The Jane Austen tour of Bath.....

Trip Start Nov 01, 2010
Trip End Nov 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Apartaments Giberga L'aldosa
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, November 5, 2010

After a speedy breakfast we went down to Paddington station and caught the train to Bath. The train was very quiet and smooth, and our carriage was quiet as we were travelling in a designated "quiet carriage" - no mobile phones, no babies, just harmonious peace.  Within 20 minutes we were in the picturesque countryside.  Our train line passed through a tunnel engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1841 as part of the Great Western Railway.  The tunnel is on a particular angle and incline so that on Brunel's birthday each year the rising sun shines right through it for some time.  

Once we arrived in Bath we got a cab to take us to the furthermost point of our exploration - the far end of the Royal Crescent.  By the time we got to #1, the museum, it was almost time to open.  The museum was most interesting and informative - the Royal Crescent was one of the THE places to stay during Georgian Bath's seasons. The Bath Preservation Trust have restored the house to its former glory, with furnishings and decorations of the 18th century showing how it might have looked then. They even had toilet pots behind screens in the dining room, and women needed help with their skirts and dresses to be able to use the pots.   

We then walked to The Circus, then to the Assembly Rooms, which were being prepared for a wedding but we were welcome to look around.  The Assembly Rooms were the hub of Georgian Society where everybody went to be seen. The rooms are just off The Circus; Jane Austen would have known them well. Today it is the home of the Bath Museum of Costume on the lower ground floor displaying the gowns of the Georgian period.

We continued on to the Jane Austen centre which was more educational.  Jane Austen lived and wrote 200 years ago at the height of Bath's fashionable existence. Not that much has changed; you can still follow some of her walks from her books. She lived at various addresses in Bath, one close by the Jane Austen Centre on Gay Street between The Circus and Queen Square. The Jane Austen Centre tells you all about Jane herself and the Bath she lived in.

After lunch in the central part of town we wandered over to the Pump Rooms. Long after the Romans, Bath became a very fashionable place to hang out. The architecture and many of the attractions at Bath originate from this time when high society decamped to Bath. The Pump rooms although physically in the same building as the Roman Baths has a separate entrance, very close to the entrance of the Baths.  We continued on to the Roman Baths.  The archaelogical digs under the baths were fascinating and quite some time was spent here.  The Roman Baths are arguably the single biggest attraction for visitors coming to Bath, built over 2,000 years and still in perfect working order.  

When we had quite sated our curiosity we caught our train back to Paddington where we could here the noise of firecrackers throughout the evening (Guy Fawkes Night), but had no visuals - we were exhausted!
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