Eagerly we stared out the window as our train was zooming through the English countryside. As I watched the cute cows and sheep graze on the unbelievably green rolling fields I couldn’t help but think back on the wonderful past few days we had in Lacock, Bradford on Avon and Devizes. While planning on trip to England we didn’t really have grandiose expectations – the location was decided by a cheap flight to a part of the world we hadn’t yet seen. Now, six days later and over half way through our trip, England had completely enchanted us. Little did we know that Bath was about to add share an entirely new, astonishing dimension to our travels.
Arriving into Bath, England
Getting off the GWR train in Bath we found ourselves back in the bustling city atmosphere. The agenda for the day included the Roman Baths, the Royal Circus and the Royal Crescent. We wandered into the square outside the Baths and were taken speechless by the 360-degree view of incredible architecture while an amazing street performer sang to the strumming of his acoustic guitar.
Roman Bath Spa
We escaped the light drizzle of rain in the Roman Bath entrance, paid a fee (£13.25 for students, £15 adult) and started our tour with our handheld audio guides.
The tour was fantastic. With the audio guide I had complete control over the pace and depth of information the entire time. With three separate audio tours (standard adult, children and a commentary by Bill Bryson) along with options to learn more about specific details, the wealth of available information was massive. We slowly wandered through; imaging what life was like here for the original users of the Baths 2,000 years ago (YES, 2,000 is correct). From recovered curses that had been written on lead sheets to a skeleton of a man who had been buried nearby to video recreations of the ruins you are walking on – I cannot recommend visiting enough. By the time we left my brain hurt from attempting to appreciate what we were witnessing.
Lunch at Same, Same but Different
Over a yummy, reasonably priced sandwich at Same, Same but Different, Dalton and I marveled over the incredible place we had just visited. There were so many different aspects to the Roman Baths that were mind boggling – imagining the stretch of the Roman Empire reaching into England, knowing that the same natural hot spring had existed far before anyone had built the baths and just thinking that people responsible for creating this beautiful space have been gone for more time than our brains can appreciate. It is difficult to put the awe into words.
Royal Circus and the Royal Crescent
Next we wandered up to the Royal Circus and spun in circles looking at the regal Gregorian Houses that curved in order to fully encompass the roundabout. I have never seen anything quite like it.
The Royal crescent was somewhat similar, a massive arced row of Gregorian Houses with a stunning breadth.
Beer & Comedy at the Bath Brew House
After a quick stop at the Green Park Station Farmers Market (that was unfortunately not running) we decided to succumb to our desire to relax and popped into The Bath Brew House. We both immediately fell in love with the rustic décor and comfy seating and indulged in a beer, or two, or three… After such a rich education that morning, an afternoon of beer drinking was just what the doctor had ordered.
We learned about a free comedy show that evening in The Brew House and decided to check it out before heading back to Bradford on Avon. The second the comedian opened his mouth, we turned to look at each other grinning, he was from Scotland! Smiling I settled in to enjoy the show, elated that I finally could effortlessly distinguish between the English and Scottish accents.
Heading back to Adam’s (our Couchsurfing host in Bradford on Avon) that evening we both knew that we would love to revisit Bath in the future. With so much more to learn about the Roman Baths (especially as they are still excavating!) and so many more delicious restaurants recommended to us by Pash, Sheila and Adam (Yak Yeti Yak and Acorn), neither of us would hesitate to come back.
The following day we would be reaching the final destination of our trip, Bristol. Little did we know that we were unconsciously saving the very best for last!