Going away for the weekend to a beautiful city like Bath is one of life’s little highlights; something to look forward to whilst you’re stuck at work all week or battling through a mountain of housework. A short city break is the perfect thing to look forward to – a new horizon to help you get you through it all. It hasn’t always been this way though. In fact, our Grade I listed guesthouse was completed only shortly before the fashion for weekend getaways really took off.
Bath has always been a popular tourist destination, thanks to its healing waters and historic spa town status, but it wasn’t until 1840 that Bath became a popular location for a weekend escape. Before 1840, the city played host to those visitors who would rent apartments and stay for weeks on end in order to enjoy the season of dancing and social occasions that Bath was renowned for. Travelling by horse and carriage (as was the only available means of transport at that point), along miles of dusty roads, took a long time so it wasn’t practical to come for a holiday of less than a week. And, only the aristocracy and landed gentry could afford the time and expense.
However, in 1840 Bath Spa railway station was completed. It’s thanks to the railway network that a far wider proportion of the population could now travel in safety, and more often, all for relatively little expense – certainly far less than previously. Doctors began to prescribe “a change of air” for increasing numbers of patients’ health, now that it was a viable option, and spa towns and seaside resorts saw visitor numbers boom as their advice was taken. Suddenly a whole world of possibilities was opened up to the general public and they took advantage of the chance for a relaxing short break in an exciting new town.
Bath was a popular choice. Its impressive Georgian architecture in clean white stone, its many beautiful formal gardens and its rich Roman history drew visitors from across the country. In addition to all that the city itself had to offer, Bath was also an ideal base from which to visit surrounding places such as Stonehenge or Weston-super-Mare.
In 1987 the city became a world heritage site and today it welcomes over a million staying visitors and over 3.8 million day visitors annually. They flock to experience the culture and history, as well as to enjoy more modern recreational activities such as watching the rugby or spending a luxury weekend in the Thermae Spa.
With so many things to see and do in Bath, guests needed great accommodation to come back to. At Dukes Hotel we try to recreate some of that Regency splendor with our luxury bedrooms and period décor. Bath is a city to escape to and we aim to help you do just that. We’re just a five minute level walk from the centre – located on the historic Great Pulteney Street – so when you’re tired out from a day spent exploring, a revitalising glass of wine and a roaring fire are only a few steps away. With the thought of all the self indulgence, what could make the working week go quicker?