Just 97 miles west of London lies the historic city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since Bath retains much of its character from the past, you don’t need a time machine to feel like an 18th century aristocrat or even a 1st century Roman citizen. We’ve partnered with travel blogger and costumed adventurer Angie Orth from Angie Away to get her tips on visiting Bath, with or without a costume.
Do As The Romans Do
Bath wouldn’t be Bath without the ancient Roman ruins and the hot springs bubbling within. The Romans were the first to establish Bath as a town in 43 AD, naming it Aquae Sulis for its hot mineral springs that pump out a million liters per day.
Today you’ll find the remarkably well-preserved baths, spa and temple ruins about 20 feet below modern street level. The spring continues to feed the city, and you can see the source and even taste it. Audio guides are included in the ticket price for the Roman Baths.
Splash Out at the Spa
You can’t come to Bath without “taking the waters” for yourself. After exploring the Roman ruins, walk over to Thermae Bath Spa, a multimillion-dollar facility opened in 2006.
With a glorious open-air rooftop pool filled with warm, mineral-rich waters and aromatherapy steam rooms, it’s well worth a splurge to view Bath as the Romans, the Georgians and others have done for thousands of years.
Marvel at Architectural Wonders
The Roman Empire dissolved and Bath fell off the radar briefly, but fortunately for us, it was revived as England’s center for socialization and wellness in the 18th century. Beautiful homes and buildings, many made of local, golden Bath Stone, popped up around the hot springs at the direction of architect John Wood and his son, and the town grew exponentially.
One famous John Wood project is the Royal Crescent, a curved row of 30 houses, where Georgian ladies and gentlemen lived and promenaded. Today, there is a hotel in addition to private residences. Also take note of the Circus, which isn’t a circus at all, but instead a circular series of homes with classical facades.
Wander the Footsteps of Jane Austen
In Georgian times, Bath was the entertainment capital of England. The Pump Room, just above the springs/Roman baths, was a hotspot where author Jane Austen would’ve spent evenings dancing and socializing.
That very same Pump Room is a restaurant today, so fans in town for the annual Jane Austen Festival can have tea 18th century style. The Pump Room is also the best place to sample the mineral water from the spring.
The Jane Austen Centre is the No. 1 stop for Janeites in town. On view is authentic Austen memorabilia, the Regency Tea Room and opportunities to learn about the author’s life.
Take Time to Reflect at Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey is one of the most recognizable buildings in town. Just a few steps from the Roman Baths, the Pump Room and Thermae Bath Spa, you won’t have any trouble finding it. Just look for the building with angels climbing a ladder, some upside down! The famous local choir sings every evening, so pop in then and marvel at the Perpendicular Gothic architecture and soaring fan columns.
With plenty of trains from Paddington station, technically you could pop over to Bath from London for an easy day trip. But it’s such a picturesque town with layers upon layers of rich history. Stay the night, or better yet, several nights, to really get acquainted with all that Bath has to offer.
Angie Orth is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads visit travelocitygnomads.com.
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