Bath Life and Travel Tips
(Bath, North-East Somerset, England, UK)
Bath is a wonderful city to visit at any time of the year and the city does not really have an 'off-season', being busy throughout the year. Even in the coldest winter, Bath remains popular and people flock to Bath to enjoy the Christmas festivities, decorations and to do their Christmas shopping.
The quietest time in Bath is from January to mid-March and this is probably the only time when hotels reduce their prices to attract more tourists to Bath.
Tourism and Tourist Information
There are a number of tourist information offices and outlets throughout Bath and these provide useful tourist information, such as brochures, maps, attractions information, opening hours, directions and general Bath tourism and tourist information.
Bath also has several state-of-the-art tourist information points located around central Bath, known as 'I-Plus'. These provide the latest tourist information and maps of Bath, using a touch screen. The main tourist information office in Bath is situated in the Bath Abbey courtyard.
Bath Tourist Information Centre
Address: Abbey Chambers, Bath, BA1 1LY, England
Tel: +44 (0)1225 477101
The Bath Tourist Information Centre provides an extensive range of services, including travel, events and general Bath tourism information.
Open hours: daily, October to April, Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 17:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 16:00, May to September, Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 18:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 16:00
As in any large city, always maintain an awareness of your surroundings and try to blend in and not look like a tourist when visiting Bath. Although crime levels in Bath are low, look like you know where you are going and be particularly careful with hand baggage. Wear a bag or camera across your body, or even consider using a concealed money belt.
Places of Worship
The diverse city of Bath is home to a large number of different cultures and most religions have a presence. Many of the churches in Bath belong to the Church of England as places of worship for the Anglican faith, although all faiths are always welcome. Newspapers generally list times of services for the main denominations. Bath contains numerous cathedrals, chapels, mosques, temples and synagogues.
Pharmacies and Chemists
Most pharmacies in Bath are open from at least 09:00 until around 18:00 and supermarkets often have in-store chemists. Bath drugstores will usually open until 18:00, although some may stay open until later, and these usually have a pharmacy counter for dispensing prescriptions. Drugstores in Bath are like mini-supermarkets, with a wide range of products on sale.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the Bath and the United Kingdom, although regional dialects can vary greatly. There are many ways to say the same thing in the English language, so, in most cases, don't worry about trying to think of an alternative.
Tipping in Bath is quite discretionary, with Bath taxi drivers usually being given a 10% gratuity or thereabouts - although this is not essential. Bath restaurants often include service charges and these are always clearly stated on the menus, otherwise a gratuity of around 10% is usually expected in recognition of prompt and courteous service. Hotel staff in Bath, such as luggage handlers, happily accept a tip of one or two pounds. Generally, no other public service workers in the Bath area expect tips.
In many buildings and on public transport in Bath, rules restrict smoking and this is usually indicated by no-smoking symbols in prominent places. Pubs and bars in Bath no longer permit social smoking, following an important anti-smoking law on 1st July 2007. Therefore customers who wish to relax with a drink and cigarette must smoke outside.
Smoking in Bath, and England as a whole, is not as fashionable as it once was, so it is always worth exercising discretion and sensitivity when selecting a place in which to smoke. The best advice would be not to smoke unless others around you do so.
Invitations to Eat
Much business is done over the dinner table in Bath and business lunches frequently take place at central Bath restaurants recommended by your host. In most good Bath restaurants there will be a comprehensive wine and beer list and tables usually need to be booked in advance. Business dinners in Bath are also often conducted at home and these tend to be less formal affairs, with a pre-arranged time for arrival about half an hour before dinner is served. Although guests are not expected to arrive bearing gifts, a bottle of wine or flowers are very much appreciated and should be presented upon arrival. Social dinners are rarely formal affairs and guests will be encouraged to relax.
The British love pubs for their informality and social atmosphere. Pubs and wine bars in Bath are most often places to meet and be seen, though each has its own standing in the local community, with some being frequented by business people, locals, celebrities and others by visitors and tourists. Most pubs and wine bars in Bath are friendly places - if there is a good mix of people you can be sure that it is a good pub, otherwise, just close the door and find another nearby.
One of the most common social customs associated with drinking in pubs is that of buying a 'round' of drinks when drinking socially with a group. Members of the group take their turn, in no particular order, and as people's glasses empty it is a good idea to reciprocate and offer to buy the next round.
The belief that the British drink nothing but tea is today very much a myth. Many love drinking coffee, especially from the countless popular coffee shops in Bath that have opened in recent years.