the beautiful city of Bath

I have lived in Bath for a few years now and it really feels like home. When I lived in Bristol I swore I would never live in Bath as the people there were far too posh, but then I met Mark and realised how wrong I was (he gets fed up of me saying that). It is, however, a very beautiful city, set in a geological bowl surrounded by hills, and has a fascinating history. There are times when I have to pinch myself to believe I really live somewhere so lovely. Yesterday was forecast to be a cold, sunny day – my favourite type – so I grabbed my camera and headed out to top up my bank of Bath photos; some to be turned in to cards and calendars and some to inspire sewing projects.

Without further ado, come with me on a tour of my home town….

We live just under 2 miles from the centre of Bath and I planned to walk through Larkhall and up the very steep hill to Fairfield Park and on to Camden to capture the Circus and Royal Crescent in the early morning light, before the tourists have finished their full English breakfasts. However, when I stepped out of the house the pavements were thick with frost and being a bit of a wimp I quickly changed my route, deciding the canal path would be a better bet than a steep, slippery slope.

Down to the London Road, cross over and head for the river. Cross the bridge over the river Avon along with dog-walkers, cyclists and joggers:

bridge over the river Avon

bridge over the river Avon

Under the railway bridge:

railway bridge

railway bridge

Ice on the puddles and the banks wearing their frozen finery.

frozen leaves

frozen leaves

The sun was catching the houses in Camden as I walked along.

sunlight on Camden

sunlight on Camden

Up the slope to the Kennet and Avon canal. It is so much more peaceful walking in to the city centre beside the canal than along the main road.

Kennet and Avon canal path

Swans and ducks clustered around the canal boats, no doubt hoping for breakfast leftovers.

swans and ducks

icy moss

icy moss

disappointed ducks

disappointed ducks

looking back the way I came

looking back the way I came

As you get closer to the city centre the number of bridges increases. I think they lend an elegance to the canal.

canal tunnel

canal tunnel

bridges

bridges

bridges and reflections

bridges and reflections

This is where I leave the canal and walk up the short flight of steps to Sidney Gardens. It is a lovely park and every time I walk there it strikes me how curious it is to be walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen who once walked there too. Of course there are layers of tarmac on the paths now, so no actual Georgian footsteps.

Sydney Gardens

Sydney Gardens

a handy place to shelter when George (my friend's spaniel) and I get caught in an unexpected shower of rain

a handy place to shelter when George (my friend’s spaniel) and I get caught in an unexpected shower of rain

looking in to the city from Sydney Gardens

looking in to the city from Sydney Gardens

Sydney gardens, beside the Holburne Museum

Sydney gardens, beside the Holburne Museum

I can highly recommend the Holburne Museum – both the exhibitions and the cafe! Mark is not keen on the modern glass extension, but I like it. I like the way it still lets you see the old original walls and the way the glass reflects the trees in the park. The museum has adopted the slogan “where park meets art”, and that really is what it does.

Holburne Museum extension

Holburne Museum extension

The Holburne looks down Great Pultney Street – and then you really know you are in Bath.

Great Pultney Street

Great Pultney Street

reflections

reflections

Laura Place

Laura Place

Laura Place

Laura Place

Georgian reflections

Georgian reflections

I took detours where the light pulled me – the cricket ground and rugby ground never attracted me before!

looking towards the rugby ground

looking towards the rugby ground

Bath cricket ground

Bath cricket ground

Bath cricket ground

Bath cricket ground

sunlight and shadows at the cricket ground

sunlight and shadows at the cricket ground

Pultney Bridge is modeled (by Robert Adams) on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the Ponte di Rialto in Venice, and there are tiny shops along the bridge; the light shines through the back windows.

sunlight through the florist shop

sunlight through the florist shop

mmmm....bakery!

mmmm….bakery!

Turning the corner – yes, I admit it, in the direction of my favourite fabric shop (Country Threads) – you can see the back of the bridge and the weir and the rolling hills in the distance.

Across the road is the elegant Empire Hotel.

the Empire Hotel

the Empire Hotel

You can see the abbey too.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

the abbey

the abbey

I like the old fashioned park by the river, with its bandstand and bright stripey deckchairs. You have to pay to go in, but Bath residents can apply for a Discovery card that gets them in to lots of places free, including the park, and at discounted rates for many other places. Yesterday the sun was catching the lampposts and the slope down to the park quite perfectly.

Now Bath has many famous landmarks but tourists may not be aware of this one – Bog Island. It’s not much to look at, but every local knows Bog Island. “Where shall we meet? Bog Island?” Now you may think the name comes from its vicinity to the river and the soggy ground you get by a river, but no – it’s name comes from the public conveniences there; the bogs.

Bog Island

Bog Island

I love reflections and am surprised I don’t walk in to more things as I stare upwards so much – love it when you get an unexpected glimpse of something, like the reflection of the abbey in these windows.

reflections of the abbey

reflections of the abbey

From the courtyard by the abbey you get a glimpse in to the famous Roman Baths. I didn’t go inside this time, but they are worth seeing – just get there early or expect to queue.

the Roman Baths

the Roman Baths

I didn’t go inside the abbey this time either, but I did walk all the way around the outside.

IMGP9498

beside the Roman Baths

beside the Roman Baths

IMGP9513 IMGP9514

I like the small shops in Bath more than the big chain stores, and you get to avoid the crowds if you keep to the smaller alleyways and corridors.

the Corridors

the Corridors

gotta love Cologne and Cotton

gotta love Cologne and Cotton

Of course all this walking demands a nice cup of tea and where could be better than the Pump Room – a pot of Darjeeling, company of a good friend and a string quartet playing.

the Pump Room at the Roman Baths

the Pump Room at the Roman Baths

flower stall on Milsom Street

flower stall on Milsom Street

Abbey Green

Abbey Green

More photos of the abbey – well you have to, don’t you?

IMGP9509 IMGP9512

This window display could have been made specially for me!

sewing machine window display

sewing machine window display

even Southgate looks better these days

even Southgate looks better these days

Of course, no tour of Bath could be complete without visiting the Circus and the Royal Crescent.

The Circus:

Brock Street - joins the Circus to the Royal Crescent

Brock Street – joins the Circus to the Royal Crescent

The Royal Circus:

Finally time to walk home. Julian Road.

IMGP9552

On to Lansdown Hill.

Camden Crescent and the view over Bath.

Lower Camden.

IMGP9560 In to Larkhall.

looking from Larkhall to the London Road

looking from Larkhall to the London Road

St Saviour’s church

Back towards the London Road.

And as I turn in to our road I am greeted not only by the first signs of blossom, but by our two cats who magically appeared from other people’s driveways and walked with me up the road to our house. The perfect day!

blossom??

blossom??

5 Comments

Filed under places to visit

5 responses to “the beautiful city of Bath

  1. Simone

    Hi Sue,
    Your photos are just gorgeous. Love all the reflections – very clever. Bath is a beautiful place although it’s been more than 20 years since I was there.

  2. Here I am, sitting at my work desk on a dreary, cold and snowy/rainy Friday morning in Sweden and suddenly I am transported to Bath! What a good start to the day.

    Thank you – the post makes me remember so many lovely things about Bath. Even the cricket ground! 🙂 (although we only stayed for a very short while… we had, as far as I recall, more important yarn- and fabric related things to to!).

    • I did think of you as I walked around – and particularly when I was photographing the gates to the cricket ground (although I seem to recall we snuck in through another gate and got told off by the ‘boys’ for crossing the bowler’s line of sight).

  3. Pingback: Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness | Deere Diary...

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