Thursday, 6 October 2016

Bath in early autumn

I went to Bath for the Royal Crescent, to see the unique architecture, and imagine my own Anne Elliot & Captain Wentworth moment. But like most longed for experiences, it is the things you didn't expect that leave the biggest impression on you.

My Bath Spa highlights were Prior Park and the Bath Abbey Tower tour.

Overlooking Bath and the Avon Valley in Prior Park. I arrived at 10am, and had the miles of woodland and sweeping vistas to myself. Such a special morning walking empty paths, silent but for the rustle of trees, birdsong and a few squirrels. I sat by the Palladian bridge for a long time soaking in the peace. This 18th century landscaped parkland had me swooning. It combines the absolute best of nature with spectacular views over Bath and the Avon Valley. The romance of these estates gets me. Every time. God bless the National Trust for keeping them safe.

The Bath Abbey Tower tour, perhaps the best £6 I've spent so far in England. I climbed the 212 winding, narrow, worn, steep steps to the Abbey roof. The views over Bath weren't even the best part. It was hearing the fascinating and lengthy history of the tower, the bells, the cathedral roof... It is easy to forget these architectural masterpieces were, and are, a living, functioning part of every day society. They absorb and reflect the ever evolving history of a city. What a fascinating way to spend an hour! One highlight was standing next to the bells as the 'Westminster chime' sounded. The history of the bells is in equal measure lovely and humorous.

The Bath Assembly rooms were very pretty, and a beautiful example of something central to the Georgian social scene. Jane Austen herself danced here.

This letter, written by Emma Thompson, displayed at the Jane Austen centre made me chuckle and nod in absolute agreement...

All in all a beautiful city. I will look forward to returning again, next time with Alex. I'll definitely do the tower tour again with him. I also purposely left the Roman Baths for when we are in Bath together.

Kate  x

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