Newest Review: ... which are absolutely beautiful when the sun shines on them. No trip to Bath would be complete without a visit to the Roman baths. ... more
Dont laugh at Bath,its not naff!
Bath in General
Member Name: spoilt_little_br
Bath in General
Date: 18/07/02, updated on 18/07/02 (247 review reads)
Advantages: read op
Disadvantages: read op
I know what a lot of people think of Bath, a lovely city with brilliant architecture, every corner tells a story, or you could think that Bath is full of rich old people who look down their noses at everyone. Personally I’m inclined to agree with both, but I am willing to put all my grudges behind me and explain to you how I see Bath from the past, present and future.
I was brought up in Bath by my grandparents but left to live in the country, and here I am 10 years later once again living in the city with the “golden” spring. I must say my impression of Bath now is very different from what it was four years ago when I first moved back. So here I go, please bear with me as I try to go through all aspects of Bath from BC to the present day.
**** Bath’s Development ****
Years ago I studied Bath, which I suppose I took for granted at the time but now thinking back I think its amazing how just a few small events could be the making of such a, now huge and powerful city.
The development of Bath first started in the 6th Century BC when according to legend, Prince Bladud was cured of leprosy by the hot spring waters. At this stage in history, Bath was far from what we see now, Bath’s land was used purely for farming but still Bath was very unpopular and had no recognition. In the 1st Century AD the Romans invaded Britain and soon discovered that the hot spring waters could cure skin diseases. The Romans made their mark and soon built the town Aquae Sulis. Many people from all over the Roman Empire came to visit the famous Baths and temples. Bath at this time was mainly seen as a religious centre, but by the late 400’s the Roman Empire fell and the Saxons invaded southern Britain and “Aquae Sulis” was abandoned and all buildings were ruined.
Within the next 100 years the Saxons built a small Christian settlement on the ruins of Aquae Sulis and started to use the water from the sprin
gs. In the 8th Century the Bath Abbey was built and was regarded as one of the most important religious buildings in Wessex.
By 973 AD, Bath was now very popular with many visitors and had a vastly growing population. King Edgar was the first King to be crowned King of England and he was crowned in Bath Abbey. This event gave out a very strong message to all visitors coming into Bath. At this time everyone was quickly becoming fascinated with royalty and going where other royalist had been became fashionable.
Many monks soon moved to Bath and used the water to cure the sick. Bath continued to grow as a very big religious centre with the Bishop of Bath starting to build a large Cathedral and soon a small market had started to grow around the Monastery and Cathedral. Bath was controlled by the Church and brought many visitors because of this, but Bath was also a largely established wool-trading town. Within the next 400 years the Black Death reached Bath killing hundreds of locals. The Black Death halted Baths progress and soon Baths population was quickly dropping. By 1539 Henry VIII was on the thrown and he ordered that all monasteries were closed, this included the famous Bath Abbey.
In the late 1600’s Charles II and James II started to make trips to Bath making Bath once again very popular. Bath started getting recognition and it became a growing trend to visit the waters and bathe as the royal family did. In 1767 when John Wood JR had built the Royal Crescent, members of the royal family made it tradition to stay at number One Royal crescent. This brought Bath extra trade as followers of the family would want to stay in the famous house for £140 P.A. The crescent was built purely to attract people from Bristol to Bath. When you travelled from Bristol, the crescent would be the first attraction that you would see. The crescent is a very grand building and soon as Bath extended, all houses were built like the crescent. In the 18th
Century Bath became a very rich and popular City where the rich and famous would dine and be treated to luxuries such as the theatre.
In 1841, Bath got its first railway line from Bath to London. This enabled the public to freely explore London and it also offered Bath more trade and wealth. As you can see, it is the small things like this that make Bath what it is today, the “Golden City”. Today Bath is a very advanced city with millions of tourists each year from all over the world. Just in 1995, Bath healed the youth Olympics and more recently a series of events for Sport relief were held here, including Dwight Yorke and other famous sporting heroes.
Of course the way Bath was seen and preserved then is very different from what it is now. I hope I have given you a brief idea of how Bath became so famous. I do strongly advise that if you have never been to Bath before that you take the time to see this famous and beautiful city. There really is something for everyone, young and old.
So now on to the present, how do I see Bath? What is there to do in Bath? Here are a few points for any tourists or people interested in Bath.
**** What to do in the present Bath ****
Of course if you were going to come to Bath, the obvious thing to see would be the Roman Baths. I have been in them many times and every time I find something new. If you live in Bath you can get in free or at a discount, but anyone else can get in for a very reasonable price. When you enter the Baths you will be given a phone. When travelling around the baths you can type a code into the phone to hear your own personal guide. This is a new feature to the baths and one that is very favourable.
The Baths is not something to be rushed though. Make sure that you leave at least a morning or afternoon to explore the golden springs. But do not be deceived, it is not just a hole in the ground with natural spring water, no, the Roman Baths takes y
ou on a journey around ruins and every stage tells a new story. You can find out how and where the Romans lived, How the Baths were discovered, built and restored back to its natural beauty. The Abbey is also open to visitors all year round. It is actually interesting and very beautiful. I suppose I take it for granted being able to go in and out of the Abbey at any time, but it is a great place to visit. I think the Abbey looks very beautiful at Christmas, there is a huge decorated Christmas tree outside and the Abbey is decorated. But beware, as there are many carol services held by schools at this time of the year so don’t expect to quietly stroll in and out!
I really enjoy looking around the Museum of costume. It takes you on a journey, explaining how the economy effected rations and what people would wear, right up to the present day. It even includes dresses worn by the Queen. This Museum is once again, very cheap and free to any one who lives in the area.
Bath is also famous for it’s postal museum, although I admit I have never been, but I hear that it is very enjoyable and educational. In the area is the famous Longleat house and gardens. I have been many a time and strongly advise you to go. It is fascinating to see all the animals and the house is just magnificent(Although rather spooky!). Lord Bath currently lives in the house (I think in the west wing) and the house is covered in his explicit paintings. The grounds also hold the longest Maze, and it is very big; I have been in many times but still get lost (Note: cheating by jumping through hedges is not advisable, unless you like being covered in thorns!). There is a big playground for children of all sizes. You are measured and are given an animal name, each ride has names on and if your animal name appears, you are allowed on the ride. There is a postman Pat house and shop, and a very hot butterfly home. Train rides and animal shows are also available all day. I really
enjoy the safari park. You can either go on a tour or in your own car, but beware; there are many monkeys who make fun of scaring your children and ripping your car apart- great fun!
Bath is also famous for the Recreation ground where their rugby pitch is. I have only been once, but well worth a visit. Among the waterfront on the recreation are restaurants and children’s play areas. You can get boat trips that take you under the famous Pulteney Bridge and on some occasions will include food and wine in the trip.
If you are staying in the area long, I recommend that you take a day trip to Bristol. There you may see the S.S Great Britain and new to Bristol is a centre where you can explore Dinosaurs and the Stone Age. It really makes a brilliant day out. You may also like to visit the docks, as this is a very lively and entertaining point. I like Bristol, and used to live there although crime is the highest ever and some areas are far from being “nice”. The shops are good though and there is a wide variety to choose from. Bristol is home many large department stores and I recommend you find T.K.Maxx; a shop with brilliant names at discount prices.
For eating out in Bath, try and find “Café Plazza” in the Podium or the Moon And Sixpence (Broad street). There are many oriental restaurants and take away and many friendly pubs that serve food. I would stay away from Turkish restaurants though as they all tend to be take away as well as sit down restaurants, and always get very crowded and hectic. The nightlife is very good in Bath and I strongly recommend you go to Moles (George Street). Moles Tuesday cheese night is one not to be missed. I wouldn’t recommend you go to Reflections as it is very rough, but there Thursday nights “Fusions” is excellent, but not for the faint hearted. For pubs I would recommend the Litten Tree on George Street and the Globe in Newton St. loe.
The shops are
quite good. At the bottom end of the town you have all the sports shops and chemists (Boots/ Superdrug), in the centre you have more upmarket, such as Marks and Spencer’s, Accessorise, Cadburys, Clarks, Barratts (Look out for the sexy assistant in there, lol!) and at the top of town you have expensive shops, such as the jewellers, Jollys, House of Fraser, Waterstones.
The shops are still growing and to be quite truthful, not for the better. People in Bath keep trying to change the culture and the more they build, the more they push people away. My house was bought for £77,500 and its now worth a lot (And I mean A LOT) more. I live on the outskirts of Bath in a three-bedroom house. The houses in the centre are around half a million. The Bath council knows what sort of impression and what sort of people they want in Bath, and unfortunately the more they push, the more people are being made to leave because of expenses.
Each year more and more people are coming to Bath, it’s now impossible to park unless you leave at 8 in the morning and people are becoming more interested with their self importance. As I said I went to a school in Bath (Hayesfield girls school- no I’m not gay!) and constantly I was reminded where I lived and what was expected of Bath, it was very false. Most of the people in Bath (Mainly elderly people and rich University students) are the type that waltz around with daddy’s credit card, and it honestly makes me cringe when I see what Bath is coming to.
As much as people will try and deny it, Bath is very divided; the people who have the money, the people that want the money, and the people who go out of their way to despise the people with the money. But whatever the culture in Bath, one thing is for sure, Bath is a lovely place to visit but as far as living goes, I can’t wait to leave.
- Tissington (Derbyshire)
- Hartington (Derbyshire)
- Alsop en le Dale (Derbyshire)
- Villages & Resorts in Essex (England)
- National Lift Tower (Northampton)
- Delapre Abbey (Northampton)
- Villages & Resorts in Hampshire (England)
- Villages & Resorts in Herefordshire (England)
- Villages & Resorts in Hertfordshire (England)
- Villages & Resorts in Gloucestershire (England)