If you follow me over on Instagram you may have noticed that I took a little trip last weekend (not that I was going on and on about it or anything…eye roll). I hopped in the car with two gal pals and a lot of luggage/food and we headed 4 hours west to Bradford on Avon and Bath for two nights. I’ve been thinking recently that I need to do some UK based trips, so I was excited to escape everyday life for the weekend without having to get on a plane – and it didn’t disappoint.
Here’s a little round up of our trip along with my recommendations based on our short but sweet experience.
Where we stayed
There are plenty of beautiful-looking places to stay in Bath but we decided to stay in the nearby town of Bradford on Avon, partly because of cost and partly because of availability – we knew we wanted a self-catering apartment and had this in the diary for ages, but didn’t book until quite late, by which time many places in Bath were already full.
Ridiculously cute street, Bradford on Avon
I am so glad we found ourselves doing it this way and would definitely recommend Bradford on Avon as a place to base yourself if you’re in the area – it’s cute, it’s quiet, and it’s just a 15-20 minute drive or train ride to Bath. It was so nice to spend some time in such a calm environment and also be able to explore the city. We stayed in this cute little apartment which we booked through Airbnb, so we we also had the chance to make peanut butter and banana on toast in the mornings and sit around on the sofa watching TV in the evening like the party animals we are.
Best street name ever
“Okay we’re going to sell ale, pie and cider, what shall we call it?”
Sorry to the person who lives here for being the weird girl pointing her phone at your house…
What we did
Not a great deal! This is very unlike me, as I tend to rush around like a maniac with this sort of mad idea that I must squeeze the very best out of every possible minute, but this trip was very much about getting away for some relaxation. We ate, walked around at a leisurely pace, stopped to sit on benches and chat, and mooched around the apartment. It was a much-needed reminder that there’s not just one way to experience a place and it’s not the end of the world not to tick everything off the top ten things to do on TripAdvisor, which is something I struggle to keep sight of sometimes (it probably helped that all of us had visited previously too…).
1. Bath Abbey, 2. The Circus, 3. The Royal Crescent
On Saturday we ventured into Bath to explore and have lunch, and of course we wandered past the Abbey, the Circus and the Royal Crescent, but we did it all at our own pace, walking and chatting, and almost stumbled upon landmarks accidentally rather than plotting our route like a military operation. Bath is such a beautiful city to just walk around in so there’s not necessarily the need to ‘do’ anything in particular. In the afternoon we headed back to base and spent a couple of hours doing the same in Bradford on Avon. The town has some great walks nearby, and we just sort of meandered around the pretty streets, along the river Avon and past some lovely old buildings and barns.
Afternoon walk, Bradford on Avon
On Sunday we headed back into Bath to take a trip to Thermae Bath Spa, and although we had to endure a nearly two hour wait (say whaaaat), it really was lovely. At £38 for a two hour session it’s not exactly cheap, but worth it because it feels like such a treat. Towels, flip flops and robes are provided and there are a multitude of spa pools, rooms and areas to relax in, plus of course the pool on the roof, which has gorgeous views of Bath, the most perfectly warm water temperature – and to top it all off the sun made an appearance whilst we were there! Bliss.
What we ate
Fudge. All the fudge. There are some extremely adorable fudge shops in Bath, and we stopped in two. The first was The Fudge Kitchen – one of their staff was calling people in for free samples and who can say no to that – who had not just one but TWO dairy free fudge options, a salted caramel one and a chocolate brownie one. That was super exciting, and FYI they were both delicious so if you’re after a dairy-free or vegan treat in Bath seriously get yourself a nice slab of heaven from here! We also popped into The Fudge Factory, but I can’t report on the comparison as alas there was no dairy-free option there. Obviously in my eyes that makes The Fudge Kitchen superior but apparently The Fudge Factory is really excellent for dairy fudge.
The Fudge Factory (I was too busy gorging myself on vegan fudge to take a photo in The Fudge Kitchen!)
In Bath itself we had lunch at The Green Rocket, a vegetarian restaurant where most things on the menu (if not everything) either are also vegan or can be made vegan with a couple of simple omissions or swaps. It’s worth noting that I was with two omnivores so I do think anyone except serious meat lovers would enjoy the food here. I had a mushroom, rice and sundried tomato burger with cashew cheese and we also split a side of beer battered onion rings which were DELICIOUS. I will be back here like a shot if I return to Bath because there were so many things on the menu I wanted to try!
Lunch at The Green Rocket
That evening in Bradford on Avon we ate at the gorgeous Timbrells Yard. This place had my absolute favourite sort of dinner atmosphere – it felt like a treat but wasn’t pretentious, the staff were attentive but not annoying, and the food was special but not ridiculous. They were great about dietary requirements too, we just strolled in earlier that afternoon and asked the kitchen directly; even though there was nothing vegan on the menu they reeled off a list of options they could adapt or create for me, and I ended up with some delicious cauliflower pakoras on a spicy bean stew. Top marks.
Shout out also has to go to The Secret Garden Cafe in Bradford on Avon – just look at it, it’s a plant-lover’s dream. They didn’t have any dairy-free milk but were happy to make me a latte with the almond milk I had in the apartment (it was right underneath the Airbnb), then didn’t charge me a penny! They really were lovely people and of course I dropped the money for the coffee in their tip jar anyway.
Coffee at The Secret Garden Cafe, Bradford on Avon (thank you to my lovely pal Maryrisa for taking this snap!)
And there concludes my little round up for the trip! It really was a bloody lovely time, and UK city breaks are something I would really like to do more of. Have you been to Bath or Bradford on Avon? Where else would you suggest for a UK based girls weekend away?