About two weeks ago, I took a day trip to Bath. As someone who was born and raised in London I had never really taken the chance to visit the other cities in the UK. That is, until recently.
I’ve travelled outside of London before. I’ve been to a few countries in Europe and have been over to the States and Canada but I’ve yet to truly explore what the UK has to offer. The other cities I’ve been to prior to Bath is Brighton & Manchester. Brighton was a day trip when I was in school and Manchester, like Bath, was a solo trip.
I found Bath to be a very charming city. It’s located south west of England. It’s a very small city with a population of about 80,000. It didn’t take long to get there from London, I decided to take a coach to get there and a train to return to London. It took 3 hours and 15 minutes by coach and 1 hour and 30 minutes by train.
One of the things I like most about travelling is speaking to people. On my coach journey to Bath I had a conversation with a man in his 70’s. He was taking the coach to Heathrow airport. He was on his way to Puerto Rico. Fascinated, I asked him about his travelling experience. So, he told me about his travelling adventures. He told stories of the many festivals he had been to in Europe, exploring wonders in Australia, his last trip with his wife before she passed away and many more. It was awe-inspiring as well as poignant.
The Roman Baths were my first stop. I had heard of it’s beauty and knew it was a must-see attraction. It didn’t fail to impress. I took my time wondering and exploring the place. I walked through The Temple of Sulis-Minerva, which is a temple dedicated to the goddess Sulis-Minerva, and I had a chance to visit the museum which displayed artefacts discovered on the site. It was interesting to get an idea of what it may have been like at the time of the Romans. The Holy grail however, was The Great Bath. A lead-lined pool filled with steaming, geothermally heated water at the heart of the complex. This is what I came to see. You could see steam rising from the water and I imagined in my head what it must have been like for a Roman. So what better way to know what it was really like than to ask a Roman him or herself. Around the bath were costumed characters. So I had some fun and went into character myself. I asked about the waters, where one must worship and told her of my banquet (I guess I did delve pretty deep). It was such fun.
After my visit to the Roman Baths, I went to Bath Abbey. Bath Abbey is located right next to the baths and had the privilege of going to the very top of the tower via a guided tour. I also went to the fashion museum and the victoria art gallery but I really wanted to see The Jane Austen Centre and a beautiful architectural area named Royal Crescent.
After reading the novel Pride and Prejudice last year, I was told by a friend that a visit to Bath is a must. Jane Austen used Bath as a location in a few of her novels. She also lived in Bath for a short period of time. A visit to The Jane Austen Centre was a great way to find out more about her. The visit is split into two. First, you’re guided by tour guides in regency costumes who regale you with Austen-esque tales and later you tour around the museum on your own.
I had met a few people on my trip whilst in Bath. Amongst them were two girls. I met them on the Jane Austen tour. Like I said before, one of my favourite things whilst travelling is talking with people. So we got talking. I found out that one of them was from Hungry and the other Slovakia. They were studying in the UK and decided to go to Bath for a few days during the Easter break. They had travelled to many places in the UK and this was part of their UK tour trip. I told them that I had yet to really explore the UK but had the intentions of achieving it. We also spoke of Jane Austen and her novels. They were really friendly and I’m glad I met them. That’s one of the things I like about travelling solo, I have these kind of encounters.
Last but not least, I went to the royal crescent to admire it’s beauty. It was the perfect way to end my visit in Bath. I took it all in by walking around. Walking around and smiling. I had done it. I had visited one of the most beautiful cities in England. Not a bad way to spend one’s birthday eh?