Bath

February 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Posted in General, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Bath, with its Roman bathing history, Jane Austen love affair and historic buildings and streets is an enjoyable day trip from Bristol or London.

Bath (121) Bath (122)

 

  • Bath Abbey and Heritage Vaults – Just by the Roman Baths is the town’s grand Abbey. The architecture and finishes are, as you might expect from a building of this size are of a high quality. You can also pay a fee to go up to the tower. When I visited the heritage vaults were open but they are now closed for refurbishment. The vaults consisted of a history of the abbey, it’s religious order and the town through information boards and artefacts.
  • Bath - Roman Bath (7) Bath - Roman Bath (12)

  • Roman Baths – One of, if not the major attraction of the town are the well preserved Roman Baths. Famed from antiquity to today for alleged healing properties. There’s also a modern equivalent but enough of fancy spas let’s get historical. With audio guide in hand you’ll wander through the complex. It’s largely self guided in as much as you can choose whether to key in the audio prompts or not. As you’d expect through the tour you will learn about the history of the baths and their construction. Personally, I’d not fully appreciated the size and scope of the original complex, particularly in comparison with the remaining ruins. There are several places on the route (especially by the bath itself) where you can sit and relax.
  • Bath - Roman Bath (30) Bath - Roman Bath (32)

  • Jane Austen Centre – From what I’ve been told Jane Austen (famed author for anyone who hasn’t heard) didn’t necessarily enjoy her time in Bath but don’t let that put a dent in your visit to Bath or the centre. The content in the centre are informative both of Jane’s life, her writing and her society. However in order to access it you have to visit at two set times in order to sit through a mandatory lecture by a volunteer. Frankly, this could be done just as easily by a looped video so people aren’t forced into waiting.
  • Herschel Museum of Astronomy – A wonderful hidden gem that outlines the lives of siblings Caroline and William Herschel. In the 18th century they were one impressive duo not only were they talented musicians but also astronomers. William made highly accurate telescopes and discovered Uranus, while Caroline found many comets. Some of the rooms can be a little sparse but the video overview does help to set the scene.
  • Bath - Herschel Museum (7) Bath - Herschel Museum (4)

  • Bath Postal Museum – It’s a museum about the postal service in the basement of a modern post office. If you’re interested in the development of postal communication or stamps then this might be for you. Alternatively if you’re a little bit bored and need something else to do then this is an equally valid choice. You just might learn something too. There are some neat items inside.

The town and surrounds, with their period buildings, parks and waterways offer a pleasant chance to walk around and soak up the atmosphere. Some suggestions include taking a walk over Pulteney Bridge

Bath (124) Bath (93)

and along the river and over to the Royal Crescent.

Bath (80) Bath (73)

Photos at Flickr.

Map at Google Maps.

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