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Bath, United Kingdom

  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
  • Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
Photo of Bath, United Kingdom
Photo by flickr user Patrick Denker

The Romans chose to build on this niche amongst rolling green hills because of its position in the River Avon, and of course right on top of England's only hot springs. The temple the Romans built around the baths was used between the first and fourth centuries and the lower levels have now been excavated revealing all sorts of treasures hidden in the mud and brickwork of the baths pipes system.

You can’t swim in the main baths, this steaming green pool is used for drinking water (the water is warm and flavoured with minerals which actually taste more like plastic.), which comes out of an ornate font in The Pump Room, the restaurant attached to the baths (the afternoon tea was served with clotted cream and a generous selection of cakes.). But you can swim in the hot springs nearby which have been modernised into a quite posh looking spa complex.

Bath’s other main feature is it’s architecture. The historic part of the city has been built mostly from creamed honey coloured stones creating an ordered impression, even though the architecture dates from different periods. The perfect string of Georgian terraces of The Crescent and The Circus are worth wandering through and if you can afford it you can stay in a hotel in one of the houses.

Bath Abbey is much more along the lines of a small cathedral and is worth visiting for the grave stones that line its walls telling the stories of people’s lives. Some quite notable people have been interred here, including Captain Arthur Philip, Australia’s first Governor and a past Governor of Bombay. There is also a shiny brass plaque with a skull and cross bones on it and a particularly sad story about a sea faring family. I counted four churches in the centre of town, which seems like a lot per capita, I also counted six boutique chocolate shops… Bath is also known for its shopping and as being the home of Jane Austen, there's a museum to her, as well as an art gallery, a botanical gardens and an American museum? Bath is also a university town, implying the nightlife is fun.

In the evening consider a walking tour with Bizarre Bath, its best described as portable panto and was a fresh blend of comedy and magic with a little bit of local knowledge thrown in.

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My tour of Bath

Next our tour led to Bath, which was about a 2 hour drive away from stonehenge, through small villages and windy roads. Our tour guide told us the history of bath and the famous people who lived there. Jane Austen, who has written many of her books about Bath or including Bath, had a residence there and we were able to see the streets she may have walked on every morning. Our tour also showed us beautiful town squares, shops, buildings, the Royal Crescent and restaurants to tempt us while we were driving around the town. By the time we were ready to get off we were ecstatic with excitement.

First, we were taken to the Roman Baths where we also had a guided audio tour. We were taken through rooms of ancient artifacts from the Roman-era and even saw a skeleton of a man from that time period. We were told about the history of the Baths and what kinds of things were done in there- such as business meetings! We were also told why we were not allowed in the water due to diseases and lack of cleaning of the water. The Roman Baths themselves are located on top of a hot spring. The Baths themselves are massive and beautiful to look at. It is amazing to see something so old still looking as it once did and able to hold tourists.

Arguably, the best part of the journey was the actual town of Bath. The beautiful cobble stone roads and ancient architectures, where we spent our free time, left us wanting more. We had free time after the Roman Baths and in that time got to eat lunch and explore. Sadly, our lunch at a pub took up most of our free time so we were not able to explore as much as we would have liked. At our lunch we enjoyed hot cider and chips as we sat and looked out the window at the city. After our lunch we had to rush back onto the bus, through the city, without being able to have seen more or shopped!

I know now that this town is worth another visit and look forward to going back as soon as possible. I highly recommend a visit to Bath if you are staying in it's close city, London. Also go if you are just coming to see Stonehenge. This beautiful city enchanted me and I hope it does the same for you.

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