Monday, July 31, 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 7 ~ Bath!



Hi & welcome back to our Epic England road trip from Pembroke Wales across the South of England and back again. We’ve covered oodles of fantastic spots over the last few weeks but now we’re on the home stretch.

Bath:

One of my biggest regrets of this whole trip was not spending more time in Bath. It’s easy to see why the city is a designated UNESCO world heritage site, the architecture is beautiful and intricate so take time to stop and look up at buildings. 

We had to visit The Circus, a circle of Grade l listed townhouses dating back to the mid 1700’s. The view from the centre is magnificent; I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Bath is a relatively small city and can easily be toured on foot. Download one of the free walking tours from the app store or join one of the daily free walking tours, further information can be found HERE. 


How to get to Bath:

Using Skyscanner to find the best priced flights, I found weekends in September flying from Dublin to Bristol with Ryanair for just €39pp return. I then used Rome2rio to find the best way to get from Bristol airport to Bath. You’ve multiple options, bus, bus & train, taxi or hire car to take you the 20 miles to Bath.


Roman Baths:

A spring was discovered on this spot in 836BC, a temple was constructed between 60-70AD & over the next 300 years the bathing facilities were gradually built. Throughout the ages it has fallen into disrepair but with the stellar work of the council restoring and re-developing the complex it has been brought back to its former glory. My girls, aged 10 were learning about the Romans in school recently so it seemed a perfect time to visit.

The Roman Baths has four sections consisting of the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House & a display of artefacts that were excavated at the site. The natural hot spring at Bath was used by the Romans as a centre of a medical bathing complex. Sick people from all over the UK came to bathe in the waters and pray to the Celtic Goddess Sulis. 

While it’s not recommended to touch the water in the baths there is a spring at the end of the tour where you can drink spa water. We had an amazing time soaking in the history and the children especially loved the kids’ version of the audio guide.

Our visit was complimentary. It’s recommended to buy your tickets online HERE as you can skip the queue by bringing the print out of your purchase to the entrance desk where you’ll receive your tickets. Adult tickets are priced at £17/€19.37 with children aged 6-16 costing £9.80/€11.16. 

Children under age 6 gain free admission. There are also discounted family tickets available and museum saver tickets where for a couple of pound more you can also visit the Fashion Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery however if you’re visiting during summer months I’d advise you wait to visit until after 5pm as The Roman Baths are open till 9pm and they are usually much quieter in the evenings also the torches are lit at dusk creating an amazing atmosphere. 

Included in your ticket price is the use of an audio guide and a guided tour that starts every hour. Unfortunately buggies are not allowed into the museum but you can swap them at the entrance for a baby carrier.


Fashion Museum:

Our complimentary ticket included the Fashion Museum but our time in Bath was running out so my husband took 3 of our kids to go shopping while I took the short stroll from the Roman Baths to the museum with my daughter Aoife (10) & son Seamus (9). As we walked through the museum we saw some exquisite pieces dating as far back as the 1600’s, over 400 years of fashion is represented in just 100 objects on show in the current exhibition which will be displayed until January 2019. 

Our favourite part was where we got to dress up in Victorian and Georgian clothes, there’s a full range of hats, bonnets, dresses, coats etc for young & old to try on and take a picture against the backdrop of the Royal Crescent, we had so much fun!


 


Baths:

You cannot bathe in the Roman Baths but there are two other baths in Bath where you can enjoy a thermal spa experience. Next time we return without the children we’re definitely visiting the Thermae Bath Spa at dusk!

A two hour session at Thermae Bath Spa costs £38/€43.29 at weekends and slightly cheaper during the week. Use of towel, robe & slippers are also included in that price. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted in the New Royal Bath. You’ll have full access to the open air naturally warm mineral rich rooftop pool and the Minerva bath; you can also use the multi sensory wellness suite. An extra hour can be added to your session for £10/€11.39 HERE

It’s slightly cheaper to use the smaller Cross Bath, an open air thermal bath with its own changing facilities. A 1½ hour session with the use of towel, robe & slippers costs £20/€22.78pp at weekends. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted and children aged between 12 -16 are only allowed if there is an adult present for each individual child. See HERE.


So there you have it that’s Bath in a nutshell, I’m sure there are lots more amazing places that I haven’t included. If you’ve any recommendations for our next visit we’d love to hear them!

*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received a complimentary family Museums Saver ticket. As usual all thoughts are my own, I was not asked to write this review. As ever neither free services nor payment would ever sway my opinion. ***


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