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Published: June 22nd 2010
Continued from the first blog The Roman Baths and The Pump Rooms
I visited The Roman Baths last time round but I felt I rushed the tour because of being constrained to just having the afternoon in Bath. However, this time, I had more time on my hands so this gave me an opportunity to give the place more justice. It took me around 2.5 hours to look around the Baths itself and the exhibits. The Baths were known as Aquae Sulis, completed with temples and baths, in the Roman Times during the first and fifth centuries A.D, and were based on a natural hot spring. It is a place worth exploring and learning more about the history of the Baths. I tried the spring water in the Pump Room but it has an acquired taste and preferred my cranberry and elderflower presse in the cafe whilst listening to live classical music! The Bath Abbey
This is probably my highlight on the visit. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Anglican Abbey. I loved the Abbey's interior architecture with its gothic and fan valuted ceiling. The exterior is exquistie. I joined a guided Tower Tour where we got to
Inside the Abbey
Bath Abbey, Bath
see the Abbey bells, sat behind the clock face and stood the Abbey's famous vaulted ceiling, The vaulted fan ceiling project was commissioned after Queen Elizabeth I gave its go ahead. The highlight of the Tour was seeing the city above at the top of the Abbey. I took loads of photos and enjoyed taking in the views of Bath. The Abbey is a beautiful building where you can contemplate in peace and appreciate its architectural beauty. The Jane Austen Centre
It was worth spending an hour or so at the Centre and I was able to obtain a discount form riding on the Bath City Skyline Bus Tour. First of all, we had a talk from one of the guides about Jane Austen's life and the world at the time when she wrote her novels. I found this to be very interesting and informative then we watched a short video by Amanda Root. We had a look around the exhibits and at the shop where I bought an excellent book about the era (late 1700s and early 1800s) Jane Austen grew up and lived in. The era's culture influenced her novels and made references to this in
Prior Park Landscape & Gardens, Bath
her novels. I am familar with the era, Jane Austen wrote in, because of studying the Enlightenment and the Romanticism on my last Humanities course. Prior Park Landscape & Gardens
On the second day of my stay, I went to visit Prior Park Landscape Gardens, a National Trust Property. Being a National Trust member, I was able to not just get in free but got a discount travelling on the City Sightseeing Skyline Tour. Prior Park is a Green Site and you have to either walk or take a bus from Bath. I think this is a good thing for the environment and wish they do a lot more of this to many car ridden properties across the country. On the other hand, this may be considered inconvenient for those who depend on their cars to get everywhere. However, catching a scheduled bus or tour is pretty straight forward enough from the city centre.
Prior Park Landscape & Gardens were created by Ralph Allen, a local businessman and philantrophist. He had a successful masonry business in the 1900s. He, Alexander Pope and "Capability" Brown, whom Allen sought inspiration from, created the park. The garden is set in
a valley where you can see the famous Palladian Bridge down below with the Bath skyline above. It was a wonderful sunny day to wander for three hours or so. It was nice seeing the swans and their newborn cygnets in the lake along with various wildlife. You can cross the Palladian Bridge and enjoying the nature around you. It is worth taking a few hours out of the city centre for some green space and I highly recommend for anyone to do so.
Other than seeing the main attractions, I had fun relaxing in Bath. I stayed in a nice hostel, Bath YMCA
, which is central and convenient. I had a great meal out, on my last night at The Walrus and Carpenter restaurant
. The restaurant serves great homemade food although expensive. However, I highly recommend it for a great meal out and the contemporary decor.
On the Saturday, I checked out the hostel and caught my train to London where I stayed overnight before returning home the next day. To round off a lovely break, I booked to see The Pearl Fishers at the Colisieum in the West End that evening. I sat in the gods and admired the neoclassical interior
decor of the Coliseum although it was a pity that taking of photographs is not allowed. The opera was excellent although I was not sure about the Indian setting to the score. Never mind. I met Jeanette, a musicals fan and friend, at the interval and we had a nice chat in the Upper Circle Foyer. We look forward to catching up at future shows. On the journey home, I got chatting to Marion who sat next to me and she spent a few days visiting her family in London. We had a nice chat and we shared a lot in common especially travelling. It was nice returning home and look forward to my next trip very soon!
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