Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bath Mini Guide

At the beginning of the month, my friend Penny and I went to visit the city of Bath.  Bath had been on my travel list since I first moved to the UK, and traveling during December ended up being the perfect decision (well, other than the constant rain perhaps).  The city was filled with festive spirits and one of the largest Christmas markets I've ever come across.  We were only there for a weekend, which frankly just wasn't enough time.  If we had had just one more day, we would have been able to accomplish nearly everything on our to-do list.  Still, we were able to get a lot done for the limited time we had.
With that in mind, I decided to put together a guide to the city.  As I did with my Copenhagen one, this is just a mini guide, but I hope you all enjoy it!

Where to Stay
Bath Backpackers
I am no hostel pro, but from what I've heard from my friends is that UK hostels tend to not be the nicest.  That being said, I've been to some that far exceeded my expectations (the St. Ives one was great).  In Bath, my friend Penny and I stayed at the Bath Backpackers, and for one night it definitely did the job.  It was by no means bad, and it had fun names for the different rooms, but it won't be making my list of top hostels I've been to.

If I had been staying in Bath for more than one night, I think the option I would have gone for would have been the AirBNB route.  It will probably be a bit more expensive than a hostel, but if you visit with friends you can probably split the costs up. I also always like the AirBNB path because I'm more likely to have a kitchen and be able to cook for myself.  I know part of the allure of traveling is getting to go out to eat, but after a few days the costs of eating out can quickly rack up.  By cooking for yourself, you can probably save a few extra quid to make up for the AirBNB.

What to Do
Fashion Museum Bath
I love museums - any museums really - but hands down my favorite museums are ones that have a dedicated fashion section.  Bath is known for having an entire museum dedicated to just that, and I was immediately sold!  Though smaller than most London Museums, it has a great collection and it even has a section in the middle where you can try on some replicas of the clothes being held in the museum.  Penny and I spent far too much time in that room giggling as we (okay mostly me) tried on every dress in sight.
My recommendation when buying tickets?  Get the saver ticket, as for just £22.50, it will get you entry into there, the Roman Baths, and the Victoria Art Gallery 90 days from purchase.  We didn't have time to visit the Victoria Art Gallery, but we were able to skip the queues when we got to the baths!

Roman Baths
Probably the most popular destination for anyone visiting the city, the Roman Baths are a must see.  It explores the great history of the city and its early ties to Ancient Rome.  It takes about two hours to get through it all, and they give you these nifty little phone-looking devices where you can get additional information on whatever piece you're looking at.  However, try to go on a nice day if you can; it's and indoor/outdoor museum and we were rained on while we were outside.

Holburne Museum
The Holburne Museum is an art museum in Bath with a vast collection of paintings and sculptures.  I actually didn't have time to see it, as when Penny and I arrived there, they were no longer letting people go inside as it was too close to the closing time.  I would have loved to see it though, especially as they currently have both a Gainsborough and a Rodin exhibition going on!

Jane Austen Centre
Another place we did have time to actually go into (other than the gift shop for my mom), but need I really say more here?  It's the go to place for any Jane Austen obsessee (re: my entire family).

What to See
Pulteney Bridge
You've probably seen this bridge before, as it's one of the many iconic locations in the city.  And despite it being famous for the city of Bath, you might recognize it from the 2012 Les Miserables film (which famously takes place in Paris), where *spoiler alert* Javert jumps to his death.  It's a nice view, and with it being in the city centre, and easy place to see in the city.

The Royal Crescent
One thing I was surprised about by the city was that it was much more hilly than I expected.  Though it made the walking around the city slightly more tiring, the main benefit it that when you eventually get to the top there are great views.  Some of the best views are by the Royal Crescent, another iconic Bath location that has made appearances in many period pieces.

The Circus
I talked a bit about The Circus in my previous post, but it's a historic, circular street of townhouses built in the 18th century.  I personally love the look of it and think that it makes a great place for photos.

Where to Eat
Sally Lunn's Eating House
If you only go to one food place during your time in Bath, make sure it's Sally Lunn's!  Established in 1680, it's one of the oldest houses in Bath, and it's where the secret recipe for the Sally Lunn bun was created.  It's open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea, but I would recommend trying to get there first thing in the morning as it can quickly get busy.

Good Day Cafe
The weekend Penny and I were in Bath, it pretty much didn't stop raining the entire time we were there.  The Christmas Market was in full swing, and we had fully intended to get lunch on the second day somewhere in the market.  But after spending most of the morning in the rain, we were desperate for somewhere to dry off and sit down.  We found the Good Day Cafe around the corner from the market, and this aesthetically pleasing cafe was the perfect place for a quick lunch.  The bacon bagel and scrambled eggs was exactly what was needed, but my favorite thing on the menu was the hot chocolate; they have homemade marshmallows that they toast for you making it taste just like a s'more! 

I genuinely can't wait to go back to Bath.  I'm aiming to go back again this summer, where hopefully it will be a bit warmer and won't be raining the entire time!

Have you been to Bath?  Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments!

Elizabeth xx

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