After a brief stay and visit in Devon and Cornwall, we drove north to the town of Bath where the buildings are clad with local yellow limestone. Bath was once an ancient Roman settlement that built a great bath house, which is still fed from naturally heated springs.
The city of Bath is also home to Bath Abbey whose beautiful ornate ceiling inspire heavenly gospels and prayers.
We arrived mid-afternoon in Bath and the first thing we did after we settled into our guest room was to do laundry at the local laundromat. By the time we were finished, the Roman Baths, the Abbey, and most of the shops were closed. Late afternoon made for a pleasant walk around town, no crowds.
During our walk, we came upon a mini golf course; the likes we have never seen before – very well designed with an active water feature that wound up and down and around the course. Luckily for us, they were still renting out clubs and balls. I did get a hole in one early in the game. I won by 1 or 2 points.
We started the next day with a morning visit to the Roman Baths Museum. It’s really amazing that so much of the once public bathing facility with heated pools and steam rooms still remain. In fact, we were told by our host at the guest house that the Roman Baths was in use until 1979 when someone contracted something from the water and died. For more information about this, click here.
I also learned that the Baths also had a temple and people would go there to pray as well as dole out curses. That last bit amused me because they recovered many curses scribed into sheets of lead or copper, which were tossed into flames of the alter. There were translations of some of the curses that were recovered. It’s interesting to read the sentiments of people in history.
From the exterior, the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (aka Bath Abbey) is typical of a Gothic Cathedral you may find inEngland however once you enter Bath Abbey and look up, you will realize that the Abbey is unique.
Walking around Bath, we would encounter these painted pigs. There was another that TH spotted, which was located in a park below street level, Parade Gardens. Admission to the gardens was required, and that put an end to our hunt for more painted pigs.
River Avon runs through the city of Bath, and where there is a river that runs through a city, there is almost always ferry rides! We had some time before the next ferry departure so we got a couple of refreshment at a nearby cafe. Two ciders; too big for me. So TH ended up drinking one and half of ciders. He was ready for the ferry!
After the ferry ride, we returned to the guest house and picked up our swimsuits for a twilight experience at the new Thermae Bath Spa designed by Nicholas Grimshaw. The Thermae Bath Spa offers discount admission to the spa at 4pm until the pool closes. The price includes 3 hour use of their pools and steam rooms, a light meal, and use of their robes, towels, and slippers. There are locker facilities so don’t worry about your stuff.
The water and steam are supplied from the natural heated springs like the ancient Roman Baths so you kind of get a similar authentic experience even if the building is more contemporary. The Thermae Bath Spa has two pools; one outdoors on the roof and the other is indoors. Both are heated and with lots of people floating around. It was absolute luxury to float in an outdoor heated pool! But be warned, there is a bit of a current in the pool so you will bump into people if you float off. The Minerva Bath (indoor pool) is perfect for floating around as the current in this pool pushes you along the perimeter of the pool. Floating in the Minerva Bath was bliss!
The steam rooms were amazing! Four steam rooms each with a different aromatherapy oils accentuating the air and steam as you inhaled; menthol, lavender, eucalyptus and frankincense. In the center of these steam rooms is a waterfall shower. It was such an amazing 3 hours of our lives, at least while we were in Bath.
For more information about Thermae Bath Spa, click here.
For more information about the city of Bath, click here.
For more tourism information about the city of Bath, click here.
For more information on the ancient Roman Baths, click here.
For more information the Bath Abbey (Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul) click here.