Some of my favorite memories and sites from this trip happened and were seen in Bath, England.
As Ryan and I were walking through the streets to the train station after our day exploring the city, we began discussing the idea of living there. If it weren’t for the extremely high cost of living, I have no doubt that the city would be flooded with people clamoring to live in this idyllic and picturesque town.
This is a perfect place for a day trip outside of London because the town is small enough to be able to see most of the high points and still enjoy the other charming parts of the city.
We bought train tickets ahead of time just to ensure we had a seat, but there are usually plenty of seats to be able to show up at the train station the day of and purchase your ticket then. We chose an early departure from London around 8am and a 9pm departure from Bath.
We left from Paddington station, making sure we got there in plenty of time with the busy morning commuters all traveling at the time we left.
It’s about a 2 hour train ride from London.
We went to visitors station straight off the train (located directly outside the train station) just to make sure we knew all our options of what to do during our time spent there. On top of showing us how to get places with her handy map, the nice lady there also gave us some suggestions of where to eat and the less touristy things to do. Don’t worry about transportation once you get there, it is a very walkable city.
Information on the Baths and the entrance fee here. We got a handheld tour guide with our ticket purchase, which was helpful when looking at the exhibits throughout the site.
These Baths are really well preserved and so interesting to learn about.
After perusing the Roman Bath, I wanted to go have tea in the Pump Room that is directly attached to the Bath spa. We took a look at some of the prices and decided our money may be better spent elsewhere, so I was on the hunt for a more affordable place to have tea. It did look like a lovely place to have tea if you’re willing to splurge a little bit. We walked through the streets popping in and out of shops (always Ryan’s favorite part). We eventually ended up at the Jane Austen Center, a fun little place to learn more about her and her life. This was strictly a stop for me. Several of her novels take place in the city of Bath, as she spent a large part of her life here. Ironically enough, she despised the city of Bath and the people who lived there. I believe she thought them a bit- how do you say- uppity. It didn’t take long at all to breeze through, but when I learned they had a full menu tea room upstairs, I took the chance to finally sit down for afternoon tea. I chose to have cream tea which is tea, scones, clotted cream, and jam, while Ryan had the tiered tray with other desserts and sandwiches. It was at this point I realized I had the best husband, who didn’t complain about eating tiny finger foods and using dainty china but actually enjoyed himself. It may have been the Canadian coming out in him but I was proud. I will say, these were some of the better scones we had out of all the teas, including the more expensive ones. From the Jane Austen Center, we walked over to the Royal Crecent, but decided not to do a tour. We sat on the green grass and enjoyed the views for a little while. We walked on some more, with no real plan in mind, except to eventually grab dinner.
What a site it would be to see this city from a hot air balloon. I would work in this gift shop just for that view every day. After a lot more walking and wandering, we decided to dine. And dine we did at a place called the Raven Pub. It was a little difficult to find it at first, but we eventually found our way. The suggestion to eat here came from a blog I follow, Aspiring Kennedy, and when she suggested eating here because of their delicious meat pies, I knew this place wouldn’t disappoint. It was the best meat pie we had our whole trip (and we had a lot). So now I’m also making the suggestion. Go here for nice relaxed authentic pub atmosphere and the best meat pie around. (Also, if you don’t follow her blog you’ll want to go check it out) We headed upstairs to their cozy dining area, I chose a nice spot by the window to sit, and Ryan had a chat with the bartender about which beer he should choose. He went with the Raven Ale, their house brew, and really enjoyed it.
I tore into the Raven Ale beef pie and died of happiness. Trying to be good with our money, we shared the pie. Hindsight, it’s too good to share.
We walked the dinner off as the sun set on the beautiful city, thus ending our nice little journey to Bath… So I now ask, with the exception of Jane Austen, who could EVER tire of Bath? Have any of you been? What was your favorite part? If you are visiting London for more than a few days, it is well worth the effort to take the trip out of town, and a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the city.