preference in dining styles, spending just a few days in London will still allow you to experience a whole world of delicious dining experiences.


About the author

Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focussing on travel, events management and food and wine. She also published a fiction novel while spending the past eight years as a magazine editor and travelling the globe before launching The Ideas Library, a creative services and event management company. She is regularly featured in a variety of travel and leisure publications and blogs.

The 7 most romantic things to do in Bath England

The 7 most romantic things to do in Bath England

Bath is the epitome of Georgian elegance and is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year. It’s a pleasurable day trip from London (take Great Western Rail from Paddington); or stay a night or two and truly indulge in all the romantic things to do in Bath!

Personally, I love Bath because it’s easy to get around but has all the perks of a city like shopping, coffee, plenty to see and do. Bath is rich in history – the buildings tell many lifetimes worth of tales, dating back to the Romans right through to Jane Austen, and even the birth of Royal Mail. And, aside from anything else, the city is strikingly beautiful.

It’s one for the romantics, for sure – a very special place, like York (which you also must visit). Here are seven of our sweetest ideas for you to explore…

7 romantic things to do in Bath, England

Bath Abbey Tower Tour

Bath Abbey is the divine structure that makes for a perfect meeting spot in the town centre. It is an utterly surprising find as you’re wandering the old streets, and you’ll have your phone in hand snapping pictures before you even realise what you’re doing!

Indulge in some people watching in the square, and when you’ve gathered your breath, climb to the top for a bird’s eye view of the area.

If this idea takes your fancy, you can book exclusive personalised tours which take place out of hours. Watch the sun set over this uniquely lovely place, away from the tourist crowds. More at

Things to do in Bath - Travel Live Learn Things to do in Bath - Travel Live Learn

Stroll along the Gravel Walk

This is fine for all, but Austen fans will especially rejoice because it is the setting of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth’s proposal in Persuasion.

Continue your wander through to Royal Victoria Park for a picnic, and wind up your exploration in the lovely woodland of the Botanical Gardens.

Be mindful after dark though, for although it might seem pretty at dusk it is said that a number of Bath’s former residents often also wander here. Particularly notable is a white haired man who will appear before you on the Gravel Walk, only to vanish back into the night. Spooky, although perhaps a romantic pursuit for the ghost-hunters (like me) among you…


Things to do in Bath - Travel Live Learn

Take to nature – canal ride, row boat or horse drawn carriage ride

As you step off the train into the city of Bath, you’ll spot signs for visitor information centres. Drop in and enquire about one of the unique opportunities to interact with nature.

Particularly special on a sunny day, is the opportunity to hire a row boat or board a quaint vessel headed along the canals. There’s plenty of romantic little spots to stop at, like The Bathampton Mill pub, or choose a more remote countryside patch of green and relish in the serenity.

Back in town, we suggest skipping the cab line and instead take a horse drawn carriage ride around the city, just like in Austen’s romantic age. Be enchanted as you pass by grand spaces like the Royal Crescent, Royal Victoria Park and The Circus. Courtyard Carriages will make it happen.

Things to do in Bath - Travel Live Learn

Stay overnight in a romantic hotel!

Bath is brimming with excellent accommodation options for all budgets. If you’re willing to splash out for a special occasion and take full advantage of this city’s status as a centre for romance, this one looks nice – the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. It’s centrally located with sublime views of the city! We’ve not stayed here, but sure would like to. Seems so very Austen-esque.

Another decadent property I spotted on our travels was Bath Spa Hotel, a five star stay overlooking the breathtaking Bath landscape.

Jane Austen festival in September

Yes, yes and yes!

Indulge in regal splendour – performances, balls, workshops, promenades, fairs, lunches, breakfasts (and the odd Mr Darcy sprinkled around town for good measure)…

There are even short tours of the surrounding area on offer so you can get your entire literary and adventure fix with the least amount of effort. If you’re a fan of the author, don’t miss visiting in September. More at

Note: there’s a plethora of Austen experiences open all year round too if you can’t make it in spring.

Things to do in Bath - Travel Live Learn

Thermae Bath Spa

Bath is of course famed for its ancient baths and healing waters, and now thanks to Thermae, we can all take a dip.

After you’ve explored the interesting old ruins, step it up to contemporary times in an utterly indulgent and romantic manner. Thermae now boasts a sensational rooftop pool with sweeping city views. There’s plenty of other treatments you can enjoy too – the best of modern pleasures and old world lush blended into a sublime chance to unwind and feel the love.

Country walks and quaint villages

When we visited Bath recently, we actually took the Hop on Hop off bus tour, which features two routes through Bath. One travels around the city and explains the local history, and the other highlights the outskirts upon the hilltops overlooking the city’s skyline. This is an excellent way to get your bearings in the city. Helpful too, because Bath is very hilly so it’s easy to get tired making your way around. An option like this makes it simpler to identify the places you might like to go back to, and the skyline journey in particular showcases some lovely walks.

Suggested places to visit include the ‘prettiest village in England’, Castle Combe (accessible from Bath), Kennet and Avon canals which are some of the loveliest waterways working their way through England. The tour guide also pointed out walks you can try nearby to stops on the tour’s itinerary such as around Middle Hill Lodge.

Words can’t describe how lovely it is here, although many writers have attempted to do so throughout history. Why not visit and see for yourself? You may find the Visit Bath website useful, and book your train tickets in advance for the best deal, Trainline.

If you’ve found this helpful or have a tip to add, please let us know in the comments.


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