Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage City giving it the same status as Venice, and the historic centres of Rome and Vienna. It is the only complete UK city to enjoy this status.
Signs of human activity dating back to the Bronze Age have been found, but it was the Romans that first put Bath on the tourist map. We all know that the Romans liked a bath, so a town with a ready supply of naturally heated water due to underground geothermal activity was bound to be popular. The Romans built the baths for whence the city gets it’s name.
The city we see today largely dates from the eighteenth century. Bath had become the UK’s leading spa town, catering for the nations well to do. Elegant houses and gardens designed by the leading architects of the day were built to cater for them. It is one of the best places to see fine Georgian architecture. The Royal Crescent, the Circus and Great Pulteney Street are just some sights that should not be missed.
Other things to do
Top of the list are the Roman Baths. Each day thousands of litres of hot water reach the complex from the deep underground spring. In the Pump Room, you can sample the water and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea. To experience bathing as the Romans did, visit the Thermae Bath Spa opened in 2006.
There are numerous museums and galleries, these include;
- Fashion Museum
- Postal Museum
- Holburne Museum
- No 1 Royal Crescent
- The American Museum in Britain
- Victoria Art Gallery
plus many more.
Nearby attractions include Lacock Abbey, now owned by the National Trust. This was the home of William Henry Fox Talbot the inventor of the negative/positive photographic process.
The shopping streets are fashionable, even new developments make extensive use of the local stone. As well as the many specialist shops, others cater for the large student population and specialist tastes.
Eating and Sleeping
Being an important tourist centre, there is plenty of choice. Most of the national brands have a presence, not surprisingly prices are above the national average for accomodation. To enjoy the city at it’s best, it’s worth the premium for a central location.
Bath is on the main railway route between London Paddington and Bristol, as parking can be a challenge, this option is worth considering. It’s just off the M4 Motorway, not far from the M4/M5 so can easily be reached by road from a broad range of areas. There are Park and Ride services.