Our guide to the best riverside bars and restaurants in Bath

15 September 2022

There’s nothing better to do in Bath in summer than sip a frosty one by the banks of the river Avon, as the sun sparkles on the water. 

But where’s the best place in the city for riverside drinks or al fresco dining? Here’s a quick roundup of our favourite haunts, offering beautiful views and a chance to watch life on the river go by. 

The Bathwick Boatman

Only 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre, you’ll find the Bathwick Boatman. It sits in an old rowing clubhouse on one of the prettiest stretches of the Avon, with a cosy, traditional ambience and gorgeous river views.

The menu at this relaxed riverside eatery is a cut above the rest, offering simple, honest food made on the premises from the freshest produce. It also offers an exceptional selection of puddings, should you have any room left. 

The Bathwick Boatman is ideal for river day trippers too, as there’s a boating station just below the restaurant. You can hire a boat there, or hop off your own to enjoy a light lunch or coffee. 

The Boater

Located just off the iconic Pulteney Bridge, The Boater offers traditional pub grub and a great selection of drinks. It also has the honour of having one of the largest beer gardens in Bath, in the form of a split-level riverside garden with views towards the weir. It has an outside bar, barbecue and a fantastic atmosphere in summer.  

The Bathampton Mill

You’ll need to head outside the city for this one, but it’s well worth the trip. In fact, you can even enjoy a walk there along the river, taking just under an hour from central Bath. 

The Bathampton Mill is a tranquil gastropub with expansive beer gardens and lots of cosy little nooks inside. You can nibble at delicious Mediterranean sharing plates, dip into the extensive beer and wine list and watch the tourist boats float by. 

The Locksbrook Inn

It may not be on the River Avon, but its close – and the Locksbrook Inn still offers everything you’d want in a peaceful waterside pit stop. This recently refurbished gastropub sits on the banks of the canal in Lower Weston. 

It’s run by the award-winning Bath Pub Company, who also own popular Bath pubs such as the Marlborough Tavern and the Hare and Hounds. While you watch boats serenely drift under the nearby bridge, you can tuck into sharing plates and individual pizzas, all freshly made by a talented team. 

Ponte Vecchio

This buzzing Italian restaurant boasts some of the most scenic views in the city. From its elevated terrace, you can not only see the famous Pulteney Bridge, but the river and the weir too. It’s impossibly romantic at night, as the lights of the city twinkle on the river. The menu is authentic Italian, from bruschetta and caprese through to parmigiana and arrabbiata. Just make sure to book ahead, as it’s understandably popular.

Want to stay by the river too? Take a look at our gorgeous selection of Bath apartments and houses with river views, including St John’s Riverside Mews, Argyle Riverview, and Argyle Upon Avon.