The Culture of 18th Century Bath

‘Elegant seat of ease and pleasures’

Peter Medhurst with guest historians & musicians

Matthew Spring, Sara Stow & Jeremy Limb

24-29 September 2023 / 6 days from £2,299

Price based on twin share. Normal booking conditions apply

Download brochure here

For bookings contact Sandy Cornish at Tailored Travel on 01227 830624 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 0800-1600, and mornings only on Thursday and Friday 0800-1145)


In the 18th century, Bath established itself as the most elegant and popular of all European spas, with John Wood laying out its classical crescents, circles and squares, and Richard ‘Beau’ Nash leading public taste, through his role as the city’s master of ceremonies. However, Bath was more than a place of pleasure and entertainment and drew to its heart some of the leading composers, artists, writers and scientists of the day. From our beautifully positioned hotel in Queen’s Square – one of the smartest addresses in Georgian Bath – the tour explores the richness and diversity of cultural life in the elegant 18th century city.

Day 1

We meet at Victoria Coach Station before travelling Westward to have lunch in the village of Corsham, in Wiltshire. We then visit Corsham Court, a late 16th century country house, set in parkland designed by Capability Brown, and famous for its superb art collection. Later, we continue our journey to Bath, where we check into The Francis Hotel, Queen Square for our five night stay. After an optional orientation walk through the streets of central Bath, we relax over dinner together in the hotel.

Day 2

Following our morning lecture, we pay a visit to the famous Roman Baths, established in 60-70 AD around Britain’s only hot spring. The baths were one of the great attractions of the 18th century city and today are housed in period buildings, designed by father and son architects, John Wood. We enjoy a coffee break at the celebrated Pump Room before visiting the Assembly Rooms, opened in 1771 and the centre of musical life in Georgian Bath. Great names such as Venanzio Rauzzini, Thomas Linley, Ann Cantelo and Cecilia Grassi were frequent performers there. Following an included lunch, we visit the Victoria Art Gallery before exploring Bath Abbey, where Peter or the resident organist will play the organ (subject to confirmation). The evening is at leisure.


Day 3

After our morning lecture, we travel by coach to the village of Mells for a private tour of Mells Manor, residence of the Earl of Oxford and Asquith. The owner will be our guide. We follow this with a visit to the adjacent historic Church of St Andrew’s, where Peter will play the organ, and where we will view the grave of the war poet, Siegfried Sassoon. We have an included lunch together, prior to returning to Bath for time at leisure. This evening we have a private concert with Jeremy and Peter at the Holburne Museum.

Day 4

After our morning lecture with Matthew Spring, we return to the Holburne Museum for a guided tour of its superb artifacts and art collection, which includes works by Turner, Guardi, and Stubbs, and portraits of Bath society by Thomas Gainsborough. Once more, Peter gives a recital on one of the Museum’s fine pianos. We break for an included lunch, after which we spend the afternoon in the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, the house where in 1781 William Herschel – using a telescope of his own design – discovered the planet Uranus. Matthew Spring and the curator of the museum guide us around the building, telling us about Herschel’s life and interest in astronomy, as well his great passion for music. This evening we have a concert in our hotel, presented by Matthew Spring and his wife, Sara Stow. The remainder of the evening is at leisure.

Day 5

Following our usual lecture, we visit Milton Lodge, a private house with gardens that give spectacular views over Wells and its Cathedral. Our visit includes a coffee break. Lunch today is in Wells, followed by a walk through Vicar’s Close, arguably the oldest purely residential street in Europe, and where the original buildings survive unaltered. We then enjoy a guided tour of Wells Cathedral and pay a visit to the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens. We have tea at the Palace, and return to the Cathedral for choral evensong. In the evening, we meet for pre-dinner drinks at the hotel, before walking to our carefully selected restaurant for a farewell dinner.

Day 6

We check out of our hotel and make our way to the Royal Crescent Museum. Dating from 1767- 75, the Crescent is built around a lawn overlooking Royal Victoria Park and forms a sweeping edifice of 30 Grade I listed terraced houses. It is one of the glories of Bath. Our coach then takes us to Lacock, in Wiltshire, for a visit to the Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum. Founded in 1232 by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, as an Augustinian nunnery, Lacock Abbey was remodelled into a country house in 1539, but is famous today as the home of scientist and inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot. In 1835 he made what may be the earliest surviving photographic camera negative: an interior view of the oriel window in the south gallery of the abbey. Following an included lunch, we travel onward to London, where our tour concludes.

The Accommodation

We stay five nights at The Francis Hotel ( A Grade I listed building, the hotel occupies a coveted position on Queen Square moments from Pulteney Bridge, the Royal Crescent and Bath’s most popular sights. Facilities at the hotel include a bar, lounge and restaurant. The Classic Rooms feature Egyptian cotton linen, a flat screen TV, air conditioning, minibar, in-room iron and hairdryer. A welcome dinner is served in the hotel’s John Wood Room and the remaining nights are on bed and breakfast basis with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant on Day 5.

Extras to the Tour
Insurance (including Covid cover) £36
Double room sole occupancy supplement £299
Entrance fees to National Trust properties (free to National Trust members)

Tour limited to 24 passengers
Private concert at the Holburne Museum with
Jeremy & Peter
Private concert with Matthew Spring & Sara Stow
Private organ & piano recitals at Bath Abbey, Church of St Andrew’s & the Holburne Museum
Lectures on the mornings of Days 2 to 5
All excursions, guided tours & entrance fees to
non-National Trust properties included
First class central Bath hotel
Welcome & farewell dinners
All breakfasts & lunches included
Private executive coach
Listening headsets


Corsham Court, Wiltshire
Roman Baths
The Pump Room
Assembly Rooms
Victoria Art Gallery
Bath Abbey – organ recital
Mells Manor – private tour
Church of St Andrew’s – organ recital by Peter
The Holburne Museum – private concert with Jeremy & Peter, guided tour & piano recital by Peter
Herschel Museum of Astronomy – guided tour with Matthew Spring & the museum curator
Private concert with Matthew Spring & Sara Stow
Milton Lodge
Wells & Vicar’s Close
Wells Cathedral – guided tour & choral evensong
Bishop’s Palace & Gardens
Royal Crescent Museum
Lacock Abbey & the Fox Talbot Museum, Wiltshire

6 days from £2,299

Price based on twin share. Normal booking conditions apply.

24-29 September 2023


Download brochure here

For bookings contact Sandy Cornish at Tailored Travel on 01227 830624 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 0800-1600, and mornings only on Thursday and Friday 0800-1145)

Any air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Tailored Travel’s ATOL number is 5605