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Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

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Rhode Island
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Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your help and advice. I'm glad I am an experienced traveler and have lived in the UK. I would have been too nervous to do this trip alone for the first time.

For starters, the coach company never sent me my e-mail confirmation so I had to call. The order never went through and it's a good thing too because the man on the phone helped me find a cheaper, better route to Bath from Heathrow Central Bus Station. Yet they still didn't send me my confirmation! I had the number from the man on the phone but it didn't work in the machine at Heathrow. I went to the ticket window and the woman helped me find my reservation and print it for me. Success! Of course I erred on the side of caution and booked a coach far too late so I had a lot of time to kill.

Once the coach arrived everything was fine. The driver put my suitcase underneath and I jumped up and found myself a nice window seat with space for my backpack at my feet. The driver was very friendly and pointed out the scenery along the way. I dozed a bit until the turn offs to small villages made me a bit car sick.

I took a taxi to my guest house because I had a heavy suitcase. I stayed at the Apple Tree and Les was very very friendly and helpful. By the time I made it to my room, I was ready to collapse. I crashed for a bit before exploring the city.

Despite the fact that it rained every other day and my feet hurt and got soaking wet, I LOVED Bath! It's so beautiful. The Georgian architecture is amazing and so beautiful. Everyone I met was very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed being called "Madam" instead of "Ma'm" or "Miss." It made me feel like a grand Victorian lady.

I alternately followed the Jane Austen festival and did all the tourist attractions I could cram in.

The Regency promenade on a beautiful Saturday morning was spectacular. I milled about in the Parade Gardens with everyone for awhile. The gardens are so lovely and worth the small admission fee.

The Roman Baths are really neat. It's incredible that Bath was the site of the largest building most Romans had ever seen and the only survive gilt bronze head. The audio guide was interesting but I didn't have time to listen to everything.

I especially loved the Fashion Museum. I'm really into 19th century fashion and loved being able to see the dresses from the periods I love so much. The Assembly Rooms are beautiful and I was thrilled to see them and feel like I had been transported into the pages of a Jane Austen novel (without the unpleasantness of being an unmarried lady of a certain age).

The Jane Austen Centre is a bit amateurish. I've studied her life and times and found the exhibits a bit lacking. It's a good place to start for casual fans though.

I was delighted to discover an exhibition at the Mineral Water Hospital. My dad is a rheumatologist and I popped in to get some information for him and they directed me to the exhibition. When they learned I'm a librarian, they let me look at their Georgian era record book. It tells an amazing story of medical knowledge (or lack thereof) and the history of the hospital. It was truly special to see this book in pristine condition.

I took some day trips with the Jane Austen Festival. We went to Lacock and the Cotswolds (Castle Combe, Lacock and Corsham) with Nick Jones of World Heritage Trails. He's a great guide but there wasn't enough time to see everything I wanted to see. My brother, the photographer, is now jealous I've seen Henry Fox Talbot's home and museum. He'll love the print I picked up for him in the gift shop.

Nick also took us to Hampshire the next day to do a Jane Austen pilgrimage. We did a cradle to the grave tour from Steventon where she was born to Winchester where she died. I would have preferred just doing Chawton Cottage with time to tour Chawton House (I'm dying to get in but probably wouldn't come out after being around all those rare books!).

You can find more reviews under the specific places where I went. I just wanted to tell everyone how much fun I had.

My trip was an amazing journey I will never forget. I would love to come back again some day soon. This trip was a dream for many years and it was finally the right time to do it.

Bristol, England
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1. Re: Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

It sounds as though you made the most of your trip and saw plenty. Glad you had such a good time.

Boston...
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2. Re: Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

Thank you for this colorful and enthusiastic post. We were in Bath in August, and loved it, too. We saw some, not all, of the sights that you mentioned. One thing that is truly wonderful about Bath is how easy it is to explore on foot. It's fairly densely packed, and there are lots of pedestrian-only streets. Some of these are very narrow and, of course, date back to the era when a lot of the town was built. I found it well worth getting beyond the major sights, too, and just walking on streets not highlighted in the guidebooks. It was beautiful and a bit exotic, too (to an American). Another thing I would mention is how great the pubs are. We especially liked the Crystal Palace (not far at all from the Roman Baths). They were very friendly, and had a large terrace or patio area in the back, well covered even in steady rain. A lot of men had just come from playing in a match (football? Rugby?) and later on we saw the beautiful athletic fields where these games, and some serious croquet matches, happen. To us Bostonians, it was also a big kick to see people raising their pints outside the front doors of the respective pubs. Can't do that in Massachusetts! It made each pub seem like a party to which you are invited.

Somerset
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for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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3. Re: Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

So glad you enjoyed yourself and got to see so much that interested you. It really is a beautiful city.

I've just got back from Edinburgh. That too is a friendly city with lots of history and easy to do. Full of trees and green parks as well as the buildings.

Hope to see you again someday.

Waimea, Hawaii
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4. Re: Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

Thanks for the detailed and enthusiastic review. We are looking forward to our Bath/Cotswolds trip in the spring and I've printed out your general and specific comments to take along. Always good to see what another librarian has enjoyed, as well - although I've been retired for quite a while now...we do seem to have certain 'enthusiasms' not generally shared, I fear.

5. Re: Trip Report: I Love Bath!!

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