If you’re planning a visit to see England’s green and pleasant land when international travel opens up again, making a trip to the city of Bath part of your Cotswolds tour is a brilliant idea.
While the Cotswolds offers timeless villages with thatched roofs and rolling, green countryside, neighbouring Bath provides a richly historic experience in a city that dates back to Roman times and features a wonderful array of Georgian-era buildings. Not for nothing is it a Unesco World Heritage site.
Although Britain has numerous spa towns, there are very few warm thermal springs in the UK and it is this phenomenon that prompted the Romans to found the city. The Roman Baths and Temple of Sulis Minerva are an absolute must see and will be open daily.
The status of Bath as a spa destination also prompted its later development as a Georgian city with some of the finest examples of this period’s Palladian architecture. Perhaps the most notable building in the city is the magnificent Royal Crescent, while other wonders include Queen Square, the Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms and Pulteney Bridge.
Bath Abbey spans several eras of the city’s history. First built as a Benedictine monastery in the seventh century, it was expanded into the larger Gothic church building we see today between the 12th and 16th centuries, with a major renovation in the 1860s.
If all these buildings seem like something out of a Jane Austen period drama, that’s for a very good reason; the author herself lived in the city between 1801 and 1806 and two of her novels – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion – are set there.
The Jane Austen Centre is located in the heart of the city on a street where she once lived. It offers both an insight into her life and times and a chance to dress up in period costume and learn more about the Regency era in which she lived.
Quite simply, if you want to visit somewhere that epitomises England’s history, architecture, cultural heritage and literature, you cannot miss Bath.