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Published: September 29th 2017
Today we wanted to look around Bath and get our bearings. The City of Bath provides a free walk every morning at 10.30am, led by a group of volunteers. We had breakfast at a leisurely pace and set out for the walk. The walks begin outside the Abbey and Roman Baths. By 10.30 there was a large group of people waiting to join the walk. Luckily 4 guides came. We were divided into 4 groups and each group set off in a slightly different direction. Our guide, Peter, was very knowledgeable, and came equipped with photos of old Bath. We walked around the area close to the Abbey and Roman Baths , as Peter explained the history of Bath. It began with a Roman settlement - draw to the hot water that came out of a number of springs in the area. Baths were built, and a city established. other groups came and conquered the people that settled in the area, with interest centred on the hot springs. The Victorians really brought Bath to prominence, again because of the Baths. They made it very fashionable to stay here for the Season. A number of men were prominent in the town and
we heard about them. We walked to the Circus and the Royal Crescent and saw the new buildings built for the fashionable people. A number of entrepreneurs made their mark in these areas. John Wood, and his son- also John Wood- were architects and designed the Circus and the Royal crescent. They designed the rows of houses, and they took a lease on the land. They then leased the land to others as small lots, with the stipulation that the houses built on the plots that were leased had their facades according to the design. What was built behind the facade could differ, but the Palladian style of the fronts of the houses must be exactly to the plan. Beau Nash was also an important character in the development of the city. He organised events in the season, and made a lot of money from doing it. Our two hours went quickly, we felt we learnt a lot about Bath. We had lunch at Pret a manger. Then we went back out to look further at Bath. We visited 1 Royal Crescent, now a museum. It is set up as a house of the Victorian era. It is furnished as
a gentleman's house. There are also rooms for the servants in the lower floor- the housekeepers room, the scullery, the servants Hall and the kitchen and storage areas. It is a terrific museum, with lots of people in the rooms to explain what you can see on the display.. From there we walked along to the Circus again, and then back down into the town, looking at the river and the bridge across the Avon- which has shops all along it. We bought some delicious macaroons, and brought them back to the hotel for afternoon tea. We booked at a gastropub for dinner. It was quite a walk up the hill again towards the Crescent. Dinner was really good. We indulged with three courses. Salt and pepper squid and raviola for entree, lamb and fish for main and pineapple taste tarting and peanut butter semifreddo for dessert. Would recommend The Chequers for a special meal.! A real pity it is so far from home.
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