A day trip to Bath

The following is an excerpt from my travel journal…

Day 12, Saturday December 21, 2019

We had been looking forward to today ever since we began planning this trip. After spending a day here on our last visit back in 2015 we all wanted to look around some more. Today though it really felt, for the first time this holiday, that we’d all hit a bit of a wall. None of us were feeling great and, to be honest, I think we were all just a tad sick of each other so tempers were a little frayed at times during the day.

Having said that, this really is a lovely city and this time around we didn’t repeat our mistake and attempt to park in the city itself. Instead, we left the car at the park and ride just outside of town and caught the bus in. It really is the way to go and drops you right in the centre of town.

Because we saw the Roman Baths and the Abbey on our previous visit, this time Sarah wanted to check out the shops and revisit the Christmas markets; I wanted to see the Pulteney Bridge and the Assembly Rooms, and Grant decided that he needed a haircut. #asyoudo

The Pulteney Bridge crosses the River Avon and was built in in the 1770’s to connect the city of Bath with the land across the river owned by the Pulteney family. It’s also one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides.

The weir was originally built in the early 1600’s to stop the river from flooding the town. It’s really unusual horseshoe-shape though, was a result of a rebuild in the 1970s.

Just across the road is Bath Guildhall Market, the oldest shopping centre in the city. Trading has been taking place for over 800 years on this site.

Today though, Grant found a barber and Sarah and I wandered the stalls and sampled a Bath Bun.

A Bath Bun is a sweet roll made from a milk-based yeast dough. It has some currants and sultanas inside, a lump of sugar in the middle and crushed sugar on top. Bath Buns were apparently one of Jane Austen’s favourite things to eat in Bath – although I suspect she didn’t eat it walking around the market.

We found the sugar quite disconcerting and the bun itself underwhelming. Maybe we would have enjoyed it more if we’d eaten it as it’s meant to be eaten: with butter or jam and cream – sort of like a Bath version of a scone.

Back at the Abbey, we were disappointed to find that the Christmas markets had finished the previous week.

There were, however, a couple of buskers playing – including one opera singer who was fabulous.

We couldn’t agree on a pub for lunch so ended up at a Thai restaurant instead – and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reasonable tempers restored we headed up the hill towards the Assembly Rooms and the Circus and Royal Crescent – where the whole street is perfectly symmetrical and in a semi-circle.

I can imagine it in the days of Jane Austen when everyone would gather at the Assembly Rooms…which were, today, closed for a wedding. Seriously? I tried the whole “I’ve come all the way from Australia to see this and you’re closed for a wedding?” thing but it was no good. Maybe next time.

Plus, it had now started to drizzle, with the drizzle turning to rain as we stood in the queue for the park and ride bus.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

6 thoughts

  1. Wow, Bath looks amazing and a Bath Bun sounds like something I would love to try! I’m glad you guys had a great time re-visiting Bath, it’s a place I would love to explore one day too. Thanks for sharing and stay safe 😊 Aiva

  2. Nice to read something different from the current news, Joanne. It is fun to go back to a place you have visited before. You learn things you would do differently, such as taking the bus into town. This is a spectacular setting and your photos captured it well. It looks like the Circus and Royal Crescent street would have been a challenge to photograph. Great post!

  3. Hi, Jo – I’ve been to Bath (2017) and was fortunate to experience many of the sights that you have mentioned here. I absolutely LOVED it.
    Now, I have a remarkable image stuck in my brain. Jane Austen walking around the markets in bath, eating a Bath Bun! 😀

  4. Hi Jo, We love Bath as my husband taught there for a year back in 1992 as part of a year-long Teacher Exchange. Did we get lucky or what?? We always visit when we’re over there to see our daughter and Grant goes of on his own to reacquaint himself with his memories and I always look at the shops and tourist spots. I usually schedule a visit to the Bath Spa as well but not this time unfortunately. We also did the park and ride which was a great idea given the markets. We saw the Christmas market the week before you were there obviously and loved it. It was a bit wet and cool but we managed to get inside some shops to warm up and I loved the Christmas jumpers available and winter fashion. The whole place is amazing and it has to be up there with one of our favourites due to beauty, history and memories. Loved reading this and transporting myself back, it will be quite some time before I’ll be back there I think :(. Thanks so much Jo x

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