Back during the May half term we booked the long weekend away in Cornwall in our favourite China Fleet Hotel and we decided to have stop for a night in Bath as I never been and always wanted to go. The main purpose of the stop over was to go and see the Roman Baths, but we managed to squeeze some wandering around time, checking out the famous Royal Crescent and a game of mini golf! All in all, Bath with the kids was quite a fun time!
We only arrived to Bath in the evening having left after school finished on Friday and the traffic was a nightmare. We checked into the Holiday Inn not far from the old train station (we like Holiday Inns for a night as a stop over as we ask for the couch to be made up as a double bed for the children and the four of us share the room for the night, it’s always cheap and cheerful as most Holiday Inns are quite modern. But since we have to share the room with the children we can’t do more than a night or maximum two) and headed out for dinner.
We booked for dinner in a really cute, indy pizza place at the old train station, which is now turned into a market place with little food stalls and the pizza restaurant called Bath Pizza Co. It’s a cute and quirky place with a terrace inside the old train station. The pizza was delicious and the staff was helpful and kind.
Next morning, we strolled around a little bit in the old town. The city is a World Heritage site and there’s a lot of beautiful and interesting places to visit. The old town is beautiful and full of history, starting in Roman times. It was always a popular place and attracted the aristocracy and it became really fashionable in the 18th century. Jane Austen also lived here for five years. There a couple of good museums and galleries to visit too, but we didn’t have time on this occasion. We looked at the abbey and we strolled down to the River Avon.
Then we headed to the Roman Baths. We had pre-booked tickets and a 10AM entry. If you are into Romans – right, I think I need to admit I am a little obsessed with the Greek and Roman history and mythology – it is definitely a place for you. I honestly thought, it’s probably the UK’s most interesting museum. I mean, it’s an ancient Roman bath site, complete with temple, still functioning, preserved in an unbelievably great condition. It really is a fascinating historical sight.
With the hot spring still running, you can really immerse in Roman historic times. Goddess Sulis Minerva is the patron of this Roman Bath as the temple worships her. Whilst the bath culture and socialising in the bath rooms was very much pat of everyday life in the Roman Empire, curiously this one in Bath is the largest and most complex Roman bath ever discovered, complete with treatment rooms and all heated naturally with the power of thermal water. Though excavations in the mid 19th century revealed some of the bath and temple it wasn’t until 1997 when it reopened to the public with vastly improved museum exhibits and multimedia presentations. Up until 1978, people occasionally swam in the Great Bath and some of the smaller baths were used for therapeutic treatments. How amazing is that, though.
Today, we can visit the entire bath complex, walk around the pools and treatment rooms, with audioguide, image projections onto treatment room walls and there are even actors dressed as Romans hanging out by the Great Bath happy to answer questions and chat about Roman history. The kids loved this. They also loved the other interactive installations like trying to lift a typical Roam building stone. Another thing that made them giggle was the distinct smell of the bath. And they loved announcing loudly: ewww, it’s like a rotten egg! Not that they ever smelt a rotten egg, ha!
Further to their amusement, they also found the projections of semi – and completely naked people in the treatment rooms. They are very cleverly done, so we can visually imagine what the room looked like, how was it used, etc. I enjoyed this part very much. Transports you to ancient Roman times! And you can even hope over the ancient hot spring that still pumps 13litre thermal water into the Great Bath every per second.
Victoria Park: Royal Crescent and Mini Golf
We then had a quick lunch and headed over to Victoria Park; this is all on foot. Bath is not a huge city and although there is some elevation, it’s perfectly walkable. We rented electric scooters just outside the park. But unfortunately, they don’t work in the park and there’s no warning about this either. So we walked to the Royal Crescent which is magnificent to look at. (The kids obviously haven’t been amused by it, but they found fun in rolling down the small hill Royal Crescent is built on, jumping into the ha-ha in front of it. With many notable residents throughout the years since it was built in the late 18th century and the fact that it has been used in a few big movies and popular series currently makes a popular spot for taking photos and for instagrammers.
After the Royal Crescent we decided to have a game of Mini Golf before heading down to Cornwall in the afternoon. Victoria Falls Adventure Golf was the most beautiful mini golf course I ever visited. It’s like a botanical garden with a waterfall combined with mini golf. Very pretty plants and they were all in bloom when we went. It’s 18 hole and some of them are easy and other ones are bit more challenging. Well kept course with reasonable pricing.
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