Restaurants Near the Roman Baths
Every visitor to the magnificent city of Bath should see the ancient Roman Baths, from history buffs to culture vultures.
Drop by one of our welcoming restaurants in Bath near the Roman Baths for a delectable classic pub dish made from locally-grown ingredients, topped off with a pint of refreshing Butcombe beer.
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Places To Eat Near The Roman Baths
Offering delicious, locally-sourced meals and award-winning Butcombe beers and ales on tap, our range of restaurants near the Roman Baths are the ideal places for a bite to eat after a busy day exploring the attraction.
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, with a selection of seasonal dishes and sharers, award-winning Butcombe beers, local cider, wine and cocktails. 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.
The Roman Baths
Close to 2000 years old, the Roman Baths are some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world and one of the UK’s top tourist attractions.
A brief history of the Roman Baths
When the Romans first discovered the hot springs around 60-70AD, they believed them to be the work of the gods and built a religious temple beside them.
The site was developed over the next 300 years to become a public bathing complex named Aquae Sulis, featuring baths, saunas, plunge pools and heated rooms. The baths were visited by people across the country and even parts of Europe, who congregated there to relax, eat, drink and socialise.
After Roman rule came to an end in the 5th century, the bathhouse fell into disrepair when the nearby River Avon flooded and buried it under a thick layer of mud. The baths remained hidden for hundreds of years, until the Victorians rediscovered them in the late 19th century, and restored them to their former glory.
Today, the baths are a UNESCO World Heritage Site visited by over a million tourists each year.
The Great Bath
Standing at the centre of the complex is the Great Bath, a huge, lead-lined pool filled with thermal spring water. Ideal for bathing at 1.6m deep, the pool features recesses around it which would have held benches for bathers, alongside small tables for drinks and snacks.
Originally housed in an enormous barrel-vaulted hall, today the pool is open to the skies and surrounded by a terrace filled with statues of Roman Emperors and statesmen, carved by the Victorians.
The Sulis Minerva Temple
Before the Romans had discovered them, the hot springs were originally used by the Celts as a site of worship for Sulis, their goddess of spring, fertility and healing. When the Romans invaded and built a religious temple on the site, they combined the Celtic goddess with their own goddess Minerva, creating a hybrid deity named Sulis Minerva, to whom the temple was dedicated.
The original temple pediment is on display in the baths’ museum today, alongside a gilt bronze head which once belonged to a statue of Sulis Minerva that would have been housed inside the temple.
The Sacred Spring
Next to the Great Bath is a smaller room which houses the Sacred Spring that originally fed the bathing complex. Over a million litres of thermal water rises here each day!
Believing the spring to be a direct line to Sulis Minerva, the Romans would throw small metal sheets inscribed with curses against specific people into the water for the goddess to act upon. A selection of these ‘curse tablets’ can be viewed in the baths’ museum today.
The Pump Room
Opened in 1706, the Pump Room was regarded as the social heart of Bath for more than two centuries. People would flock here to drink the mystical spring water, believing it to have medicinal powers. Famous visitors included Charles Dickens, Buffalo Bill and Jane Austen, with the latter referencing the room in two of her novels ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’.
Nowadays, visitors can still opt to drink the thermal water, so long as they don’t mind its unusual taste!