It’s true what they say, sometimes the most beautiful places are right on your door step…or…well…three hours down the motorway. Last week, Jonny treated me to a weekend in Bath for my birthday and it really is such a gorgeous city, full of quintessential British charm and fascinating history.
Stay-cations are definitely underestimated and I’m just as guilty as many others of venturing overseas, when there is so much of my own country I haven’t seen. Ok, the unpredictable British weather is probably one of the key factors holding people back and I’ll admit, the weather most certainly was not on our side on our first day in the city. In fact, it was a sodding wet, total wash out. Why’d the April showers have to turn up a month late this year, eh?! This didn’t stop us from exploring the city though, albeit mainly the indoor attractions. Don’t worry, the sun did come out for us on Sunday!
In reflection of our mini break, here’s a round up of what we got up to in Bath.
Museums and Galleries
As I mentioned before, the heavens well and truly opened on our first day in Bath, so we decided to see what the city had to offer under shelter. After a quick pit-stop for lunch (sleeping the whole journey, as Jonny navigated our way down the motorway was terribly hard work), we made a beeline for the Victoria Art Gallery. I’ve got to admit, the permanent exhibitions weren’t really to my taste – a lot of bizarre renaissance babies and royal portraits. Our trip just so happened to coincide with an exhibition held by the Bath Society of Artists, however, which showcased a great selection of modern and traditional pieces created by the local talent. My favourite was this quirky abstract representation of India and a cute little scruffy dog (of course I’d like the one of the dog, wouldn’t I?!).
Once we’d wrapped up in the art gallery, we moved on to the Fashion Museum (after a quick beer break of course – it was raining and we had to shelter somewhere!) Showcasing a timeline of fashion trends and traditions from the past 400 years, the exhibition features everything from classic Georgian gowns, to contemporary Alexander McQueen numbers worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. The highlight was by far the dress up room, however, kitted out with a selection of corsets, dresses, jackets and hats to try on for yourself.
Who knew Jonny would suit a bonnet so much?!
The Roman Baths
The Roman Baths are by far the star of the show and the pulling force attracting people to Bath from around the globe. Consisting of the preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world, the Roman Baths form the heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Site. To this date, the baths still flow with naturally hot water, rising from the city’s thermal springs. and guests are given the opportunity to drink some of the fresh spring water upon their visit.
There are four main features to explore on site; the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum. The museum is home to a collection of Roman artifacts, including objects thrown into the Sacred Spring as an offering to the goddess, such as ancient coins currency and other items of value. There’s even a human skeleton on display, which I was half expecting to rise back to life in Roman form….
Spoiler: It did not.
As I walked around the Roman Baths I attempted to conjure up an image of what it may have looked like back in the days when it was still in use. For me, it’s a bizarre thought that in a time with no electricity and modern commodities, that people would enjoy their free time with a spot of pampering.
Of course, as a Vikings fan(the TV show not just the people in general) my mind kept on taking me back to scenes of Ragnar and the King of Wessex enjoying a bit of R&R as they discussed their kingdoms.
The Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most popular landmarks, made iconic by its sweeping semi-circular form, made up of grand terraced houses. Built between 1767 and 1775, the structure is a fine example of the Georgian architecture found around Bath.
Within the Crescent you’ll find a five-star luxury hotel, suitably named The Royal Crescent, as well as a museum about Georgian Britain and a number of private homes (!!!). I’ve done my research and a five bedroom terraced house located in the Royal Crescent will set you back a hot £3 million! Something tells me the inhabitants won’t be voting in favour of Corbyn’s mansion tax next week…
Lucky for us, it was a beautiful day when we paid a visit to the Royal Crescent, so we took the opportunity to have a wander around Royal Victoria Park, where we stumbled across a fun little adventure gold course. I won’t tell you what the score was…
Before we knew it, it was sadly time to head home! Another whirlwind trip over.
Next up, Morocco!