This article was originally published in the Emersons Green Voice newspaper and sister publications, (August 2018 editions).
Despite travelling the world any chance I get, I’m also a firm believer in making the most of all the special places we have right here in the UK. And certainly one of my favourite things about living in Bristol is just how close the stunning city of Bath is.
As can be expected, I’ve had many day trips to Bath over the years. So now I want to pass on my tips for how to have a cultured day out in Bath.
No trip to Bath would be complete without visiting the thermal springs that helped to give the city its name. When Romans settled here all those years ago, they built a reservoir to help control the natural hot water flowing through the city. They also believed the baths to be sacred, resulting in them throwing coins and jewellery into the springs as offerings to the Gods; some of which are on display today in the accompanying museum.
Another historic marvel within Bath is the abbey, which is located next to the baths. This abbey is over four hundred years old, and is captivating both from the outside and inside, with its intricate stonework, stained glass windows and large size.
Bath is also famously entwined with Jane Austen and her books as Bath was her home between the years of 1801 and 1806. The Royal Crescent parade is an iconic symbol of Bath and is often home to period drama film sets, while The Jane Austen Centre nearby is worth a visit if you enjoy her books and want to learn more about the author herself.
Another must for both history and Jane Austen lovers would be The Assembly Rooms. Opened in 1771, and hugely popular with the middle and upper classes, this is your chance to see how an 18th century ballroom or walkabout room looked. It’s here that large gatherings of people would meet, dance, drink tea, play cards and attend musical performances. Equally, they would also come here during the day to “walk about”. Within Jane Austen’s novels, multiple walkabout rooms have been described, with many suggesting that The Assembly Rooms in Bath were her main inspiration.
Aside from all of the culture and history that Bath is famous for, it’s also a fantastic shopping destination. Many stores are housed within beautiful Georgian buildings, and during the run-up to Christmas, one of the largest markets in the country appears and dazzles everyone.
Bath is also great for outdoors lovers. The Botanical Gardens, for instance, are stunning in the warmer months, and you would be wise to always look out for the ‘tongue in cheek’ garden displays that the Women’s Institute often get involved in.
Personally, I think that being just 15 minutes from Bath by train is one of the many things there is to love about living in Bristol. But what do you think?