Bath is beautifully situated - it's on the main line to London, five minutes from the countryside, and close to buzzing Bristol. Despite being one of the most architecturally magnificent cities in the country, it's a laid-back place with a small town feel. Anyone who is into alternative anything will feel at home here. Its stylish mix includes indigo-haired hippies, the country set, students, and of course, the rugby crowds.
The Romans chose Bath for its idyllic location, nestling between seven hills, as well as its rare geothermal springs. An 18th Century revival saw Bath become a decadent spa resort, as documented by Jane Austen. Golden Bath stone Georgian mansions and townhouses sprang up, and Bath was crowned by architectural gems such as the Royal Crescent.
The centre is compact and very very pretty. Amongst the Georgian finery you'll find the usual chains and department stores - plus lots of interesting independent shops. Food and drink outlets abound - as you'd expect for a tourist destination - and include fine dining, trendy, cosmopolitan and budget options.
Bath's family-friendly attractions include great outdoor spaces, including the 57-acre Victoria Park, with well-equipped play area, skate park, duck pond, botanical gardens, golf course, indoor and outdoor tennis, bowls, crazy golf, and cafe.
And there's the world-famous Roman Baths of course, where you can 'meet the Romans' in character. There's also a thriving City Farm. The surrounding area boasts trips up the Avon Valley Railway with Thomas the Tank Engine; Horse World in Whitchurch; and the Avon Valley Wildlife and Adventure Park.
Finally, Bath very much 'does' culture, hosting myriad exhibitions, concerts, theatres and festivals. There's even an award-winning theatre for children and young people - the Theatre Royal's 'Egg', with a family-friendly café downstairs.
See our local listings for further details and many more suggestions.