5 Wheelchair Accessible Things To Do In Bath

Pippa in her power-chair at the Roman Baths, with the sacred waters and Bath Abbey visible in the background. Text reads '5 Wheelchair Accessible Things To Do In Bath City Centre'

[AD]. Thank you for hosting us in your beautiful city, Visit Bath!

At the beginning of June, my best friend Izzy and I ticked off a much-anticipated stop on our UK city break bucket list and spent two nights in Bath. As a destination that’s often likened to York, where I live, I was prepared for the area to be challenging to navigate as a wheelchair user. However, despite a couple of the usual access challenges that come with any city that’s so rich in history, I was totally taken aback by how much thought and resources have gone into improving accessibility and inclusion in the city centre – not only within the major tourist attractions, but throughout many independent shops and small businesses too.

Even after just a short time there, Bath has fast become one of my favourite cities in the UK. I’ll be sharing what we got up to in this blog post, and as always, would love to hear any of your own recommendations for things to do and see when I inevitably find myself there again in the future…

As a reminder, I’m an ambulatory wheelchair user with a chronic illness. I use my online platforms to share my own lived experiences and don’t represent every disabled person, but I hope some of these suggestions come in handy if you’re considering a trip of your own!

5 Wheelchair Accessible Things To Do In Bath

The following recommendations were kindly arranged for us by the team at Visit Bath:

1) Enjoy great food at Bath Pizza Co

Pippa sat at a table inside Bath Pizza Co, holding up a slice of vegan margarita pizza and smiling.

Having tried the pizzas, the vegan margherita being my dish of choice, it’s easy to see why some of the dishes at Bath Pizza Co have recently placed in the top three in the entire UK at the National Pizza Awards. There’s delicious food, the loveliest and friendliest staff, and a gorgeous and spacious environment – everything you need for a fab night out when your heart is craving some excellent pizza. Which, if you’re me, is more often than not. Reckon they would deliver to York if I asked nicely enough?

Look for the Bath Pizza Co signage, then head up the external ramp to your left if you want to access the inside seating – the bookish décor and cosy corners in here made my heart so happy. If you’d rather enjoy a spot of people-watching with your meal, head to the outdoor terrace – both indoor and outdoor seating are accessible for wheelchair users, and such a lovely way to enjoy some excellent grub.

2) Visit the historic Roman Baths2) Visit the historic Roman Baths

Pippa in her power-chair in front of green sacred waters at the Roman Baths, with Bath Abbey towering in the background.

Home to natural hot springs that have been considered sacred for centuries, people throughout time have visited the Roman Baths to worship the goddess Suils Minerva. Now, visitors can get up close to the Spring, wander around the Temple Courtyard while listening to the handheld audio guides, and imagine how the environment once used to look via the on-site museum.

Despite the history of this place dating back over 2000 years ago, we were so impressed with the access here. Though the original Roman pavements could be uneven in places, there were clear routes, platform lifts, and comprehensible signposting to help us make the most of our visit. We were even given an audio guide with a Radar key attached to it, so we could use the accessible facilities at any time without having to flag down a team member – sometimes it’s thoughtful arrangements like this that enable autonomy that make all the difference to your visit.

3) Hop on and off the Tootbus Bath bus tour

Pippa in her power-chair, looking behind her and laughing as she reverses into the wheelchair space on board the Tootbus sightseeing tour.

I absolutely love a sightseeing bus, and Tootbus was no exception. Head to any stop so the friendly drivers can deploy a ramp for you to board with your mobility aids, and you’ll soon be on your way. As an ambulatory wheelchair user who can do stairs, I chose to leave my power-chair in the designated area downstairs and sit in the open-air part of the top deck, but your view would be just as good if you remained seated in the wheelchair space. There’s a handy app to help you keep track of where you are and find your nearest stop, and we were given paper tickets by the driver when we first boarded.

We did the City Tour in Bath, hopping off midway around to explore the luscious, green Royal Victoria Park area, have a coffee and snack at Herbert’s Cafe, and then follow the river back towards the city centre. I *wish* we’d had time to do the Skyline Tour as well, which allows you to explore more of the outskirts of the area too. Next time, for sure!

4) Wander around Bath Abbey

Pippa in her power-chair in the sunshine, positioned in front of the majestic Bath Abbey with blue skies behind it.

The earliest record of Bath Abbey dates back to Anglo-Saxon times in 675AD, and the building has long been admired for the stunning architecture, known for providing ‘a moment of stillness in the beating heart of a vibrant city’. Here, you can book a guided tour, join one of their regular daily services, light a candle for a loved one, and plenty more.

Most of the venue has level access throughout, and carers accompanying disabled people can enter for free. We had a wander around the place during the early evening, taking in the incredible stained glass windows as the light outside began to fall, and the atmosphere and collective feelings of reverie among the visitors in there really was something special. I’m so glad we visited and experienced this piece of history for ourselves.

5) Rest your head in Apex City of Bath Hotel

If you’re looking for accommodation during your stay, I can highly recommend this place. In our experience, it can be rare to discover an accessible twin room that has two proper beds (rather than one double bed and a sofa/pop-up bed, so we found our stay here very comfortable. The adjoining accessible bathroom was not only functional (with grab rails, a shower seat, and an emergency pull cord) but also beautifully decorated, with a real air of luxury about it while remaining at an affordable price point. I will mention that the shower stool gave us a good giggle – it had comically short legs and slightly baffled us when we first saw it. You’re very low to the ground when you’re sat on it, and though you’re at the correct height to reach the shower dials and nearby grab rails, those of you with particular mobility or muscular conditions might need an extra hand to get down and back up again!

Our positive experience at the hotel continued with the buffet breakfast in the morning, where we found the staff were allergy-aware and knew how to cater to dietary requirements incredibly well – right down to making sure there was bread I could have and toasting this separately from the shared toasters used by other guests to avoid cross-contamination. We had such a great first experience with Apex Hotels and I’ll definitely be paying attention to where their other locations are when planning future trips…

Media image of the exterior of Apex City of Bath Hotel, showing a broad, stone-coloured building with curved corners and lots of windows. There is ramped access to the main entrance and a light-up sign saying 'Apex Hotels'.
Image Credits: Apex Hotels, City of Bath Hotel

More Accessible Recommendations For Bath

In addition to the above, we made the following plans independently…

1) Lunch at Boston Tea Party

Pippa sat at an outdoor table at Boston Tea Party, with the vegan hash dish in front of her. She's smiling, wearing dunagrees and sunglasses.

On the trusted recommendation of a friend (thank you Amber!), we had lunch at Boston Tea Party on the day of our arrival. The venue at Bath Kingsmead Square is clearly popular and was teeming with diners when we arrived. However, we managed to secure an outdoor table in a prime place for people-watching, and used the digital menu to order a bite to eat.

The staff were so lovely here and catered for dietary requirements very well, meaning we could both enjoy the Veggie/Vegan Hash. And let me tell you, that meal was to die for. I don’t say it lightly, but that giant hash brown has to be in my top five hash browns of all time. We knew we wanted to try as many different food places as possible during our trip, but each time we passed Boston Tea Party, it was hard to resist simply going back there for more. Those giant hash browns are a work of art. I said what I said.

2) Relax at Thermae Bath Spa

This spa is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally warm, mineral-rich waters, and the more I read about it, the more certain I was that we should visit. The spa is spread out over several floors, but with lift access to each one meaning we could experience as much of the facilities as we wanted to. There are accessible changing rooms, lockers at wheelchair height, and pool hoists available at each body of water for those who require them. I left my power-chair in a safe place with the  reception team, and used one of their on-site manual wheelchairs to get around the facilities during our visit.

No phones or photography are allowed and guests are required to lock their phones away, but I’ll always be able to picture the showstopper of our visit in my head – bathing in the warm, open-air rooftop pool with views of the city and Bath Abbey as the sun began to set in the evening. I avoided the steam rooms as I knew they were a risk with my autonomic symptoms, but we also spent a lot of time in the Minerva Bath indoors, where the waters naturally contain a range of health-boosting minerals. And, to my surprise, I genuinely felt the benefit of these waters on my chronic illness symptoms. I still had my usual fatigue and post-exertional malaise following our visiting slot of two hours, but for the next two days, my muscles and limbs felt much lighter and less painful than usual. It was truly a magical experience and one I’m desperate to repeat in the future – especially as they offer a great discount for disabled people and carers/companions too.

Press image of the rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa, with people bathing while taking in view of Bath and Bath Abbey in the background.
Image Credits: Visit Bath

3) Enjoy A Drink In The Bath Brew House

On an evening when we had some free time, we decided to look for an accessible pub garden to enjoy the last of the day’s sun. We landed on Visit Bath’s guide to their top beer gardens and to our delight, found that the top recommendation, The Bath Brew House, was slap bang across the road from the Apex City Of Bath Hotel the Apex City Of Bath Hotel Apex City Of Bath Hotel where we were staying.

The entire ground floor had level access all the way through, with an accessible toilet located inside, and a gentle ramp led us through to the outside area. Here, we found a huge suntrap garden with quirky décor and loads of comfy seating options all around. Perfect environment for enjoying a gin and rating people’s dogs, if you ask me…

Pub garden at Bath Brew House, showing ramped access to colourful tables and chairs, surrounded by fairly lights and walls covered in colourful graffiti art.
Image Credits: Bath Brew House

Thanks for reading! We could have easily spent more time in Bath and I’m certain I will do in the future, but I hope this post helps you to begin planning a trip of your own. In the meantime, you can watch some clips from our visit in this Instagram Reel and stay tuned for the vlog (coming soon) too!

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