Oh, lovely, lovely, Bath, where do I begin? How we loved this beautiful city!!! Bath is so much more than just the sight of the famous Roman Baths! In fact, upon researching, I was surprised to also find it to be the home of the famous author, Jane Austen.
I was extremely excited to arrive in Bath, because this would be a particularly epic part of our trip – my mom would be joining us for two weeks, her first international trip ever, and we’d be touring both the Roman Baths and Stonehenge during this week!
We arrived two days before my mom, and made the easy stroll to our apartment rental, which was quite fantastic, and worth the splurge for the location alone, smack dab in the center of everything! We did have to hike up 4 flights of stairs, but it was well worth it, as we had a pretty view of the Avon River and the hillsides.
We based ourselves in Bath for almost a week, so we had the chance to slow down a little, although there were endless options of entertaining ourselves in this unique and extremely walkable city.
A leisurely stroll took us to the indoor Bath Guildhall Market, a shopping venue with an interesting history – site of shopping and trading for over 800 years! There were several quaint shops and stalls, displays of painted pigs throughout the market, and our favorite, a photo op with the Queen herself.
Along the Avon River in central Bath also stood another interesting sight, the Pulteney Bridge, completed in 1774, with shops lining both sides of the bridge, shop windows overlooking the Avon.
As we wandered the city streets, we also came across the Bath Postal Museum, which is the location from which the world’s first postal stamp was sent.
With our children in tow, we made multiple visits to the Beazer Maze on our way through the city. We wound our way around the labyrinth repeatedly, the kids running frontwards and backwards until they were worn out. It was a good sight for some people watching, while the kids let out some energy.
Just wandering the streets of Bath was a treat. We loved the vibe of the city, friendliness, and walkability.
I believe that Bath was the first place we came across the popular ordering kiosks in McDonald’s, which we would see in many parts of Europe. There were also some nice markets scattered throughout the city.
The Bath Abbey stands in the center of the city, a marvel of Architecture and detail, with a thousand year history. The west side of the Abbey was my favorite, with sculptures of angels climbing the ladders upwards to heaven.
We chose to get an overview of the city by taking the Bath City – Sightseeing Bus tour, which gave us some history and allowed us to hop off and on at different sights.
One of the stops we made on our bus tour was to the Royal Crescent, sight of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and now consists of 30 townhomes and a hotel. The rain couldn’t keep us away from checking it out in person.
My mom was beside herself with excitement to visit the Jane Austen Center, Jane Austen being her favorite author. It was a rainy afternoon, but we lucked out, as we didn’t have to fight any crowds.
There was an abundance of information about the life of Jane Austen, but I really enjoyed the dress-up area, where we were able to sport a bonnet or a dressing gown. My mom even had a go at practicing her autograph using a lovely quill pen, next to Jane herself.
After the tour, we made our way upstairs to the Regency Tea Room, because what visit to England would be complete without tea and crumpets? It was our first time ever eating crumpets, and they were quite good. We even drank our tea in true English style, with the extended pinky.
The next day we visited the Roman Baths, which were located right in the city center. We spent many hours touring the Baths, with headsets that were provided for a self guided tour. The model of the original bath houses was interesting and helpful to understand the intricacy of the baths. We even got to taste the water at the end of the tour, which was not exactly a refreshing treat, but a necessary experience!
Bath was a blast, one of our favorite cities, and we would recommend this as a tourist base for sure. We even used it as a jump off for our exciting day trip to tour the infamous Stonehenge…blog post to come soon!