I’ve been a little lax about posting recently, so I thought I would let the sunshine over the Bank Holiday weekend inspire me. This weekend, my partner and I went to Somerset, and more specifically, Bath. I grew up with Jane Austen novels. For just this reason, I had avoided Bath for my five years in the UK. There are times when you can create your own landscape from a book and the first time you visit the site in question, it only disappoints. Also, anyone who reads Jane Austen probably knows that she didn’t like Bath very much – her writing about the people who lived there is laced with satire. However, I was quite surprised to find that I really enjoyed Bath. In fact, my imagination didn’t do it justice, dear reader.
I did a lot of research (by reading quite a few blogs!) to try and capture the highlights of Bath. It was clear that the abbey (in the picture below!), the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent were must-visits. Plus, on any day trip, you need to stop for lunch, and hopefully, for drinks! Here, Bath was not lacking in options. I settled on two choices – Acorn, a veggie-friendly restaurant, and Yak Yeti Yak, a Nepalese restaurant. As luck would have it, Acorn didn’t have tables available, and Yak Yeti Yak did, so we had a very interesting Nepalese meal in a non-touristy restaurant. I’d love to go back and try the other options we found just walking around!
We used Bath’s tourism site for a route map and there are audio guides available for download. This meant we had a map and a few hours of walking around to do. I really recommend this, although I admit we didn’t finish listening to the guide. However, the map took us through some really beautiful areas, and we could always find out more about the architecture by listening to the guide. It started off at the Bath Abbey, we then passed by the baths, Queen’s Square, King’s Circus, the Royal Crescent, the Assembly rooms and doubled back towards the Abbey. We also walked down by the river later.
Our stops were the Roman Baths and the Fashion Museum. While the Baths are an obvious choice, to me, Bath has always been associated with the ‘promenade’ and I wanted to try and get a sense of what people were wearing. We were really lucky at the Fashion Museum, as we got a free guided tour of their new exhibit, the Georgians. The dresses were really beautiful, but the court dresses stood out. Their cost in today’s money would have been about £300,000. And they were shown to potential wearers on little dolls. Pro-tip – buy tickets to both at the visitor’s centre (you skip the line as soon as you get into the Bath’s).
The Baths themselves are really worth a visit and I learned a lot about Roman times in England. I wasn’t aware that Bath was called Aquae Sulis, that this was a site of a temple, and most importantly, that people didn’t even realise that the Baths existed till a few tens of years ago! One of the smaller pools can be seen here…
All in all, a lovely day out, finished by drinks at a nice-ish bar close to the station called Graze. I was torn between going to Graze and the Cosy Club, and still don’t know if I made the right choice! I’ll have to wait for another day trip to Bath to find out 🙂