South West England – Bath

South West Bath 1. The Roman Baths
Highlights of the Roman Baths include the open air Great Bath, its hot vaprous waters surrounded by 19th century pillars, terraces and statues of famous Romans; the Circular Bath, where bathers cooled off; and part of the temple of Minerva. Among a quantity of coins, jewellery and sculpture exhibited are the gilt bronze head of Sulis Minerva and a grand, Celtic inspired gorgon’s head from the temple’s pediment. Roman graffiti (mainly curses and boasts) helps paint a picture of the clientele.

2. No. 1 Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent was built to the designs of John Wood the Younger between 1767 and 1774. It is one of the finest achievements of 18th urban century architecture and represents the highest point of palladian architecture in Bath. The houses of the Royal Crescent were designed to the individual requirements of wealthy and distinguished visitors to Bath. Visitors today can see a grand town house redecorated and furnished to show how it might have appeared in the late 18th century.

3. The Fashion Museum and Assembly Rooms
The story of fashion over the last 400 years is brought alive at the Fashion Museum, the finest museum of fashionable garments in the world. Displays include 200 dressed figures to illustrate changing styles from the late 16th century to the present day, chosen from the museum’s collection of 30,000 original items. The galleries display a series of themes including menswear and womenswear, dress for day and dress for evening, as well as alternative fashion and fashion today.

4. Shopping in Bath
Bath is a shoppers paradise, with lots of independent boutiques and stores, selling everthing from fashion and jewellery to food, antiques and wine. Check our Sassy and Boo at St Margaret’s Buildings, where they sell original 1920’s dresses, as well as unique contemporary bags and body products. Why not treat yourself to a bottle of wine at The Tasting Room, where you can try before buying!

5. The Pump Room
The Pump Room is a striking neo classical salon where hot spring water was drawn for drinking. It was regarded as the social heart of Bath for more than two centuries, frequented by officers and ladies in the Georgian era, and the famous dandy, Beua Brummel. The Pump Room contains a number of curiosities, including the Tompion clock. Admission to the pump room is free, and the Pump Room Restaurant is open daily for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.

6. Bath Victorian Boating Station
What better way to waste some time than messing about on the river! Open from Easter to October, Bath Victorian Boating Station offers traditional boat hire by the hour or day, with rowing boats (skiffs), punts or canoes on offer. Punting lessons are also available free of charge if required. The boating station is situated on a beautiful stretch of the River Avon, and there’s a restaurant on site where you can rest your rowing arms and enjoy a well deserved meal!

7. The Building of Bath Collection
If you love Bath and its architecture, The Building of Bath Collection explains how and why this magnificent city was built, decorated and lived in. The exhibition leads you through how a Georgian house was constructed from the ashlar stone to the decorative plasterwork. Visitors can touch and explore the majority of the exhibits. You can see how a Georgian sash window was constructed or try on a pannier, a wicker backpack used by boys to carry stone on the building site.

8. Thermae Bath Spa
Relax and unwind at Thermae Bath Spa; a contemporary day spa where you can bathe in the warm, natural mineral-rich waters and choose from a range of spa treatments designed to ease the body and soothe the mind. There’s a fantastic roof-top open air pool, the Minerva bath and the Aroma steam rooms and waterfall shower. A variety of spa and treatment packages are available at different prices. Treat yourself to a healthy meal at Springs cafe and restaurant.

9. The Jane Austen Centre
The Jane Austen Centre tells the story of the effect that living in Bath had on this famous author and her writing. Jane Austen paid two long visits to Bath at the end of the 18th century, and from 1801 to 1806, the city was her home. The centre contains period costumes, books, maps and contemporary exhibits including film. Enquire about the guided walks, which will take you past houses where Jane Austen lived and the settings for the novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

10. The Herschel Museum
To quote from the patron of the museum Patrick Moore, William Herschel was the first man to give a reasonably correct picture of the shape of our star-system or galaxy; he was the best telescope-maker of his time, and possibly the greatest observer who ever lived. Here you can see how this famous astronomer lived and worked in this unimposing house which has changed little since Georgian times.

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