Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Relax and Learn: Short Breaks in Bath with a Difference

Short breaks in Bath does not necessarily mean shopping and visiting landmarks and museums, although these are cited among the most popular activities to do on a city break. If you are a frequent visitor to Bath and are looking for alternative breaks, or are organising a Hen weekend, you may want to think about combining your stay with studying a new craft. Fortunately, the city offers an array of hands-on learning experiences where you, your friends or family, can brush up on a whole range of skills including fiction writing, art, acting, cooking or jewellery making.

Bath is a top UK destination for culture, so there are all sorts of courses on the go at any given time. If you are combining your short breaks in Bath with a new skill, staying in a bed and breakfast in the city centre, such as Dukes Guest House on Great Pulteney Street, offers the best of both worlds – you will be close to your course venue and within easy walking distance of all the main attractions.

Here, we give our pick of ten great learning opportunities that you can combine with a long weekend in Bath. Obviously there are many other courses to discover, but we have picked some of the best in the city centre.

Short Breaks in Bath – Contact Dukes guest house on Great Pulteney Street today to find out about availability.

Nine Learning Opportunities on a Break in Bath

Bring Book Characters to Life – The Children’s Literature Festival is a popular annual event which this year (2014) takes place from Friday September 26 to Sunday October 5. The festival is open to children ages 2 and above, and a number of talks and workshops are also targeted at primary and secondary school pupils. Young bookworms will have the chance to meet their favourite authors, hear top writing tips, and take part in fun-filled interactive classes and workshops. Tickets should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Get Crafty with a Handmade Creation
– From jewellery making to upholstering, clothes making and even garter making, short breaks in Bath give you the chance to learn something new. Workshops vary from 2 to 6 hours and classes can also be organised for Hen parties. Just contact The Makery direct to book a workshop that will coincide with your stay in Bath.

Impress with Your Kitchen Skills – From Sushi Masterclasses to Indian Street Food, Spring Entertaining and cooking seafood, The Bertinet Kitchen is a wonderful destination in the heart of Bath where you can brush up on your cookery skills. With such tempting delights on the menu, the hardest part may be choosing between them. Courses range from one-off classes to three or five day tutoring. The cookery school was winner of the South West Tourism Award for Best Tourism Experience in 2009.

Indulge in Creativity with Cake Decorating
– Popular TV programmes such as Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss have thrown cake decorating into the spotlight and the good news is that you can have a go yourself at the Bath Cake Company. The venue offers colourful and creative classes including private tuition for children and adults, and all these lessons take place in Lansdown Mews, which is about a half hour walk from Dukes. Courses vary from two hours to two days and you can learn anything from cupcake decorating to beautifying a multi-tier celebratory surprise.

Say it with Flowers – If you are keen to learn the art of floristry, the Tallulah Rose Flower School is situated in Milson Street, just walking distance from Dukes. It offers a fantastic range of courses from beginners to the more experienced, and day events are held throughout the year. However, if you would like something more in-depth, career courses are also available. 

Take to the Stage
– If you dream of taking to the stage, or would just like to learn more about famous playwrights, the Theatre Royal offers a variety of year round workshops for all ages. This includes opportunities to learn more about Shakespeare and the chance to discover plays which have shaped the history of theatre. The Egg theatre also offers workshops for children. 

Be Inspired by Music – The International Music Festival kicks off on Friday 16th May (2014),  and over the next 12 days you will get the chance to hear all types of music from classical to blues, jazz, pop and folk, at venues all over the city. As well as performances from local and international musicians, there will also be inspirational talks, discussions, exhibitions and dance shows. It’s a learning opportunity with a difference!

Bring Out Your Artistic Side –The fascinating Walk and Draw Bath is open to all ages and offers the chance to see some of the lesser known city sites and record them for years to come. Tours range from 90 minutes to a half or full day experience. All art materials are included.

Learn to Make Beautiful Jewellery – Bijoux Beads in Abbey Green offers year round bead jewellery classes for beginners upwards. Just contact them direct to find out more about their workshops.

If you are looking for alternative short breaks in Bath, Dukes bed and breakfast is an ideal base for attending any of the above courses as it is right in the heart of the city. Click on the link below to find out more.

Dukes Guest House - get in touch now to book your stay in Bath.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bath Weekend Breaks - What's On in Bath in March

If you are looking to take a short holiday in the UK, Bath is the perfect destination for weekend breaks or longer stays. Just a 90 minute train journey from London, this vibrant and cultural city offers a year-long programme of events. So, whether you are visiting Somerset to enjoy a romantic weekend or are treating the family to some relaxation time, from markets to festivals, live music and theatre, you will always find something of interest in Bath.

Dukes boutique bed and breakfast is an elegant guest house enjoying an excellent location on Great Pulteney Street, one of Bath’s finest boulevards. Our guest house is just a short level walk to the city centre shops, and is within easy reach of some of the most famous attractions in Bath, including the Royal Crescent, the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, the Holburne Museum and, of course, the beautiful 18th century Pulteney Bridge, which was originally designed to be built in Venice and is a popular destination for couples looking for a romantic photo opportunity.

Bath Weekend Breaks  - contact Dukes boutique bed and breakfast today to book your short city break.

Meanwhile, if you are planning a UK break in March, here is a short glimpse at the programme of events for the month, so you can plan ahead and make full use of your long weekend in Bath. We have included events for all age groups, so they are suitable for couples or families:

Theatre – If you enjoy plays, ballet, musicals or comedy, Bath weekend breaks would not be complete without a trip to the theatre. The Theatre Royal, which was built in the early part of the 19th century, is thought to be one of the most significant theatres outside the capital and always has a fantastic programme of events. Noel Coward’s comedy, ‘Fallen Angels’, starring Sara Crowe and Jenny Seagrove (which tells the story of two wives who hit the bottle while their husbands are away on a golfing trip), has been extended for a week and its last night falls on March 1. Other programmes include the Moscow City Ballet performing ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on March 10 and 11 and ‘Swan Lake’ between the 12 to the 16. Ian McDiarmid (‘Star Wars’) stars in The Royal Shakespeare’s critically acclaimed production of ‘A Life of Galileo’ from the 17 to the 22 , and ‘Pygmalion’ will be performed in the Main House between the 24 and the 29 It is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Festivals – From fashion to art, food and music, Bath has a year-long programme of festivals to appeal to all age groups. Here are just two festivals that are taking place in March:

Literature – If you love books and storytelling, the good news is that tickets are now on sale for the Literature Festival which runs from February 28 until March 9. Among the famous names appearing this year include Germaine Greer, Joanna Trollope, author and comedienne Jennifer Saunders, author and commentator Simon Jenkins, former conservative MP and Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken and former Director of Communications for Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell. Events involve workshops and readings in some of Bath’s most famous buildings, including the Holburne Museum which is just a short walk from Dukes.   

Comedy Festival – A variety of venues in central Bath will play host to The Comedy Festival between March 28 and April 6. Some of the top names featuring at the festival this year include performer and broadcaster Arthur Smith, who will be performing at the Bath Rugby Clubhouse. The German comedy ambassador, Henning Wehn, will also appear this year in a brand new show. As with all the festival line ups it is important to book in advance so you can be certain to secure a place.

Workshops – Whether you are heading to Bath for girlie weekend breaks or for a short stay with your partner, it’s always fun to try out new things, and there are various venues in the city hosting workshops. If you enjoy baking and want to combine this with your artistic and creative side, there’s a cake decorating workshop every Sunday in March. The length of the workshops vary from two to seven hours, and there’s also a mother and daughter cake decorating workshop.

Markets – If you love to shop, you won’t be disappointed in Bath. As well as the variety of high street and boutique shops, you will also find some wonderful markets where you can pick up a bargain. The Vintage and Antiques Market takes place in central Bath on the last Sunday of the month. If, on the other hand, you want to replenish your wardrobe, you can soak up the atmosphere at Green Park Station Market, which is a popular draw among tourists and locals alike. Held every third Sunday of the month, bargain hunters can shop for local food, bags, clothing, antiques, handmade toys and more – making it a popular destination for couples, families and groups on Bath weekend breaks!

Dukes boutique guest house is the perfect choice for a weekend away as it enjoys a superb location within walking distance of all the main attractions - so you won’t have far to go if you are attending any of the above events. Dukes have superb rooms for couples and families and we are happy to serve pre-dinner drinks, afternoon tea, or late night cheeseboards, if you arrange this with us in advance.

Bath Short Breaks  - contact Dukes luxury guest house today to make your booking.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

5 Family Friendly Activities in Bath

Bath is not just a place to go for a romantic weekend, or a shopping break, but also a great destination for families. Dukes bed and breakfast is right in the heart of Bath city centre, within easy reach of most major attractions –  so you don’t have to travel far to take your youngsters on a fun-filled day out.

At Dukes, we have a selection of elegant rooms for Bath weekend breaks. Here, you and your family can relax in comfortable surroundings with all the extras you can expect from a home from home. These include a flat-screen TV in all the rooms, a daily room service, complimentary toiletries, a hospitality tray, and of course, free Wi-Fi (signal permitting) to keep the young ones amused. Not that they’ll be needing it, though, as Bath has a full range of attractions to suit all ages!

More good news is that the whole family can start the day with a sumptuous breakfast experience. Our breakfasts range from a full English to vegetarian, continental, and even hearty meals that cater for people with special dietary requirements –  so this will give you plenty of energy for the day ahead.

Meanwhile, Dukes bed and breakfast in Bath city centre brings you five family friendly places to visit for a memorable city break. To find out more about Bath weekend breaks, and the location of our guest house, click on the link below.
Dukes Bed and Breakfast in Bath City Centre - contact us today to book your Bath city break.

Top Five Family-Friendly Attractions in Central Bath

The Holburne Museum - Dukes bed and breakfast in Bath city centre is well placed to explore the Holburne Museum, an excellent free attraction at the end of Great Pulteney Street. The museum is very child-friendly as it offers lots of hands-on opportunities that your young ones will enjoy. These include art-related activities, such as drawing your own silhouette, and there are a variety of workshops which you can book for in advance.

Here, you can discover the museum’s amazing art collection – featuring masterpieces from English artists, and stunning Renaissance treasures – or browse the fantastic silver and embroidery displays. The museum also stages a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, although there is a charge for these.

After exploring the museum, you can take a wander in the museum grounds, or treat the family to a delicious lunch, or tea and cakes, in the garden café.  

The Roman Baths – Another family-friendly attraction near Dukes guest house – and a must-see on a Bath short city break – is the Roman baths. This fascinating site has a history that dates back to the Roman era and is a designated World Heritage Site.

Budding history enthusiasts will love pacing the ancient pavements around the pool where the Romans once walked. The story of the baths is brought to life by staff dressed in Roman costume and there are lots of superb artefacts to view. Child-friendly audio guides are included in the entrance fee.

You can make a whole day of it by combining a visit to the baths, with a session at the Thermae Bath spa, followed by a three-course lunch. Bookings for this should be made at least 48 hours in advance via Bath Tourist Information Centre.

Bath Aqua Glass – For something completely different, the Bath Aqua Glass is a fascinating experience for children, as they can marvel at the ancient skills of the glassblowers and stained glass artists at first hand.

Taster days in stained glass art are available, and you can also blow your own paper-weight under the watchful eye of a professional glass blower; however, do contact Aqua Glass in advance for age limits and availability.

As well as demonstrations, you can also get the chance to see glasswork from around the world and stained glass exhibits (as seen on TV). You can even show off your skills and blow a glass bubble. Discounted family tickets are available (for a family of four). The centre is closed on Sunday.

Canal Experience – If your children love boats, a canal trip could well be the highlight of their short stay in Bath. You and your family can enjoy a luxurious day out on the water –  just visit the Bath Canal Boat Experience Centre to find out more.

Regardless of the season, it possible to hire a self-drive narrow boat for either a half day, evening (summer only), or full day trip. Narrow boats cater for up to ten people so they can accommodate larger parties for special family occasions. You can even order a gourmet hamper in advance.

Theatre Royal’s Egg Theatre

No matter how young your little ones are, they will love the year long programme of events at The Egg Theatre (so called because it is shaped like an egg!). From story-telling for the youngest family members, to pantomimes, workshops and participatory sessions, there is always something to appeal for youngsters from ages 2 – 18.

Just check the Theatre Royal website to find out what’s on and to book tickets during your long-weekend in Bath.

Visit Dukes bed and breakfast in Bath Centre for the perfect-family break away, or click on the link below to book. 

Dukes guest house Bath - get in touch now to book your family break in Bath.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Get Festive and Book Ahead for Christmas Shopping in Bath

If you love to shop, and all the excitement of finding that perfect gift, Christmas is a wonderful time of year. The festive season makes the whole experience uplifting, and is a fantastic play on the senses as towns and cities across the UK are awash with the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas – dazzling lights, carol singing, and the irresistible aroma and taste of hot roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. Plus, while the adults are sampling the local produce, the children get the chance to meet Santa in person, receive a gift from the man himself...and test whether that long, white beard really is the genuine article!

Taking a short break away or a long weekend at Christmas is one way to combine a search for the best stocking fillers with well deserved relaxation time. With sensational Christmas markets, fascinating independent shops and specialist boutiques, Bath has everything to offer the seasonal shopper and you can round off your visit with a trip to the spa or theatre, and maybe a glass, or two, at one of the city’s busy bars.

If you missed Christmas shopping in Bath last year, why not plan in advance for a long weekend or festive break away in 2013? Whatever the time of year, if you are looking for the ideal city break, the beautiful, historic destination of Bath is only a 90 minute train ride from London and could be just the answer.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to organise a Christmas break in 2014, here are just some of the things that you can expect on your weekend away in Bath:

Christmas Markets

A long weekend in Bath  over the festive period wouldn’t be complete without visiting the centrally located Christmas market which is a shoppers’ delight. Last year’s market, in the square between the historic Abbey and the Roman Baths, ran for two and a half weeks, from Thursday November 28 until Sunday December 15. This year, you will be able to browse the 150 or so stalls to find Christmas treats, mulled wine, handmade gifts and specialist items. The market has even gained a VisitEngland VAQAS (Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme) award.

Festive Lights

Over the festive season, the city was brought to life with a dazzling array of decor and sparkle, which mesmerised children and adults alike. The 2013 Christmas light switch-on was hosted by cookery book author, queen of cakes, and former Bath high school pupil, Mary Berry.  However, this year there are plans to invite another exciting celebrity to switch on the Christmas lights. 

Carols and Processions

A stunning lantern procession, on Thursday November 28, hailed the start of the Christmas market. Hundreds of people joined the procession, carrying lanterns from Holburne Museum down the famous architectural marvel of Great Pulteney Street, and ending in the square. Those who missed this were able to get into the Christmas spirit at the Pump Room in Bath, where the City of Bath Bach Choir hosted its yearly Carols by Candlelight from Wednesday December 18 to Friday 20th. As of last year, Christmas 2014 will also see a host of services at the Abbey where you can join in with hymns and carol singing.

City Centre Shopping

Each year late night shopping gives visitors the chance to stock up on all those much-needed Christmas gifts long into the evening. By staying in a Bath city centre guest house or bed and breakfast, such as Dukes, you are just a short walk away from some of the best places to shop. If you don’t know where to start, Milsom Place is a good first port of call and offers some great gifts. For independent stores, head to shops like Mallorys, Bloomsbury or Jody Cory. And, if you are after something for that special person in your life, you can even create a bespoke designer handbag, or manbag, at Liz Cox. 

Ice Skating

Ice skating at Christmas has an air of romance and magic, and even if you are a little wobbly on your feet at first, you’ll soon get the hang of it and it won’t be long before you are racing around the rink like a pro. Each year shoppers get the chance to skate out in the open air at Royal Victoria Park, against the backdrop of Bath’s famous Royal Crescent.


No Christmas is complete without a trip to the theatre. The Theatre Royal Bath has a year-long programme of events for all age groups, including the pantomime, Peter Pan, which was on show all over the recent Christmas period. Visitors to Bath were also able to enjoy a step back in time with a wonderful performance of Handel’s Messiah, where the orchestra dressed up in 18th century costume to recreate the atmosphere of yesteryear. If you are visiting the theatre during a long weekend in Bath, just make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. 

Bath Spa

Bath is famous for its relaxing hot springs, and after a morning or afternoon’s shop, it is well worth a visit to the spa to fully unwind. All sorts of offers are available, from individual treatments to day long packages. Just contact the Thermae Bath Spa direct to book.

Dukes boutique guest house on Great Pulteney Street is the perfect place to stay for a short break or long weekend away in Bath. Just book today or browse our website to find out more.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Bath Weekend Breaks – Enjoy a Step Back in Time to Marvel at the City’s Architecture

One of the many attractions about Bath weekend breaks is that the city is such a beautiful destination. It is one of the most aesthetically appealing cities in the UK and its elegant Georgian buildings, set amidst a landscape setting, is one of the prime reasons why Bath was declared a World Heritage site in 1987.

Even if you are a first time visitor here, there is something magical about the city which will inspire you to return. With its attractive cobbled streets, vibrant night life, quirky independent shops, art galleries, museums and theatres, it’s a cultural delight. Only a 90 minute train journey from London’s Paddington Station, Bath is easy to get to and is the perfect choice for a romantic weekend away, a theatre break, or just a place to go to enjoy a relaxing stay with friends.

If you are choosing Dukes guest house for your Bath weekend breaks, this wonderful destination is akin to a boutique hotel – and you are guaranteed a memorable visit in appealing, comfortable surroundings.

In fact, choosing a bed and breakfast in Bath city centre is the best option, as you have all the main attractions on your doorstep. Along with the café bars and many fascinating shops and museums, what won’t escape you during your short break in Bath is the stunning architecture of the city. In fact Dukes guest house, which is centrally located on the highly prestigious boulevard, Great Pulteney Street, is a great base to start exploring some of the city’s most fascinating buildings.

Most of the buildings in Bath were constructed in the 18th century using Bath stone, which is known for its distinctive golden colour. The architecture is based on the Palladian Revival style, a European style inspired by the Venetian architect Palladio, who was heavily influenced by the classical architecture of the Roman and ancient Greek temples.  In fact the Palladio window fan over the entrance to Dukes is respected as one of the best examples of its type in Bath and in the UK.

Here are some of the important structures and landmarks in Bath, which you may want to visit during your stay.

Bath Weekend Breaks – get in touch now to find out more about Duke’s bed and breakfast in Bath city, and to book your short UK break.

Important structures and landmarks in Bath

The Roman Baths – The baths are a fine example of incredible architecture and the buildings which house the hot springs were designed by the famous father and son team John Wood the Elder and John Wood the Younger. Thermae Bath Spa’s 21st century main building, which you may want to visit if you are looking for a relaxing spa break, is affectionately known as the ‘Glass Cube’. It is contemporary in style and was designed by architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, most noted for his modernist buildings.

Bath Abbey – This Grade I listed building, which can be found right in the heart of the city centre, was built on the site of an 8th century church. It is known for its fan vaulting – a Gothic style vault that mirrors a fan in design – and draws thousands of visitors a year. It is still an active place of worship and can seat up to 1200 for a service; there is a museum in the structure’s 18th century cellars, which reveals the history of the abbey.

The Royal Crescent – One of the city’s most famous landmarks and prime addresses, the Royal Crescent is a must-see on your Bath weekend breaks, especially if you appreciate the grace and beauty of Georgian architecture. The Grade I listed crescent faces a large green, which is a popular place for picnics in the summer, and also plays host to a wide range of events from plays, to concerts and firework displays. Seen as one of the UK’s finest examples of Georgian architecture, it was designed by architect John Wood the Younger and built in the late 18th century. It has had many famous visitors, including royalty over the years, such as her late Majesty The Queen Mother who arrived in style by helicopter in the early 1980s.

The Circus – The Circus, also a Grade I listed structure, was built before the Royal Crescent and is considered to be John Wood the Elder’s finest building. It is thought to be one of the UK’s best buildings too, and again, like the Royal Crescent, it played host to many famous names over the years including artist Thomas Gainsborough who lived at number 17 and had a portrait studio there.

Pulteney Bridge – This beautiful 18th century bridge is just a short walk from Dukes Georgian guesthouse in Bath and was the brainchild of neoclassical architect Robert Adam. It is one of the city’s many tourist attractions and was based on a design for the Rialto Bridge in Venice that was never used.  This superb Grade I listed construction is one of a handful of bridges worldwide that has a parade of shops on both sides. It serves as the link over the River Avon to Great Pulteney Street.

Great Pulteney Street – Dukes guest house presents a unique and incredible opportunity to stay in a 200-year-old Georgian townhouse overlooking one of the finest streets in the United Kingdom, possibly Europe. Great Pulteney Street is 100 ft wide and 1000 foot long, and is just a five minute level walk, right into the very heart of Bath. The boulevard was commissioned by Sir William Pulteney MP, once the wealthiest man in Britain, and the facade was designed by leading Bath architect, Thomas Baldwin. World-renowned writer Jane Austin and anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce, were among the street’s most famous former residents.

The Holburne Museum – This former hotel is a Grade I listed building which stands at the end of Great Pulteney Street, with Sydney Gardens behind it. The property was transformed into a museum in the early 20th century and now houses a superb and eclectic collection of decorative and fine arts made by Sir William Holburne. Its controversial extension, designed by Eric Parry Architects, gained recognition at the Civic Trusts Awards in Edinburgh for its excellence in design and its positive impact on the local community in terms of its social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits.

If you prefer an accompanied tourist walk around the city, there are various walking and sight-seeing tours which will guide you around the main hotspots. Just contact the local tourist information centre to find out more.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for Bath weekend breaks to remember, you will be assured of a warm welcome at Dukes guest house which is centrally based on Pulteney Street. See below for more information.
Boutique Bed and Breakfast Bath – contact us now to book your weekend break in Bath.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Festivals in Bath

Bath has become known as a festival city, with a year-round programme of special events which should guarantee something for everyone. Visiting one of the festivals while staying at a bed and breakfast in Bath city centre offers the chance to meet up with other like-minded people. You are also bound to broaden your knowledge of a pet subject, whether it is Jane Austen or opera.

Dukes is the ideal place to stay during short breaks in Bath while enjoying one of the city's festivals. All our 17 rooms have individual features such as high ceilings and sash windows, and each is named after a Duke for a unique touch. We offer our visitors a combination of Georgian elegance and modern home comforts, and we cater for families, including young children.

Here are details of some of the wide range of popular festivals staged over the year, which you can enjoy during your bed and breakfast stay in Bath city centre.

Bed and Breakfast in Bath City Centre – click here for more information.

Bath Literature Festival – February to March. Many famous authors have taken part in this annual festival since it was launched in 1995, including JK Rowling, Sir Terry Pratchett, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and a host of others. Events include workshops for young people and poetry readings in pubs, as well as readings in many of the city's historic buildings, so there is bound to be something to appeal to everyone.

Bath in Fashion – April. With a fashion museum and designer boutiques, Bath is known as a stylish city. Catwalk shows, workshops and exhibitions are all part of its festival each April, which is one of Britain's best-known fashion spectaculars. The 2013 event included a centenary exhibition showcasing the work of great fashion photographer Norman Parkinson, with more than 150 businesses contributing to the festival. If you are a fashionista, this is the perfect time to stay at a bed and breakfast in Bath city centre.

Bath International Music Festival – May to June. The festival was established in 1948, and runs over 12 days, including major orchestral concerts, world music, jazz, folk, and many other kinds of music. It begins with a party featuring 2,000 musicians and performers from the area. Bath Fringe Festival is also staged from May to June, with a wide variety of events including visual arts installations, multi-media, music and street theatre.

Bath Folk Festival – August. Folk music fans planning short breaks in Bath could well be tempted to visit during this annual event. Bath Folk Festival only started a few years ago, but is building its reputation and attracting top names. Morris dancing, skiffle, bluegrass and harp music are among the varied mix of entertainment at the festival, which features both established and rising artists.

Jane Austen Festival – September. This popular annual festival celebrates one of the world's best-loved authors, who was Bath's most famous resident. Highlights include a Regency costumed promenade through the city centre, with 18th-century soldiers firing muskets. There is also a masked ball, offering fans of Austen period dramas a chance to wear the fashions of the era themselves. Stars of the TV dramas also often take part, and festival-goers can choose from a long list of concerts, etiquette lessons, workshops and minibus tours.

Bath Festival of Children's Literature – September to October
. Each year, Bath stages Britain's largest festival dedicated to children's books, with more than 80 separate events putting a host of top authors and artists in the spotlight. There are always many famous names on the bill, from poet Michael Rosen to bestselling author Charlie Higson, while children's parties and storytimes are all part of the fun.

Great Bath Feast – October. There's a lot more to the city's cuisine than Bath buns, and the Great Bath Feast gives a chance to taste a wide range of gourmet delights. Chefs stage all kinds of demonstrations during the festival, and Raymond Blanc, Prue Leith and Mary Berry of 'The Great British Bake Off' fame are among the top names you might spot on the bill. Georgian feasts add a touch of history, and you can also sample wines, ciders and beers from the area.

Bath Mozartfest – November. This annual celebration of the great composer was founded more than 20 years ago. Over the nine days of the festival, many top musicians, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, stage a selection of works by both Mozart and his contemporaries. Historic venues like Bath Abbey and the Assembly Rooms are the perfect settings for the festival, which closes with a grand supper.

If you are planning a visit to any of these festivals, Dukes bed and breakfast in Bath city centre is the ideal place to use as your base. Our central location means you are within easy walking distance of most attractions, and can easily come and go during a festival. We have a choice of rooms ideal for either families or couples, and serve superb breakfasts. Also, if you tell us a little in advance, we can serve afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks or a late-night cheeseboard when you get back from a concert or show.

Short Breaks in Bath – get in touch to book your stay.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Museums in Bath

Bath weekend breaks offer the perfect chance to discover a beautiful city with a wealth of history. One way to find out more about the heritage of this magnificent spa resort is to visit some of its museums. There are collections celebrating everything from Bath's Roman and Georgian past to fashion, food, astronomy and even the postal service.

If you are looking for a boutique bed and breakfast in Bath which you can use as a base to explore the city, Dukes is the answer. Our central location is within easy walking distance of a host of fascinating museums, as well as all kinds of other attractions, from shops to restaurants and theatres. We cater for couples, families, or groups of friends as our hotel has 17 bedrooms, ranging from romantic four posters to family rooms.

Here Dukes has put together a selection of some of the most interesting and unusual museums which you can visit during your Bath weekend breaks.

Bath Weekend Breaks –  click here to get started.

The Roman Baths – Open all the year round, this unique piece of history is a must for any visitor to Bath. The centrepiece is the Roman Great Bath, filled with hot spa water, where characters in Roman costumes wander through to add to the atmosphere. You can also see the saunas, changing rooms and other artefacts from the Roman era. The Georgian past is celebrated here too, with the original pump room which was popular in Jane Austen's day. This is now a restaurant, where it is possible to taste the spa water. You can buy a joint ticket for admission to both the baths and the nearby Fashion Museum. 

Fashion Museum – Bath's Assembly Rooms are the historic setting for the city's Fashion Museum, which attracts around 130,000 visitors every year. The massive collection, open all year, includes clothes, fashion plates, dress patterns and much more, ranging from late 16th-century fashions right up to modern-day catwalk designs. You will be offered the chance to dress up in replica clothes, including crinolines and corsets, something which especially appeals to children.

No 1 Royal Crescent – This unique Georgian town house reopened its doors to visitors in summer 2013 after major renovation. It was the first house to be completed in the famous Royal Crescent, and wealthy guests stayed there during spa visits. Ten rooms have all been beautifully fitted out with period furniture, so the house will give you a glimpse of 18th-century life both above and below stairs. It is open all week from February to October, with limited access out of season.

Jane Austen Centre – If you are a lover of literature, a must-see attraction to fit into your weekend breaks in Bath is the Jane Austen Centre. It is open throughout the year, with costumed guides and a fascinating exhibition looking at the author's life in the city and how it affected her classic novels. The centre is in Gay Street, where Jane Austen lived during her time in Bath.

Bath Postal Museum
Fans of hit TV series 'Lark Rise to Candleford' might find this museum strangely familiar. The reason is that its collection served as an inspiration for the costume drama. Bath played an important role in the development of the postal service. Former postmaster Thomas Moore Musgrave is famed for the mailing of the very first postage stamp used anywhere in the world – the original Penny Black. The museum is open year-round, with activities including the chance to perforate your own stamps.

Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House and Museum
Young French Huguenot baker Sally Lunn is said to have created her famous buns in Bath around 1680. This unusual combined museum and restaurant, open all year, offers the chance to see the kitchens where she first cooked the sweet rolls, as well as sampling them. You can also see excavations showing the history of the site from Roman times onwards.

Herschel Museum of Astronomy
William Herschel was the astronomer and musician who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. The town house where he and his sister Caroline lived, in King Street, is open for most of the year except for a short winter break in December and January. Attractions include Herschel's music room, and the garden where he made his famous discovery using a telescope he had constructed himself.

American Museum in Britain
Despite being just outside the city, the American Museum in Britain is very easy to visit, as there are regular shuttle buses from the centre of Bath. Set in beautiful 120-acre grounds, this is said to be the finest American heritage collection outside the USA. Its collection includes many folk art items and a fine array of quilts, and it stages special exhibitions, activities and concerts for all the family. Its opening season runs from March to November, but it also opens over the Christmas period. The museum is usually closed on Mondays.

These are only some of the great variety of museums in the city. There are also many more, so the only problem you are likely to face during your Bath weekend breaks is that you just won't be able to fit it all in! Dukes boutique bed and breakfast in Bath is the perfect base for your visit at any time of the year, with elegant accommodation and a relaxed atmosphere. We also offer a choice of hearty breakfasts to set you up for a day of sightseeing fun.

Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Bath – contact us now to book your break.