Cotswolds, Bath



Is Bath the most beautiful city in England? Many believe so for it is second only to London in the number of visitors it attracts. It will captivate you today, as it has done so down the centuries, from the Romans to Jane Austen, to Robert Southey and the Romantic Poets, to the Rugby aficionados jostling to get into the Recreation Ground. 

There is surely only one way to see Bath (apart from the top of an open double-decker bus, or from a hot-air balloon) and, that is to walk. So, prepare yourself, first with a good night’s sleep, and second, with a comfortable pair of shoes, and a clear map. The day will be long and exhausting. Your eyes will be worn out with an overload of images, and your feet in need of a soothing bath. However, the next day you will be raring to go and see more of this visual feast and to revisit your favourite crescent. You have become a Bathophile. The Bath springs or hot waters were discovered by the mythical King Bladud (or Blaiddyd) in 863 BC, King of the Britons, and father of King Lear. The Celts venerated the site but it was the Romans in about 60-70 AD who developed the hot springs and built a wall around the 23 acre site naming it Aquae Sulis. The site held warm to hot to very cold baths, sweating rooms, massage areas and fitness rooms. It prospered for 400 years until the Romans withdrew from Britain in 410 AD. In 973 the Abbey was chosen as the setting for the coronation of King Edgar, and in 1157 it received the seat of a Bishopric. The city saw much prosperity in the Middle Ages due to the sale of Cotswold wool. The building of today’s Abbey started in the C15. But, the heyday of Bath began over a 40- year period when three men of immense vision transformed the city from a populace of 3,000 into the Georgian city of 30,000 citizens. The three men, Beau Nash (Master of Ceremonies, manners and fashion), John Wood, (Architect), and Ralph Allen, (benefactor, financier and quarry owner who supplied the building materials). Today, Bath is an educational centre and host to many festivals: Cricket, Fashion, Literature, Music, to name, but a few. It is a bustling shopping centre with more than your average number of independent retailers. For those seeking refreshment there appears to be a café, or bar, on every corner, and it boasts some of the West Country’s finest restaurants. Listed and described below, are the most notable attractions to visit. For those arriving by car there are three Park & Rides, from the M4 there is the Race Course at Lansdown on the northern side of the City. In the City, 13 car parks, one is beneath the Podium Shopping Centre. Beware of bus lanes. 


“Special Places" to Visit:  

Assembly Rooms
Bath Abbey
Bath Boating Station
Beckford’s Tower
Building of Bath Collection
Claverton Manor
Dyrham Park

Fashion Museum
Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Holburne Museum of Art
Jane Austen Centre
Museum of Bath at Work
No1 Royal Crescent
Postal Museum

Prior Prior Park Landscape Garden
Pulteney Bridge
Roman Baths
The Circus
Royal Crescent
Thermae Bath Spa.