Monday, 16 March 2015

Our wedding anniversary in Bath || Travel diary

Last weekend we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. I can't believe how fast the last two years have gone. This being said, we took the opportunity to do something a little special and took a trip to Bath, Somerset. A place we had heard great reviews about from our friends. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Filled with good food, activities, sightseeing, relaxing and terrible Bath puns (because we couldn't help ourselves).

We caught the train from Brighton to Bath at 9am, so we arrived at lunch time. We instantly had good first impressions of the city. This was definitely helped by it being super sunny and everyone around us was making the most of it. We took a minute to have a picnic (lovingly prepared by M&S) lunch in a park nearby.
We then loaded up our packs and went to find our Airbnb accommodation. We stayed in the top story of a three level home. Our host, Mary, was lovely and accommodating and instantly made us feel welcome.

With our packs safely discarded, we took a short walk to the Royal Victoria Park to "soak" in some more glorious spring sun and admire the gardens.
I was thoroughly impressed with how warm it was. I haven't walked around Brighton without a jacket for months, whereas it was warm enough in Bath with just a thin shirt. Some might even call it "tepid".

The wild flowers were gorgeous and I couldn't help but take a bunch of photos (see my Instagram for more)

Walking around the gardens there were lots of hidden treasures. Like this small stream that is coated bright blue, we assumed it was from all of the old pennies tossed into it.

We then walked to the Royal Crescent which was right next to the Royal Victoria Park.
As it was a gorgeous, sunny day we joined everyone lounging on the grass. Eating picnics and drinking booze. The building itself is quite famous for its Georgian architecture and has been featured in lots of period films.
Here is a view of the Bath City flats from the River Avon. Which is an interesting name for a river. Since "Avon" actually translates to "River". So that would make this the River River. Which is also why you will find many other "Avon Rivers" around England, and no, they are not all part of the same one.
Everything in Bath is so compact, which makes getting around all the major attractions an easy feat. We stopped by Pulteney Bridge to see the River Avon waters flow over the horseshoe weir. An aesthetic and practical design, to help prevent against flooding.
Right nearby Pulteney Bridge is "Bath Abbey". This beautiful building, along with the rest of the city is made of "Bathstone", a type of limestone. Giving a lovely co-ordinated aesthetic to the entire town.

The draw back of using bathstone is that it is quite a soft stone, and so it is worn down by the elements (wind, rain etc) quite "quickly" (over hundreds of years). Meaning that the older features of the Abbey's glorious front, that once featured angels have now been turned to odd looking "blobs" of stone with a slight resemblance to their initial design. The carvings that are defined are much newer additions to the exterior.
Inside the Abbey, the sun was still shining through all 52 grand windows. The stained glass was alight and glowing.
We went back to our B'n'B and before coming back into the city centre to see the buildings lit up at night.
We were surprised at how much we could get around to and see in one afternoon in Bath. With the city centre being so compact it was easy to walk at a leisurely pace and get a good feeling for the place.

On our second day in Bath with visited the "Roman Baths". Built around a natural thermal spring, with great  historic significance and obviously the namesake of the city. This is the only place in England that you will find a thermal spring, and it is the reason that the city itself exists.
Discovered by the Celts, and built upon by the Romans to become a hugely popular early tourist attraction to Bath. Only to then to have the Baths fall into disrepair and have the main roof collapse in on itself in the sixth century, after the fall of the Roman empire. Leaving the baths to be forgotten and lost (due to silt build-up) until they were rediscovered, excavated and reconstructed in the late 18th century. Where they again became hugely popular for its thermal "healing powers".
Upper-class citizens would come from far and wide to Bath, to bathe in and drink the thermal waters, sometimes consuming up to 6 pints per day!! The minerals in this water would supposedly heal their ailments, including leprosy and gout. The town then became known for healing. Which lead to many physicians converging on the area and subsequently developing a more accurate way of scientifically testing the treatment of their patients, leading to the scientific method and developments we know today.
There is a new information centre which has lots of interesting displays and information about the Roman Baths. We also took the free guided tour, which was well worth doing. At the end of your visit you have the opportunity to sample the thermal water for yourself, and I can safely say that it tastes horrendous!! Bleh! Worth a try, but I wouldn't be keen to drink much more than just a sip myself, let alone multiple glasses per day for weeks on end.

We then decided to further "immerse" ourselves in information and took a free guided tour of Bath with the "Mayor's Honorary Guides". This tour was excellent and completely free (unlike other tours companies that accept/expect tips at the end) as this one is run by volunteers. We were in fact so engrossed, that we didn't take very many photos to include here. We learnt a lot about the history of Bath, the architecture and the knowledge we gained made us look a bit more closely at some of the building that look quite grand upon first appraisal. The word fa├žade was frequently used and we learnt where the expression to "Put on a good front" comes from.

For the rest of our time in Bath we relaxed and enjoyed our weekend away together. It is sometimes too easy to get swept away sightseeing and doing activities in some of the bigger cities around the world. Which may make you feel like you need a holiday, AFTER your holiday. So this sort of holiday was a nice change for us.

When we came back from Bath we continued our annual tradition of taking a recursive photo (photo within a photo) on our anniversary. It's surprising how much can change in one year (click here to see our first wedding anniversary), who knows where our third year of marriage will take us.

If you want a little more, check out the video I made of our time in Bath, below.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to visit Bath, it's so beautiful!

    Happy Anniversary :)

    Corinne x


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