See our selection of the top museums in Bath below:
Collection of contemporary and historical dress, including 18th, 19th and 20th-century menswear and womenswear, contemporary fashion, accessories, corsets, British fashion, Dress of the Year and collections worn by particular women. Audio guides are available, and the museum also boasts a large book and gift-shop and café.
Located on a quiet side-street, The Herschel Museum of Astronomy is housed within a Georgian townhouse and is the place where famous astronomer and telescope-maker William Herschel lived and first discovered Uranus in 1781, using a telescope which he designed himself. Dedicated to William and his astronomer sister Caroline, the museum is spread over three floors of the house and also includes the garden. It showcases a variety of astronomical and musical artefacts, as well as a small cinema. Various lectures, solar observation, workshops, astronomical quizzes and local events are held at the museum through the year.
Bath Postal Museum was founded in 1979 and moved to its current building in 1984, in which the first-recorded posting of a Penny Black occurred in 1840. The building itself is a grade II listed building and the museum contains artefacts such as quills, ink wells, post boxes, stamp boxes, post corns, mail coaches, letter and postcards and it charts the history of the post from 2000BC to the present day. A history of the British postbox and replica Victorian post office are other notable features.
Although this building might not look like much from the outside, it has a 260-year history and was in fact the first Theatre Royal outside of the capital, before evolving into first a Catholic chapel and subsequently a Masonic Lodge which is still used today. One-hour guided tours are available on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays at 11am or 2:30pm and on Saturday at 2:30pm, during which visitors can stand on the stage, see the original eighteen century scenery loft, visit the chapel, enter the vaults and view one of the grandest Masonic Halls in the country, together with a collection of fine Masonic artefacts. The Masonic temple also plays host to various exhibitions, conferences, dinners and performances throughout the year.
Formed by Thomas William Holbourne, born 1793, the collection at the Holbourne Museum includes porcelain, silver, Italian bronzes, portraits (including by Stubbs and Gainsborough), miniatures, landscapes (including by Turner), books, furniture, Roman glass, coins, enamels and gems. The museum is the official museum of the University of Bath.