BATH: The Best Trip From London

The Setup: Bath is a small town-city about 170km due West of London, just inland of the port city Bristol.  Most tourist guides recommend it as the best spot to trip to out of London.  We took the train from Paddington station to the city centre (GBP63 return for two, booked in advance, takes just 90 minutes). 

History Lesson: Bath was originally “discovered” by the Romans who built an elaborate spa on the site of a hot spring.  It fell into disrepair after the fall of the Empire and was buried by mud (though the spring remained and a mideval Abbey was built adjecent).  In the 1700s the Roman ruins were discovered, and then in the 1800s the city became built out as a fashionable playground for the rich.

Hotel: We stayed at the Halcyon, a new boutique hotel with a modern feel.  Highly recommend.  Oddly it had the same taps/bathroom fixtures that I purchased (but never used) for our old house in Toronto.  Rainshower showerheads are the bee’s knees.  Per night is GBP100-125, the same price as the typical Bath hotel that would feature lace doilies and Thomas Kinkaide paintings of Jane Austen characters.

 Night frontage

View from our room

Oldest house in Bath c.1466 (remind anyone of Corktown?)

Royal Crescent – usually voted the most picturesque street in Britian

Royal Crescent detail

Adjecent to the RC – these are just typical street views in Bath.

We hiked up one of Bath’s hills to take in the view.

We thought the view was OK.

Above is the Abbey, a relative newcomer in town, c.1500.

Under the archway to the Pump House, gateway to the Roman spa. 

We went on an audio tour (GBP11; about 2 hours) of the site/museum – our pictures below:

The main bath room originally had a 45 foot high ceiling.  Note the Abbey adjecent

Water flows in…

…and out (this is under the pool itself)

The spring source.  Note the bubbles.

Roman re-enacment video.  Unremarkable except for HOLY COW WOULD YOU LOOK AT HIS HAT!

Inside – Gordon Brown’s economic stimulus plan (too little too late in my opinion)

The River Avon which flows through Bath.

The Ugliest Building in Bath.  Even the 1970s infill uses the same limestone motif as the rest of the city.  Not so bad.


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