Named – a tad unoriginally, in truth – after its natural hot spring Roman baths, the city of Bath is an English hidden gem, both beautiful and slightly backwards, with the Roman influence running like a seam through its streets. The city was once know as Aquae Sulis, and home to a vast and luxurious set of Roman baths that became a major travelers spot and community centre. It remains a top, underappreciated tourist town to this day.
Of course, if you see one place it has to be those baths, which retain their original design, but have now been developed into a fantastic tourist attraction, home to everything from the jewels once dropped into the steaming water from ill-secured jewelry to full explanations of the assembled Godly statues and reconstructions. Sadly you can’t actually get in the baths anymore, but you can sample the tangy spring water at the end of your tour, and there is a natural (but modern) spa to be found elsewhere in the city.
Right next door to the baths you’ll find Bath Abbey, an old gothic church with an impressive façade, while the streets nearby are home to old Roman pillared walkways. Bath has also had some impressive developments since Roman times, though, including bohemian Walcot Street, an off the wall market, as well as more recent but still impressive old buildings scattered around the city. Over the last few decades, Bath has become a rugby powerhouse, providing plenty of players to the England national team, and is now the perfect place to experience live, bone crunching professional rugby, too.
Nearby attractions include bigger and brasher Bristol, with its lovely harbor and impressive Gorge Bridge, or Bradford Upon Avon, a tiny rural town that’s everything you imagined village life in Britain to be.
Bath is very nearly a must see UK tourist spot, competing with nearby Salisbury, London and Oxford for essential southern spots to drop in on. Charming, ancient and exciting round almost every corner, it’s a spot you might not have heard of, but you’ll definitely be writing home about.
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