Friday, 26 October 2012

Roman Holiday

Just back from an awesome couple of days with ds in Bath, home of the UK's only thermal hot spring- a warm 36 degrees Celsius. The spring water apparently fell as rain on the Mendip hills 10,000 years ago, sank through the limestone layers, was heated through geothermic energy to 96 degrees and then forced upwards by the heat and pressure to form the spring. The Romans built the original baths, and a holy temple on the site, and the Roman drains, sluice gates and overflow system are still working today, although only fragments of stone carvings and the steps remain of the temple complex.

It was my third visit to Bath, but the first time ds ever went. He is a young archaeologist, so was very pleased to visit the roman site. Here he is in front of steam rising from the Great Bath.


You can't swim in here any more, and exhortations are not even to touch the water, but there is a new thermal spa open to the public in Bath since my last visit, about eleven years ago. Unfortunately children under 12 are not allowed in any of the facilities, and 12-15 year olds may only go in specific baths, so we couldn't visit on this occasion. But never mind, it is another reason to go back!

Georgians elegantly dined and sampled the waters at Bath in the Pump Room. Ds pronounced it too posh to go in. But we did take afternoon tea in Sally Lunn's original tea shop. Here's my Sally Lunn tea, in which a Sally Lunn bun is served with jam and clotted cream:


Ds and I have a eclectic approach to tourism. Future Publishing is the source of the now defunct Nitro magazine for boys, which was very popular in our house. I believe they publish Mollie Makes, the Knitter and other craft titles as well. We saw several of their offices in Bath, but this photograph was taken outside the address where ds used to send his competition entries (he won once, to his great delight):


Crafters also have some special places to visit in Bath. Here's what I picked up at The Makery, a shop selling fabric and notions:


Other places we recommend:  the Georgian assembly rooms, where there are some fabulous chandeliers (free to National Trust members)


the Holburne museum of art - snuff boxes, silver spoons, ceramics, paintings, miniatures, more chandeliers (free entry)


Two days was only just long enough. I'm longing for the next visit and hope this will be in less than another eleven years.

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