Bath Abbey is one of the most majestic sights in the honey-coloured city of Bath, an impressive example of classic gothic architecture at the heart of the city centre.
Our range of restaurants in Bath close to Bath Abbey made the perfect place for a light bite or a meal, with a menu full of delicious, locally-sourced meal and an excellent selection of proper Butcombe beers and ales.
Places to eat near Bath Abbey
After a day exploring the magnificent Bath Abbey, you might be feeling a bit peckish. Take a break at one of our restaurants near the attraction to refresh with a delicious locally-sourced pub meal and a pint of award-winning Butcombe beer.
The Methuen Arms
A former nunnery-turned-coaching inn, The Methuen Arms gastropub is a cosy country pub and restaurant dripping with character.
Based in Corsham, foodies flock here after visiting Bath and its delightful abbey to taste the pub restaurant’s modern, seasonal dishes, crafted by a team of talented chefs who are dedicated to sourcing the finest local ingredients, and making everything on-site from scratch where possible.
From steamed mussels steeped in cider to Butcombe Original beer-battered fish and chips, you’ll find something you love at The Crown restaurant. Fancy something sweet after visiting Bath Abbey? Try the decadent warm chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream, or a New York-style cheesecake with maple-roasted figs and blackberry sorbet. The food and drink menu at The Crown is the perfect blend of pub classics with exciting modern touches.
The King’s Arms
Steeped in history, The King’s Arms restaurant is a cracking 18th-century pub located in the historic market town of Melksham. Serving delicious seasonal dishes, the gastropub is renowned for its great food, alongside its excellent offering of beers, ales and wines – the perfect place to relax after spending the day in Bath visiting the amazing abbey.
The Northey Arms
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. After spending the day exploring Bath and the wonderful abbey, you’ll find plenty of award-winning Butcombe beer and cider and a wide range of wine and cocktails behind the bar to quench your thirst.
The Pig And Fiddle
An iconic pub, beloved by locals, The Pig & Fiddle gastropub in the centre of Bath is a popular stop for both Bathonians and tourists alike – especially after taking in the stunning sights of Bath Abbey. Catch the latest big game on the flatscreen TVs, or chill in the atmospheric sun-trap beer garden – and you can’t miss the unique, delicious Piggy sharing roast dinners on Sundays! For a beautiful and boutique place to stay, check out the sister venue next door, Broad Street Townhouse hotel.
The Quarrymans Arms
Boasting incredible views across the Box Valley, the family-friendly Quarryman’s Arms gastropub in Box Hill has great food at its heart. The country pub and restaurant is renowned for its award-winning pies, sausage rolls and delicious Sunday roast, all of which can be enjoyed in the pub’s cosy dining area, or outside in its covered, heated beer garden. What’s more, it just a few miles to the centre of Bath and its world-famous abbey.
Nestled in the heart of Bath city, Bath Abbey was the last great medieval church to be built in England.
Considered to be one of the country’s finest examples of gothic architecture, the Grade I-listed abbey draws hundreds of thousands of visitors through its doors each year.
A brief history of Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey has a rich and fascinating history spanning over 1,200 years. Its first iteration was as an Anglo-Saxon monastery built in 757 AD, which was later pulled down to make way for the construction of a Norman cathedral in 1090. Four centuries later, the cathedral lay in ruins, and work to transform it into the abbey we know today began in 1499.
The present abbey’s construction didn’t go smoothly, with King Henry VIII ordering it to be closed before its completion during his Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. It wasn’t until 1611 that the abbey was finally completed which means it took nearly 120 years from start to finish!
The Ladders of Angels
Like most buildings in Bath, the abbey is constructed out of local Bath stone. The most striking part of the abbey’s exterior is its west entrance, which features a huge arched glass window.
The window is surrounded by sculptures, the most famous of which are two stone ladders which both feature 6 angels in the process of climbing up or down them. The design came from the Bishop of Bath Oliver King, who was said to have had a dream depicting the very same scene!
Bath Abbey’s fan-vaulted ceiling
One of the abbey’s most impressive features is its ceiling, which features one of the best examples of fan vaulting in the country. Originally designed by English architects Robert and William Vertue, the original ceiling dates back to the 1500s, although visitors will notice a difference in the vaulting in the abbey’s centre, which was restored by famous Gothic revival architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in the latter half of the 19th century.
Bath Abbey memorials and burials
Around 8,000 people are thought to have been buried beneath the abbey’s stone floors over the last few centuries, with the earliest burial to be discovered so far dating back to 1569.
The abbey contains over 1,500 memorials – 617 on its walls and 891 on its floor. Only Westminster Abbey has more wall tablets than Bath Abbey. The memorials represent people from a variety of eras and walks of life, from the Chilton family who were plumbers in Bath at the beginning of the 19th century, to the US Senator William Bingham.
Bath Abbey’s stained glass windows
Nicknamed ‘The Lantern of the West’, Bath Abbey has 52 beautiful glass windows which take up around 80% of its wall space.
Many of the windows depict elaborate bible stories and scenes of the abbey’s past, including:
- The Great East Window, which tells the story of Jesus in 56 scenes.
- The King Edgar Window, which shows the crowning of Edgar the Peaceful as the first king of all England at the Saxon monastery once located where the current Abbey stands today.
- The West Window, which depicts stories from the first five books of the Bible, including God’s Creation of Eve and Noah’s Ark.
Bath Abbey Tower Tours
After admiring the abbey from ground level, visitors can pay a small fee to climb the 212 steps to the top of the abbey’s tower for stunning views of Bath and the surrounding countryside.
Taking around 45 minutes to complete, the tour gives visitors the chance to go behind the scenes of the abbey and see the ringing room, sit behind the abbey’s clock face, and even stand above the abbey’s famous fan-vaulted ceiling!
See pictures of Bath Abbey here.