CAN I WEAR MY SPEEDOS?
You feel as though you are part of a Jane Austen novel and that English society of the 18th century and its social life is bustling all around you,” says Stephanie Glass. Working as a travel director for Trafalgar for five years, Stephanie says she loves introducing people to the architecture of Bath during her guided holidays in the UK.
‘“Wow, it’s absolutely stunning!’ is the most common thing I hear when showcasing Bath to guests,” she says.
TAKE TO THE WATERS
“Where is the bath?” is one of the most commonly asked questions, believe it or not. Of course Bath gets its name from the hot spring waters that were utilised by the Celts and then the Romans for public bathing. Any visit to Bath would not be complete without a visit to the Roman Baths.
It is a wonderfully visceral experience visiting the baths – you walk along the worn stone sides of the Great Bath feeling the warmth and taking in the smell of the sulphurous vapours while seeing the layers of history. You can also “take the waters of Bath” by tasting some of the safe drinkable spa water at the end of your visit.
WHAT CAN I WEAR IN THE SPA?
Although the Roman Baths make for a great visit, unfortunately you can’t swim in this water, but you can do tai chi on the Terrace Tuesday mornings. The nearby Thermae Bath Spa, opened in 2006, is now where you can enjoy the thermal waters and spa treatments.
One of the most frequently asked questions is, “can I wear my Speedos?”, and the answer, of course, is yes. We may be exiting from Europe but that will never stop the invasion of Europeans wearing Speedos at the spa here!
The Georgian arrangement of uniform limestone crescents, squares, The Circus and terraces – that help make this whole city a UNESCO World Heritage Site – leave you feeling like you have stepped back in time.
Not to be missed are the Royal Crescent, The Circus (a historic street of large townhouses) , the Assembly Room and the Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon.
PACK YOUR SNEAKERS
Bath is a walker’s paradise. You can walk almost anywhere as the city centre isn’t too big and many of the streets and squares have buskers performing, adding to the charm of the city.
The most popular walk to overlook the city, with beautiful views and vistas, is known as the Bath Skyline Walk. The 9.6km walk takes in an Iron Age fort, ancient woodlands and meadows and its guidance map is the most downloaded map on the English National Trust website.
DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT EATING THIS
There are a few local specialties to try while you’re in Bath. A Sally Lunn bun is a delicate but rich, generous brioche-style bun with a golden top and it measures nearly 15cm in diameter – perfect for having with a bowl of soup.
The Bath bun is smaller and sweeter, with a lump of sugar baked into the bottom, crushed sugar sprinkled over the top and often currants and raisins mixed through it.
It was invented by the 18th-century physician, Dr William Oliver, who treated patients taking the waters at the Roman Baths. This bun resulted in expanding waistlines and was soon to be replaced by the plainer, less fattening savoury biscuit known as the Bath Oliver Biscuit.
Both can be sampled at The Bath Bun on Abbey Green.