Location: Bath, Somerset
It’s been one month now since I had the pleasure of visiting Bath with fellow content creator Taylor (@brown.eyed.flower.child). It was my first visit to the city and given that I did not have much international travel over the last two months, I wanted to see new cities within the UK and up my domestic travel. There is, after all, so much to see in the UK outside of London! Bath has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the late 80s and is full of history – known for its Roman built baths, hot springs, medieval heritage and Georgian architecture. Whilst we were there for just one night, we wondered around enough to get a good feel of the city, so I thought I would write a short article on what we got up to whilst we were there. If you are spending a couple of weeks in London and fancy a day excursion, read on to find out how we did it.
We decided to drive to Bath from Central London, although there are frequent trains from Paddington Station. The drive took a lot longer than expected, partly because we made a Starbucks stop and partly because of the crazy amount of traffic. It should have taken 2.5 hours but it ended up being closer to 4. My first tip if you are heading out for just one day or one night is head out early. Remember that a lot of Londoners actually try and get out of the city at the weekend and in general, there will always be a traffic jam on the way out on Friday evening/Saturday morning and a traffic jam on the way in on Sunday evening.
Once you’ve arrived in Bath and settled yourself after the journey, head over to the centre of town to visit the Roman Baths – mostly like the top of everyone’s list. Entrance costs £20 per adult and you can get a 10% discount by booking online the day before. After entering, you are given an audio guide for your visit. It’s fascinating to hear how the Romans lived all those years ago. The Roman Baths are below street level and have four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and finds from Roman Bath. I have to warn readers that the Roman Baths receive around 1.3 million visitors a year so be expected for them to be crowded – especially if you visit at the weekend. I’ll admit that it did put somewhat of dampener on the experience for me, so just be prepared for the crowds. Maybe this might be less of an issue during the week? All in all, we spent about an hour and a half exploring before moving on. Lastly, please remember that you cannot swim here! For those that do want to swim…keep reading.
Thermae Bath Spa
To experience a traditional bath for yourself, head over to Thermae Bath Spa… but be sure to book in advance as this place is the only natural thermal spa in Britain and tickets for their packages go fast! Alternatively you can always wait in the queue, however it may take some time before you’re up. Once you’re in, treat yourself to a swim in the rooftop pool or experience the ice chamber, infrared room or steam rooms. Whilst not exactly the same, it’s an opportunity to experience what the Celts & Romans did over 2,000 years ago. Interestingly, the source of the thermal water remains unknown and it is said to have healing properties. The thermal waters contain over 42 different minerals, the most concentrated being sulphate, calcium and chloride.
Once you’re done from the Thermae Bath Spa, take a 5 minute walk over to Bath Abbey. It’s worth checking out just to admire the impressive architecture. The church is still active and whilst I did not venture inside, you are able to take a tour should you have the time.
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum
Sally Lunn’s is one of the oldest houses in Bath. The first bath bunn was created within the kitchen museum by the legendary young Huguenot baker Sally Lunn. The Eating House is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and offers authentic regional English Food.
It’s no secret that Bath has some of the most photogenic scenery in Britain. If you’re looking to see and take some beautiful images of stunning Georgian architecture, then walking the Circus should be high on your list. Built in the 1700s, the Circus is a historic street of large townhouses forming a circle with three entrances ,with a large lawn in the centre. Very impressive and just a 10-minute walk away from Bath Abbey and Sally Lunn’s..
Once you’re ready from exploring and are wanting to wind down before dinner, wander over to Pulteney Bridge – my favourite location on this list. Pulteney Bridge sits above a horseshoe-shaped dam that was built in the 1700s and despite all the visitors, it’s actually a really serene and peaceful place to just stand and watch the water. To help with that, the bridge itself is closed to traffic, with the exception of buses, taxis and cycles. We were lucky to visit at twilight, when the sky was starting to turn intimately dark and it was soon time for dinner. The bridge is surrounded by loads of different restaurants and bars, so you’ll have plenty of spots to choose from.
I’m just gonna list this here for completeness, but I am so in love with this restaurant that it deserves a whole post – and it’s definitely going to get one next week! This is a completely plant-based gourmet restaurant, with dishes that just blew my mind in every single way. So much so that not only am I going to write a whole article on it, but I also bought the chef’s cookbook. When the work events quieten down a little, I definitely want to get started on trying some of the recipes!
Are you planning on visiting Bath soon? Or even better, have you visited already? What were your favourite places to see? Share them in the comments!