I’m one day into my only overnight stay away from London on this trip: Bath. Bath is about 1.5 hours southwest of London by train, and I’ve really been looking forward to seeing the place. Much of the town is Georgian, and it’s very pretty. It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular with tourists, and why all the posh people in the 18th and 19th centuries chose to spend their time here. 🙂
I got into town at about noon, and headed for my B and B first. I’m staying at the Apple Tree Guest House (www.appletreeguesthouse.com), and it gets two thumbs up from me so far. 🙂 It’s just outside the city center, but since Bath is not exactly a large city, that doesn’t matter much. Both the train and bus stations are right down the street, and there are plenty of shops close by, too. Les and Lyndsey (the owners) could not be nicer, and the house is neat and tidy and updated. Plus…free wifi! 🙂
My first sightseeing stop was the Roman Baths. This was a must see, since I’m currently taking a class in Roman history. The baths are where Romans used to gather, socialize, and (duh) take baths. The complex originally included cold pools, hot pools, tepid pools, a changing room….you name it, they had it. The audioguide was very informative, and I was pretty amazed that so much is known about exactly how the various parts of the baths were used.
The downside to the baths? PRICE. Admission isn’t exactly cheap. If you’re planning on going to the Fashion Museum, though, you can buy a combo ticket that saves quite a bit of money. Speaking of the Fashion Museum, that was my next stop. 🙂 I’m no fashionista (give me a t-shirt and jeans any day), but I LOVE seeing things that people wore in times past. The oldest dress in the collection is this one, from the 1600’s:
If you’re a Jane Austen fan, this is what her characters might have worn:
The clothes in the Fashion Museum are in remarkably good condition; it’s tough to believe that they’re authentic. Authentic they are, though!
Next up was Bath Abbey. You know what I like about Bath Abbey? Two things, really: it’s free, and photography is allowed inside:
What isn’t free are the tower tours; they’re well worth the 6 pound fee, though. You feel like you’re getting a “behind the scenes” look at things, and you get view like this from the top of the tower:
I’m kind of in love with Bath right now; it’s pretty, and historic, and small, and easy to walk through. Plus, I continue to be amazed at how CHEAP housing is everywhere else in the UK except London. I had heard before coming here how touristy Bath was getting, but I don’t that kind of vibe from it. It’s definitely worth it! Oh, one final note for all of my fellow Jane Austen fans out there: I’ll be posting a little more about Bath’s connections to her books (and the movie version of them) either tomorrow or the next day (I’m here until Friday afternoon). Until tomorrow… 🙂