Located behind the iconic Theatre Royal, the Ustinov specializes in progressive work from local, student, and touring companies. Opened in the late 1990s, the studio space has transformed into a radically redesigned black box theater that leads the country in contemporary art performances. The intimate settings house many progressive in-house productions and devised entertainment using every imaginable performance medium there is. You are as likely to see new work as completely revamped adaptations of classic scripts and stories.
Arriving by train from London, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, is the first impressive building that visitors will notice. On the riverside just before the railway station, it boasts the tallest spire in Bath and was built in 1862. Unusual rococo inside with pillars of Red Devonshire marble either side of the aisle, an ornate altar and ceiling, it's a large peaceful church rarely crowded for services. Also fairly original, next to the votive candle stand (an exclusively Catholic phenomenon), is a book where people write in the objects of their prayers. Visiting Polish priests occasionally celebrate mass here.
John Wood the Younger's masterpiece, often called the 'finest crescent in Europe' was built between 1767 and 1775, and has housed many famous residents including the Prince of Wales and Duke of York, first and second sons of George III. It consists of one hundred and fourteen Ionic columns supporting a continuous cornice over two hundred yards long. Originally divided into thirty choice mansions, today the middle buildings form the elegant and sumptuous Royal Crescent Hotel and the museum.
If you want to experience the best views of Bath, then head for Alexandra Park in Bear Flat. Access to the park is by a long flight of steps, otherwise known as Jacob's Ladder. At the top you can see for miles. If the children have not yet dropped from exhaustion, then direct them to the small play area while you prepare yourself for the downhill strait. Wimps can also gain access to the park by car from Shakespeare Avenue.
Opened in 1805, the historic Georgian theater is arranged in the classic horseshoe shape and boasts of an atmosphere which is both intimate and grand. London productions often have previews here or begin their tours at The Royal, after leaving the West End. However, the theater is also used by local amateur groups such as the Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society. The interior provides improved leg room and seating is plentiful, but booking is advisable. The best seats are in the stalls and Royal Circle, and each level has its own fully stocked bar. Standing tickets are available for sell-out performances, these offer great value for money and there is the added advantage that you'll be first to the bar at the interval.
The Little Theatre Cinema is a glorious little gem that primarily showcases art house, foreign or classic movies and has a strong local following. The owners are very knowledgeable film lovers and will happily discuss the merits of the productions on display. The choice of movies are diverse and often alternative and unconventional. They were the first cinema in Bath to show the uncut version of the Tarantino classic, Reservoir Dogs; a brave move that introduced a different generation of cinema goers to the delights of The Little Theatre Cinema.
Located in the tranquility of rural surroundings adjacent to Chew Valley Lake (perfect for the fishermen/women and watersports enthusiasts amongst you) this establishment also enjoys views of the Mendip Hills. Colorful gardens skirt the farm house and there is also a patio area for guests to enjoy. A large oak-beamed room serves as lounge and dining room and is full of character, including an original water well. The farm is open from March to November.
One of the most active churches in the city, Widcombe Baptist Church is a light airy building with no traditional trappings, statues or paintings. Plenty of young people worship here; there's plenty of enthusiastic singing from the friendly congregation and an unobtrusive welcome. The sermon is the main part of the service though and, particularly when Rupert Bentley-Taylor is taking the service, can be the best in Bath.
Literally in the shadow of the Abbey, this box-shaped little church could hardly be a greater contrast. And for Seventh-Day Adventists Sunday comes on Saturday here as that was the Old Testament day of rest. Relatively rare here as the denomination first started in this country with a mission in Southampton in 1878, this church was only dedicated in 1959. Informality and the Bible rule, and the hour long service is largely attended by a West-Indian congregation.
The first stone of this impressive Gothic-Revival style church was laid in 1814, and the building was completed by 1820 at a cost of GBP14,226. Added to at various times since, it's the Bathwick parish church, and inside are frescoes, paintings, an elaborate high altar, plus Italian marble in the Lady Chapel. As you might expect from this description of typical Italian style opulence rarely seen in Anglican churches, the services are High Church ornate affairs with bells and smells familiar to Catholics of a certain age. A good choir and elaborate organ pipes complete the effect.
Hidden amongst the many craft and antique shops of the Tithe Barn Workshops is a small gallery. Hand-painted frames are available for sale, as well as many modern prints and summer period pieces made to look like oil paintings by using a technique called oilography. Regular exhibitions feature regional artists, and you may be lucky enough to find some work by Robert Heindel, an American ballet artist. The shop also has a good stock of locally produced Farmhouse Blue Pottery as well as candlesticks and similar gift items.