Day Trip to Bath, England
With one day to spend outside London, we chose to travel by train to nearby Bath. We planned to take a self guided walking tour, eat lunch at the exquisite Pump Room, and tour the famous Roman Baths before we took an early evening train back to London. Finally, the weather cooperated. We did not experience one drop of rain, just periods of gloomy clouds and later rays of sunshine.
The small town atmosphere was apparent as soon as we left the train depot. As we walked toward the town, we were greeted by a tall church steeple.
The Avon River encircles the central part of the town. It added a special charm, especially near the Pulteney Bridge
After crossing the bridge, we encountered a wide assortment of shops and soon reached Great Pulteney Street, a residential area dating back to 1769. Slowly, the ominous clouds cleared and patches of blue were finally visible. We continued walking to the Sydney Gardens and then to Henrietta Park.
We retraced our steps and went back across the river. This time we went northward to scout out The Circus. The Circus is an example of Georgian architecture that dates back to the mid part of the 18th century. Three entrances lead into this man made circle that was designed by John Ward, the Elder. A park is located in the center of the circular roadway. After touring Rome’s Colosseum last fall, it is easy to see how Ward was influenced by that ancient structure.
We walked and walked while we admired different parts of the city.
One of the most famous structures is the Bath Abbey. The current structure dates back to the end of the 15th century. It is an active Anglican parish church that allows visitors to enter freely.
Inside is a massive sanctuary that holds well over a thousand congregants. The vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows reflect an era when craftsmanship was an honored trade. As we toured the inside, a church service was occurring. It was an odd mix- the solemnity of a service with the commercialism associated with tourism.
We stopped at the conveniently located Minerva Chocolate (15 Abbey Churchyard). Our traveling companions ordered scones.
Ira and I shared a dark chocolate muffin.
Future posts will focus on our splurge at the Pump Room, our tour of the Roman Baths, and a delectable dinner at Jamie’s Italian, a Jamie Oliver restaurant.