The Best of Bath, England

Arriving at the “Hampton by Hilton” around 5pm, we searched vainly for a parking spot just to unload the luggage. I knew there wasn’t a carpark but I thought at least there would be a bay to unload, alas no! So after checking in, leaving the car in an unauthorised spot, we were told where the nearest carpark was. Not too far but far enough in the rain. Of course it was one of those carparks that you have to download an app, one which wasn’t available to us with our Google Play registered in Australia! Also these machines didn’t take credit cards, so poor dear husband came trundling back to the hotel looking for coins. Even the hotel reception didn’t have any. So off to the shop across the road he went to find some coins. I tell you what a palaver. As nice as this hotel was, some serious errors have been made in regards to the parking.

We were staying in Bath just for the night to catch up with a very dear friend, one who we hadn’t seen in 12 years. We had a wonderful evening at The Ivy with so much to chat about. The Ivy restaurants are an upmarket chain across the UK and are all beautifully decorated.

After a fantastic night’s sleep in the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in we were ready for a day’s sightseeing.

Some of the books I read last year featured Bath, mostly Georgian romances! Bath was the place to visit for the summer season. As we wandered around Bath I could imagine all the assemblies, tea parties and dinners that took place in the grand old homes that we saw.

The famous Baths of Bath

I couldn’t say that Bath is a pretty place as most of the buildings are in need of a good wash and then perhaps the beauty of the architecture would show through.

Bath Street

The imposing gothic Bath Abbey, founded in the 7th Century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th Centuries.

After walking around the town itself we strolled down to the Pulteney Bridge built in 1774. It is a beautiful stone bridge with shops on either side and is a Grade l listed building. The River Avon was in full flow after two major storms and plenty of rain.

Pulteney Bridge

Next up on my list of places to see were The Circus and The Royal Crescent, where I imagine all those Georgian heroines were seen swanning about in their frilly gowns and bonnets awaiting their various beaus. If you wanted to see a certain lady you had to leave a calling card at the desired residence, there was no swiping to the left in those days. If a lady was seen stepping out with a man unchaperoned that would be her blacklisted as being loose and immoral. You had one chance and you had better not waste it.

The Circus
The Royal Crescent

This still looks impressive to this day, imagine how it looked hundreds of years ago with fancy horse and carts and not cars, how much more genteel. A row of 30 houses and one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the UK today.

No 1 Royal Crescent

No 1 Royal Crescent is now a museum, sadly closed the day we were there. From the photos I have seen it would have been nice to see inside.

It was now time to head back to car and continue our journey home to Essex. We saw so much in our four days away, it’s surprising how much you can pack into a few hours here and there! We definitely clocked up thousands of steps which I suppose went someway to reducing the calories from all the good food and wine we had consumed.

41 comments

  1. Bath features some amazing architecture! Pulteney Bridge and the Royal Crescent are stunning. I love how your literary experiences brought the place to life for you. As a non-driver I never have to deal with parking issues, that sounds like an absolute nightmare. At least, the bed was comfortable.

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    • It was wonderful Jo, like it was yesterday. You had to pre-book a visit to the baths and we had limited time as we generally do when we visit most places! Always just a morning or afternoon. I have been before when I was 11 on a school trip, probably didn’t appreciate it very much either 😁
      Thanks for your comments

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  2. I love visiting Bath, if you haven’t previously visited, the Royal Baths are absolutely beautiful. The museum in the Crescent which was closed is also very interesting with its furnishings of the time. On another note, I also find Hampton by Hilton beds to be extremely comfortable.

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    • I have been once before Marion with school when I was 11! As it was a Monday many places are closed and also with Covid you have to pre-book visits. We had limited time so really just took in the wonderful sights. It would have been nice to see inside the museum though and imagine I was Emma 😁

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  3. Bath is one of the few English cities I visited other than London. I very much enjoyed the architecture and other features of the town. My son’s choir attended classes at the school for men-and-boys choirs and performed in the impressive Bath Abbey.

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  4. That hotel certainly let you down with regard parking. At least a mention when you booked about where to park would have helped, and then not to have any coins! Bad marks, very bad marks for a hospitality venue. I love Bath but I have horrible memories of getting lost there one weekend when we hadn’t realized that there is a top road and a bottom road, and our B & B was on the top road! Hours of driving in the days before mobile phones, panic setting in as we thought we’d have to find another b & b for the night (when we were on a very tight budget). But all was well in the end, and I still love the city.

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  5. I’ve been to Bath a few times, but not somehow seen Pulteney Bridge…How could I have missed it when I have seen the Ponte Vecchia, Rialto and even the KrΓ€merbrucke!

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  6. Ah, one of my favourite English cities! I find it beautiful but it seems you didn’t see it at its best given the weather. I suspect we may share an enthusiasm for Regency novels – or at least in my case specifically for the works of Georgette Heyer. And of course Jane Austen, even though she actually hated Bath, being a country girl! A shame you couldn’t go in more places – the baths, the Assembly Rooms and no 1 Royal Crescent are all worth seeing πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much for your comments Rusha, we specialise in seeing things in a short time 😁 that’s my dear husband for you. There’s only so many buildings he can look at that aren’t shops
      I just looked at your about me page and saw that you live in Knoxville. I’m not sure if I mentioned before but I went there when I was 21 my aunt lives there. I got quite a shock I must say, she actually lives in Sevierville.

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  7. I love Bath, yet haven’t been for some considerable time now. One of those cities which just oozes history from every brick and stone. I remember going on a really informative tour bus – probably about 20 years ago now!

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  8. Hi Alsion. Enjoyed the post. Do you have pictures of “Inside Roman Baths” I would love to hear how it fel there. I am an architect and history lover. So…

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  9. The buildings needing a wash! This must be from poor air quality over the years? Even so, the grandeur of the Royal Crescent and the Circus can not be underestimated. So many British period dramas have featured buildings or ones like them – how incredible to see it for real. Are you in England for much longer?

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  10. We LOVE Bath, as when on our teacher exchange from Aus to England, the Mathematician was placed at a college in Bath and we lived in Cheddar in Somerset for a year! Everyone time we return we have to go to Bath, catch up with friends and I go tot the Baths as a treat!

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    • Yes apparently you can now use the baths, many years ago this was not allowed. I love Cheddar also but haven’t been for many years.
      Thanks for your comments 🌞

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