Bath to Ebrington

Bath Travel Blog

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Model of the original Roman Baths.

On Tuesday we woke around 7:00 in the morning and went downstairs for our breakfast.  Had meusli, rasher bacon, and an egg, along with excellent coffee.  We were only spending the one night in Bath, so we checked out and left our luggage with the staff.  We walked to the Roman Baths as our first stop.  My friend and I had both been to the Roman Baths before.  I had been there during my semester abroad in England back in 1997.  I don't think anything really changed in those 10 years.  The baths were used by the Romans as a co-ed spa for religion, health, business, and relaxation.  The original site was covered by a hollow roof, which evenutally collapsed.  The site was uncovered in the 18th century and was dug up entirely over the following few decades.

  It opened to the public in the 1890s.  (I'm copying my notes from two years ago, and I can't recall what happened to it during the intervening years.)  I recreated a photo I took back in 97 of myself sticking my hand in one of the streams of water, and it was extremely hot. 

We decided to skip the traditional drink of the spring water (whch I understand tastes very foul) and found a little bakery where we purchased some pasties.  Pasties instantly became our favorite fast meal for the rest of the trip.  They should really start selling them here in the States--I think they would be a hit!  We sat on a bench to eat our meals and do some people watching, which is a pastime I really enjoy.  Then we hit the shops.  I found some Cadbury candy for my co-workers back home, and some silver jewelry, and a variety of teas from a place called Withams.

  (I later found that the rose, hybiscus, and vanilla flavored tea was fantastic, and I cannot find it anywhere else.)  We finished up with the Costume Museum, which was mildly entertaining.  Then it was time to set out for our next destination.

I had never driven in England before, and this time I decided that I was going to do it.  So we decided to rent a car to travel from Bath to the Cotswolds.  And to save money, we got a manual.  So learning to drive it on the left side of the street was more than a little challenging!  But I enjoyed it, and would certainly do it again.  (I might opt for an automatic next time, though.)  Fortunately Jenny is a great navigator, so I could put all of my concentration into driving and not worry about directions.

  She was able to warn me about upcoming roundabouts, which are probably the scariest thing for someone who is doing everything on the opposite side and with opposite hands.  Surprisingly, some of the roundabouts were just circles painted on the asphalt.  I nearly drove right through a few of those.  And I hit the curb a few times.  And I made a few other mistakes...but it is all part of the experience.

After 1.5 hours of very tense driving we stopped for tea at a little outdoor cafe in Northleach.  It was perfect!  We sat outside in a garden and had tea and scones with clotted cream.  Then we set out on the road again, and the further we drove, the more beautiful the land became.

The famous baths.
  Especially striking were the fields of gold rapeseed that stretched as far as we could see.  As we drove further the roads became more and more narrow, and finally became a single shared lane.  (An added bonus for the nervous driver!)  Finally we reached the village of Ebrington and found Home Farm B&B.  We were NOT disappointed!  It was an old farmhouse set on a hill overlooking vast green fields.  There were sheep just beyond the wooden gate.  And the B&B owners had two very friendly dogs.  (My friend and I both are dog lovers.)  Veronica, one of the owners, greeted us and was very warm and friendly.  She showed us around the huge old house.
Recreating a picture I took in 1997.
  The original parts had been built in the 1600s, though it had been added to and remodeled extensively.  Our room was up in the attic.  There were two twin beds with an attached bathroom.  The room was really attractive, but the very best part was the view from the windows.  They opened to reveal a view of an idealic English village, with blooming gardens and cobbled stones.  I was really glad that we had chosen to stay in a remote farmhouse, and not in the tourist towns. 

We did some research on the local hiking trails for the next day.  Then we topped off the night by walking the very short distance to the village pub, the Ebrington Arms.  It was a great tiny village pub.  The atmosphere was friendly, though I imagine that everyone else there lived in the village.  (They must get a little tired of seeing the tourists there day in and day out.)  I had quiche and cider.  It was a great end to a great day!

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Model of the original Roman Baths.
Model of the original Roman Baths.
The famous baths.
The famous baths.
Recreating a picture I took in 199…
Recreating a picture I took in 19…
Part of the original roof from Rom…
Part of the original roof from Ro…
photo by: Hummingbird