Bath is like the nicest, most interesting and prettiest girl in your class when you were at school who, when you meet again at a reunion, years later, hasn’t turned into a dowdy person who talks about nothing but reality TV. Nope, she’s still the nicest, most interesting and prettiest girl in class.
Bath is always a joy to visit. It seems to have mastered the art of blending the protection of its unique historic features with the demands of an ultra popular tourist attraction. Immortalised in Jane Austen’s books it is one of the few cities in the world to be declared a World Heritage area recognition for its Roman hot baths and superb Palladian architecture. And it doesn’t hide its history away in specially designated corners like the dramatic Royal Crescent, the Grand Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms (where anyone who was anyone would go to dance, play cards or just “be seen” and the ornate grandness of Bath Abbey. Every road and square seems to boast an illustrious past.
Take tea in the little café on the impressive Pulteney Bridge and you find yourself inside an ancient covered bridge that was based on the design used for Florence’s Ponte Vecchio. (Avon Weir, just below it is where they filmed the death of Inspector Javert in Les Miserables). Or enjoy something a little stronger at any one of the dozens of charming, historic pubs, oozing charm and fine ale (The Star on the Paragon, The Salamander and The Raven and are all good places to start).
You can no longer take the water at the stunning open-air Roman Baths which are filled by hot underground springs, but they are still well worth visiting with excellent displays of Roman history and artefacts. And you can still enjoy the benefits of the mineral-rich water at the Thermae Bath Spa a modern building that blends in perfectly in the city centre and includes an open-air rooftop spa pool where you can relax under the night sky.
For more information about Bath and surrounding areas go to Visit England.