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.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Romantic Breaks Bath

Whether you want to enjoy a quiet weekend away with your loved one, or to choose a dreamy destination to pop the question to your future spouse, for romantic breaks, Bath is a beautiful location to be. In fact Bath is quite possibly one of the most attractive cities in England and indeed, its architectural history is one of the reasons why this city has become a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. With its meandering lanes, hilly walks and pretty river, it has an air of romance about it. Just steps away from Dukes bed and breakfast in Somerset is the Pulteney Bridge, a structure based on a design that was originally earmarked for the Rialto Bridge in Venice, a place that has been inspiring starry eyed couples for centuries.

In fact Dukes boutique hotel is a great setting for romantic breaks in Bath, and if you want to go all out to impress a partner, we have rooms especially for this, such as our deluxe double rooms, or the magnificent four poster bedrooms such as our Athol or Buccleuch room. Treat your date with the ultimate in luxury and pre-arrange with us to have champagne, flowers and chocolates carefully laid out in the room ready for your arrival. Your loved one will simply melt at your thoughtfulness, and it will start you on an idyllic weekend away that will be perfect from beginning to end. After a day packed with highlights, you can have a lazy Sunday morning with a wonderfully prepared gourmet breakfast, before enjoying another day of romance in this stunning city.

Romantic Breaks in Bath –  click here to find out more

If you have your heart set on a dreamy weekend, the city is the perfect destination, and whether you like sightseeing, shopping, theatre, or something more spectacular, here are just some of our ideas for couples enjoying romantic breaks in Bath.

Eating Out – Bath is teeming with good eateries and upmarket restaurants where you can enjoy a quiet candle-lit dinner for two and talk about the day’s most special moments. Bath has a number of AA Rosette winning restaurants in the city centre including the Dower House Restaurant, behind the famous Royal Crescent. Or, if you want to impress your loved one on arrival, you can request our sumptuous – and very British – afternoon tea, with tempting finger sandwiches and scones.

Long Walks – A long, romantic walk gives you the chance to  spend some quality time together. As well as the meandering pathways, there are also wonderful gardens and parks to explore in Bath. Prior Park is simply stunning and allows for amazing panoramic views of the city; and the Palladian bridge is a great place to pop the question. Another superb park is the award-winning Peto Gardens at Iford Manor, which are simply magical.

Sightseeing – Romantic breaks in Bath wouldn’t be complete without a spot of sightseeing. Enjoy a picnic on the grass while marvelling at the splendour of The Royal Crescent. Or, if you like to visit ancient buildings, the Medieval Bath Abbey is the destination to head for; you and your partner can climb right to the top of the tower to enjoy fabulous views over the city.

Shopping – If you have an urge to splurge you can surprise a loved one by looking at fine jewellery stores, and maybe even ask your partner to choose a ring! Central Bath has a plethora of jewellery shops including E P Mallory Jewellers which sells several big name designs and is situated not far from Pulteney Bridge, so it is within easy reach of Dukes boutique B&B.

Theatre – An evening of theatre can top off a momentous day, and The Theatre Royal is a romantic building in itself as the auditorium has been likened to a wedding cake. From drama, to comedy, dance and ballet, all sorts of shows are laid on throughout the year. At Dukes we can offer you pre-theatre drinks, and after your evening you can pre-arrange to be presented with our impressive cheeseboard, which can be washed down with vintage port.

Pampering Weekends – If you love the idea of a romantic weekend away to be pampered top to toe, then Bath is the place to be. Just head for the incredible Thermae Spa where you can enjoy single treatments or even a full-day’s spa. It is perfect destination to relax and unwind completely.

Out on the River – Rivers go hand in hand with romance, and you are in for a treat in Bath as you can charter a boat for two hours, or even longer if it takes your fancy. Surprise your partner with a high tea, evening meal, or a champagne cruise and enjoy total privacy and tranquillity on the water.

Balloon Rides – What could be more memorable than a balloon ride? Your partner will literally be blown away by your preparations and who knows, a marriage proposal could be on the agenda? It is the perfect way to round off your day and will be one of the highlights of your romantic weekend breaks in Bath.

Romantic Breaks in Bath -  Find out more about what we have to offer or make a booking on 01225 787960

Monday, 26 August 2013

Boutique B&B in Bath

Dukes boutique B&B offers elegant and stylish accommodation right in the heart of Bath, a destination known for its romance, history, bustling cafe bars, and vibrant night life. This UK city is simply bursting with culture, music and art; it is also a place of beauty, where you can walk hand in hand with your loved one, or team up with a friend for a girls’ weekend away and enjoy shopping, relaxing at one of the pavement cafes, or winding down completely with a spot of pampering at the spa.

So, what can you expect from your stay in Bath at Dukes? Boutique hotels and B&Bs rose to prominence in some of the most fashionable cities in the UK and North America some 25 years ago, and offer chic and tasteful furnishings in a quirky, intimate setting where attention is all in the detail. From the warm greeting, to the spacious Georgian rooms attractively furnished for the comfort of our guests, the champagne which you can order in advance of your stay, and the delicious gourmet breakfast created using only the finest ingredients, we, at Dukes boutique B&B, Bath, are on hand to make your city break memorable.

Boutique B&B in Bath –  click here to find out more

Bath is a picturesque, historic city that simply oozes charm, and has been attracting tourists for centuries. Nowadays an incredible four million people visit Bath every year and its splendid architecture and cultural significance are just some of the reasons why this wonderful city gained the title of a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Dukes hotel B&B is located in central Bath, so it is within walking distance of all the main attractions; and whether you want to find out more about the city’s history, or just simply enjoy a restful stay, we are here to make your visit run smoothly.

The History of Bath

The healing properties of Bath springs were discovered in ancient times, and as well as using the springs to supply water to the public baths, the Romans built a temple here devoted to the Goddess of healing.  The Bath of the Roman era eventually fell into disrepair, but saw a revival in Mediaeval times thanks to the wool trade, and people still came to the town hoping to be cleansed from their illnesses in the hot springs.

Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries Bath remained a draw for healing, even receiving Royal visitors, including the wife of James I who had dropsy; which is an abnormal swelling of the tissues. Even in the late 17th century, bottled water was sold from Bath for its healing properties.

The town grew rapidly in the 18th century when it became a fashionable place to be and many fine buildings were constructed for the upper classes including the Royal Crescent, built by John Wood the Younger.  Summer brought many wealthy tourists who headed for hotel breaks in Bath to enjoy parties, sporting activities and fine dining. It remained a tourist destination, and in the late 19th century it received an added boost when the old Roman baths were discovered.

Throughout the 20th century, the destination remained a popular place to visit with various places to stay in Bath, along with a number of museums ranging from art, photography, and even a postal museum! However, it was this century that saw the opening of the most recent attraction, the Bath Spa, which has become a major tourist draw; and if you a looking for a pampering weekend at the Dukes boutique B&B, the Bath Thermae Spa is the place to go!

The Bath Spa

The New Royal Bath opened to the public in the summer of 2006 and is a magnet for tourists, developed at an incredible cost of £45 million. The main building, which is glass, was designed by architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw – known for his modernist buildings – and adjoins the traditional Georgian spa buildings.

The famous Bath’s spring waters are one of a kind as they are the warmest to be found in the United Kingdom. The spa itself comprises an indoor pool, open air pool, thermal baths, a steam room and a large number of treatment rooms. If you are thinking of spending at least some of the day here during your stay in Bath, you can choose from 50 health and beauty treatments on offer. Packages vary from twohours to a full day spa session - and there is no need to worry about booking in advance as you just turn up on the day. It’s the perfect finish to your short break away or weekend break in Bath.

One of many things that makes Dukes boutique B&B, Bath, so special is that, along with the elegant decor and friendly, personal service, our guest house is centrally located so everything is nearby. After a Saturday visiting the museums, theatre, pavement cafes or baths, you can enjoy a lazy Sunday in total relaxation at the spa, which is within easy walking distance from Dukes.

Boutique B&B Bath –  Find out more about what we have to offer or make a booking on 01225 787960

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Boutique bed and breakfast in Bath: Shopping Breaks

Staying at a boutique bed and breakfast in Bath for a shopping break gives the chance to discover a host of interesting and unusual retailers. These range from designer clothes outlets to independent and quirky shops where you can pick up unique gifts. The city also stages several popular markets, including a Christmas market, which give still more opportunities to find alternatives to the usual high street fare and buy items you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

Dukes is the ideal place for shoppers to stay because of its location in the city centre, within easy walking distance of all the major stores. We have deluxe rooms which will easily accommodate families, as well as guest rooms with canopied four-posters for a touch of romance. And, before you set out shopping, our chef will serve a breakfast of your choice to set you up for the day.

Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Bath  – click here to find out more.

Dukes boutique bed and breakfast in Bath has compiled a guide to some of the unusual and interesting shopping venues around the city which are well worth visiting.

Top Shopping Areas

Milsom Quarter: This is a great area to visit for designer fashion, with such an array of boutiques and top stores that it has in the past been voted Britain's “best fashion street.” Hobbs, Karen Millen and Reiss are just a few of the top names here, as well as department stores including House of Fraser and the independent Rossiter's of Bath. The shopping centre Milsom Place, created from a group of Georgian buildings, has a good mix of independent shops, with collections from Prada, Alessi and many leading designers, accessories, jewellery and many more luxury items. Alongside the shops are many restaurants and coffee shops.

City Centre: Bath has an enviable mix of high street stores and independent shops which makes it a top destination for shoppers. Set off down one of the many small alleyways, and you are almost bound to discover a hidden gem. The Silver Shop of Bath is full of unusual gifts, while Bijoux Beads offers designer jewellery from around the world. If you are looking for locally handmade quality gifts, Bath Aqua Glassware and Timber Treasures both specialise in this type of product, and Bath Abbey Shop offers a range of heritage souvenirs.

SouthGate: Situated next to Bath Spa railway station, this new shopping centre has more than 60 stores and restaurants, with Debenhams as the anchor department store. Fashion retailers include top names like Superdry and Calvin Klein, while there is also an Apple store complete with Genius bar, jewellers Fabulous and Pandora, and many leading high street names. The centre also boasts an 860-space car park.

Upper Town: Walk towards the top end of Bath, near the world famous Royal Crescent, and you will discover a mix of attractive independent shops, cafés and galleries. Among the cutting-edge fashion shops in Bartlett Street are Mee, a leading boutique stocking many sought after labels, and Lux, which sells top name shoes and handbags.

After a busy day out shopping, you might be feeling tired and ready to enjoy a well earned afternoon tea. Dukes boutique bed and breakfast in Bath offers this as a speciality, with delicious finger sandwiches, scones and cream. Just tell us slightly in advance and we will arrange it all.


Bath Guildhall Market: This historic market has been on its current site since the 16th century and has a famous dome which dates from the 1860s. The market now has a blend of shops and stalls, including many unusual and quirky retailers such as the Bath Humbug Shop, Dream of Olwen, which sells embroidered handbags and silk scarves, and various party and fancy dress shops.

Bath Farmers' Market: If you are looking for locally produced food and deliciously different items then this market, which is held every Saturday at Bath's Green Park, is worth checking out. Venison, wild boar, smoked fish and local fruit juices and vinegars are just some of the items sold here. There are also other markets held at the same venue, including monthly artisan and antiques fairs.

Bath Christmas Market: Running over an 18 day period starting in late November, this is a major event which sees more than 150 wooden chalets put up in the city centre, near the Roman Baths. All the retailers taking part sell unique handmade items, many of which have been produced locally. Items on sale range from chocolates, chillis and cheeses to handcrafted jewellery and Christmas decorations with a difference.

Anyone seeking a boutique bed and breakfast in Bath will find that Dukes is the perfect place to stay. The premises are sumptuously decorated in Georgian style, with period features and antique furniture, and has a wide choice of spacious accommodation.

Dukes Weekends in Bath
: To find out more about staying at Dukes, click on the link or call 01225 787960 now.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bath Weekend Breaks - Culture Weekends

If you are looking to enjoy a feast of culture, Bath weekend breaks will provide you with a great choice of theatre, art, literature and music. In fact, the only problem you are likely to face is that one weekend is just not long enough to fit it all in. The city also has a programme of major festivals all through the year, offering even more to do and see.

Dukes is the perfect place to stay while you are enjoying this rich cultural mix, because of its   setting in the heart of the famous heritage city, which has been drawing visitors since Roman times. The boutique B&B has a superb central location amid the Georgian elegance of Great Pulteney Street, meaning you can easily walk to all the city centre attractions. It consists of two fine town houses which were built more than 200 years ago, and has 17 varied and luxurious rooms, boasting features such as sash windows and high ceilings. All are ideal for Bath weekend breaks, ranging from four-poster bed opulence for romantic couples to larger rooms with space for families to relax.

Bath Weekend Breaks – click here for more information.

Theatres: Bath has a selection of theatres catering for all tastes, so there is bound to be something appealing to you. The Theatre Royal, a Georgian theatre which has been refurbished in the last few years, offers a varied programme throughout the year. This includes visiting productions from the West End as well as everything from Shakespeare to comedies, farces and concerts. The Theatre Royal also runs the Egg Theatre for young people and the Ustinov Studio, which stages unusual and innovative productions. Other venues include the small and intimate Rondo Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA), which is based at the University of Bath but uses venues around the city, and the new Bath Spa University Theatre.

If you are heading out for an evening, you can enjoy pre-dinner drinks at Dukes, and we also offer a late-night cheese board with a glass of port for guests returning from the theatre. Just let us know a little in advance and we will provide these specialities.

Art Galleries: The Victoria Art Gallery and Holburne Museum in central Bath both have works by Gainsborough among their collections, together with a host of other exhibits spanning the centuries. They both stage an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, including national touring events as well as those with a local flavour, and showcase everyone from Rembrandt to Picasso. For fans of modern art, the Peter Hayes Studio and Gallery is another interesting place to visit. Based in an old toll house beside the River Avon, it offers visitors the chance to see how the artist creates his unique ceramic pieces. If you are more interested in ceramics from ages past, you will find them at the Museum of East Asian Art, with jade and bronze works dating right back to 5,000 BC.

Literature: Bath is famous for its links with writer Jane Austen, who chose the fashionable city as a setting for two of her great novels, 'Northanger Abbey' and 'Persuasion'. For admirers of her work enjoying Bath weekend breaks, a visit to the Jane Austen Centre is a must. You will be welcomed by costumed staff, helping to give a feeling that you are travelling back in time, and you can even dress up in Regency bonnets and bows yourself if you wish – something which is especially popular with young visitors. The centre has a permanent exhibition about the author's life in Bath, and also organises Austen-themed walking tours of the city.

Music: There is an exciting live music scene in Bath, with a choice of venues for anyone seeking a night of dance, rock, pop or jazz. Komedia, a new entertainment hub in the city centre, hosts a wide range of touring music as well as hosting regular comedy and cabaret nights. Folk and jazz artists are among the performers showcased at the Chapel Arts Centre and Café, another popular nightspot. Many classical music events are also staged in the city, from band concerts in the city's parks to concerts by orchestras such as the Bath Philharmonia. Just outside the city, the Michael Tippett Centre at Bath Spa University puts on a wide ranging concert programme.

Festivals: Bath is a city which stages major festivals all year round, including the Jane Austen Festival in September, featuring a grand Regency costume parade through the city centre and a costumed ball. Also in September is the Bath Festival of Children's Literature, while the Great Bath Feast in October is a gourmet's delight, with top chefs taking part and all kinds of delicacies on the menu. Then in November comes the Bath Mozartfest, celebrating its 21st birthday in 2013 with concerts in Bath's famous Assembly Rooms, while Bath Film Festival is yet another autumn treat.

If you are planning Bath weekend breaks, then Dukes boutique B&B is the ideal base, with elegant accommodation in a prime location. The spacious and welcoming rooms and top class facilities mean you will have a wonderful time and be able to relax in style after all your sightseeing.

Dukes Luxury B&B Bath:  To book a weekend break or for more information, follow the link or call 01225 787960.