A trip to Bath would be incomplete without visiting the ancient Roman Baths – one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world.
Our Bath pubs near the city centre make the perfect base for before or after your trip to the Roman Baths of Aquae Sulis, serving scrumptious, locally-sourced classic pub dishes alongside an excellent range of proper Butcombe beers for you to discover.
Pubs and inns near the Roman Baths
After a busy day exploring the Roman Baths, quench your thirst with a pint of proper beer. Take a break at one of our nearby pubs, whilst enjoying a tasty classic pub meal washed down with a refreshing pint of award-winning Butcombe ale or local cider.
The Methuen Arms
Formerly a nunnery, The Methuen Arms pub in Corsham was transformed into coaching inn and brewery from 1608, full of history and character. With a passion for great food and drink at its core, the pub serves up a mouth-watering menu of food lovingly made with ingredients sourced from its kitchen garden as well as a tasty range of award-winning beers and ales, perfect for sipping al fresco style in the pub’s spacious beer garden after visiting Bath’s wealth of attractions, such as the Roman Baths.
The Crown Inn
Settle in front of the cracking open fire at The Crown pub in Dyrham with a pint of Butcombe real ale. With its rustic stone-clad interior, authentic wooden beams, and a beautiful beer garden, you can enjoy a thirst-quenching drink after spending the day visiting the Roman Baths and Bath’s other sights. Sample the comforting menu at the on-site restaurant, chock-full of pub classics, with options for all dietary requirements, and the pickiest eaters.
The George Inn
Take a break from exploring the Roman city of Bath for an award-winning pint at the historic George Inn in Norton St. Philip. In the Grade II-listed inn, dating back to 1397, you’ll find stretching wooden beams, stone-clad walls, and a cosy atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the South West. Treat yourself to your favourite pub meal from the menu, including classics like fish and chips, pie and mash, and one of the best roast dinners in the region – all washed down with a pint of our Butcombe beer after spending the day visiting the Roman Baths and the many other attractions in Bath.
The King’s Arms
The King’s Arms pub is a charming, 18th-century inn located in picturesque Melksham. Whether you’re stopping by after visiting the Roman Baths to sample their hand-pulled real ales, enjoy their menu of seasonal, home-cooked food or while away the hours in their inviting beer garden, you can be sure a very warm welcome awaits you.
The Northey Arms
Located in beautiful Box on the outskirts of Bath, The Northey Arms is a stunning pub and inn steeped in history, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We’re passionate about great food and drink, with an all-day food offer focused on seasonal, locally sourced produce and hearty pub classics. Behind the bar you’ll find plenty of award-winning Butcombe beer and cider, and a wide range of wine and cocktails. A haven for families, walkers, cyclists and locals fresh from a visit to the Roman Baths, The Northey boasts a large beer garden, an extensive children’s play area and huge carpark.
The Pig & Fiddle
An iconic building in the heart of Bath, the refurbished Pig & Fiddle pub has an all-day food offer, regular live sport, and a buzzing atmosphere at all times of the day. Get stuck into hearty seasonal pub classics, banging bar snacks, a delicious brunch menu, and Piggy sharer Sunday roasts in Bath, perfectly paired with a variety of craft beer, cask ale, wine and cocktails. The Pig & Fiddle is the perfect place to stop after exploring the nearby attractions of Bath, including the Roman Baths.
The Quarrymans Arms
The Quarryman’s Arms inn is a family-friendly country pub located in picturesque Box Hill. The boozer offers a mouth-watering menu featuring pub favourites made with the finest seasonal produce, as well as award-winning pies and sausage rolls, and the best Sunday roast in the area. Behind the bar, you’ll find a delicious selection of ales, craft beers, local ciders and wines, while outside the pub’s newly-covered and heated beer garden is ideal for al fresco drinking and dining all year round – the perfect place to relax after visiting the Roman Baths.
The Roman Baths
Almost 2000 years old, the ancient Roman Baths are some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world and attract millions of visitors every year.
A brief history of the Roman Baths
When the Romans first discovered the hot springs around 60-70AD, they built a religious temple beside them, believing them to be the work of the gods.
Over the next 300 years, the temple site was developed into a public bathhouse, complete with baths, saunas, plunge pools and heated rooms. Named Aquae Sulis, the bathing complex attracted visitors from all over the country and even parts of Europe.
When Roman rule came to an end in the 5th century, the bathhouse fell into disrepair when the River Avon flooded the site and buried it under a thick layer of mud. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the Victorians uncovered the baths, restoring them and opening them to the public.
Nowadays, the baths are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Great Bath
The highlight of the Roman Baths is the Great Bath – a huge pool lined with 45 sheets of lead and filled with thermal spa water. The pool was originally housed in an impressive 20-metre high hall, which would have been the largest building many Romans would have encountered in their lifetime.
Today, the pool is open to skies, surrounded by a terrace filled with statues of Roman Emperors and statesmen, carved by the Victorians for the baths’ reopening at the end of the 19th century.
The Sulis Minerva Temple
Before the Romans discovered the natural springs, they were originally a place of worship for the Celts, dedicated to Sulis, their goddess of spring, fertility and healing. When the Romans invaded and built their temple next to the site, they dedicated it to both the Celtic goddess and their own goddess Minerva, and in the process created a new deity named Sulis Minerva.
Today, you can find the remains of the temple pediment in the bath’s museum, alongside the gilt bronze head of a Sulis Minerva statue which would have once stood inside the temple.
The Sacred Spring
Next to the Great Bath is a smaller room housing the Sacred spring where over a million litres of thermal water rises each day.
The Romans believed the spring was a direct line to Sulis Minerva and would come here to throw messages of revenge etched onto sheets of lead about people who had wronged them into the water for the goddess to act upon.
Visitors can see a selection of these ‘curse tablets’ on display in the baths’ museum today!
The Pump Room
Opened in 1706, the Pump Room was once the centre of the Georgian social scene. Visitors would flock here to tap the thermal spa water directly from the springs via a water pump, believing it to have medicinal qualities. Famous visitors included Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, the latter featuring the room in two of her novels.
Visitors can still choose to sample the famous water today, so long as they don’t mind its unusual taste!
See pictures of the Roman Baths here.