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The Circus
Holiday Travel Guide

See this remarkable series of Georgian townhouses, built in a compelling circular shape.

The Circus consists of a circle of 33 mansions overlooking a beautiful garden. Divided into three equal terraces by intersecting streets, these identical three-story residences have been home to numerous famous occupants over the centuries. Note how each of the curved segments faces one of the three entrances, a design that ensures visitors see a gorgeous façade regardless of the entrance they choose.

Originally known as King’s Circus, this site was designed by John Wood who used the Roman Colosseum as inspiration. The area takes its name from the Latin word “circus,” which means ring, circle or oval. Wood died soon after construction of the houses began and the project was finished by his son John Wood the Younger. Several houses were completely destroyed by a German bomb attack in 1942, but they have since been carefully rebuilt and today you’ll find it difficult to differentiate them from the original buildings.

Examine the frieze that runs along the length of the circle. Consisting of more than 500 different carvings, this frieze incorporates numerous emblems, including various nautical and Masonic symbols. Look for the carved acorns set on top of the houses. The acorns are believed to be a tribute to the legend of Bath’s founding. According to the story, King Bladud discovered the city’s healing waters with the help of a pig rooting for acorns.

Read the plaques commemorating some of the famous people who have lived in the townhouses over the years. Painter Thomas Gainsborough lived at No. 17 from 1759 to 1774, while other buildings have been occupied by medical missionary David Livingstone and, more recently, actor Nicolas Cage.

Walk through the grassy area found in the center of the Circus. This area was originally paved and once acted as a reservoir that supplied water to the townhouses. The residents of the Circus converted the space into a garden in the early 19th century and it has been a green haven ever since.

The Circus is open-year round. Combine it with a trip to Bath’s other famous rounded landmark, the Royal Crescent, which is just a short walk away.

Top Trending Hotels Near The Circus

Apex City of Bath Hotel
Apex City of Bath Hotel
4 out of 5
1 James Street West, Bath, England
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Located in Bath City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Theatre Royal Bath and Roman Baths. Bath Abbey and Jane Austen Centre are also within 10 ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (1,846 reviews)

"Clean comfy rooms . Staff are friendly & helpful. Have not tried food while staying."…"

Reviewed on 29 Dec 2020

Apex City of Bath Hotel
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
5 out of 5
The price is Rs17,363 per night from 24 Feb to 25 Feb

Located in Bath City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Thermae Bath Spa, The Little Theatre Cinema and Roman Baths. Jane Austen Centre and Pulteney ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (657 reviews)

"Situation was very convenient for all Bath facilities. Hotel was clean and comfortable and in good condition. Did not like the ease of access for a motor vehicle because of the various one way systems etc although there was free temporary waiting outside."…"

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2020

The Gainsborough Bath Spa
Doubletree by Hilton Bath
Doubletree by Hilton Bath
4 out of 5
The price is Rs10,564 per night from 23 Feb to 24 Feb

Located in the heart of Bath, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Artisan Quarter, Bath Abbey and Theatre Royal Bath. Roman Baths and Thermae Bath Spa are ...

4.3/5Excellent! (86 reviews)
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"Very welcoming staff, warm cookies on arrival which the kids loved! Very memorable."…"

Reviewed on 29 Oct 2020

Doubletree by Hilton Bath
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in The Circus

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The Circus

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Apex City of Bath Hotel
Apex City of Bath Hotel
4 out of 5
1 James Street West, Bath, England
Apex City of Bath Hotel
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
5 out of 5
The price is Rs17,363 per night from 24 Feb to 25 Feb
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
Doubletree by Hilton Bath
Doubletree by Hilton Bath
4 out of 5
The price is Rs10,564 per night from 23 Feb to 24 Feb
Doubletree by Hilton Bath
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
SACO Bath - St James's Parade
SACO Bath - St James's Parade
4 out of 5
The price is Rs5,387 per night from 1 Feb to 2 Feb
SACO Bath - St James's Parade
Francis Hotel Bath - MGallery
Francis Hotel Bath - MGallery
4 out of 5
The price is Rs12,446 per night from 22 Feb to 23 Feb
Francis Hotel Bath - MGallery
Harington's Hotel
Harington's Hotel
4 out of 5
The price is Rs5,928 per night from 31 Jan to 1 Feb
Harington's Hotel
The Queensberry Hotel
The Queensberry Hotel
4 out of 5
4-7 Russel Street, Bath, England
The Queensberry Hotel
The Roseate Villa Bath
The Roseate Villa Bath
5 out of 5
Henrietta Road, Bath, England
The price is Rs12,630 per night from 23 Feb to 24 Feb
The Roseate Villa Bath
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.