BATH Bath is a city in the ceremonial county of Somerset in the south west of England. It is situated 97 miles (156 km) west of London. The population of the city is 83,992. It was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 159. The city was first established as a spa resort with the Latin name, AquaeSulis ("the waters of Sulis") by the Romans in AD 43 although verbal tradition suggests that Bath was known before then. They built baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs, which are the only ones naturally occurring in the United Kingdom.
What to see?
ROYAL CRESCENT The Royal Crescent is one of the world's best known landmarks. Built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the younger, the crescent contains some 30 houses, one of which is now the Royal Crescent Hotel.
ROMAN BATHS The temple was constructed in 60-70 AD and the bathing complex was gradually built up over the next 300 years. During the Roman occupation of Britain, and possibly on the instructions of Emperor Claudius.
THE CIRCUS The Circus was the masterpiece of John Wood the Elder. The striking architecture has spawned numerous theories to explain its stark originality. Viewed from the air it forms the shape of a key, perhaps a Masonic symbol? Either way, the Circus is a stupendous creative accomplishment and one of the key reasons Bath was awarded the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
BATH ABBEY Begun in 1499, Bath Abbey is the last of the great medieval churches of England. The West Front is unique as it depicts the dream that inspired the Abbey's founder, Bishop Oliver King, to pull down the ruined Norman cathedral and raise the present building on its foundations.
PULTENEY BRIDGE Pulteney Bridge, together with the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, is one of the world's most beautiful bridges. Like the Ponte Vecchio it is one of a handful of historic bridges in the world with shops built into it. Built for William Pulteney by Robert Adams, the bridge was an attempt to connect central Bath to land on the other bank of the River Avon and make Pulteney's fortune. In spite of its practical origins it is surely the most romantic bridge in the world, best viewed from Parade Gardens park by the crescent weir.
UNIVERSITY OF BATH One of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching, the Universiry of Bath is one of the best univesities of the world.
ALEXANDRA PARK This 11 acre park was opened in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII, and named in honour of Queen Alexandra. Situated at the top of Beeches Cliff, it gives magnificent panoramic views of the city and the surrounding wooded vales and hills.
PRIOR PARK Beautiful and intimate 18th century landscape garden created by Bath entrepreneur Ralph Allen with advice from poet Alexander Pope and Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. Sweeping valley with magnificent views over the city of Bath. Walk across the famous Palladian Bridge, one of four in the world. Explore the woodland paths. Discover what wildlife lives in the beautiful haven. Or just relax and admire the view. A wonderful walk and an ideal picnic spot.
PARADE GARDENS These delightful gardens are Bath’s most centrally situated and popular pleasure grounds, attracting both tourists and residents. Overlooking the River Avon they give fine views of Robert Adams Pulteney Bridge and the weir, especially from the collonade built early in the last century.
Where to stay & where to eat?
THERMAE BATH SPA The natural thermal springs were first discovered by Prince Bladud around 863BC, who was cured from his skin disease after bathing in the waters. The waters were then enjoyed by the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Georgians and are the constant thread throughout the history of Bath. The water fell as rain around 10,000 years ago and then sank to a depth of about 2km. Here it is heated by high temperature rocks before rising back up through one of the three hot springs in the centre of the City, the Cross Spring, Hetling or King’s Spring, which supplies the Roman Baths. The thermal waters contain over 42 different minerals, the most concentrated being sulphate, calcium & chloride. Over 1 million litres of this mineral-rich water flow from the springs each day. The thermal water in all four baths at Thermae is the optimum bathing temperature of approximately 33.5°C (92°F).
LUCKHAM PARK HOTEL & SPA Lucknam Park is unspoilt, country house living at it's very best. Truly one of England's finest 5 star luxury Country House Hotels - with fine dining featuring local produce. Lucknam Park is a proud member of Relais & Chateaux and has been awarded a Michelin Star, AA 5 Red Stars and Visit Britain Gold Award.
COTSWOLDS The Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England, sometimes called the "Heart of England", an area 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long. The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The highest point in the Cotswolds range is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), 2.5 miles (4 km) to the north of Cheltenham. The Cotswolds lie mainly within the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but extend into parts of Wiltshire, Somerset,Worcestershire and Warwickshire.