I have just returned from a 3 night break in Bath, which we found was plenty long enough to get out of it what you wanted.
Bath really is a beautiful city and worth a visit to see the beautiful Georgian buildings, which are absolutely beautiful when the sun shines on them.
No trip to Bath would be complete without a visit to the Roman baths. They are expensive to get into, but well worth the cost. You are completely free to wander around at your own pace and spend as much time there as you would like.
The Bath abbey is also worth a visit. A £2 entry donation is appreciated but by no means complusory. Again you are free to stay as long as you'd like.
We'd also very much recommend the Bizzare Bath comedy walk. This was the highlight of our visit and worth loads more than the £8 we paid to join!! The free Bath walking tour put on by the council is also very good and a perfect thing to do on your first morning to get an insider view of the city.
Don't bother with the open top buses. They were quite expensive and didn't tell us anything that we hadn't already learnt from the free walking tour!
Bath is a city I had only passed through, but recently decided to spend more time there. I was not disappointed in this historic city. There are so many attractions to see and it is full of history. Wandering by the river and through the parks offer pleasant spaces to relax if you need a break from walking in the main streets.
Of course, when we were there, the place was packed with tourists, it being a sunny weekend, but even so the place was far from being overcrowded. We were able to wander around at our leisure, taking photos and stopping to look at the historic buildings. It might have also helped in that we followed teh guidebook walking tour in reverse order.
I have already written an earlier review on the Roman Baths so will not go into any detail about them, suffice it to say that it is worthwhile visiting them.
So what else is on offer in Bath? Well, for starters I suggest you pop into the tourist information centre and pick up a leaflet and map, or a small booklet costing a couple of pounds. From these you will be able to follow a map taking you around the major attractions.
The Tourist Information Centre is situated in Abbey Chambers, right outside the Abbey, so it is easy to locate. They have lots of leaflets on the different attractions, can help you find accommodation and can help with other queries.
I have to say though that I was rather surprised at the somewhat offhand way the assistants spoke to some foreign tourists. Their English was not too good, but the assistant was obviously fed up of being asked the same questions and made her irritation known. Her colleague was the same when asked for her advice. Hopefully this was just the two assistants having an off-day and not the usual manner of dealing with overseas visitors.
Bath is on the tourist agenda for visitors from all over the world and I sincerely hope the group of Japanese tourist who asked for advice, didn't think we are all as rude as those assistants. If they don't want to help people, they are in the wrong job!
Anyway, just across the square from the Tourist Information Centre is the abbey. Situated in the centre of the town this is well worth a visit. Photography is permitted inside the abbey. Opening times vary according to the season and there are times when entry is restricted due to services. However, more information is available on their website
Outside the abbey there are lots of seats where you can have a short time to relax and gaze at the surrounding buildings.
Have you ever eaten a Sally Lunn? This is a kind of semi sweet bread bun, and you can visit the Sally Lunn tea shop and take refreshments, with of course, the famous bun. There are different versions of why it is called a Sally Lunn, according to which tourist leaflet you read, but if you visit the Sally Lunn Museum you can see the kitchen which Sally Lunn used over 300 years ago. This is a short walk from the abbey area.
Towards the other end of town is the Royal Crescent. This is stunning, there are simply no other words to describe this crescent of townhouses. From the outside the curving terrace of houses is a sight of architetural excellence. Although it must be good to live in such splendid houses, I would surely become irritated by the hordes of visitors standing on the pavement outside my front door!
If you are curious about what a Georgian house looks like inside, step into No 1 Royal Crescent, looked after by the Bath Preservation Trust. This is now a museum and was the first house to be built in the street. Admire the re-created atmosphere of what life was like in Georgian times by visiting the dining room, bedroom and kitchens. Admission is 5 GBP, less for concessions and children and the house is open from 10.30 am until 5 pm from mid February until the end of November (4 pm close in November), and the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.
Other museums looked after by the Bath Preservation Trust are The Building of Bath Mseum, Beckford's Tower and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit these, so I cannot comment on what they are like, apart from what is on the tourist leaflets which you can obtain yourself.
JANE AUSTEN CENTRE
If you are a fan of Jane Austen, then you may already know that she often visited Bath and lived there for five years from 1801 to 1806. Her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are set in the city.
A Georgian town house in the heart of the city, at 40 Gay Street, is now the Jane Austen Centre. This is open at varying times, according to the time of year. More details are available on the webside www.janeausten.co.uk
Inside the house your tour begins with an introductory talk and then you can wander around and explore the exhibits. These include replica costumes of the kind Jane would have worn.
There is also a gift shop and tea room at the centre.
Of course Bath is a spa town where the waters are said to have healing qualities. You can bathe in the thermal waters at the Thermae bath Spa in the Hetling Pump Room in Hot Bath Street. There are no joining fees or membership charges, but you should check out the website www.thermaebathspa.com for opening times and booking information.
Inside there are four bathing pools and a series of steam rooms, with additional spa treatments available. Very therapeutic after a hard day trekking around the sights, and one which I would highly recommend! You can hire bathrobes, towels and slippers so all you have to do is take yourself along and unwind!
In the area around Bath there are various other attractions. Longleat, the safar park is in nearby Warminster. Wookey Hole and Caves, Cheddar Gorge and the Fleet Air Museum are in Somerset, around 20 miles away, making a visit possible when combined with a stay in Bath.
Bath is situated a short distance from junction 18 of the M4, along the A46, or along the A4 from Bristol.
Car parks rapidly fill up in peak times, so do arrive early if you driving into the city. There are numerous disabled spaces available, but even these involve a walk to see the main attractions.
It is best if you can avoid the main tourist seasons if you want to make the best of your visit. Coach parties descend on the town and you may find yourself stuck in a long queue to get into the attractions, or have your photos blocked by groups of visitors. However, as I mentioned earlier in my review, although we visited on a Sunday in August, the place was bustling but not so severely overcrowded that we were unable to enjoy the visit. Apparently Saturdays are the busiest times, and also Bank Holidays.
Ooh-ar, Ooh-ar. "I’ve got a brand new combine harvester and I’ll give you the key....." In the world of Tourism there are a few essential ingredients needed if you are to be classed as an A grade attraction for international visitors. Here are some general rules. 1) Firstly, you need some old buildings, crumbling ones if possible, and preferably with some sort of religious significance. If your old buildings have a shady past (i.e. they have been centres for human sacrifice or some sort of religious genocide) then all the better as there is no better crowd pleaser than a bit of blood and gore. If you haven’t got blood & gore then your attraction must have a dynamic piece of science that was seen as revolutionary at the time. (And to whoever invented those stupid roadside café metal teapots – you get negative points on the tourist scale) 2) Your city/town must have some sort of interesting story about its birth. The crazier the story the better, and once again, tales of 4th century logic are often met with amusement. (This part of the theory explains why the town of High Wycombe has never become internationally renowned. The story of its birth revolves around the town’s historic production of chairs and tables. Ho-hum) 3) You must have a recognisably obscure accent. (And the more it can be replicated in a comedy way the better) Bearing these three fundamental rules in mind, we turn our attention to Bath, designated a world heritage site by UNESCO and home to the largest and oldest Roman Baths in Britain. They score heavily on all counts. a) They have lots of crumbly buildings (and some nice shiny ones as a bonus) b) It was mostly built by the Romans who have an outstanding record in the religious genocide league. c) They’ve got Britains very first Sauna/Solarium! d) The town has a bona fide silly story about its conception. (See below) e) It̵
7;s in the middle of Somerset and everybody sounds like comedy farmers from a Python sketch. As far as places in Britain go, I love it, and now I shall tell you why… HOW BATH CAME TO BE According to legend, the city of Bath dates back to 860 BC, when Prince Bladud, (Comedy name already) caught leprosy. He was banished from the Royal Court and settled in the area that is now Bath. It is said that his pigs, which had also suffered from a nasty skin disease, were cured when they rolled in the mud. (That is the marks seemed to disappear- funny that, them being covered up by mud & everything...) Bladud decided to follow them in and lo and behold discovered the healing properties of the natural spring that runs under the city! Hoorah! WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT The Romans came and were terribly clever. After hearing about the ‘healing spring’ they built a massive bathing complex and sauna (Yes, that’s right, a sauna). There was also a temple dedicated to Sulis Minerva to praise her for this wonderful open plan-bathing complex in South West England. Obviously the Romans didn’t mind running around naked in the pouring rain. As with all things in the middle ages, it was left to Ruin, but thankfully, drinking Spa Water became exceptionally trendy in the 18th century and a whole bunch of England’s ‘society’ big knobs made Bath a trendy place to come once more. They built a magnificent pump room and the town got a splendid Georgian facelift. The rest as they say, is history. THE OLD CRUMBLY BUILDINGS (& THE SHINY NEW ONES) The Bathing complex is absolutely breathtaking. Personally, I find it the most interesting historical building in the UK, simply as there is so much of it to see. The tour, which comes with a hand held audio commentary, takes you through the origins of the site, through the archaeological finds, into the hot & cold bathing areas and then into the Georgian renov
ations and the Pump Room. It’s a real value for money attraction, and you can get a combined ticket for the Museum of Costume as well, which is also worth a visit. Here you will find a complete collection of period clothing from the 1600’s to the present day. To celebrate the Jubilee, they are also currently displaying a collection of dresses our one and only Queen Liz. If you’re not into that sort of thing, then its not a ‘must see’ but if you have any interest in the theatre or in dressmaking generally, then it’s a really good experience. The most spectacular sight in the city is The Royal Crescent, a series of Georgian apartments that have been designed in a horseshoe style. It is an awesome sight and there is now a museum at No1 Royal Crescent containing lots of Georgian artifacts & history about the building. Personally I think the outside of the building is far more interesting and is definitely ‘one for the album’. ANYTHING ELSE? The Museum of Bath at Work – Educational, aimed at the kiddies, more of a school trip thing than a family day out. Bath Postal Museum – Let’s face it, you’d have to have a very rainy week to consider visiting this. It was the building that the very first postage stamp (The Penny Black) was mailed from, so that’s, er...interesting... Microworld- This bizarre museum contains miniature sculptures of animals, celebrities, buildings, works of art etc. Includes the Statue of Liberty in the eye of a needle and Goldilocks and the Three bears carved from cocktail sticks! Somebody clearly has too much time on their hands!!! The American Museum and Gardens - Shows how the early settlers of New England lived and also has ‘fascinating’ (Ahem) artefacts about the civil war. There is also a recreation of a Massachusetts tavern, where every visitor is given a piece of home cooked gingerbread. (yum) I’m sure it
’s all very interesting if you give two hoots about early American settlers. Why this museum is in Bath and not Massachusetts is also a complete mystery to me... The Jane Austen centre – Jane Austen lived in Bath for a bit and mentioned it a couple of her books. That’s enough to warrant a teeny tiny, not worth bothering about museum in anybody’s books. Unless you’re studying Ms Austen of course, then it’s very useful indeed. SO JUST LOTS OF TOURISTY THINGS? Nope, loads of other stuff. Rugby’s big in Bath and they have a very successful team. (They’re also very proud of it, so walking round pubs informing the locals that its just cheating at football isn’t really on the agenda.) There’s also a very successful University in the city for all you budding academics. TRANSPORT. IS IT ANY COP? Having only visited on short trips, I cannot give a complete overview of the transport system, but it does seem on the whole to be well run. There are regular, fairly priced buses running (and get this) ON TIME! Being an environmentally friendly person (can’t afford a car) I had to travel by bus all the time and not once was a bus a minute late. Very impressive and probably a one off which all the Bath locals will point out to me is a fallacy I’m sure. UK Routes to the city are also extremely good. You can get from London to Bath in about 2 hours by Rail or 2 ½ Hours by Road. Bristol airport is also nearby. I’M A GIRL, I CLEARLY WANT TO GO SHOPPING. CAN I? Yep, and you’re well served too. A good mixture of small independents and large high street names. One small independent to look out for in particular– The Paddington Bear Shop, just across the square from the Baths complex. It’s a fandabbydozy (Didn’t think I’d ever get to say that again…) toy shop and has stuff for all you big kids. Well stuff that’s intended for
small kids anyway. Also of note is the very nice Waitrose in the town centre. (I don’t think there’s anything special about it, but I’d never been in a Waitrose before and it seemed rather pleasant. Bit pricey though….) FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Not so hot. (‘scuse the pun). Sally Lunn’s Famous Bun was made here. What? You’ve never heard of her famous bun? Not suprising as it’s just a very expensive and very ordinary bun ,which is made in Sally Lunn’s refreshment house, which is housed in the oldest house in Bath (built in 1482).I don’t think that being made in an old building justifies the publicity or the price tag for the 'plain' bun quite frankly. There are some nice cafes near or along Pulteney Bridge (which is, in itself a very nice part of the city to visit) but other than that, food in Bath isn’t going to set the world alight. The three restaurants we went to were nothing special, but it was a bit pricey. I wouldn’t put it down as one of the selling points. NIGHT LIFE Seems to be okay, your usual scattering of Pubs & Clubs, and also a very nice jazz club. Standard fare really. IN CONCLUSION Bath is a beautiful, clean city. It is well run and treasures it history. Being a British oldy woldy city, it does suffer from the more conservative (small c) culture and I’m afraid there’s not much sign of the famous multi-cultural Britain reflected within the city. Even at the Theatre Royal in Bath, which produces some of the highest quality work in Britain today, the programme holds a very ‘traditional’ line. As with all these things, this is generally a reflection of the population of the area, and the West Country as a whole seems to have very much unaffected by the influx of cultures to the UK over the last thirty years. It’s a nice place, good to visit and a good base if you want to spend a little bit more ti
me exploring the West Country in general. A final tip. Saying ‘Ooh-Ar, Ooh-Ar’ to everyone you meet is considered funny when performed in a comedy sketch. The checkout girls in Waitrose don’t seem to find it funny. I can’t think why…..
I know what a lot of people think of Bath, a lovely city with brilliant architecture, every corner tells a story, or you could think that Bath is full of rich old people who look down their noses at everyone. Personally I’m inclined to agree with both, but I am willing to put all my grudges behind me and explain to you how I see Bath from the past, present and future. I was brought up in Bath by my grandparents but left to live in the country, and here I am 10 years later once again living in the city with the “golden” spring. I must say my impression of Bath now is very different from what it was four years ago when I first moved back. So here I go, please bear with me as I try to go through all aspects of Bath from BC to the present day. **** Bath’s Development **** Years ago I studied Bath, which I suppose I took for granted at the time but now thinking back I think its amazing how just a few small events could be the making of such a, now huge and powerful city. The development of Bath first started in the 6th Century BC when according to legend, Prince Bladud was cured of leprosy by the hot spring waters. At this stage in history, Bath was far from what we see now, Bath’s land was used purely for farming but still Bath was very unpopular and had no recognition. In the 1st Century AD the Romans invaded Britain and soon discovered that the hot spring waters could cure skin diseases. The Romans made their mark and soon built the town Aquae Sulis. Many people from all over the Roman Empire came to visit the famous Baths and temples. Bath at this time was mainly seen as a religious centre, but by the late 400’s the Roman Empire fell and the Saxons invaded southern Britain and “Aquae Sulis” was abandoned and all buildings were ruined. Within the next 100 years the Saxons built a small Christian settlement on the ruins of Aquae Sulis and started to use the water from the sprin
gs. In the 8th Century the Bath Abbey was built and was regarded as one of the most important religious buildings in Wessex. By 973 AD, Bath was now very popular with many visitors and had a vastly growing population. King Edgar was the first King to be crowned King of England and he was crowned in Bath Abbey. This event gave out a very strong message to all visitors coming into Bath. At this time everyone was quickly becoming fascinated with royalty and going where other royalist had been became fashionable. Many monks soon moved to Bath and used the water to cure the sick. Bath continued to grow as a very big religious centre with the Bishop of Bath starting to build a large Cathedral and soon a small market had started to grow around the Monastery and Cathedral. Bath was controlled by the Church and brought many visitors because of this, but Bath was also a largely established wool-trading town. Within the next 400 years the Black Death reached Bath killing hundreds of locals. The Black Death halted Baths progress and soon Baths population was quickly dropping. By 1539 Henry VIII was on the thrown and he ordered that all monasteries were closed, this included the famous Bath Abbey. In the late 1600’s Charles II and James II started to make trips to Bath making Bath once again very popular. Bath started getting recognition and it became a growing trend to visit the waters and bathe as the royal family did. In 1767 when John Wood JR had built the Royal Crescent, members of the royal family made it tradition to stay at number One Royal crescent. This brought Bath extra trade as followers of the family would want to stay in the famous house for £140 P.A. The crescent was built purely to attract people from Bristol to Bath. When you travelled from Bristol, the crescent would be the first attraction that you would see. The crescent is a very grand building and soon as Bath extended, all houses were built like the crescent. In the 18th
Century Bath became a very rich and popular City where the rich and famous would dine and be treated to luxuries such as the theatre. In 1841, Bath got its first railway line from Bath to London. This enabled the public to freely explore London and it also offered Bath more trade and wealth. As you can see, it is the small things like this that make Bath what it is today, the “Golden City”. Today Bath is a very advanced city with millions of tourists each year from all over the world. Just in 1995, Bath healed the youth Olympics and more recently a series of events for Sport relief were held here, including Dwight Yorke and other famous sporting heroes. Of course the way Bath was seen and preserved then is very different from what it is now. I hope I have given you a brief idea of how Bath became so famous. I do strongly advise that if you have never been to Bath before that you take the time to see this famous and beautiful city. There really is something for everyone, young and old. So now on to the present, how do I see Bath? What is there to do in Bath? Here are a few points for any tourists or people interested in Bath. **** What to do in the present Bath **** Of course if you were going to come to Bath, the obvious thing to see would be the Roman Baths. I have been in them many times and every time I find something new. If you live in Bath you can get in free or at a discount, but anyone else can get in for a very reasonable price. When you enter the Baths you will be given a phone. When travelling around the baths you can type a code into the phone to hear your own personal guide. This is a new feature to the baths and one that is very favourable. The Baths is not something to be rushed though. Make sure that you leave at least a morning or afternoon to explore the golden springs. But do not be deceived, it is not just a hole in the ground with natural spring water, no, the Roman Baths takes y
ou on a journey around ruins and every stage tells a new story. You can find out how and where the Romans lived, How the Baths were discovered, built and restored back to its natural beauty. The Abbey is also open to visitors all year round. It is actually interesting and very beautiful. I suppose I take it for granted being able to go in and out of the Abbey at any time, but it is a great place to visit. I think the Abbey looks very beautiful at Christmas, there is a huge decorated Christmas tree outside and the Abbey is decorated. But beware, as there are many carol services held by schools at this time of the year so don’t expect to quietly stroll in and out! I really enjoy looking around the Museum of costume. It takes you on a journey, explaining how the economy effected rations and what people would wear, right up to the present day. It even includes dresses worn by the Queen. This Museum is once again, very cheap and free to any one who lives in the area. Bath is also famous for it’s postal museum, although I admit I have never been, but I hear that it is very enjoyable and educational. In the area is the famous Longleat house and gardens. I have been many a time and strongly advise you to go. It is fascinating to see all the animals and the house is just magnificent(Although rather spooky!). Lord Bath currently lives in the house (I think in the west wing) and the house is covered in his explicit paintings. The grounds also hold the longest Maze, and it is very big; I have been in many times but still get lost (Note: cheating by jumping through hedges is not advisable, unless you like being covered in thorns!). There is a big playground for children of all sizes. You are measured and are given an animal name, each ride has names on and if your animal name appears, you are allowed on the ride. There is a postman Pat house and shop, and a very hot butterfly home. Train rides and animal shows are also available all day. I really
enjoy the safari park. You can either go on a tour or in your own car, but beware; there are many monkeys who make fun of scaring your children and ripping your car apart- great fun! Bath is also famous for the Recreation ground where their rugby pitch is. I have only been once, but well worth a visit. Among the waterfront on the recreation are restaurants and children’s play areas. You can get boat trips that take you under the famous Pulteney Bridge and on some occasions will include food and wine in the trip. If you are staying in the area long, I recommend that you take a day trip to Bristol. There you may see the S.S Great Britain and new to Bristol is a centre where you can explore Dinosaurs and the Stone Age. It really makes a brilliant day out. You may also like to visit the docks, as this is a very lively and entertaining point. I like Bristol, and used to live there although crime is the highest ever and some areas are far from being “nice”. The shops are good though and there is a wide variety to choose from. Bristol is home many large department stores and I recommend you find T.K.Maxx; a shop with brilliant names at discount prices. For eating out in Bath, try and find “Café Plazza” in the Podium or the Moon And Sixpence (Broad street). There are many oriental restaurants and take away and many friendly pubs that serve food. I would stay away from Turkish restaurants though as they all tend to be take away as well as sit down restaurants, and always get very crowded and hectic. The nightlife is very good in Bath and I strongly recommend you go to Moles (George Street). Moles Tuesday cheese night is one not to be missed. I wouldn’t recommend you go to Reflections as it is very rough, but there Thursday nights “Fusions” is excellent, but not for the faint hearted. For pubs I would recommend the Litten Tree on George Street and the Globe in Newton St. loe. The shops are
quite good. At the bottom end of the town you have all the sports shops and chemists (Boots/ Superdrug), in the centre you have more upmarket, such as Marks and Spencer’s, Accessorise, Cadburys, Clarks, Barratts (Look out for the sexy assistant in there, lol!) and at the top of town you have expensive shops, such as the jewellers, Jollys, House of Fraser, Waterstones. The shops are still growing and to be quite truthful, not for the better. People in Bath keep trying to change the culture and the more they build, the more they push people away. My house was bought for £77,500 and its now worth a lot (And I mean A LOT) more. I live on the outskirts of Bath in a three-bedroom house. The houses in the centre are around half a million. The Bath council knows what sort of impression and what sort of people they want in Bath, and unfortunately the more they push, the more people are being made to leave because of expenses. Each year more and more people are coming to Bath, it’s now impossible to park unless you leave at 8 in the morning and people are becoming more interested with their self importance. As I said I went to a school in Bath (Hayesfield girls school- no I’m not gay!) and constantly I was reminded where I lived and what was expected of Bath, it was very false. Most of the people in Bath (Mainly elderly people and rich University students) are the type that waltz around with daddy’s credit card, and it honestly makes me cringe when I see what Bath is coming to. As much as people will try and deny it, Bath is very divided; the people who have the money, the people that want the money, and the people who go out of their way to despise the people with the money. But whatever the culture in Bath, one thing is for sure, Bath is a lovely place to visit but as far as living goes, I can’t wait to leave.
Bath is the best town I've ever visited in England. The inhabitants are very nice, even when they see French people :-) That is almost a proverb to say that British people can't stand French people, and vice versa. But actually this is true only for one place, where people were truly unkind, that is the Isle of Wight. In Bath, that is the contrary. When you are alone, with your plan, even if you do'nt really need help, there is always someone who will come to help you. Bath is a very eautiful town, the center is quite small but there are many things to see: - the roman baths, of course, which are very interesting, because you see how clever the romans were, and how these baths were useful, as a fashionable place for the king/queen, and "VIPs", till late in the 19th century (the pump room) - the cathedral which is behind. On its front, there are angels climbing a ladder. Inside, you have to pay, that is a tradition. Then, there is a marvellous church to see, especially the ceilings. -the circus, and the royal crescent. They are near one an other, and they are very attractive. The circus is a round place as its name shows, and on it's house there is a different motif curved in the stone. From the royal crescent there is a nice view on the Victoria Park, which is nice both for children, and for adults, as there are animals, grass, and games of course. -there is the house where Jane Austen spent a few years, there is nothing very interesting to see, but I think it is necessary to see where she lived to understand how it influenced her works, like "Northanger Abbey". -there is the house of William Pitt, but I must say I haven't found it yet. I really don't know where it is :-/ -there are lots of museums, like the museum of costume, which is great, and where there is a dress of queen Victoria ; the post museum, which is quite small, but truly pretty, wi
th lots of stamps ; the town museum, which is far from the center, but which is interesting as it shows how Bath developed : the Sally Lunn's museum, where you can eat brioche, and so on. Finally, Bath is a very pleasant pleasant town if you want to have a walk, and it has a very special atmosphere, which reminds me of the most poetic work Virginia Woolf ever wrote, that is "Orlando".
If you intend coming to England for you vacation or a Buisness trip make sure that you make time to visit The Historic City of Bath.Full of History and wonder archtecture from years gone by .relive the memories of Jane Austin - Buea Nash - etc. Visit the Roman Baths and Pump rooms.Take a look at the Wonderful Abbey built on the site where the First King of England was ordained. See the beautiful Royal Cresent and The Circus designed by John Wood the Elder and his son the younger. Bath is also idealy situated for a short trip to the Mystical Site of StonehengeWells Cathedral along with Salisbury and many other historic sites in the area.So when you get to the U.K. make time for Wonderfull Bath
I suppose I'm very fortunate as I have relatives who live just outside Chester and others who live near to my other favourite City, Bath. In some ways the two Cities are quite similar, they both contain remains of Roman architecture, both have a river to walk along, museums and historical buildings abound and both have the usual shopping facilities and antique and bric-a-brack shops. I was totally transfixed with Bath from the outset. It was June at the time and the town centre and even the streets on the outskirts were adorned with flowers in every colour. Indeed I understand Bath is actually called the Flower City. Street performers could be located in every square yard of the town square, many so gifted that I felt sure they would soon be spotted by talent scouts. The whole City had a lighthearted carnival air to it, with so much going on that it was impossible to take it all in at once. Bath is of course famous for its Roman baths which were built approximately 2000 years ago and which are located in the town centre. These baths,built around a hot spring with a constant temperature of 45 degrees, were discovered by the Victorians under beds of mud and are now visited by thousands of tourists throughout the year. Open between 9.00a.m. to 6.00 in the summer and 9.30a.m. to 5.30.pm in the winter, there are often long queues to be encountered and it is best to try to avoid mid-day for this reason. Disabled people gain free admittance, but normal prices are £6.20 for an adult, £4.00 child, £6.00 OAP or a family ticket will set you back £17.00. It works out somewhat cheaper to buy a combined ticken to the baths and the Costume Museums as the prices here are £8.20 for an adult £5.20 per child and £7.80 OAP. Again a family ticket is somewhat reduced at £22.00. The Costume Museum changes it exhibitions quite regularly, but is worth a visit if only to see how clothes were made years ago and the materials used. Understandably,
because of the amount of visitors to the Baths each year, it is best to book your ticket in advance and if you want to see them properly, you should allow at least an hour for your visit. To keep the children amused there are computers which give simulations of how the Baths were 2000 years ago. Located nearby are the Cross Baths,which are currently being renovated, but may be open next year, or alternatively, visit Bath Abbey, Gothic in style and visible from the surrounding hills to visitors arriving from the Bristol area. Street performers can be found in the Church Yard here throughout the year. If it's a nice day and you would rather be outside, take a look at Royal Crescent with its fine Georgian architecture. It is here that a scene from the film Oliver was filmed when the little boy is looking out of the window singing "Who will buy". Bath's famous Circus Area was once the residence of the famous artist Gainsborough. If you are feeling energetic it is worth coming out of town somewhat, up Lansdowne Hill and viewing the Georgian buildings located there whilst admiring the view back down to the City. Jane Austin lived in Bath for 5 years of her life in the l800s and there is of course a museum devoted entirely to her. The museum is located between The Circus and Queen Street and is open all year. Jane Austin vividly describes Bath is several of her books and it is of course possible to buy her works in the museum. If you have had your fill of museums by this time, it would be worth just looking at the Victoria Museum from the outside in order to admire its domed roof. You can see this from the Poultney Bridge which crosses the River Avon, or why not take a leisurely stroll along the River itself. If you are really fit you could follow the Bath to Bristol pathway which was once the old railway line. Who knows, perhaps you could walk all the way to Bristol. But what of the children, I hear some of you say.
Well Bath possesses several parks. The Royal Victoria Park holds many events throughout the year, including circuses, musical extravaganzas and flower shows. There are tennis courts, bowling greens and crazy golf for the children as well as a botanical garden for any gardening enthusiasts in your party. Antique shops abound in the City Centre, often quite pricey, but the ones situated a little further out of town seem to offer more competitive prices. Look out for the antique arcades where you can buy anything from antique Noddy books to old lace and bedding. All the main shops are located in and around the main street through the City Centre, including Marks and Spencer, W.H.Smith etc., and there is of course no shortage of eating places both expensive and reasonably priced, whichever the visiting tourist prefers. I'm afraid I can't recommend any as we normally take a picnic to eat on our walk along the river banks. Bath is a beautiful and historical City which is well worth a visit. Located approximately 100 miles from London it is easy to get to by train. If travelling in by car, it is best to park just outside the City near to the park on the outskirts and walk in from there as the distance isn't too unreasonable. Try to pick a summer's day for your visit as the flower-displays then are really stunning and make this attractive City seem even more picturesque. I'll finish by saying that Bath compares favourably with Chester, and indeed York. It is a golden City with a golden history. With Bristol, The Cheddar Gorge, Wells or even Minehead located within easy travelling distance, Bath is the ideal holiday centre for visiting the Avon or Somerset areas if indeed you are left with any time to do so.
Bath is an amazing city with something for everyone from Roman Ruins to excellent shopping malls, together with museums and an abbey. The Roman Baths are a must see. Built around a hot spring which still produces water at 46.5 degrees centigrade, the original Roman building was about 20 feet below the level of the pavement today and has been excavated to reveal a wealth of architecture. The principal feature is the Great Bath which is now open to the elements but which was roofed in Roman times. It is 70 feet long by 30 feet wide and 5 feet deep and is still fed from the spring via Roman plumbing. The original lead lining of the bath remains intact. The statues around the edge of the bath were added in the nineteenth century. There are many rooms to visit showing the various stages of bathing from saunas with underfloor heating to plunge pools.There are displays of archaeological findings discovered during the excavations including the carved head of Minerva and the Gorgon’s head. Bath Abbey is a building in the Perpendicular Gothic style with a 162-foot high tower. Each of the two west front turrets is decorated with carvings of angels ascending and descending to and from heaven. There are so many windows in the Abbey that it is know locally as the lantern, because of it’s appearance from the surrounding hills during the evening service. There are any museums in Bath including the Museum of Costume, which is housed in the Assembly Rooms. It traces fashion and dress from the Tudor times right up to modern day. Mind you its a bit strange seeing an outfit in a museum that you actually wore yourself! Other museums include the Postal Museum, the Book Museum, the Building of Bath Museum, the Holbourne Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery and Museum. The architecture of Bath is Georgian splendour at it’s best and nowhere more so than The Crescent. It was built by John Wood the Younger in the 1770R
17;s and comprises a sweep of 30 houses fronted by 114 massive Ionic columns. No 1 is now a World Heritage Building and has been restored and furnished in late 18th century style with the ‘lived in ‘ feeling of sewing put down and letters left unfinished. There is background music of the period and a kitchen museum of brass and pewter in the basement. Bath also has some lovely parks and gardens including the Sydney Gardens laid out as Bath’s equivalent of the Vauxhall gardens in London, described at the time as ‘the most spacious and beautiful Public Garden in the kingdom’. Jane Austen lived in Sydney Place on the south side of the gardens, with her parents, in her youth. I have only visited Bath on a couple of occasions so far and never had the time to stay as long as I would like so it remains one of the places I must revisit to see the attractions that I have not yet had a chance to enjoy.
I have only found one shop similar to this in the UK and that's the one opposite the British Museum, but still I think Bath Antiquities Shop is far better. So have you ever fancied a piece of real history, a piece of ancient art? Well this is the place, be it a roman coin, a Ying Dynasty plate, a greek vase, a flint used by a neandothal they have it. Prices range from 5 pounds to squillions of pounds, with certifactes with full refund if you find anything is fake. Have a look, its closes to the Holiday Inn. Take Care Charlie
Bath Spa to give it its correct name is one of the prettiest small cities in Great Britain, if not the prettiest. The cities origins date back to the romans who settled here to take in the waters to be used for theraputic purposes as well as relaxation. These Baths still stand today and for the first time visitor they are well worth a visit. Along side the Baths stands the Pump Rooms, a tea rooms that just oozers splendour and sophistication. Afternoon tea is quite an occassion to be taken here, ladies in large hats sitting bolt upright and gentlemen in their sunday best frequent the place to give it an air of glamour. A string quartet plays classical music to finish off the atmosphere. Afternoon tea will set you back around £8 but well worth a visit. The Royal crescent is always very popular with the many tourists that flood into the city especially on a saturday, the best time to see it is in the winter on a weekday, much quieter then. For any shop-a-holics Bath is a must, with all the big chain stores you would expect to find, there are small independant shops that are a delight if not a little pricey. One off putting thing I find about bath, as well as the cost of living, is the amount of homeless people there are in the city centre, if you are walking alone at night it can leave you feeling a little intimidated. On a whole Bath is beautiful city whose people are very proud of where they live, but are not very friendly towards visitors
Bath is a beautiful historic English town. One of those places that all should visit. There are a variety of tourist attractions including the roman baths and the beautiful crescent architecture. I highly recommend that you go one one of the city bus tours, you can hop on and off the busses all day and see all the sites in the town, they are great for an introduction to the area. The baths are a lovely place to visit and over the next few years there is a project underway that will have some of them reopened for bathing. The town is built among hills and is compared to Rome. There are many hotels, pubs and restaurants so you won't have to go far for refreshments. During the summer there are many events and in March there is a mini marathon which is a nice day out. With beautiful towns like this at home who needs to go abroad?
I've visited Bath as a student. Far from being the dull historical place I thought it would be, I found it an interesting and lively place, not only full of culture but also full of life and energy. With loads of the major shops, some of the smaller, individual shops and all the pubs and clubs you'll need, I thoughly enjoyed my stay in Bath. Not far from Bath, less than half an hour and £1.30 on the bus, is Bristol. Whatever you can't find in Bath you will find in Bristol.
There is so much to see and do in the beautiful city of Bath which makes it an ideal place for a short break. The atmosphere as you take a stroll is wonderful with an array of street artists and musicians to entertain on every corner.
Sights not to be missed are Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent. For those wanting to take refreshment then a visit to Sally Lunn's House is a must. In 1680 Sally worked in this very building which today is a tearoom by day and restaurant by night, selling of course the famous "Sally Lunn bun" If it is elegance you are after the 18th century Pump Room will provide. Here musicians will play whist you enjoy lunch or delicious homemade pastries.
Futher afield there is Cheddar Gorge where you can watch the famous cheese being made, Dyrham Park and Longeat.If you are feeling affluent, how about taking a balloon trip over this magnificent city whilst sampling a glass of champagne??
Thinking of coming to Bath? You will probably already be aware of it's 'Georgian Splendor', the Roman Baths, Sally Lunn, and all the rest of that tourist brochure babble. They may have already informed you of the ample opportunity to spend money in any number of independent shops and antiques markets. You may think that you could choose from a variety of world class restaurants ( you'd be wrong on this score, despite what you read ), but you could still do with a few pointers from a local.... Sure it's pretty - the view of any one of the Bath crescents as the late evening sun reflects from their golden stone is hard to beat. It also tends to get very busy between March and October, but only in the central area. Take a walk up lansdown hill to the lesser visited lansdown crescent at sunset. Far prettier than it's more famous sibling the royal crescent, and as it's up on the hill, the views are far more impressive. Plus it will probably be only you and a few sheep sharing the view. Why more people don't come up here is hard to understand ( admittedly the gradient may put a few people off ). Other ways to avoid the well trodden tourist route would involve a trip to Alexander Park, purely for it's vista of the city. Admittedly the park itself is no great shakes ( good playground for the lil' ones ) but as it is nestled up on the southern slopes, with the city spread below it in the valley, it can offer a good perspective of the city. If you're in Bath for any length of time, take a walk along the canal ( recently renovated ) to The George at Bathampton. Pick up your route in Sydney Gardens ( at the end of Great Pultney Street ) and turn left onto the towpath. A very pleasant 30-40 min walk will lead you to a fine canalside pub. The food is a little pricey ( but then that's a recurring theme in this town ) but the beer is welcome. Centrally, everything is within easy walking d
istance, so no need to leap onto one of those tourist buses. There are plenty of galleries for those that way inclined. The victoria gallery is the large municipal gallery with free entry - as with all galleries it depends entirely on what is being exhibited at the time, but it tends to hit the mark more often than not. The permanent collection upstairs is also worth a quick browse. For those not on a budget, the best way to see Bath is from above - a hot air balloon trip. There are plenty of outfits offering pretty much the same package for the same price, but ultimately the wind is going to decide what route you take ( and if you will take off at all ). If you catch a good day this is an unforgetable experience. Highly reccommended, but not the cheapest form of entertainment in the city. And so to food. Bath has plenty of restaurants, but most of them are frankly disappointing and overpriced. Those not falling into this category are ( in descending price order ) Lettonie, the Martin Blunos owned 2 Star michelin restaurant with rooms - This will probably appeal to the hot air balloon crowd, but is less dependent on the prevailing weather conditions, Number 5 Bistro close to Pultney Bridge - excellent homemade icecream, and the Adventure Cafe on George Street - sandwiches to die for ( fight for a table ). After that you risk being disappointed and significantly poorer. I could go on, but this is far too long already. Bath is a great, friendly, beautiful city, but try to get out of the centre at least once.
Bath is chocka full of tourists – but with good reason. This town has got a unique atmosphere. Some may call it pretentious or overtly middle-class, but no one can deny that the Georgian architecture is stunning in its scale and completeness. It is best seen on foot, and definitely not on one of the dreaded ‘tour buses’ which circle the town every five minutes belching out horrendous amounts of thick black smoke with only a handful of tourists on board. So make sure you wander around the old streets; try out some of the cafes – The Adventure Café in George Street is particularly good for enormous sandwiches and smoothies; make sure you make a reservation if you want to eat anywhere on a Saturday or Sunday; avoid the nightclubs, they’re not much good and finally be prepared to spend a lot of money on sightseeing and shopping!