Today, I took a side trip from my side trip and went to Wells. The main reason I wanted to go was the cathedral (see above). I had heard it was pretty fantastic….and it was. 🙂 Quite frankly, I’m surprised that they don’t charge admission for this one; they easily could! Photography is allowed, too, if you pay 3 pounds for a permit (which I did). I also took advantage of the free guided tours, and learned where the phrase “get down to brass tacks” came from. 🙂 I’m not into tours overall, since I prefer to do things independently, but there’s something to be said for these free talks. They CAN add a lot to the whole experience.
One of the most famous features of the cathedral are the scissor arches. They were added hundreds of years ago, when the tower started to sink. To keep it from collapsing completely someday, they added the scissors. Since then, no more problems! (I learned that on the tour, too.)
I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the town after I was done at the cathedral. It’s small and quiet and peaceful, and exactly what most people think of when they picture and English country town. The bus ride for Bath was nice, too. It takes between 70 and 90 minutes to get from Bath to Wells, depending on the time of day. It’s bus 173 from the Bath bus station(if anyone is thinking of going), and you want to ask the driver for an all day ticket. It’s apparently cheaper than just buying a return ticket to and from Wells. The route itself runs along a lot of VERY narrow roads, and past lots of cows and sheep grazing in little squares of pasture, fenced in by stones. Again, it’s very stereotypically “English.” It’s nice to see that the picture of traditional country England that so many people have in their heads still exists.
It was to Bath for the afternoon and evening…and time for a little Jane Austen nerdiness. Several of her books were partially set in Bath, which means that the movies were filmed here, too. My favorite is the 2007 version of Persuasion, which also happens to be my favorite Austen novel as well. Both the Assembly Rooms and the Pump Room were used in the movie; I didn’t go into the Assembly Rooms, since they were closed for a private event, but I DID peek in. They look just like they did in the movie. 🙂 The Pump Room is a restaurant , so I didn’t go in there, either. I DID, however, go up to the Royal Crescent. The exterior shots of “Camden Place,” where the Elliotts lived while in Bath, were actually shot here:
Bath is supposedly having a Jane Austen Festival right now, but I’m not seeing much that’s any more “Austeny” than normal.
I’ve got a few more hours in Bath tomorrow morning before I catch my train back to London…I’ll try to squeeze in a few more adventures before then. 🙂