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July 2nd 2011
Published: August 23rd 2011
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The scenery from the train, as we speed across the southern English countryside is as one would expect. Rich green fields, in dispersed with rough looking regional towns. Rustic looking farm houses and terraced town homes compete for our attention.

We arrive in the beautiful ancient town of Bath and here will stay at Belmont House, with Annie and Archie as our fabulous hosts. Belmont house is a traditional Georgian dwelling and very cosy.

No sooner have we dropped our bags then we are out the door. Bath is one of those places that is truly tourism focused and it works well.

One of the welcoming features is the free walking tours, organised by the local tourist board, both informative and fun. For several hours we stroll the streets and receive a detailed explanation of how and why the township was formed and how it transformed itself to be a thriving tourist mecca over the ages.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, it embraces its charm and status.

Blessed with its hot springs, Bath was established by the Romans around 45 AD and used as an R & R for Roman centurions as a relief from the miserable conditions on outpost duties. Having fallen into disrepair after the Empires decline it wasn’t until the 15th century that a resurgence of the towns popularity and subsequent transformation took place.

Bath was also famous for its quarries and stone masons, producing the “Bath Stone” used in many of the Georgian structures that are found around the world.

Michelle asked the question, “was Bath ever bombed during WWII ??”.

Interestingly enough, during the evenings of April 25 and 27, the German Luftwaffe launched attacks on Bath, in retaliation to the RAFs strikes on the ancient cities of Lubeck and Rostock. So incensed by these bombings, the Germans are said to have used a popular travel guide (the Baedeker Tourist Guide to Great Britain) to locate cities that had three stars awarded for its buildings of historical status. Hence the raids were popularly known as the Baedeker Blitz. Yes, I can tell just how fascinated you all are by this trivia – but hey, it’s my story.

Today, Bath is a world class tourist destination for visitors to simply relax, listen to the free outdoor concerts, soak up the remedial properties of the hot springs or use the town as a jump off point to visit Stonehenge or picturesque Cotswolds.

For tomorrow we have chosen to do a day tour of the Cotswolds.

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