Daytrip to Bath, UK: Roman Spas & Regency Rambles

The Roman Baths, Bath

Daytrip to Bath

Skies are blue and the English countryside ripples by. We have bagels, the crumbs flowering my magazine. It’s midmorning when we get into the gorgeous little town of Bath, in Somerset. It’s difficult to remember that London is a place apart – that England is not London and that the city, in fact is an alien far removed from the majority of the rest of the country. The fresh air and green rolling hills, the reflections off the river Avon, a blue, cloudy sky feel good against the skin of my eyes.

The Cathedral, Bath

There is a beautiful, old, Roman bath, rebuilt on and changed and moved around, but essentially recognisable; viewing platforms and newer construction. The paving stones that were once trod by sandalled feet are still in evidence, as are the spindly foundations of the saunas, so laid out to allow hot air from the furnace to circulate in the room. It’s a hot day, and we sit by the green waters of the main pool for awhile – the colour is from algae, thriving on the nutrient rich, warm surrounds – in Roman days, the bath was covered by an arched roof and the water would have been clear. There is the Kings Bath, the source of the baths; we see bubbles of heat and sulphur gently rippling its surface.

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There is an Abbey, and we sit in the square, in the sun, eating sandwiches while a young man plays his Spanish guitar – I love his music, melancholic, rhythmic, reminiscent of a different time and place. Jeff wants to find the river Avon, so we go for a walk and find a lovely little garden; we lie in the grass and people watch. It’s a lazy, quiet weekend. We make our way to the horseshoe weir, a gushing, narrow set of stepped dams. A yellow retriever is swimming joyously in the river, chasing after a ball. Houseboats are moored along the riverbanks and there are families out and about.

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The weir, Bath

I’m not entirely sure where we’re heading, we wander around the town. There are lolly shops and a post office, and little, quaint cafes. We head up to the Royal Crescent, the Circus, beautiful Georgian houses and an expanse of green lawn dotted with people out with friends, playing football, having a barbi. It’s miles removed from the pace and hectic life in London and I soak it all in. We head to the restaurant we have reservations for; Aqua is in an old church, with a barnyard roof and the original wooden panelling and stained glass windows still in place. The food is modern Italian and delicious; when we leave to catch our 8:30 train back home the sky is still summerlight and shot through with clouds.

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