They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, and everywhere.
– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey –
I must be honest. I had never hear about Bath until one of my school teachers moved there. So, after talking with her my interest in the place spiked. So, I learned a few interesting facts about this heaven on Earth.
First of all, Bath is a historic Roman and Georgian spa city. It is 100 miles west of London and 15 miles southeast of Bristol. It is in the Somerset countryside.
Bath is one of those enchanting destinations. It is beautiful and unique. It was been declared as one of the most romantic places in the UK. It has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Independent, creative, unique and stylish. It is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally hot spawater at Thermae Bath Spa and visit 2,000 year old original Roman Baths.
As always I like having some information before traveling anywhere. Bath is the oldest of England’s principal tourist destinations and has been welcoming visitors for centuries.
The three hot springs within the city were sacred to the Celtic goddess Sulis, whom the Romans later identified with the goddess Minerva.
During the war (WWII) the city suffered a significant amount of damage during air raids. As a result, a few modern buildings pop up in unexpected places.
So, the history is important but this time I had an insider. Someone who had been living in this place for some time. So, I decided to ask her and pick her mind about it.
L.V.A: For how long have you been living in bath?
A. Fisher: I have been living near Bath almost for 19 years.
L.V.A: Why did you move there?
A. Fisher: My family (husband and two children 14 and 18) moved from Colombia in 1999 when Colombia was going through a very violent turmoil phase. The political unrest didn’t let us see light on the other side of the tunnel and day after day our personal safety felt threatened. We wanted our children to grow in a peaceful environment and have a better quality of life. The Educational System they encountered and had to face was very different but both my children were very resilient and being bilingual and coming from a prestigious private American School in Colombia that prepared them well academically allowed a smooth transition into their new Culture.
They felt welcome, were embraced in both Educational institutions and dived into their new academic challenges like fish in a pond. Bath life contributed greatly to this success as in a way it was the hob for their new life; a place where they started a new circle of friends, weaved new dreams and learned and adapted to the British ways and social life.
L.V.A: Why Bath?
A. Fisher: As a family group we needed support and we did have the fortune of having a set of grandparents living here. We wanted to be surrounded by culture and we landed in a rich and magnificent city that not only welcomes a large number of tourists from all over the world in all seasons of the year but also becomes a home for a large number of International students from all over the world that flock toward two of the most highly recognized main Universities in the UK. As a bonus, we were surrounded by history, Sport, culture (art and music festivals) and beauty and loads of marvellous and magical corners that we still continue to discover.
Continuing with my findings about Bath…
It doesn’t matter what your plans are: a romantic short break, a fun family holiday, an indulgent foodie getaway, bath has it all.
In my point of view, a walk around the Royal Crescent, is a must. It was built in the 1770s and the Georgian townhouses with perfectly manicured lawn continue to exist.
Currently, most are private residences, when they’re not being used by film crews for period pieces.
However, I was glad to find out that Bath is much more than its beautiful architecture, iconic sights and fascinating history.
A different approach to the city is viewing it from above in a hot air balloon flight. As a matter of fact, seeing such iconic sites from the sky is not only a nice change of pace but things look stunning.
On the other hand, If you are looking for exhilarating activities there are several things to do. Some of them are: motorsports at Castle Combe Race Circuit, the chance to tackle the sheer rock face and climb Cheddar Gorge or the thrill of a live horse race at Bath Racecourse.
I loved the fact that you can make your own accessories and even underwear at The Makery.
So, as it turned out it was time to get back to my conversaction with my former teacher.
L.V.A: What would you tell someone who doesn’t know anything about Bath?
A. Fisher: Bath is a very manageable, friendly city, if you plan your visit well you can see it in no time and enjoy it at its best. At hand you can find a variety of restaurants that offer all kinds of delectable foods, you can shop till you drop and walk everywhere at ease getting to see every corner and enjoy the beauty of its unique Roman architecture and thermal baths. It’s breathtaking Crescents, museums and magnificent gardens and Parks had made it deserve the title of World Heritage Site. We certainly arrived at a corner of Paradise.. Living in Bath is a privilege!
L.V.A: What amazes you from this city?
A. Fisher: What amazes me the most is the simple elegance -yet grand- Georgian architecture; how it was conceived as a purpose-built Spa and how each piece of the puzzle was carefully and cleverly positioned to make a unique picture perfect, functional city.
L.V.A: What shocks you from this city?
A. Fisher: What still shocks me is the complete and utter ineptitude and indecisiveness on behalf of the Council of this City’s Council to find a solution to the chaotic traffic volume in this marvellous city.
As I found out, after my conversation, this paradise on Earth has many wonderful things to offer. Things, possibilities, adventures, delightful pleasures, each tailored for different people and different needs.
Like for example, many fascinating museums. This allows you to discover everything from where William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus to what was at the height of fashion 100 years ago and how Jane Austen spent her time in Bath.
A great plan is to explore the countryside on a walk or cycle route; soak up the city’s historic atmosphere and beautiful architecture with a sightseeing tour; or make friends with the cheeky monkeys on safari at Longleat.
I simply adored the fact that the one and only Jane Austin lived here and was inspired by this city.
She set two of her six published novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, in Bath and made the city her home from 1801 to 1806.
She actually lived in Bath from 1801-1806, when England’s high society flocked to the city for its supposed health benefits. Now a days, momentos of her time in Bath can be found all across town; some are easy to find while others require a little insider knowledge.
Whether you’re visiting to enjoy some time on your own, with the family for a fun day out or as a couple looking for a romantic escape, there’s such as wide range of activities you’ll wish you could stay for longer!