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Georgian architecture, hot springs
among gems in Bath
This half-moon formation of Georgian townhouses is one of Bath's most famous architectural mas-
terpieces, an arc-shaped cluster of buildings set behind a green ﬁeld. The ﬁrst home, No. 1 Royal
Crescent, where former Parliament member Henry Sanford lived in the late 1700s, is also a
museum. Rooms are furnished in 18th century style, with a glimpse of the upstairs-
downstairs lifestyle of the era (think Downton Abbey but 150 years earlier).
Rooms to see include the scullery, parlor and gentleman’s retreat.
Don’t miss the servants’ hall, where you can see a replica
of a dog wheel where a running canine actually
powered a cooking spit.
Walking the canal
Every alley off the cobblestoned streets
seems to be lined with adorable shop win-
dows. But to truly appreciate the villages and
ﬁelds that surround Bath, a stroll along the canal is
the way to go.
You can access the path from Sydney Gardens in the town center. In a 30-minute
walk, you’ll see ﬂower-ﬁlled backyards and stretches of bright green grass, all perfectly reﬂected in
the still water, as locals jog by and walk their dogs. There are even sheep nibbling off in the ﬁelds. And
it doesn’t hurt that you will pass a pub or two along the way.
A majestic landmark in the center of town,
Bath Abbey is the third place of worship to occupy
this site in 1,200 years. The ﬁrst church, built in 757, was
replaced by a cathedral soon after the Norman conquest of
England in 1066. That one gave way in the 15th century to the
abbey that’s there today.
Walk inside and eye the vaulted ceiling and stunning
stained glass windows showing 56 scenes from Christ’s
life. A ﬂoor plaque marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 1973
visit. Tours of the church tower are available;
it’s just 212 steps to the top.
By TERRY TANG
BATH, England — Yes, there really is a natural
hot spring beneath the city of Bath, but soaking
in the above-ground sights and sounds will leave
you plenty relaxed. With its Georgian brick build-
ings and lush green hills, almost everywhere in
Bath feels like a living postcard. With landmarks
from Roman and medieval times, you may feel
you’ve landed back in time, but the juxtaposition
of stately terraced houses and people hustling
about on smartphones brings you out of that fan-
tasy.Bath somehow weaves together threads of
small-town life with cosmopolitan sophistication.
It has galleries, museums and theaters. It’s a
college town anchored by the University of Bath.
And it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even on a
mere day trip from London, just 90 minutes away
by train, Bath bubbles over with charm.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LONDONEXPERT.INFO
You might say the Romans were
the ﬁrst in Western Europe to come up with
the spa weekend. The Roman Baths date back
to the year 70, with a sprawling pool of natural,
hot spring water called the Great Bath located be-
low street level. You can see the steam swirling from
a terrace on the street above. People dressed in period
clothing — such as a Roman soldier or stone mason —
stand in the archways.
The complex includes several underground spaces
and displays. The self-guided audio tour, which in-
cludes commentary from writer Bill Bryson, thor-
oughly explains how the citizens of Aquae Sulis
(the Roman name given to Bath) socialized,
worked and worshipped. At the end of the
tour, visitors can sample some of
that rejuvenating water.
JANE AUSTEN CENTRE
ist Jane Austen lived with
Bath between 1801 and
vid readers of Austen’s work
hat Bath was a prominent
g in two of her books, Per-
ion and Northanger Abbey.
even fans only familiar with
movie adaptations will geek
inside the Jane Austen Cen-
The three-story building on
Street has a permanent ex-
and tearoom. The experience
es delightfully “Austentatious”
levels with employees clad in period
clothing giving brief orientations on
The exhibit offers two ﬂoors of
clothes, knick-knacks and anecdotes
about what daily life would have been
like for Austen in Bath. You can end
your wandering with afternoon tea
in the third-ﬂoor Regency Tea Room,
where a portrait of actor Colin Firth’s
Mr. Darcy looms over patrons. If you
are an Austen lover, good luck holding
back in the gift shop where merchan-
dise includes items branded with “I
heart Mr. Darcy.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF DIDYOUMAKETHAT.COM
PHOTO COURTESY OF
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