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Making a beeline for the main drawcards of the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey is not only instinctive, it's also a great tactic – it gives you more chance of securing a slot on the abbey's superb Tower Tours.

You could squeeze the neighbourhood's two big sights into a day, but that'd mean rushing things. Allocating two days gives you more time to soak up the atmosphere, indulge in a cream tea and head out on a walking tour. Three days could see you also relaxing at Thermae Bath Spa, having leisurely lunches and adding another museum or two.

Central Bath is best explored on foot. The bulk of the neighbourhood's sights and eateries are in the area around the Roman Baths, with busy shopping streets leading north up towards the Royal Crescent. Another swathe of mainly chain stores makes up the SouthGate shopping centre, which stretches between the baths and the train station.

During the day, central Bath is crowded with visitors – if you can, linger on into the evening, when you'll feel the city acquire a relaxed vibe, with both locals and visitors thronging restaurants and bars.