It was a lazy sunny Saturday evening in London (summer sunsets around 10 pm) when I and my better half were strolling beside the Thames near our home after our dinner and planning our Sunday.
One of the options was to cook a great meal and spend the day by having a small picnic in Greenwich park, other was to visit The British Museum and get lost in the vast collection of world art and artefacts and Egyptian antiquities .
My better half was neither in a mood to sit quietly for a long time in the park, nor spend a couple of hours roaming in the museum. Ok then, I come up with a plan that suits us both… i.e explore a new place near London. Myself being a passionate lover of History “The Roman Bath” seems to be the most obvious option.
Roman Bath is perfect for a day trip from London. I knew someone close to us equally shared our passion for travel and history. So we told one of our family friends if they would like to accompany us on our trip to the historic Roman Bath. He gladfully agreed to accompany us with daughter and wife.
A fun-filled, energy packed team of 5 ready to kick-start our Sunday. Roman Bath, here we come.
Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset England and is in the valley of River Avon, 97 miles west of London. The city is now a World Heritage site and is one of the finest historical sites and one the most popular tourist attractions in the UK.
Constructed around 70 AD Roman Bath was a site for grand bathing and socializing for the Romans, it is one of the best preserved Roman remains of the world.
Little History behind this place:
By the first century AD, this part of Britain was occupied by an Iron Age tribe called the Dobunni who believed that the hot spring was sacred to the Goddess Sulis who was thought to possess curative powers.
In 43 AD, the Roman armies invaded Britain and they had built a new religious spa complex around the thermal spring and the settlement then grew as a center for health and pilgrimage. It was named Aquae Sulis meaning “the waters of Sulis”.
The Romans built the baths using the 1.3 million liters of naturally-heated water that rose to the surface naturally each day. People came from far and wide to bathe in the waters and worship at the temple.
How to Reach the Place-
Roman Bath is in the centre of the city. From the train or Bus stations, it is just 10 mins walk away.
If you are travelling from London, many trains are available from Paddington station to Bath Spa railway station.
Average time required to cover this place– A comfortable trip to the place can be covered in one day.
Opening times: January, February 9.30am-6pm;
March to mid-June 9am-6pm;
mid-June to August 9am-10pm;
September, October 9am-6pm;
November, December 9.30am-6pm.
Ticket Price- It is between £15 to £18 (Adult) approximately.
Note- Please check the website official link to Roman Bath and recheck the opening times and to get the exact ticket prices before making a trip as these details may change.
Tip -a)Advance bookings of ticket online is always suggested to avoid unnecessary crowd.
b)Early Morning to void crowd especially in Summer or evening to see the illuminated version of the site.
A Place to Eat-Various restaurants near Bath railway station or The Pump Room restaurant, which is one of the most elegant places to enjoy the modern-British cuisine.
Walkthrough– The Roman Baths below the street level as four main features-
1)The Sacred Spring
2)The Roman Temple
3)The Roman Bath House
4)Finds from Roman Bath
The Georgian Pump Room is on the ground level with its restaurant that is separate to the visitor attraction.
Note: It is not possible for you to take a dip in the Roman Baths, there is a modern Bath Spa almost next door. In the Pump Room Restaurant you can sample the water freshly pumped by drinking it. Isn’t that fascinating?
What to Expect when you enter this place?
❖ The Entrance
The Journey begins with the Entrance where visitors can buy tickets and get free audio guides.One must not forget to take this audio guide as it provides a vivid description of the site and quite helpful.
Walk around the terrace and you will see Victorian Status of Roman emperors and governors of Britain.
❖ The Sacred Spring
Natural hot water at a temperature of 46°C rises here every day and has been doing so for thousands of years.
The Roman Temple-The Temple to the goddess Sulis Minerva was the focal point of worship in Aquae Sulis and the courtyard was the sacred space surrounding it. But it collapsed as Christianity gained strength in around 391 AD .We can view different temple pediment while visiting this place.
Curses- which are actually private prayers with messages inscribed on sheets of lead or pewter. These sheets are then rolled up and thrown into the Spring where the spirit of the goddess resided. The Romans believed that their prayers would be answered by the goddess.
Time to take a Picture with the Romans- There were people who dressed as Romans who lived and worked at Aqua Sulis 2000 years ago.I couldn’t stop myself from being framed along with them.
❖ Changing Rooms and Saunas-The East Baths area of the Roman Baths now displays projections of characters right from the Roman Era while people would be bathing, giving messages.It seems as if those Romans are standing right beside us and getting their spa treatment.
Our Journey of visiting Roman Bath was coming to an end.The day was well spent and the experience was nothing but exceptional. So I took some pics on our way to Home in the street of Bath.
We witnessed some Costume Characters while strolling in the streets of Bath. These actors dressed beautifully and reminded of the Georgian Fashion back in the 18th century. I told them to give a pose and they happily agreed.
My Collectables- A fridge magnet and Poster of Goddess Sulis Minerva.
We all enjoyed our day and returned home late at night , ready to get back to work on Monday!If you have any further questions about Roman Bath please leave a comment below I will be happy to assist you.
You might like reading about my recent trip to Ooty.