When you stay in the Cotswolds, you are in amongst the beautiful villages of England. Stayinging
When you Need a Bath
When Maura mentioned “we are going to bath today” Terry didn’t bother to shower first thing. As the time got closer to 9.30 am she kept giving him strange looks and exasperated sighs.
When he asked what her problem was, she said ‘when are you having a shower? You can’t go to Bath all sweaty”.
Ah, the penny dropped we are going to the Roman town of Bath in Somerset, just 46km south of Stroud.
The city of Bath we remembered as a stunningly beautiful historic town, we visited 30 years ago. Back then, we didn’t want to part with our small amount of British Pounds to see inside the famous Roman Baths.
But we are a little older and wiser now, and a bit more inclined to pay the entrance fee of about £15.50 each as we appreciate the history. More than we did when we were 21 years old.
Related Post: Plan A Cotswold Village Tour
Use Park and Ride in Bath
Don’t even try to park in the old township of Bath. The stress is just not worth the trouble. Instead, use the Park and Ride.
On the outskirts of Bath, there are several Park and Ride stations where you park your car and take a bus into the middle of the town. There’s a bus every 15 minutes.
Check out Prices here: Park and Ride
This is a great idea as it stops a lot of vehicles from clogging the historic streets. We took advantage of this great service arriving into Bath historic within15 minutes.
Inside the Roman Bath
The Romans built baths here in 60AD on the site they called Aquae Sulis ‘The Waters of Sulis’ (thanks to Terry for the translation from your 2 years of Latin in high school) but the hot springs had been well known long before then.
We paid our hard-earned money and entered the incredible building that housed the spa over three levels. Quite an amazing structure built all those centuries ago.
Terry had already changed into his togs ready for a soak, only to be told that you are no longer allowed to enjoy the mineral-laden waters.
After a quick change back into clothes, we spent the next 90 minutes, well 45minutes as this was one time Maura didn’t want to read every bit of information on each item on display.
And we were one of the few that decided not to take the free audio guide with us.
It meant we did have to dodge past loads of people who were stopped still seemingly mesmerized, staring into space listening to all the interesting detail about each part of the structure and its history.
Inside Bath Abbey
Right next door to the Baths is the 1200 seat, Bath Abbey. Originally built in the 7th century, rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries, and majorly restored in the 1860s.
So it’s a lot like my great grandfather’s ax that was passed down to me, it’s 140 years old but has had the handle replaced five times and the head twice, so how much is original God only knows (well you expect he/she/it/they would).
The Abbey is impressive.
Terry noted the intricate fan ceilings similar to the corridors of Gloucester Cathedral.
We actually snuck into the main church through the souvenir shop as the staff at the entrance were quite aggressive in their expectation everyone pays the £2.50 ‘donation’, so we avoided them.
Yes I know we are cheap, but remember we are ‘unemployed of no fixed abode’.
Shops on Pulteney Bridge
Pulteney Bridge was built in 1769-1774 and crosses the River Avon.
What is different about the bridge is that both sides are fully lined with shops, in fact, you wouldn’t know you were on a bridge as you cross it.
It did remind us of our favorite bridge the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
The Royal Crescent and The Circus
The renowned Georgian era buildings of The Royal Crescent and The Circus are well worth a visit when in Bath.
With 30 Terraced Houses built 1767-1774 in The Royal Crescent it is popular with many aristocracies over the years.
The Circus built 1854-1768 is a circle surrounding a green with a massive oak tree in the middle. There are three entry points and each entry point faces one of the three equal length groups of townhouses, very effective.
Our Thoughts on Bath
Bath is a truly beautiful town and deserving of its World Heritage Status. It is a great day trip, even from London to explore some of the main points of interest.
Our drive back to Stroud felt like we were stepping back in time with the narrow roads, hedgerows and stone walls. Yes, Terry, that’s because your directions were rubbish and made Maura drive down a goat track.
Eventually, we made it back to Stroud after an awesome day rediscovering the beauty of Bath.