48 Hours In: Bath; Simon Calder; Independent

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Bask in the natural hot springs of the West Country’s ancient city as it celebrates 25 years as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Travel essentials

Why go now?

The entire city centre is celebrating 25 years as a Unesco World Heritage Site – and, in 2012, Bath is looking brighter than ever. The site of Britain’s only hot springs is now an exuberant source of indulgence, culture and architecture – with the signature Bath stone, in shades of honey and straw, bestowing grace and character on the city.

Touch down

Bath Spa railway station (1) is an awkward building site at present, but it has good connections to London Paddington, Cardiff, Salisbury and Southampton, with less frequent arrivals from Exeter, Plymouth, Weymouth and Gloucester. From other stations, change trains at Bristol Temple Meads or Reading. Call 08457 48 49 50 or see nationalrail.co.uk for times and fares.

By air, Bristol is the nearest airport – though there are no direct links, so again you have to go via Bristol Temple Meads. Driving and parking in Bath is difficult and frustrating.

Get your bearings

Source: 48 Hours In: Bath

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