Guided tour to Bath
As an avid Jane Austen fan, I was certainly excited about our guided tour to Bath. I was keen to step back into time, when fashionable young ladies would flock to the spa resort. Here they would “take in the waters” and hopefully snare a husband from the cream of Georgian society.
Our guided tour to Bath was part of a Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge day tour from London. While this was certainly the best way to visit these three attractions, the time constraints left many reasons why we will have to spend some more time in Bath on our next UK trip.
We viewed the impressive Georgian buildings, “The Circus”, where the fashionable Georgian ladies would come to “do the Bath season”.
You could almost imagine ladies in their finery out for a stroll along the magnificent architecture of Royal Crescent.
Ancient Roman Baths
Our destination today however was the Roman Baths. Built on Britain’s only thermal springs some 2000 years ago, hot water still flows through the baths today, however you can no longer bathe in them.
Today the waters are a very murky green and a sulphurous aroma pervades the air, which certainly doesn’t make the water very enticing anyway.
From the balconies and walkways, you can still imagine the Roman ladies taking in the waters of the thermal springs. A number of period dressed guides are inobtrusive, yet are ready to chat to you about Roman life in Bath.
You can view displays of numerous Roman artefacts, carvings, frescoes and tesselated tiling and walk through the ruins of the original Roman baths. As Australians, whose “heritage architecture” is just 200 years old, it was awe-inspiring to think the history which had been soaked into the walls of these buildings.
Back out in the sunshine and fresh air, we had the opportunity for a quick photo shoot of “The Pump Room” of Jane Austen fame, still a fashionable restaurant and cafe.
We found ourselves in Bath Abbey square, the Gothic abbey built in 1616 towering above us. Crowds had flocked to the square to enjoy the glorious summer’s afternoon. Buskers and street actors entertained the crowds and we found a bench to enjoy an ice-cream and listen to the music.
There wasn’t time on today’s itinerary for a tour of the Abbey, which is one reason we would love to spend a few days in Bath next trip.
We’ll also be visiting the Georgian museum in Royal Crescent and the Jane Austen tea rooms on our next trip.
Is there anywhere else a Jane Austen fan should visit in Bath? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.