A trip to England is incomplete without a journey to the charming city of Bath. You probably are aware of the famous hot springs and Roman baths for which the city was named. You may have seen photographs of its stunning Georgian architecture.
For either the baths or the architecture, Bath is well worth a trip. The city is just over two hours outside of London, accessible by car or public transit. It feels charming and quaint despite being a sizable enough place.
We wrapped up our tour of the English countryside with an overnight in Bath. I would have liked to spend more time. There were a number of museums, including the Jane Austen museum, which I would have enjoyed visiting.
We did see Pulteney Bridge, a really impressive bit of architecture. Not only is it lovely to look at, the opposite side of what you see below is actual a row of shops. The shops span the full length of the bridge.
After expending quite the effort to find parking (we ultimately found a municipal garage with a space), we traveled to the Bath Visitor's Center to pick up tickets for a joint dinner and Roman baths tour we had booked in advance. I will say that the Center was very clean and filled with many helpful brochures and fun items for sale. I will also say, however, that our reservation had been somehow mismanaged, and after over thirty minutes waiting for it to be resolved, we had to pay and register all over again. We were also then late to the guided tour of the Roman baths, which had been the main purpose of our visit. After explaining to a tour guide why we were late, they let us jump on the tour without any trouble. I will also point out that the Roman baths are not run by the same organization who runs the Visitor's Center. Proceed with caution if you book any sort of Twilight Tour (as they call it) through the Visitor's Center.
In a bit of a frustrated mood, the tour of the baths was perhaps less enjoyable than it otherwise would have been. After we toured, we traveled to The Roman Baths Kitchen, an adjacent restaurant where we were served a three-course meal, included in our Twilight Tour ticket. The restaurant didn't have our reservation information, either, nor did they seem to have information for other Twilight Tour guests who came through the door after us. But the dinner was really delicious. I had a very tasty bowl of French onion soup, so cheesy it actually tasted like pizza. I also had a tomato tart for my main dish, and I really enjoyed it (that, too, tasted like pizza). Our desserts and coffee were a bit less memorable, but pleasant nonetheless.
After dinner, we walked back to our car and moved it to the vicinity of our hotel, Duke's Bath. A bed and breakfast housed in a beautiful Georgian building, Duke's Bath was run by the friendliest man we met in all of England. He was unbelievably helpful, even leaping up many flights of stairs with our luggage in about thirty seconds, just because. We watched the sunset from the window/illicit rooftop area of our room and called it a night.
The next day, we needed to return to London by early afternoon to return our rental car, so we didn't have much time to explore. We did take a walk around the city. It was clear there was much to see and do. We will have to take care of that on a future visit. We also enjoyed a nice breakfast at Duke's Bath. It has five stars on TripAdvisor for a reason.
Have you traveled to Bath? What did you like best?