Bath: 27 May 2013

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My dad and I spent a day at a Bath, UK. No, we didn't take a bath there but in the past, people travelled months to get to the bath there because they believed that the water there had healing properties. Thankfully in the 21st century, it takes only 1 hr 23 mins to get there from London Paddington train station to Bath Spa station at GBP53.50 per person for 2-way off-peak (or as low as GBP26 if you book in advance). For schedules and tickets, go to http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

Train schedule
The 2 must-see attractions are the the ancient Roman Baths and the Bath Abbey, which is just beside the Roman Baths. There are other attractions which I wanted to see: the Circus and the Royal Crescent. However, the restored house at No.1 Royal Crescent was still under renovation and the Assembly Rooms were occupied so we couldn't go in. The Jane Austen Centre and Fashion Museum are attractions too but I decided to give those a miss.

It was a public holiday so the streets were filled with people. We had to queue to get into the ancient Roman Baths. While queuing, we thought they might have been limiting the number of visitors to avoid congestion but when we got into the building, we realised that the bottleneck was the ticketing. Here are the ticket prices including a free guided tour that starts on the hour, every hour:
£12.75 per adult
£11.00 per senior
For more information, visit Roman Baths tourist information page.

Ticketing hall
The ticketing hall is very beautiful but the rest of the Baths are in ruins. I suggest joining the free guided tour to fully appreciate the place. One interesting fact the tour guide shared was that the statues surrounding the Bath was not Roman but Victorian. Another interesting but gross fact was that the sweat, dead skin and body hair from celebrities and important people were sold to be used as face masks! Anyway, the greenish water in the pool now cannot be drank. The sunlight has caused the formation of algae.

Statues above are Victorian, not Roman
Bath Abbey is in the background
One of the pools in the bath
The water here continues to run. You can get a free drink from the running tap or buy a bottle of water from the souvenir shop. If you think it is ridiculous it is to pay this much money for water, think about the people in the present day who go to Lourdes for the water! I had a small cup of water. It was warm and has a pleasant taste. Wooaah! I'm cured!

Water continues to run
Buy the water for GBP4.50
The church (Bath Abbey) is old and nice. There's a "compulsory donation" if you want to enter through the front door. Otherwise, enter through the souvenir shop by the side. I suppose I don't fully appreciate the architecture. And having been to the St. Peter's Basilica at Vatican City, other churches fail to impress.

Outside Bath Abbey
Inside Bath Abbey
There was still time so we walked to the Circus and the Royal Crescent. The town isn't large so you can reach all the attraction on foot. The Circus is actually 3 buildings of houses that form a circle around a small park with beautiful, old trees. There are people still living in the houses. It must be lovely to live in one of those houses!

The Royal Crescent is (supposedly) one of the world's best known landmarks. The crescent-shaped building contains about 30 houses. One of the houses, Number 1 and open to the public (it was closed for renovation when I was there). It should be very interesting to see luxury that the rich people enjoyed in those days.

The Royal Crescent

2 comments:

David said...

Yu-Kym,

How fortunate you are to travel in Britian with clear skies and sunshine!

So you do not apprecite Michelangelo's work in St. Peters Basilica? The great one must be doing a roll about now.

Your photos are most appreciated and show the beauty of such historic places.

The Romans had a good sense of hygiene!

Do let us know when you back in SG, and travel safely!


David

Sean said...

Hi Yu-Kym,

Your photos are reminiscent of my visit to Bath in 2010. Tell us more of your trip soon!

Cheers!
Sean