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Shopping in Bath

Bath boasts more independently owned shops per head of population than most other cities in the UK. The high proportion of small, family-run shops means that the shopping experience in Bath is different from that offered by towns where big chains are dominant. It is the sheer variety and quality of shopping on offer that acts as a magnet to this historic town.

Key areas

Walcot Street has been the artisans' centre of Bath since Roman days; it is here that a true Bath jewel can be found, in the shape of hand-blown glass experts the Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass, 105-107 Walcot Street. The Fine Cheese Co, 29-31 Walcot Street, is dairy heaven – and their huge stock of delicious handmade cheeses is accompanied by a fine range of fruits, pickles and chocolates.

Bath’s Artisan Quarter also extends to London Street, with colourful offerings including Indian textiles shop Zeitgeist.

You can watch fresh chocolates being hand-crafted in The House of Minerva chocolate shop, 14 Cheap Street, and be sure to try their divine hot chocolate. Also on Cheap Street, December 25th is a quirky year-round Christmas shop with sidelines in Easter and Valentine’s Day goods.

For established names in close proximity, head to Milsom Place: you’ll find top-end shops such as Cath Kidston and Ted Baker here, and the accompanying bars and restaurants such as Jamie’s Italian aren't half bad either.

Pulteney Bridge is only one of two bridges in Europe that are lined with shops (Ponte Vecchio in Florence being its more famous cousin). Find a scattering of small specialist shops and a good variety of restaurants serving Italian, Thai, Indian and French cuisine in nearby streets.


Bath Flea Market takes place on Walcot Street every Saturday, while Bath Farmers Market is held on the same day at Green Park Station. The producers themselves sell a wide variety of local produce, all from within 65km (40 miles) of Bath.

The Guildhall Market, found on the east side of the High Street, is one of Bath’s oldest shopping areas, and is very much alive today with an eclectic range of wares, from local cheeses to fancy dress.

During the festive season, Bath Christmas Market (late November to mid-December) between Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths is a glittering haven of stalls packed with interesting treats and presents.

Shopping centres

Of course, the high-street chains are present in Bath as well, particularly around Stall Street, Union Street and Milsom Street.

Opening hours

The majority of Bath’s shops are open seven days a week, all year round, and opening hours are typically 0900 till at least 1730 – some shops are open until much later. On Sundays, shop opening hours in Bath are typically shorter than during the week, but nearly all shops open for some part of the day.

Tax information

Non-EU residents can reclaim the VAT (Value Added Tax) on purchases from stores operating the VAT Retail Export Scheme; tourist shops are usually part of this, but you should check before making your purchases. You must present the receipt and a completed VAT form to a customs officer when leaving the EU. See or for further information.

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Featured Hotels


The Royal Hotel

Housed in a property designed by Brunel, The Royal Hotel has been around since 1846. The present owners took over in 1995 and initiated a refurbishment programme that has transformed the hotel into a modern, attractive and comfortable establishment. The hotel has two bars and a restaurant with steaks as its speciality.

The Queensberry Hotel

The Queensberry is a boutique town house hotel that is both intimate and stylish. Located in a residential street near the Circus, it is an elegant hotel with many of the original Georgian architectural and decorative features intact. The service is superb, and so is the hotel's Olive Tree restaurant, which offers contemporary British cuisine.

The Royal Crescent Hotel

It is hard to beat The Royal Crescent Hotel and Bath House Spa in terms of location, which is situated in the very middle of what is perhaps Europe's most elegant crescent. The hotel occupies two of the Royal Crescent's buildings, both of which were built by John Wood the Younger. The hotel is one of Bath's very best and has beautiful gardens and an excellent restaurant.

The Pulteney Hotel

The Pulteney Hotel is a large, elegant Victorian house set in its own picturesque south-facing gardens, with fine views of Bath Abbey. There are 17 rooms, all with en-suite facilities, colour television, tea- and coffee-making facilities, hairdryer and central heating. All rooms are tastefully decorated.

Lucknam Park

15 minutes' drive outside of Bath, 5-star Lucknam Park has established itself as the destination for those seeking a weekend immersion in luxurious hospitality. Set in a 17th-century Palladian mansion marooned in 202 hectares (500 acres) of listed parkland, the hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, an equestrian centre, and a cookery school.

Duke’s Hotel

Boutique Duke's, located on Bath's grandest street, somehow manages to make grand Georgian proportions homely as well as chic. Vivid décor, four-poster beds, delicious breakfasts that linger in the memory, and personable hosts that genuinely seem to care – Duke's is the complete package.