A Day in Bath (London – Day 4)

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, because today I’m taking you through a whirwind day in Bath! I’m so excited to share today’s post because visiting Bath was number one on my request list when we visited England, and it was definitely everything I imagined England to be!

Bath is located 115 miles west of London and is the perfect place to visit if you love beautiful scenery, history, and Jane Austen, of course! I love Jane Austen (even though my specialty is early and nineteenth-century American literature, I had a really hard time choosing between that and nineteenth-century British lit), and since many of her novels have Bath as a setting, it was a place I had romanticized in my head and just HAD to see for myself!

There are SO many day trips that package Bath with Stonehenge and Windsor, but I knew that wouldn’t give us nearly enough time to do what I wanted in Bath. Instead, we bought train tickets through Great Western Railway (which actually cost more than I was expecting) and arrived in Bath around 11 (earlier tickets were MUCH more expensive!). The train was lovely and it was so enjoyable to watch the countryside go by!

I had studied my Bath map pretty intently and had a route planned out to make sure we hit as many things as possible. The only downside was that I had so many things to check off the list that we never really had an opportunity to just stroll, and Bath is definitely a place you want to take in.

But girlfriend had things to do. First on the list were the Roman Baths!

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths are side-by-side. When we turned the corner and came upon this scene, y’all my breath caught in my throat. It’s absolutely beautiful and pictures don’t do justice to the feeling of standing in the courtyard and feeling so small next to these historic buildings.

We didn’t have time to tour the abbey, but we did tour the Roman Baths at this point (mainly because I panicked at the long line). The Roman baths were once used for public bathing because of the hot spring. I booked our tickets online and opted for the Museums Saver ticket (it gives you entry to the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum & Victoria Art Gallery for a discount). This was probably one of the best decisions I made because we got to skip the massive line at the Baths.

An audioguide is included with your ticket, and I was blown away by the amount of detailed information. We spent almost two hours in the Baths, and I think by the end we had to skip a bit of information to make sure we had time for other activities. At the end of the tour, there’s even an opportunity to taste the water, and we both did! It’s not something I could drink all the time, but it was fun to taste water that people have claimed for years is so good for health!

If you’re interested in the history of the baths, I highly recommend this post over at pounds, pints, and pate!

After we toured the site, we were both pretty hungry and wanted another historic experience, so we went to Sally Lunn’s which claims to be “the oldest house in Bath” and is a popular tourist stop for the Sally Lunn Bunn! They describe the bunn as “part bun, part bread, part cake,” but all I hear is tasty bread topped with delicious toppings. I chose the Welsh Rarebit bunn (traditional cheese sauce with a side of chutney), and John had the Steak and Mushroom trencher.

John was stuffed after his, but I was determined to try both the savory AND the sweet bunns…so I added a Lemon Curd bunn for dessert! The breakfast menu looks delicious, and they also offer several afternoon tea options. It was a lovely lunch choice!

Before rushing off to our next stop, we strolled along Pierrepont Street and briefly enjoyed the views of Parade Gardens, River Avon, and of course Pulteney Bridge. We weren’t able to walk across, so that remains on the list for next time. I do recommend taking some time for this area because it’s a beautiful spot to take in the scenery of Bath.

John definitely won the husband of the year award for putting up with all my requests in Bath and happily escorted me to all the museums that I wanted to see. After Pulteney Bridge, he joined me at the Jane Austen Centre for a little dive into Jane Austen’s time in and relationship to Bath.

And best of all…he dressed up with me for what I’m pretty sure needs to be our 2019 Christmas card. I think he’s pretty dashing in a top hat!

And make sure you get a picture with one of Bath’s most famous characters, Martin Salter, who stands outside of the Jane Austen Centre greeting everyone with a warm and friendly smile!

Next, I dragged poor, sweet John to the Fashion Museum, which I was also really excited about. The museum features fashion from the 1600s to the present and the pieces they have are absolutely stunning. This museum also provides audioguides that discuss each piece and explain how fashion has evolved throughout the years.

These pictures are just small teasers from their collection. We didn’t have a lot of time before closing, so I tried to focus on the exhibit instead of taking pictures.

And I couldn’t resist including this picture of John from the museum. He was so patient and never complained…although his face in this picture says it all 🙂

Make sure you also visit the Assembly Rooms, which are free to visit as long as there aren’t any events (the Fashion Museum is in this building).

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, some of her novels feature parties and balls in these rooms!

And we couldn’t visit Bath without seeing The Royal Crescent! The museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent was already closed, so that’s another activity that we’ll have to add to our visit-Bath-again list. But it was such a beautiful day for this view and to see everyone enjoying Royal Victoria Park.

All day long John kept saying, is it time to swim now? And finally he got his wish (although swimming probably isn’t the right description). I’m not sure why I thought I would be the only genius to want to splash around in Bath’s natural thermal waters, but I panicked again when we strolled up to Thermae Bath Spa and the line was out the door.

For context: Thermae Bath Spa offers the Thermae Welcome, a two hour spa session for £36/person (access to the Wellness Suite, Minerva bath, and open-air rooftop pool). They offer a plethora of other services, but we wanted the basic so we could say we “bathed in Bath.”

Despite the line, we made it in, and it was a perfect way to end a perfect day. We started at the bottom in the Minerva bath, hit the Wellness Suite (omg their steam rooms are NO joke), listened to the abbey bells while we took in Bath’s views in the rooftop pool, and finished our session back down in the Minerva bath.

I snapped this selfie in the changing room (and you can see the sign behind me demanding that phones be kept in lockers, which I love because it lets you enjoy your spa time without worrying that everyone is snapping photos of you in your bathing suit). And don’t worry about your stuff because they offer lockers and provide you with a robe, towel, and flip flops! We both really enjoyed our time here, so if you have time in your schedule to enjoy a few hours of relaxation, you absolutely should!

Of course we were hungry again after a relaxing splash in the bath, so we walked up along Westgate Street, which was hopping with music, delicious food smells, and tons of patio seating.

John wanted pizza, so he chose The Oven because he loves wood-fired pizza. When we saw the size of the pizzas, we assumed we’d be taking some home with us, but we both finished ours easily!

John ordered a pizza with pepperoni, Sicilian sausage, and ham. I like “weird” pizza (according to John), so I ordered the winner of the pizza chef of the year award – cotto ham, nduja, creamed walnuts, fig jam, and basil – SO DELICIOUS, and I think of that pizza more often than I should…

At this point, it was nearing our train time, so we strolled back to the train station. Bath was definitely as perfect as I imagined, and John loved it, too; I was still surprised when he asked if it was a place I’d be willing to spend a week in (the answer is a hardcore yes!).

Have you ever been to Bath? What are your favorite parts, and did you love it as much as I did? If you’ve never been, is it a place on your destination list? I’d love to hear your Bath stories!

 

16 Comments

  1. I never heard of Bath! I’m so glad I stumbled on your post because it looks absolutely stunning and can’t wait to visit! Definitely a must add to the list! Love your photos as well!

    Like

  2. Those baths are pretty sweet looking. It is amazing how. depending on what part of the world you are from, the idea of bath houses can be so foreign. My wife and I were hoping to hit London this summer…but we popped out a baby instead.

    Like

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