Oh, Bath. *sigh* Where do we even begin? It's not an exaggeration to say that this is one of our favorite cities we've ever visited. We already wrote up our stay at Jane Austen's Apartments, and you can read about that here. I think the first thing that captured our hearts is the charm of the city. It's cute, y'all. The buildings are as beautiful as they are historic. The city center was easy for us to navigate and small enough to give it a great walkability rating in our book. Here's our Bath breakdown:
1. Travel - We came from London and decided to try out the train system, and we're so glad that we did. The trains took us a minute to sort out, but once you understand the system, it's pretty easy to navigate. We bought first class tickets, which were reasonable enough, and this was really helpful as we had bulky luggage with us. Coach has areas to throw your luggage, but when we took coach on another leg of the trip (which we regretted), there was no more room for our luggage... and we had to sit on some of it. The luggage fit easily behind our seats in first class. Something to consider if it'll fit in the budget.
2. Bath Abbey - The Abbey is absolutely beautiful. We didn't have much time before they closed, but we were able to take a few turns through the aisles and sit for a moment in the silent, peaceful environment. According to the Abbey's website, "Three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey since 757 AD. First, an Anglo-Saxon monastery which was pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England; then a massive Norman cathedral which was begun about 1090 but lay in ruins by late 15th century; and finally, the present Abbey Church as we now know it." A major restoration project also took place between 1864 to 1874. For about a thousand years, this abbey has stood strong, and it's worth your visit.
3. Roman Baths - The Roman Baths are a must for any trip to Bath. The first baths were constructed in 70 AD. That's a LONG time ago. It was fascinating to learn about the social purpose it's served since that time and to see such a well preserved piece of history. After making our way below street level, there were many different rooms and areas to explore, and there lay our chance to taste the believed healing waters of the natural hot springs. *spoiler alert* It's not very tasty.
4. Jane Austen Centre - This was a particularly fascinating look at Bath during the era of it's most famous resident and the impact the city had on Jane and her writing. This guided tour takes you on the journey of learning more about Jane and her life, her writing, and her experiences in Bath. If you're a fan, you really should give this a look. There's a nice little gift shop on the street level, and the Regency Tea Rooms upstairs. The tea room had really fantastic tea, and they went out of their way to accommodate Mary Beth's dairy allergy :)
5. Stonehenge - That might be an unexpected activity in Bath, but Stonehenge is only an hour drive away, and we used an excellent tour company while there. You can read more about our experience here.
6. Walk around! Bath is an architectural treasure, and as you walk around the city in search of lunch or one of the other attractions, you'll discover more to love about it. Whether it's window shopping, traipsing past the Royal Crescent, or meandering down Bath Street, there's plenty to see!