Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekend Trip: Bath, UK

Actual date of this event: 20 July

Luke, Becca, Eric and I originally wanted to stay in the town of Bath, but all decently priced hotels (in my opinion) were booked for Saturday night. I found us a bed and breakfast in Beckington which is a town about 7 miles south of Bath. On our way to the B&B, we had to pass by Bath, and when we finally arrived to the B&B, we discovered that this 7 miles was actually about 30 minutes away. Apparently, I had put on my American brain when I booked since I forgot how long it takes to go one mile in the UK. Idiot! It wasn't too big of a deal as I had called the B&B before booking and they informed that a public bus picked up and dropped off right next to the B&B allowing us to get into Bath easily. Plus, we were headed to Stonehenge the next day and the B&B was on the way. And the bed & breakfast was in a nice quiet little town that made the trip relaxing.
We had a few main reasons for our visit to Bath and luckily we were able to check off most of them. The town was pretty lively with lots of shopping, lots of restaurants, lots of people. We were all very surprised by this!
1.) Roman Baths - (I will use my middle school teacher voice here...) As rain falls, it goes into the limestone underground, gets heated up, between 150°F and 200°F, and then pressure pushes the water back up to the surface creating a hot spring. The Romans built a temple around the springs around 60AD and used the temple as a spa.
The museum provides a free audio guide that walks you around the temple. You begin at ground level and eventually you reach the hot springs level which is essentially below ground. The museum provides artifacts from the time the temple was originally used.

Along the way, we saw the spring overflow. Steam was coming off of the water, and then flowed underneath the ground we were walking on. The water flowed as if there was no end. It was very interesting.

The Great Bath has no roof over it and no barriers surrounding it. You are not allowed to touch the water (an employee will get on you if you do) as it contains bacteria and disease (guess who decided to not follow that rule?). But you can sit down on the steps just a few inches from the water.

We were unable to get close to the Sacred Spring. We could, however, peek through a wall and see it bubbling. You can see bubbles on the surface in the picture and watch the video closely.

At the end of the tour, we had the option to drink some of the safe spring water. If you ever go see the Roman Baths, I recommend you skip tasting the water. Imagine water. Imagine this water tasting like it has gone through lots of pipes. Now imagine this water hot. Yuck.

2.) Bath Abbey - Unfortunately, we were unable to go into the Abbey because a graduation ceremony was taking place. Maybe that is why the town was so busy and all of the hotels were booked?? From the exterior, it was very pretty. It was built in Gothic Architecture and is located just a few feet from the Roman Baths.

3.) Pulteney Bridge - This bridge crosses the River Avon and is lined with shops. It is only one of four bridges that still has shops across it on both sides. We actually didn't even know that we were crossing the bridge when we were on it because the shops are continuous along the road.

4.) The Circus - Basically a roundabout... three crescent style buildings surround the green space in the center of the circus (named because it is a circle). When you enter from one of the streets, one of the crescents is directly across from you. The circus is an example of Georgian Architecture which is Bath is known for.
panorama distorts the curve, so this is what it actually looks like:

5.) Crescents - Bath consists of a few different crescents. These semi-circular buildings are huge and are mostly used as town homes. We ventured to see the Royal Crescent, which is apparently the most spectacular of them all. A park across the street allows you to enjoy the sun and admire its beauty.
here is as best as we could do to get this whole building in the picture without using panorama:

After walking around in the town, we ate dinner at The Mint Room, a super delicious Indian restaurant. I wouldn't even have mentioned it in the this post, but it was THE best Indian I have ever had, so I wanted to give it some advertisement (you know, to you 25 people who read my blog). If you are ever in Bath, you should definitely eat at The Mint Room! I will warn you, though, that the area isn't the nicest but you will be so pleased afterward that you wont even care.

Going to Bath was all Eric's idea, and I am glad that he chose such a unique and historical town to visit! Thank you, Eric!

Have you ever been to Bath? What other towns within a 3 hour drive of London would you recommend that we visit during our time in England?


  1. Very cool town indeed! Your pics turned out awesome:)

  2. Looks like fun!

    Anytime I see picture of Bath I always think of a Jane Austen novel.

    1. Yes, we passed a few places with references to her. I (ashamingly <--isthataword?) haven't read a single thing by her!

  3. Looks fun and interesting. How far are you from the Cotswold region? I've heard that's a pretty neat area to explore. Also, I'd love to visit Oxford.

    1. Cotswold is north of Bath and Bristol... probably about 3 hours (if that) from us. Its actually not too far from Oxford. Hopefully, we will make a trip to Oxford soon since we only passed by it on our way from Aberdeen. Maybe we can all go together??? Baby Luke included! haha

  4. No random fact today? Disappointed ;-) Bath looks cool!!

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