Unlike most of the other day trips I’ve taken, Bath has been on my list since before I came to London. I love Roman history (thanks to my decade of Latin education) and I couldn’t resist the chance to see such well-preserved Roman baths from so long ago! Upon doing further research, I also found out that there is a Jane Austen Centre, as Jane once lived in Bath and based two of her books in the city: Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Needless to say, I had to see that as well. So off we set to Bath, with nothing but these two destinations in mind, knowing nothing else about the city or what to expect from it. We were pleasantly surprised.
|This is what the complex would have looked like back then.|
There were two temples, and the circular one you see is the
only one known to exist in Great Britain and is largely Greek
|Some of the first representations of Britannia|
|A fountain would have gone here|
|The swimming pool|
|Apodyterium – Changing room|
|Caldarium – Hot room|
|Hypocaust of a heated room: the pillars of tiles supported the floor|
of this room. Hot air would pour through the holes and warm
the floors and rooms.
The baths were much bigger and better than I was expecting, well worth the admission fee. It was incredible to see such a well-preserved aspect of history and brush up my Latin and Roman culture skills.
We were starving so we grabbed some lunch and tea at the West Gate Public House, which had the best pub ambiance by far. So many comfy chairs and cool tables. I wish I could have something like that close to me in London!
Next stop: Jane Austen Centre! If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Jane Austen. My favourite work is Pride and Prejudice and I could probably tell you the script of the whole 2004 movie… #noshame. I had no idea what to expect from the centre, I only knew that there was one, but I was pleasantly surprised. It might not be worth the admission fee for someone who isn’t a diehard fan, but it was interesting! We started off at a short talk about Jane’s family, which was informative as I feel like we only ever hear about her. They also mentioned that she was buried in Winchester Cathedral, which I happened to visit the previous weekend, so I was on top of my game! After the short talk, we headed downstairs to the exhibition room, which had information about her time in Bath and her books Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, both of which were set in Bath and were based on her time in Bath. They also had some free biscuit samples and allowed us to play dress up.
The of the museum (in my opinion) was the fact that I got to write with a real quill. It’s a slightly strange obsession but I finally got to experience one of the stranger things on my bucket list (maybe it has something to do with my love for old-time things as well as Harry Potter?). Whatever the reason, it was so cool and just made me want to buy one even more when I get back home.
|“Anything is to be preferred or endured|
rather than marrying without affection”
|Tea was a big part of the culture in Bath while Jane|
|Men’s fashion back then. Sexy.|
We also found out that there is a Jane Austen Festival in Bath and strangely enough, the largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costumes was achieved by 409 participants at said festival in 2009… A portrait of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy sold for £12,000 that year as well…
|Like something out of a fairy tale|
|Doors are the best.|
|Vaulting is so cool.|
- Train tickets to Bath can get incredibly expensive if you don’t book them far enough in advance. If you do book them in advance, they are very affordable. So just make sure you have a date picked out and book them online several weeks before you go.
- Trains depart from Paddington and are a little over an hour.
- Admission to the Baths is £12.25 for students and £14.00 for adults (£14.50 if you come during the busy months of July & August) and includes a free audioguide which is really helpful!
- Tickets to the Jane Austen Centre are £7 for students and £9 for adults. Probably not worth it if you’re not a diehard fan, but if you love Jane and want to know how her time in Bath influenced her writing and want to purchase some Jane Austen souvenirs, then stop by! There is also a tea room upstairs.
- Admission to Bath Abbey is free but they encourage a donation. Individuals weren’t allowed to enter until after 3pm when we were there because of all the school groups visiting, so keep that in mind if you are there on a weekday.
- Wander, explore, and have fun!