Bath: The Best and the Worst

Categories Best and Worst

When I left Salisbury, I had no idea that I was going towards one of the best towns around: Bath! The city was built to astound! The center of town sits between two rivers in a valley surrounded by seven hills. The architecture is consistent and pleasing to the eye. The whole town feels like it is a step back into the 17 hundreds. In a place covered by twisting alleys, open markets, and gothic abbeys, one can easily be enthralled for an entire day simply by walking around town.

That being said, my least favorite thing to see in Bath was the Fashion Museum. The museum showcases traditional dress in Bath starting in the 16 hundreds all the way up to modern day. Bath has always been a very fashionable city in England, and many people would come to Bath to see and buy some of the latest fashions. The entry ticket includes a free audio tour that provides lots of interesting information on how the clothes were made and what the designs symbolized.

All of this is really cool, but I do not think the museum was worth the price. The ticket cost a mere £8 ($11), otherwise I might not have gone. I am not particularly passionate about or interested in fashion, which is probably why it wasn’t as fulfilling as it could have been. If you are really interested in traditional fashion, this is definitely worth it. Otherwise I might skip this altogether.

My absolute favorite part of Bath was, of course, the Roman Baths. I almost skipped this place because the ticket price was so expensive (£16.50 or $23). Going into it, I didn’t expect much, just what you always see in photos online of the main bath (pictured above). However, the Roman Baths consisted of so much more!

When the Romans came to England, they viewed the natural hot spring in Bath as a holy place because it reminded them of Rome. That is why they built the Baths and temple next to the natural spring to form one big complex. They dedicated the temple to the goddess Minerva (Athena in Greece), and it became the social center of Bath.

After the Romans left, the Baths fell into disrepair. The city became popular again during the late 17th century and the 18th century. Bath became the number one vacation spot in England for the rich. The people would come to the Pump Room (you can still go today) and drink the water from the springs as it was said to have healing properties.

Today I was able to see the ruins of the ancient temple and walk into all of the sections of the Bath, including the cold pool, the woman’s bath, the men’s bath, and the various saunas. The Roman Baths also provide insight to how the romans lived while there as well as models of what the temple and baths would have looked in the Roman times. The ticket comes with a free audio tour, which provides a lot of the information I learned. They still let people taste the water should they be so inclined. I definitely tried it, and it tasted like straight copper to me.

As expensive as it is, the Roman Baths are worth every penny. I was amazed by the whole thing. I believe that they are an essential visit to any tour through England. For more information about either of these places, here are links to the Fashion Museum and the Roman Baths.

(I take all of my own photos)