While I took a trip to meet some friends in Bath last September, I returned to Bath almost a month ago with my family. Bath is such a walkable city that we took the train rather than drive. We had yet, as a family, taken a trip on the train, so my children were quite excited and we had quite good luck with our timing on the tube to Paddington Station where we caught the train to Bristol, with Bath Spa being the last stop before the train terminates. (And when you purchase the tickets, they will verify you want Bath Spa 🙂 )
Upon our arrival around in Bath, we walked around some in order for everyone get an initial look around. From the train station (I exited from the correct side this time!) we walked up to the Pump Rooms and the Roman Baths, down Westgate Street, and then to Queens Square. From Queens Square, we took Gay Street to the Circus, passed the assembly rooms, and then walked up to Royal Crescent–quite a trek with all of our belongings in backpacks! By the time we finished our climb to Camden Crescent, where our lodgings were, we were worn out!
That evening we made a trip to the grocery store for food and relaxed, reserving our energy for the next day.
For our first full day, I took everyone mostly around places I had been on my last trip. We stopped by 4 Sydney Place where we dropped off a copy of my latest book (Thanks to Bath Boutique Stays for allowing us to have copies of our work in Jane Austen’s home! So cool!). From Sydney Place, we walked across to the Holburne for an Impressionist exhibit I wanted to see and had tea in the tea room before walking in Sydney gardens and Henrietta Park.
New experiences, for me at least, began on our next day when we went to the Roman Baths. The line/queue was rather long, so while my husband waited in line, we went for a quick look in the Abbey. The Abbey requests a £2.50 donation per person (which is low compared to the admission in some of the cathedrals), but is absolutely beautiful inside. I wish I’d had more time to read all of the epitaphs and take more photos, but we were soon called for the tour of the Baths.
I must say that I never expected the Roman Baths to be so extensive. I knew of the pools (one of which you can see from the Pump Room), but the different rooms and the temples are very interesting. Obviously, not much remains of all of it, but they have quite cleverly protected much of the ruins by having them indoors and (I think) even underneath the building where you enter. In some places, monitors give a computer generated image of what you would see if you stood in one place and looked over the courtyard that remains. The exhibits range from pottery and jewellery to hairpins and personal grooming items. Pieces of metal where people inscribed things that were stolen from them in a wish to have the thief punished were once thrown into the water and are now behind glass for all to see. We spent a good portion of the day taking our time as we strolled through it all.
I will say that they don’t like you to touch the water. My son thought it was something to do and we were told to wash his hands at our first opportunity. I don’t know that it is quite that bad since they do treat it and allow visitors to drink it, but we erred on the side of caution.
When we reached the end of the tour, everyone drank some of the water. I had no wish to repeat the experience, but my family all decided the water didn’t taste as bad as I had made it out to be. Oh well! I claim sensitive taste buds!
Next up… Prior Park