Taking the waters
Bath is one of the most historic and charming towns in England. The town takes its name from the ancient Roman baths in its centre; they were constructed over a natural hot spring around 70 AD with huge pools, mosaicked walkways, steam rooms and changing areas for Romano-Britons to bathe and socialise. Visitors may walk through the ancient complex which still fills with hot water to this day - the baths are in fact among the best preserved Roman remains in the world.
This apparently miraculous place was also believed to have healing powers, and a temple to the Romano-Celtic goddess Sulis-Minerva was built overlooking the baths. Here visitors can see the carving of a Gorgon’s head and watch a visual recreation of what it looked like to the Romans, as well as listen to stories from costumed experts.
Tea with Mr. Darcy
Adjoining the baths is the Grand Pump Room, one of the best places to enjoy fine British dining and high tea for over two centuries. Here you can even taste the healing waters from the Roman spa beyond! The Pump Room will be familiar to fans of Jane Austen, as it features in two of her novels. Due to her strong connection to the city, there is also a Jane Austen Centre where visitors can learn about the literary icon and her time in Bath. This is just one of an impressive 17 museums in the city centre, including the Holborne Museum, the Fashion Museum, the Bath Royal Literature and Scientific Institution, the Fairfield Museum and many more.
A little outside the city visitors will find the excellent open-air wildlife habitat Longleat Safari and Adventure Park. Other great outdoor activities include visits to Dirham Park, Lacock Abbey, Bowood House and Gardens and Prior Park Landscape Garden, to name just a few of the fabulous estates nearby.
The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks. This stunning 18th century group of terraced Georgian buildings is now home to a five-star hotel, as well as a museum of Georgian life and some lavish private housing. Another unique city landmark is the Great Wall of Walcot, on Walcot Street in the Artisan corner. This is a long wall with over thirty grotesque, mythic and comic faces carved in stone. The features of several living Bath locals were added to the wall in 2013 as part of an art project. If you walk along Walcot Street you will come across many quaint and traditional local shops and traders, including cheese and wine shops, furniture and framers, art galleries, cafés and pubs - you might even recognise a face from the wall.