With its graceful blend of Roman and Georgian architecture, and impressive townhouses in the Royal Crescent and The Circus, Bath has earned itself a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Once the holiday destination of Britain's high-society crowd, today, Bath's grandeur is in abundance. At the Fashion Museum, you can follow the changing fashions from the city's 18th-century glory days to the present.
What is the Fashion Museum Bath?
Opened by designer Doris Langley Moore in 1963, the then-named Museum of Costume's original purpose was to display her own collection. Over the years, the museum has gained almost 100,000 pieces of historic clothing - such as gowns reminiscent of Bath's heyday - and contemporary items, such as retro trainers, to track the evolution of what we wear.
Now named the Fashion Museum, it is in the Assembly Rooms, one of Bath's most-recognised Georgian buildings. Opened in 1771 as a space to hold balls and social events, the building has retained its charm. As well as visiting the Fashion Museum, you can tour some of its rooms and sit down with a hot coffee and slice of cake in its café.
What to See
Take a tour through the ages of fashion, from 17th-century gloves to sports shoes you see on the streets today. The 165 mannequins chronologically chart the changing tastes of the catwalk and high street fashions.
The museum hosts regular exhibitions, too, including the on-going A History of Fashion in 100 Objects exhibit, which travels from the 1600s to the present day in 100 pieces. Each one sums up perfectly the most prominent trends of Bath's Georgian days - including Austen's Regency period - and more recent couture designs.
If you're feeling artistic, take a sketchbook. The museum encourages drawings of its pieces. Each Saturday morning, 10:30am-12:30am, you can join the group-sketching event to sit in peace and draw the collection.
For the Family
Plan a family day out at the Fashion Museum in Bath. There's plenty of crafting and quizzes to keep kids entertained. You can try on a collection of Georgian and Victorian costumes to get the feel for life in the Regency and Victorian periods. When you're in character, take a photo with the backdrop of Bath's Royal Crescent.
Throughout the museum, little ones can follow a sticker trail that takes them on their very own tour of fashion history. There's opportunity for crafting and drawing, too. Plus, if you visit the A History of Fashion in 100 Objects exhibition, kids can take a quiz at the end.
The Fashion Museum is in the Bath Assembly Rooms, next to the Royal Crescent.
With regular fast connections from London Paddington, Bath Spa railway station is a 20-minute walk from the museum.
The bus station is a 20-minute walk from the museum. It has daily routes to and from London Victoria as well as Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
The Fashion Museum has no public parking. If you plan on driving, use Lansdown Park and Ride to get into Bath.
The Fashion Museum is open daily (except 25/26 December) 10:30am-5pm.
Tickets are £9.50 for an adult and £7.25 for a child. Family tickets are £30. You can save 10% by booking in advance online, and there are discounts for students and seniors.
What Does Your Ticket Include?
As well as access to the museum, your ticket includes a free audio guide, available in 12 languages. You can also join a 30-minute highlights tour of the museum, 12pm-4pm March-October and 12pm-3pm November-February.
Is the Fashion Museum Bath Moving?
In 2019, the museum's lease at the Assembly Rooms ended. The collection will now find a new home and move in by 2023.
Plan Your Trip to Bath
Get ready to explore the spas and museums of this UNESCO World Heritage city and find Bath hotels with Expedia.