The attractions of Bath have been calling to visitors for centuries. The Romans took advantage of the thermal waters and built a major public baths, calling the settlement Aquae Sulis. Eventually, Bath became a spa town and enjoyed a majorly rich cultural period during the Regency period, when everyone who was everyone took the waters in the city during “the season.” Today, many of the Roman and Regency features remain among the attractions of Bath, but it is a beautiful city full of sites and interesting things to do.
Often it will be the Royal Crescent that brings visitors to Bath. Well within walking distance of the city centre, the 18th Century houses designed by John Wood are a sight to see even though they are surrounded by a number of other buildings that are also architecturally outstanding. As one of the most well known attractions of Bath, it is possible to stay there as one house has been converted to a hotel. It can be seen in a variety of films, including the 2008 film The Duchess, although not, as many people thought, for the filming of scenes in Oliver. If you want to see more gorgeous architecture, visit The Circus.
After viewing the Crescent there is Victoria Park nearby and it offers plenty to the visitor. Since opening in 1830, it has become a popular place for picnics, but also has a boating pond and botanical garden. Golf lovers are catered for as there is a course, and from time to time it is the venue for outdoor concerts. It is the place to go to arrange hot air balloon tours. After the British Empire Exhibition finished in London, the Temple of Minerva was taken apart and reconstructed here.
A trip to Bath would not be complete without visiting the Roman Baths. In Roman times it was used for communal bathing and the Regency set would come to take the health-giving waters, but is now one of the most visited attractions of Bath. They are underneath the streets of Bath and more than 1 million visitors a year view them and the Grand Pump Room. It is split into 4 sections – The Roman Bath House, The Roman Temple, The Sacred Spring and the Museum. Contained in the museum is a collection of Roman artifacts, many of which are considered to have been left as an offering to the goddess. There is a large number of coins, which has led to this assumption. Of all the sights of Bath, this is the one that is not to be missed as there are few other places that can offer anything at all like it.
The Kennet and Avon Canal is an ideal place to go for a walk or bike ride and there are plenty of canal side pubs to stop at for refreshments. It gives the chance to learn about the history of the canal as you will go past the Cleveland Tunnel and Cleveland House, which used to be the Headquarters for the Kennet and Avon Canal Company.
Dating back to 1603, the Weir is set in one of the most stunning parts of Bath. The Venetian Bridge was constructed in 1773 and has grade 1 listed protection. Only three other bridges are designed to have shops along both sides, and both the Ponte Vecchio and Ponte di Rialto bridges in Italy are considered to have given Robert Adam his inspiration to build the one in Bath.
This is a gallery that is suitable for the whole family and although it was only built in the 1800s, it fits in perfectly with the Georgian buildings that surround it. Once inside you can view more than 1,500 sculptures and paintings, so make sure you leave enough time to take everything in. When looking for things to do in Bath it is something that won’t disappoint. The Holburne Museum is one of the attractions of Bath that does not receive the recognition it deserves. There are works by Turner and Gainsborough to view, although here you can also find work from more modern artists. David Fisher is shown here so there is bound to be something that all the family will enjoy.
The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is visually stunning inside and out. Outside you can appreciate the Perpendicular Gothic styling, while inside you can marvel at the amazing fan vaulting of the ceiling. The Grade I Listed building is one of the largest churches in the West Country and can seat a congregation of 1200. If you want to learn more, the Bath Abbey Heritage Vaults Museum is located in the restored 18th century cellars holds a collection of exhibits and artifacts.
Bath is a very beautiful city and there’s still an olde worlde feel to it that makes it different to many of the UK’s other large population centers. The attractions of Bath are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the West Country. Have you been to Bath?
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