Bath Travel Guide
London Day Trips / Bath Travel / Spa Travel / Literary Travel / Britain Travel / London Travel / Historical Travel / Get Out of Londontown / → All Tags
Heading to London this summer? Yeah, so is everyone else. This week, Jaunted's London embed, Lilit Marcus, will share some definite destinations for getting out of town and out of the crowds.
Last year, John Cleese famously announced that he liked Bath better than London. “London is no longer an English city, which is why I love Bath,” he said. “I love being down in Bath because it feels like the England that I grew up in.”
Not only does Bath feel like the town of John Cleese's fond memories, it feels like the one where Jane Austen used to live. Many of the buildings were designed during the Georgian period and have remained mostly unchanged since. If you ignore the lone Starbucks, it would even be easy to think the town hadn’t changed at all in hundreds of years. Although it’s only 90 minutes away from London via Paddington Station, it’s easy to feel like you’re in another time and place, which makes it a beautiful choice for a short trip outside the city.
The town of Bath in Britain may be known best for its "healing waters" beloved of everyone since the Romans, and as a result it's also something of a huge tourist trap. If you find yourself with more than a few days in London, eventually someone will suggest a daytrip to Bathbut finally there's a better reason to go than buying the local water. Bath's Fashion Museum is hosting an exhibition of Princess Diana's dresses, from now until January 9, 2011.
The dresses, all from private collectors and all previously displayed at Kensington Palace, are from the Princess' royal tours of Canada and New Zealand, when every day presented a new formal event for Diana to attend in custom-made gowns made by Catherine Walker, Versace, Donald Campbell, Caroline Charles and Murray Arbeid. They've got a period costume she wore at a picnic, an opera gown and even a very innocent-looking dress she wore at age 18.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that British writer Jane Austen is a huge industry: Look at the runaway success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its sequel, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. But only real Austen fans will make the pilgrimage to Batha popular vacation destination in Jane's day that she actually didn't like very muchfor the Jane Austen Festival, which runs till next Sunday the 27th.
Austen lived in Bath for six years and set significant parts of two of her novels in the seaside resort town, but privately admitted to not liking it all that much. Back then, visitors would take salubrious dips in the geothermal hot springs by day and go to the theatre by night; you can still do both of these, although you may be more likely to see Bath Rugby and check into an organic resort like the Thermae Bath Spa.
England / Baths / Museums / → All Tags
When is a bath more than a bath? That's easy. When it's:
the best preserved Roman religious spa from the ancient world.
That's the marketing tag on the Roman Baths in the English town of Bath, and that really does make it sound enticing. Here you can wander through the Roman temple, Sacred Spring and Roman bath house areas and see exhibits of artifacts from the original days of the bath. What's even better is you can listen to an audioguide recorded by the great travel writer Bill Bryson, which surely takes a witty stance on all things naked and bath-related.
If you want a dip yourself, you'll have to go to the nearby Thermae Bath Spa, where the water isn't quite such a murky green color.
· English Soaked About Bath's Baths [Jaunted]
spas / England / → All Tags
Big news in Bath this week. This pretty town in the west of England--a favorite haunt of ahead-of-her-time Jane Austen--finally has a bath again. This week the Thermae Bath Spa complex opened to provide local Bathians and tourists alike with an alternative to a quick hop under the shower. With four natural thermal baths to choose from and way too many aromatherapy-massage-yoga combinations for us to get our head around, there's no excuse for poor hygiene on your England tour now.
Of course it all sounds just lovely (with proper English accent, please) to us tourists, but locals have been whinging about it for decades, ten million pounds over budget as it is, not to mention opening three years later than planned. Better late than never, we merrily say, and we recommend the Watsu treatment, just because we think its name has plenty of potential for bad puns--another English speciality.
[Image via atotheizzo/Flickr]
Bath Gets Its Spa [Times Online]
In Hungarian Hot Water [Jaunted]