Exploring Bath: From Roman Ruins to Georgian Grandeur

Our Operations Director Jacqui decided to take a visit to Bath for an early birthday celebration weekend and didn’t regret it. Here is what she got up to…

Bath is a lovely city and small enough to walk around with ease as we discovered.  Founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD and originally known as Aquae Sulis for its thermal spa, Bath became an important centre of the wool industry in the Middle Ages and in the 18th century, under George III, it developed into an elegant town with neoclassical Palladian buildings.

Bath Abbey West Door

We flew from Edinburgh into Bristol Airport and took the Air Decker Bus to Bath. Dropping our bags off at the Apex City of Bath hotel we headed out to the Roman Baths where the people of Roman Britain came to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva and bathe in the waters of the natural thermal springs, which still flow with hot water today. Our self-guided tour included a handset with a commentary describing the Roman Baths complex, the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva and the museum collection which includes a gilt bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva, and other Roman artefacts.

Roman Baths

After trying out some of the local cider at one of the many pubs we grabbed a bite to eat then made our way to Bath Abbey for our evening ghost walking tour.  The tour took us through various parts of the city, Roman, Medieval and Georgian locations, During the tour we listened to stories of murder, witch burnings and haunting.  The town has ghosts of Roman soldiers, medieval monks, witches, victims of sword fights, restless spirits of the executed, the insane and even the hopelessly romantic.  There was some guest participation on the evening too which all added to the fun and helped break the ice with the other tour guests!

After a hearty breakfast in the hotel, we walked a few minutes over the road to the Bath Farmers market where stalls were selling crafts and local produce such as meats, fish and vegetables.  We then enjoyed a morning stroll along the river and canal before arriving at the stunning Pulteney Bridge.  The bridge is one of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture in the city and one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides, Pulteney Bridge was designed in 1769 by Robert Adam.  Robert Adam, coincidentally, was born in the town of Kirkcaldy where Best of Scotland Holidays are based.

Bath Abbey

We then hopped aboard our Tootbus sightseeing tour bus for a tour of the city.  The bus provides a running commentary of the attractions and you can hop on/off throughout the day.  We chose to hop off at Royal Crescent and take in the stunning architecture which overlooks the Queen Victoria Park and is home to the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.  We then hopped back on and headed to Bath Abbey for a visit.  The abbey was founded as a Benedictine monastery in 757AD and has seen various transformations over the centuries.  You can’t fail to be impressed by the amazing stain glass windows and the ornate fan vaulted ceiling. After a visit to the abbey discovery centre and gift shop it was back on the bus this time a different route called the Skyline Tour which takes us outside the city to enjoy amazing panoramic views of the city whilst travelling past Prior Park Landscape Gardens, American Museum, Holburne Museum and Great Pulteney Street. 

We fuelled up with a delicious meal at the hotel before heading a few minutes walk to Komedia comedy club for the evening. Komedia is a community owned venue dedicated to hosting over 400 live events per year in the beautifully restored Grade II listed former Beau Nash cinema. After lots of belly laughs we called it a night and were well rested for our journey home the next day.

Tea and cakes at The Bath Bun

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