Last weekend we had some friends from New Zealand visiting. They only had a few hours in our part of the country so we suggested visiting Bath Spa. So, what to do with four hours in Bath?
Roman Baths. We'd never been but had heard that they were awesome. They were pretty awesome.
Street level where the people are standing on the balcony is a storey above where the baths were. They had actors on the lower level by the pool interacting with visitors. These two were a wealthy Roman lady and her slave explaining about cosmetics and hair and the latest fashions from Rome. There was also a centurion showing off his armour.
It was a massive complex in Roman times with a temple, bath houses, gymnasium and more.
The thing that broke my heart was that the water was completely untreated so it wasn't safe to swim in or paddle in or even touch. Coming from New Zealand where I frequently visited thermal hot pools, this made me sad.
You can buy an expensive 'Spas ancient and modern package' to be able to swim in the modern hot pools a few metres away from the Roman Baths (and you get lunch as well). You can also get a cheaper combined ticket to also be able to visit the Bath Fashion Museum. I got the combined ticket as the Fashion Museum is another place that I've heard is good but have never been. I'm going soon so I'll report back.
Bath Abbey. I highly recommend a visit here too. If you go for Evensong it's free to get in and you get to hear the choir of little boys in ruffs*!
*Evensong is a Christian service so don't go if that doesn't appeal. Also, the boys only sing part of the time, but there is always choral music and it's always lovely.
So that was our whistle-stop tour of Bath. A quick lunch and a dash into a couple of shops and our time was up. I think we made a good choice in our tourist attraction though, don't you?