Food & Drink Magazine

UK Diary: Ways to Explore Bath

By Natalie Tamara @thetofudiaries

Bath is one of the most visited cities in the England and it feels as though you could be dropped anywhere in the city center and immediately understand why. After visiting in April to celebrate my 30th, I do dread to think just how busy a summer visit would be; going in spring means what you might lose in blues skies, you gain in slightly lighter crowds. Read on for my picks on how to explore Bath:

Pulteney Bridge & the River Avon

City of Bath Riverside, England

Bath  Mosaic Beazer Maze

Dating back to 1774, the wonderful Pulteney Bridge spans the River Avon but is a destination in itself too; the whole across, both sides of the bridge are lined with shops and cafés. Slipping down a staircase on the opposite side of the bridge to the city centre, you’ll come out on the side of the Avon on a footpath that takes you along the riverside past Beazer Maze and mosaic (perfect for a foot shot, naturally).

Royal Victoria Park

Victoria Royal Park, Bath
This gorgeous park on the edge of the city center is perfect for a long, slow stroll. The impressive Royal Crescent overlooks the park, an impressive crescent of terraced houses that forms the best example of the Georgian architecture Bath is famed for (you can’t help but wonder what it would be like to live there). You’ll also find the botanical gardens within Royal Victoria Park where we came across lots of very friendly squirrels happy to pose for a portrait. I loved the keeper’s cottage in the middle of the park too.

A Walking Tour with a Difference

Bath Escape

I’m a believer that getting out on foot, with or without a route in mind, is always the best starting point for exploring a city. Done well, I am a fan of a guided walking tour but Bath offers a walking tour with a difference. Through BathEscape, we set out on a self-guided ‘detective tour’ that took us around the city center and along the riverside, via a few of Bath’s pubs with a mystery to solve along the way. The tour made imaginative use of the famous sites and Roman iconography around the city so we got to see a lot of sights along the way. I won’t give any more away than that!

The Roman Baths

Roman Baths, Bath Spa

Goddess Minerva statue at Roman Baths

Bath is the only place in UK with natural hot springs so it makes sense that the Romans would want to take advantage of the 46°C water. The Baths were once a grand complex including a temple dedicate to Sulis Minerva, the healing goddess. You can now view the various restored areas and ruins and a museum housing various artefacts. The audio guide you on arrival is worth a listen, as are the commentaries from author Bill Bryson with his thoughts on various elements of the Roman Baths.

These coloured little discs are small gemstones, that would have been set in rings, that were found in the bath’s drains, but it’s unknown if they were offerings to the gods, or simply came dislodged from their owner’s jewelry during a long soak.

The Roman Baths get exceptionally busy so head there early (and midweek if you can!) to avoid at least some of the crowds.

Eat!

There is plenty of tasty vegetarian and vegan food in Bath; I visited Green Rocket Café and Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, ideal for a meat-free lunch and dinner respectively.

Vegetarian Bath

Have you visited Bath? What would be your top picks?


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