Bath – City Of Roman Baths, Jane Austen & River Avon

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Ancient Roman Bath at Bath, UK
Ancient Roman Bath at Bath, UK

I lived in Marlow Valley, the UK for a work assignment for about 6 months a few years back. The first thing I did on reaching the UK was to buy the lonely planet guide. And chalk out a plan for every weekend that I was to spend in that country. I would typically take a train or a bus to the destination. Spend the weekend there and be back home by Sunday late evening. I was yet to begin blogging but had just purchased my first digital camera. Bath city UK was one of the places on top of my list.

More ancient the place the more inviting it is for me. Add to this the fact that I had read about Roman baths but had actually never seen them. To my Indian mind bathing is a private activity, so I was curious to know about these huge baths where people went through a collective ritual of bathing.

Bath England – Things To Do In Bath

Georgian Architecture at Bath, UK
Georgian Architecture at Bath, UK

Roman Bath

One weekend, as the summers were setting foot, I drove to Bath city to explore the 2000-year-old baths that are supposedly the best-preserved Roman baths in the world. The city of Bath then was one of the very few world heritage cities. I went around the Baths dotted with many statues of Goddess Minerva. The hot water from the old spring seemed like it was molten metal and not water that was flowing. Yes, my logical mind did understand that it is the minerals in this water that lend it the color. But then what you sense and feel at that moment is what your memory retains better.

Heating chambers in the Great Bath remain in my memory until date as small brick pillars standing in a huge hall. The small instruments that were used to scrap and clean the skin sounded scary in their present form. I told myself they must have gone bad with time. I did take an audio guide to get the whole story but do not remember much of it.

Bust of Goddess Minerva - the ruling deity of Bath
Bust of Goddess Minerva – the ruling deity of Bath

Architecture Styles

I took a free walking tour of the city of Bath. A lovely old lady who had spent all her life in this small city took us around the streets of Bath. She told us stories of windows that were joined to make one as the house owners were taxed on the number of windows in their houses. She showed us the house that had 3 different architecture styles embedded in its façade. Most importantly she showed us the house of Bath’s most famous resident – author Jane Austen which in now called the Jane Austen Center. I will never forget the window of her house that had a huge metal mesh jetting out below the window. This I was told was to support the huge skirts that the women of those times wore. To stand in a place where the Pride and Prejudice were written gave me goose bumps.

Royal Crescent

Our walk ended at Royal Crescent – a group of buildings constructed in the shape of a crescent. You wonder and get inspired by the creativity of the architects whose designs continue to delight even today.

Royal Crescent - a fascinating building at Bath, UK
Royal Crescent – a fascinating building at Bath

River Avon & Pulteney Bridge

Towards the end of the day, I reached the river Avon. A beautiful 18th CE bridge built in the Palladian style instantly catches the eye. I was told this bridge is called Pulteney Bridge. Seen from one of the banks, it looks very romantic. Construction on top of it looks like dream houses that are actually shops lined on either side of the bridge. It is one of the few living bridges in the world that has shops on it.

Pulteney Bridge on River Avon, Bath, UK
Pulteney Bridge on River Avon

History and heritage are a part of every nook and corner of Bath. Even after so many years, I feel there are stories that I must go back to listen.

Recommend you to read my following posts on World Travel.

  1. Humayun Tomb Complex Delhi Tour.
  2. Petra – Most visited tourist site in Jordan.
  3. Durbar Squares of Kathmandu valley.
  4. Walking around Prague Castle, Czech Republic.
  5. Walk through Zakopane – Ski town of Poland.
  6. Bangkok Nightlife – 8 Things to Explore.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I was there just this last month. Wow! An amazing place, the amount of history, the way they have preserved and recreated it is literally amazing to say the least. I fell in complete awe and love with the place… Absolutely beautiful..

  2. […] We later discovered that there are 7 rooms in the house. They have been named after the seven colors of the rainbow. There are hints of the name of the color in the room, but colors do not shout from the room. Yellow room has a laterite stone bed with beautiful glazed tiles adding the design element. Indigo room on the first floor has a nice sit out with an opening that looks into the sky. We were told that early risers can meet a lot of birds in this space. A part of Blue room has been left exposed to give the feel of how the house was with bare laterite stones. Bathrooms are the most luxurious part of the property. Some of them are so huge that you can make a hall out of them. Wonder if they can be converted into something like Roman baths. […]

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