A few months back, itching to get outside but thwarted by a downpour I devised a brilliant plan. To visit the alluring, ancient city of Bath. Where better to get wet? Bath is a city of honey-coloured stone architecture in the southwest of England, known for it’s Roman-era bathhouse fed by a natural hot spring. It is also the birthplace of my favourite tv cook Mary Berry.
We started our day at the main attraction: the Roman baths. We were given an audio guide so that as we made our way around the museum and baths we could learn about the various artifacts and rooms. Though not a large place, we wandered for just under 2 hours.
Because the bathhouse was a religious place (as well as a sensual place, depending upon who was in power at the time) many coins and other various pagan donations to the gods have been uncovered around the site. Artefacts like these curse tablets, very anatomically correct dog relic, and Irish brooch are among the finds.
The Romans also liked to keep warm and cosy out of the Baths, and devised a system of underfloor heating called a hypocaust. Slaves kept fires burning and the hot air was piped through the spaces under the raised floors.
The Great Thermal Bath was used on special occasions until the late 1970’s but is no longer open to the public for a dip. You can however walk along the edge and marvel at the stunning sea-green waters. But don’t fall in! The waters are given it’s unnatural hue from the growth of algae.
After visiting the old bath, it was time to visit the new bath! Just around the corner, harnessing the same natural spring as the Romans, is the Thermae Bath Spa. This is where modern bathers go to experience the warm mineral waters. Kept at approximately 92 degrees Ferenheit and with a lovely view of the city, it is the perfect place to spend a rainy day.
My sweetheart and I have such special memories of laughing and splashing as the glacial droplets plunked down on our heads, and looking out across the rolling green hills and cathedral spires. It was such a perfect way to enjoy the rain.
I’ll admit after an hour or so I was getting a little bit cold in the pool so we headed down to the aroma steam rooms to bask in bergamot and lemon mist and floated a few times round the mini lazy river. We finished up our 2 hour slot back on the roof, basking in the icy rainfall and good company.
Roman Baths Admission:
Adult: £15.50 – £17 (depending on time of year)
*Discounts for seniors and students
Thermae Bath Spa Admission:
Monday – Friday: £35 for 2 hours
Saturday – Sunday: £38 for 2 hours
Do you have a favourite memory in the rain? x