Having just recently finished 2 glorious months of pet-sitting in the city, enjoying a number of awesome drinking establishments at my fingertips, I’ve put together this list of 15 of the best pubs in Bath.
Table of Contents
- Best Pubs in Bath
- 1. The Raven (Top Pub in Bath Overall)
- 2. Saracens Head (Most Historic Pub)
- 3. Coeur De Lion (Smallest Pub in Bath)
- 4. Bath Brew House (Best Beer Garden)
- 5. Ludo Bar and Kitchen (Best Rooftop Patio)
- 6. White Hart Inn (Best Pub for Food)
- 7. Ring O Bells (Coziest Pub)
- 8. The Bell Inn (Best for Live Music)+
- 9. The King of Wessex (Cheapest Drinks)
- 10. George Inn (Best Pub to Hike to)
- 11. Wheelwrights Arms (Best Sunday Lunch)
- 12. The Crystal Palace (Best Location)
- 13. Garrick’s Head (Best Pub for Couples)
- 14. Lamb & Lion (Best Sports Pub)
- 15. The Grapes (Most Eclectic Bar)
- Bath Pubs: FAQs
- In Conclusion
With two universities and a thriving tourism scene, it’s no surprise that Bath has so many great pubs, one of England’s best places to visit. Everything from taverns dating back hundreds of years steeped in history and tradition to modern cocktail bars with drink specials and rooftop patios is available.
As a permanent digital nomad, but with all my friends and family still living in the UK, I had made numerous visits to Bath. These ranged from my 10-year-old nephew to a best friend from school and my Dad, who is retired, so I could explore the full breadth of Bath pubs. There is something for everyone.
Quick Look – Best Pubs in Bath
- Top choice overall: The Raven
- Best historic pub: Saracens Head
- Cheapest pint of beer: The King of Wessex
- Fun atmosphere: Bath Brew House
- Top pub for live music: The Bell Inn
- Awesome views: Ludo Bar and Kitchen
- Best pub to watch sports: Lamb & Lion
Best Pubs in Bath
I considered several criteria when compiling the 15 best pubs in Bath. Whether you’re spending a week or weekend in Bath, there are so many great pubs to choose from, but things such as value for money, overall experience, food, drink specials, and outdoor seating were just a few of the factors that have ultimately decided my top 15. Let’s begin:
1. The Raven (Top Pub in Bath Overall)
Set over 4 floors and with 2 (and a half) bars The Raven is a great place to get a genuine English pub experience. It’s been included in the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide for 15 consecutive years and was the CAMRA pub of the year for 2023.
The Raven is a Free House, which means that it’s not tied to a specific brewery (it doesn’t mean that the beer is free – sadly), so you’re guaranteed an excellent and varying array of craft beers, ciders, stouts, lagers, and ales available. It’s really one of the best pubs in Bath city center for a great pint.
Built from two Georgian townhouses, and ideally located just a street from the main thoroughfare, be sure to stop in for a beer or two in this fantastic old pub that is steeped in British drinking tradition.
The Raven Information
Address: 7 Queen St, Bath BA1 1HE, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pm Mon-Thurs, 11 am – 12 am Fri & Sat, 11 am – 10.30 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: It’s a great place for a traditional English ale. They also serve a range of delicious hot and savory meat pies. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available.
Average Cost: $6-$7 per pint, $9 – $11 per cocktail, $12 – $16 for pies and other mains
2. Saracens Head (Most Historic Pub)
Of the many great pubs in Bath, the Saracens Head is an absolute must-visit. The pub is arguably the oldest in the city dating back to 1713 and is renowned for being the most historic pub in Bath. It even claims to have been frequented by none other than Charles Dickens.
Situated in the heart of the city center, just a few minutes walk from Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths, it’s a great stop to rest up after a busy day of sightseeing. The pub itself is a sight not to be missed.
The English pub setting is about as traditional as you can get. The wooden ceiling beams, central horseshoe bar, and cute seating nooks are like stepping back in time. The pub serves a wide range of drinks, an extensive classic pub food menu, and even shows live sports.
Saracens Head Information
Address: 42 Broad St, Bath BA1 5LP, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pm Mon-Thurs, 11 am – 12 am Fri & Sat, 11 am – 10.30 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: Just enjoy the ambiance of such a historic bar. There’s a great selection of beers, ciders, and wines. The Sunday roast dinner here is very good too.
Average Cost: $5.50 – $7 per pint, $8 – $10 wine and cocktails, $10 – $18 lunch and dinner plates
3. Coeur De Lion (Smallest Pub in Bath)
One of the most famous pubs in Bath is the Coeur De Lion, reportedly the smallest pub in the city. The Victorian watering hole with its traditional stained glass windows only seats about 20 people inside, and a handful more outside.
It’s located down a cute, bunting-lined pedestrian alleyway and it’s easy to miss this tiny place if you aren’t sure where to look.
The atmosphere is always great, and despite the small bar, I never had much of a wait very long for a drink or even struggled to get a seat. In fact, on my last visit, there were 7 of us and we were seated with no problem. I’ve seen them refuse large stag and hen parties so it’s comforting to know it never gets too rowdy for casual drinkers.
For any early starters, the Coeur De Lion opens at 10 am and serves a delicious breakfast menu – great for a hangover or to get the next day going. They also offer a menu of traditional English pub food such as fish and chips, Ploughmans, and sausages with mashed potato and gravy.
Coeur De Lion Information
Address: 17 Northumberland Pl, Bath BA1 5AR, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 10 am – 11 pm Mon-Sat, 11 am – 10.30 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: Get a seat inside and enjoy being in the smallest pub in Bath. The ales are good here, and the food is hearty and tasty. Keep it traditionally British with either a Ploughman’s lunch or sausage, mash, and gravy.
Average Cost: $5 – $6 per pint, $8 – $10 wines and cocktails, $6 – $10 breakfast options, $10 – $16 lunch and dinner plates
4. Bath Brew House (Best Beer Garden)
Just a few minutes walk away from the city center leads you to the excellent Bath Brew House. Here, you’ll find an awesome beer garden. There are several pubs in Bath with a patio but the Brew House has taken it to the next level. Its spacious and colorful garden has a retractable roof so it can be enjoyed in all weathers.
As the name suggests, the Brew House serves a selection of its own beers which are made onsite. The range includes traditional cask ales as well as craft beers and lagers. It picked up a gold certification at the Independent Beer Awards in 2022. For those of you really into your beer, can book brewery tours and experience days which are great ways to spend a day.
The clientele is varied but the Brew House seems to be one best pubs in Bath for students – perhaps being a little further away from the more popular tourist spots has its appeal. The pub itself is very warm and welcoming, and the atmosphere has always been lively during my visits.
Bath Brew House Information
Address: 14 James St W, Bath BA1 2BX, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 12 pm – 12 am, Mon-Wed, 12 am – 1 am Thurs-Sat, 12 am – 11 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: The house-brewed beers are excellent. I really liked Warrior – a 5.5% IPA. The food is pretty tasty too. I recommend 2 or 3 plates from the starter options to accompany a house beer.
Average Cost: $5.50 – $7 per pint, $6.50 – $12 wine and cocktails, $7.50 – $8.50 starter plates, $11 – $17 lunch and dinner plates
5. Ludo Bar and Kitchen (Best Rooftop Patio)
Okay, so not strictly a pub but Ludo is worthy of a place on this list for several reasons. It would rank highly on a list of 15 of the best sports bars I’ve ever been to, but it’s the two rooftop terraces that truly sell this spot in Bath. The garden patios offer panoramic views of the city – ideal for a sunny day with something cold to sip on.
The bar itself has over 30 HD TVs and a state-of-the-art sound system set up in an elegant, modern, and particularly inviting bar. Pretty much any significant sporting fixture is sure to be available on the screens here.
The food is also really good; a classic bar menu of burgers, nachos, steaks, wings, and pizza is available throughout the day and evening. Ludo is one of the best bars in Bath for casual drinking, sporting events, and chilling out with a great view over the city.
Ludo Bar and Kitchen Information
Address: 9 Brunel Square, Bath BA1 1SX, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pm Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Enjoy a few beers or a cocktail on the rooftop patio looking out over the wonderful Bath skyline. Stop in for the great atmosphere during a sporting event, especially during English Premier League football matches.
Average Cost: $5 – $6.50 bottled beers and pints, $13 cocktails, $7.50 – $12 wines, $15 – $10 lunch and dinner plates
6. White Hart Inn (Best Pub for Food)
I was lucky enough to have one of the best pubs in Bath for food right on my doorstep. On the other side of the Avon Canal, a few minutes walk behind Bath Spa station is the quieter suburb of Widcombe. This is the place I called home for most of my stay and it’s where you’ll find the excellent White Hart Inn.
The pub itself sits atop Widcombe Parade, the main high street. It has an inviting and cozy indoor restaurant with ample seating as well as a delightful courtyard area for nicer weather. The staff are super friendly and helpful and it’s a really pleasant place to visit for a drink, food, or both.
The pub has appeared in the Michelin Guide in previous years, so my expectations were high, and yet the White Hart didn’t disappoint. The daily menu is full of quality dishes with an emphasis on locally sourced produce. I had the pork fillet wrapped in pancetta, chorizo, and potato terrine. It was delicious.
White Hart Inn Information
Address: Widcombe Hill, Bathwick, Bath BA2 6AA, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm Tues & Wed, 12 pm – 11 pm Thurs – Sat, 12 pm – 4 pm Sun, closed Monday
Must-Try Items: Their menu changes on a regular basis to keep food locally sourced and seasonal. If it’s available, I highly recommend the pork fillet.
Average Cost: $6 – $7 per pint, $8 – $10 wine and cocktails, $22 – $28 lunch and dinner plates
7. Ring O Bells (Coziest Pub)
Now you know where Widcombe is, let’s take a trip to the Ring O Bells. The suburb of Bath is just a few minutes walk from the center of Bath and not many tourists find themselves heading in this direction. It’s often much quieter than the busy center, especially on weekends.
The Ring O Bells is a really cozy pub in Bath; great for spending a few hours in. It has the feeling of a small village pub, is often comfortably occupied by friendly locals, and serves a solid selection of beer and food.
The pub itself isn’t huge but there’s a large upstairs area that doubles up as a function room and opens for sporting events. There’s also a secret beer garden hidden via the upstairs exit where patrons can enjoy additional outside seating on sunny days.
Ring O Bells Information
Address: 10 Widcombe Parade, Bath BA2 4JT, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 12 pm – 11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Get a seat in the window if possible, it’s a great people-watching spot. On warmer days be sure to locate the secret beer garden. The food here is great, try the Ring O Bells burger – it’s a delicious bargain at $12.
Average Cost: $5.50 – $6.50 per pint, $9 – $11 wine and cocktails, $6 – $8 appetizers, $11 – $13 lunch and dinner plates
8. The Bell Inn (Best for Live Music)+
One of the best pubs in Bath with live music is The Bell Inn. This historic Free House and live music venue is owned by 500 of its customers, fans, and employees giving it a real community spirit. They have live music 3-4 nights a week, with performances ranging from blues and jazz to ska and rock. Be sure to check out their gig guide.
Events at The Bell Inn are always free to attend and all are welcome. Live music is every Monday, Wednesday, Sunday, and every other Tuesday. They host open mic nights on Thursdays and DJ nights at weekends, and with 9 real ales on tap too, what’s not to love?
4 days a week The Bell Inn opens up ‘the smallest pizzeria in the world‘. Also known as The Pizza Bike, they offer up delicious sourdough pizzas straight from their beer garden.
The Bell Inn Information
Address: 103 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BW, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 4 pm – 11 pm Mon & Tues, 1 pm – 11 pm Weds-Sat, 12 pm – 10.30 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: Get yourself down for some live music. It’s a great pub to watch a gig. 9 real ales on tap give punters a healthy choice of beer too.
Average Cost: $5 – $6 per pint, $11 – $15 pizzas
9. The King of Wessex (Cheapest Drinks)
If you’re unfamiliar with the British pub chain Wetherspoons, you’ve been missing out. With over 900 locations across the UK, they offer some of the cheapest prices you’ll come across pretty much anywhere. Most cities have a few ‘Spoons’ or ‘Wethers’ pubs, as we Brits call them. Bath has just one – The King of Wessex.
The King of Wessex isn’t the most glamorous of pubs. Even by Wetherspoons’ standards, it’s far from the best branch, but for the prices, you can’t complain. Many other pubs in the chain are located in listed buildings or former banks, churches, theaters, and post offices. But as we say where I come from, ‘Spoons does the job’, and Bath’s is no different.
The drinks are the cheapest around, and the food although fairly basic is always hearty and prompt. Most meals come with a drink included too. There are weekly deals to be had on top of the already insanely low prices. It’s a great place for when you’ve almost spent your daily budget, but still need a burger and a beer.
The King of Wessex Information
Address: 5-10 James St W, Bath BA1 2BX, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 8 am – 12 am Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: It’s hard to look past the burger and a beer (or any drink) option, but my preference is to have three of their starters as a main – I always opt for chicken wings, loaded nachos, and halloumi fries.
Average Cost: $2.50 – $6 per pint, $4 – $8 wine and cocktails, $5 – $15 appetizers, lunch, and dinner plates
10. George Inn (Best Pub to Hike to)
If you’re looking to take a reasonable walk and find an off-track pub in Bath, I suggest the George Inn. Situated just steps from the Avon Canal, and around a 50-minute gentle stroll from Bath city center, it’s an ideal pub to hike to.
The walk from Bath is scenic, pleasant, and mostly flat. Walking beside the canal, you’ll pass a number of locks, riverboats, and pretty countryside along the way. The George Inn is very much a traditional English country pub, with a well-maintained decor and a warm and inviting atmosphere.
They offer an extensive menu of pub classics, and what looks to be a terrific Sunday roast dinner. We hadn’t booked and couldn’t get a table for food! But it looked great and the pleasant beer garden and courtyard patio were nice for a few beers after walking from Bath. Learn from my experience to call ahead if you plan to visit…
George Inn Information
Address: Mill Lane, Bath BA2 6TR, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pm Mon-Fri, 9.30 am – 11 pm Sat, 9.30 am – 10.30 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: The Sunday roasts look delicious, but be sure to book a table. Otherwise, there’s ample outdoor seating to sip a few beers after the hike from Bath. They serve Tribute which is a great ale from the southwest of England.
Average Cost: $5.50 – $6.50 per pint, $10 – $12 wine and cocktails, $16 – $25 lunch and dinner plates
11. Wheelwrights Arms (Best Sunday Lunch)
One of my favorite pubs near Bath for a Sunday Lunch is the Wheelwrights Arms. I discovered this place whilst out on a hike and was delighted to find such a nice pub after a morning of steep hills. It’s located in the tiny village of Monkton Combe, which is a good 1 hour hike from Bath, but much more easily accessible by car if you don’t fancy the trek.
Sunday lunch is still a pretty big deal in the UK. Many families continue to get together once a week in pubs or at home to eat a hearty meal that generally includes roasted meat, potatoes, vegetables, and Yorkshire puddings, covered in a thick gravy. Most pubs will offer their own take and the Wheelwrights Arms serves up a cracking version of this Sunday-must.
It’s a delightfully English country setting, in such a small village that the pub really is the social hub. The immaculate bar and restaurant clearly prides itself on service and the quality of the food being served. I had an excellent lunch here, but be sure to book ahead, I was lucky to get a table.
Wheelwrights Arms Country Inn & Pub Information
Address: Church Ln, Monkton Combe, Bath BA2 7HB, United Kingdom
Must-Try Items: The Sunday lunches here are really good, I had the pork belly option and it was delicious. They also have a nice selection of local beers I hadn’t seen anywhere else and a great wine list.
Average Cost: $6 – $7.50 per pint, $11 – $14 wine and cocktails, $20 – $30 lunch and dinner plates, $20 Sunday roast
12. The Crystal Palace (Best Location)
Stumbling across The Crystal Palace I felt as though I’d found the most popular pub in Bath. This large Georgian pub is located right near some of Bath’s biggest attractions. Across a public square from the famous Sally Lunn’s Eating House and a minute’s walk or so from Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths, The Crystal Palace was a great find after a morning sightseeing.
Standing at the entrance I questioned whether I’d be waiting an hour for a seat, let alone food service. The pub is pretty huge though and has a sizeable courtyard and ample seating throughout. I needn’t have worried, you order everything at the bar and the food comes as promptly as it would anywhere.
For such a central location I was surprised by the price. I expected to pay a premium for such a popular location. The food was very reasonable, the drinks were on par with any other pub, and I couldn’t fault the service and experience overall.
The Crystal Palace Information
Address: 10-11 Abbey Grn, Bath BA1 1NW, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pm Mon-Sat, 12 pm – 10.30 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: Their daily lunch menu seems to vary weekly but is a great deal – I had the pulled pork sandwich and it was delicious. Get a seat in the courtyard if you can, it’s a great setting for lunch.
Average Cost: $5 – $7 per pint, $10 – $12 wine and cocktails, $10 – $14 lunch specials, $16 – $20 lunch and dinner mains
13. Garrick’s Head (Best Pub for Couples)
In an elegant building attached to the Georgian Theatre Royal is the Garrick’s Head, a great spot for food, drinks, and watching the world go by. A popular pre/post theater location given its proximity to the Georgian playhouse next door, the Garrick’s Head is perfectly placed to allow views onto a large European-style piazza.
The cozy atmosphere inside and the beautiful outside floral arrangements adorning the entrance make it an ideal spot for a romantic meal or quiet drink with a loved one. It’s earned my award as one of the best pubs in Bath for couples.
The pub has a reputation for great ale and cider but don’t rule out the comprehensive wine and spirits list. They offer over 20 wines by the glass and have no less than 50 different whiskies available.
Garrick’s Head Information
Address: 7-8, St John’s Pl, Bath BA1 1ET, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 10 am – 11:45 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: On a nice day, be sure to try and get a seat on the front patio, it’s a great people-watching spot. The extensive drink list, predominantly the wine by the glass is a great way to find a new favorite or two.
Average Cost: $5 – $7 per pint, $6 – $8 wine, $10 cocktails, $10 – $20 appetizers, salads, lunch and dinner plates
14. Lamb & Lion (Best Sports Pub)
Now, it may not have as many screens as Ludo does, but the Lamb & Lion is a great place to watch a game. They have a big projector screen and numerous plasma TVs that show several notable sporting events. It’s one of the most fun pubs in Bath thanks to its local vibe that can often be missing from some of the more tourist-dominated spots.
The large beer garden is very appealing during brighter days but is partly covered for all weather eventualities. There are even a couple of screens outside for watching sports too.
The food is straightforward pub grub that’s only pipped by The King of Wessex for price. Expect to see everything from small starter plates to steaks, burgers, and fish and chips on their extensive menu. They also have an all-day, everyday deal on liquor drinks where you can double up your cocktail for around $2.50 extra – a great (all be it, dangerous) saving.
Lamb & Lion Information
Address: 15 Lower Borough Walls, Bath BA1 1QU, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 11 am – 11 pm Mon – Thurs, 11 am – 12 am Fri & Sat, 12 pm – 10 pm Sun
Must-Try Items: They offer great deals on cocktails. Buy a single shot of any liquor, and get an extra shot for $2.50. The burger and a beer for under $15 is also hard to say no to.
Average Cost: $5 – $7 per pint, $5 – $7 wines, $12 cocktails, $6 – $8 appetizers, $10 – $16 lunch and dinner plates
15. The Grapes (Most Eclectic Bar)
A public house since 1792, The Grapes is an award-winning bar with live music, an event space, and accommodation. They host a number of varied events such as drawing classes, book clubs, songwriter circles, and sustainability business meet-ups. It’s also one of the best pubs in Bath for traditional music, with regular Thursday-night Irish Folk Sessions.
It really is a pub cut from a different cloth. You are just as likely to see the staff mixing vinyl as you would see them mixing cocktails. The Grapes is a great place to come to explore some new spirits, ciders, and beers. They champion locally produced British brewers and distillers here and stock a hefty bar with drinks you won’t find in many other places.
It’s certainly a different pub experience but one that’s friendly, welcoming, and not to be missed.
The Grapes Information
Address: The Grapes, 14 Westgate St, Bath BA1 1EQ, United Kingdom
Operating Hours: 12 pm – 1 am Mon-Thurs, 12 pm – 2 am Fri & Sat, 12 pm – 12 am Sun
Must-Try Items: They have a packed events calendar filled with all sorts of entertainment, so there’s bound to be something cool going on. Be sure to explore their extensive range of gins and vodkas – you’ll find drinks here that you can’t get anywhere else.
Average Cost: $5 – $7 per pint, $8 – $10 wine and cocktails
Bath Pubs: FAQs
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about the best pubs in Bath, UK:
The best pubs in Bath are The Raven, the Saracens Head, and The Bath Brew House. Though there are an exceedingly high number of great pubs in Bath that are all worth a visit, these 3 stand out in particular. Between them, they offer a nice slice of history and culture, great food, a nice setting, and an excellent choice of drinks.
No, you do not need to tip in Bath. It is very uncommon to give a bartender a tip for serving you a drink (though I’m sure they would be grateful!). It is, however, common to tip after being served a meal in a restaurant but it’s generally quite unusual when ordering drinks in a pub. A 10% figure is normally adequate for good service after a meal.
The best neighborhood for pubs in Bath has to be the city center. Though this encompasses quite a broad area, everywhere is walkable and quite close-knit. You’ll find that a number of great pubs are easily within a 5-10 minute walk of one another around the center of Bath.
The average pint of beer or cider in Bath is around $5. Though actual prices will vary from pub to pub and depending on the type of drink you order, I found $5 to be a pretty good average whilst out for a drink. Traditional ales and ciders are generally a bit cheaper than the ‘mainstream’ lagers. Craft beers will usually cost a little more.
The most famous pub in Bath is the Saracens Head. which dates back to 1713 and is also considered the oldest in the city. It’s also said that Charles Dickens was once a patron of the pub and even stayed there for a while. It’s ideally located in the center, close to many of the main attractions, and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
There are several great streets for bars in Bath. Consider checking out James Street West where you’ll find the King of Wessex and The Bath Brew House. On the corner of Queen Street and Quiet Street is an excellent pub, The Raven, and not far from here on Broad Street is the Saracens Head.
The best area for nightlife in Bath is to be found around the city center. Here, you’ll find within easy walking distance a number of great pubs, cocktail bars, and clubs. Consider kicking things off on James Street West where you can stop in at the King of Wessex for some very cheap drinks and the excellent beer garden at The Bath Brew House.
Locals do frequent many of the pubs in Bath. The Lamb & Lion certainly has a real local feel with a terrific beer garden. It’s also a great place to watch live sports. Across the river and a 10-minute walk from the center in Widcombe, an area most tourists don’t head to, is the Ring O Bells which certainly attracts a number of residents of the area.
There are a lot of pubs in Bath. I can’t find an official total, but rest assured, pubs are a stalwart of the Bath scene and a great pub is usually only ever a few minutes walk away. Whether you’re looking for food, drinks, or both, there’s something for everyone in Bath.
Bath is a great place for a night out. There are so many great pubs and cocktail bars that you could easily make a walkable route that encompasses many terrific establishments. Whether you are looking for a quiet night out, or preparing for a ‘mad one’, Bath will be able to accommodate you.
I really enjoyed my time in Bath and having so many great pubs on my doorstep certainly played a major part in that. Being able to simply walk to great historic pubs like the Saracens Head, or chill in the excellent beer garden at The Bath Brew House was a real treat during my time in the city.
What I loved most, was the variance found in Bath pubs. Though they all essentially serve the same purpose – selling beer and food – the pubs make a special effort to be unique. Perhaps being a popular tourist city, as well as having two universities, is the reason for this. So, whether you’re local to the area or simply visiting, there’ll be a great Bath pub to suit you.