Celebrating our heritage

[World Heritage Day 2019]

Bath’s celebration of World Heritage Day 2023 will be centered on the Guildhall this year with a free event for residents and visitors.

On Saturday 4 March, from 11am – 3pm – you’ll be able to discover 2,000 years of Bath’s spa history, and find out why the city is one of the Greatest Spa Towns in Europe.    

There will be something for all the family including guided walks, short talks, craft activities and displays presented by museums and heritage organisations from across the city. Visitors will be able to:

  • See historic spa-related objects and visitor books from the Roman Baths collection
  • Enjoy a relaxing hand massage from Bath College Spa and Complementary Therapies students
  • Try on costumes and explore the lives of medical men commemorated in Bath Abbey
  • Have a go at Plasticine modelling with the Museum of Bath at Work, and find out how Plasticine changed our understanding of creativity and sculpture
  • Use their senses to imagine a visit to Cleveland Pools, including things to feel and smell
  • Go back in time with a virtual visit to Bath’s Mineral Water Hospital as it was in 1742 and take part in fun, medical-themed activities with Bath Medical Museum
  • Make a scented body scrub for some pampering back home

Costumed characters Richard ‘Beau’ Nash (Bath’s famous master of ceremonies) and Dr William Oliver (Georgian physician and inventor of the Bath Oliver biscuit) will be meeting visitors and posing for photos. You may be offered a medicinal biscuit by Dr Oliver or questioned about your etiquette by Beau Nash!

Volunteers from the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides will be leading free 45-minute guided walks of Bath’s Spa Quarter, highlighting Bath’s long spa history. These will set out every 10 minutes from the Guildhall, between 11.15am and 2.55pm.

Free short talks on the theme of Bath’s spa heritage will be presented at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm. Talk topics will include the spa history of Bath, and the Great Spa Towns of Europe World Heritage Site.

Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “After three years of virtual celebrations, it’s great that we can mark World Heritage Day 2023 with a free event that’s open to everyone. This year’s celebrations will focus on Bath as a spa destination, and the city’s rare second inscription as a World Heritage Site as one of the Great Spa Towns of Europe. We hope lots of people will come along and enjoy a fun day out while discovering more about our city’s amazing heritage.”

World Heritage Sites are places of global significance, telling the story of our cultural evolution and natural beauty. Bath enjoys a rare status as a double inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1987 the city was inscribed as a World Heritage Site due to its Roman remains, hot springs, 18th-century architecture, 18th-century town planning, the landscape setting of the city, and the way in which Georgian Bath helped create a more ordered and ‘polite’ society. In 2021, the city received a second inscription as one of the 11 Great Spa Towns of Europe – fashionable spa towns laid out around natural springs which are used for health and wellbeing.

No booking is required – just come along on the day. For more information, please visit www.bathworldheritage.org.uk.

Twitter: @BathWHS

Facebook: Bath World Heritage Site