I looked forward to visiting Bath the most while in England. It’s a city known for it’s crescent rows of flats, stone buildings, and of course, the Roman-built baths.
The city was just a quick bus ride from Bristol, and I did some research the night before on what I wanted to see. As soon as I hopped off the bus I made my way towards Bath Abbey. I probably passed the church and its grounds a dozen times that day, but it still took my breath away each time. Inside the abbey, I experienced an equally beautiful view, and the serenity inside was a perfect escape from the tourists buzzing outside, and the many street performers. Consisting mainly of singers, they would set up their instruments and microphones serenading everyone who walked by. This made the historic town feel young and full of life.
My favorite part of the morning was brunch at Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House, one of Bath’s oldest homes which was opened in 1483. “Sally Lunn Buns” are a famous treat in Bath, and are usually served with a variety of jams, butter, and spreads. I also experienced my first proper tea! Ever since arriving in England, I’ve made it a personal goal to become a true tea-drinker, but haven’t been satisfied with any cups I’ve had until that day. I’m not sure if I was starving or if it was the excitement from being given my very own tea pot, but the Sally Lunn Blend Tea was pure perfection. I felt like I had finally had a real tea party, and it set the tone for the most lovely afternoon in Bath.
After leaving the restaurant I headed towards the Royal Crescent, a row of 30 flats built in a crescent shape with a beautiful garden in front. On the way there I walked through Queen’s Square, which looked exactly like what an “English neighbourhood” should look like, small, cozy, and adorned with gorgeous architecture. The Queen’s Square hardly felt real while walking around, especially since It had been used as the set for many films and TV shows. The Royal Crescent, similar to the one I saw in Clifton several weeks ago, was stunning. The garden in front of the flats were also filled with lounging tourists and locals, enjoying the weather and scenery.
After heading back down the hill towards the main city area, I stopped by the Parade Gardens. I took a quick break and sat on the benches that overlooked the River Avon, and just behind me rose the towers of Bath Abbey. One of many gardens located in Bath, it seemed to be the busiest because of how close it is to the major tourist sites. I’ve heard that the nearby Sydney Gardens and Georgian Gardens are just as beautiful, but aren’t nearly as crowded. While I only had the time to visit the Parade Gardens, I plan to visit the rest of Bath’s gardens in a future trip.
For as historic as Bath is, modern shopping culture has blended in with the old aesthetic. A few streets in the city centre are filled with every name brand store I recognized from here and home. I was surprised to see a Five Guys restaurant and T.J. Maxx which I assumed were specific to the US. I popped into several of the small souvenir shops and picked up a couple of gifts for my family. I found out later that night from my flatmates that many people from Bristol will travel to Bath just for an afternoon of shopping because of its wide variety of shops—it’s like the King of Prussia of England!
After weaving my way through the streets (with lots of window shopping), I hopped back on the bus and was back to Bristol. The city lived up to all of my expectations, and oddly enough I experienced a brief shower while roaming the gardens in Bath. On my next visit I plan to see the famous Roman Baths, the Christmas markets, and of course stop by Sally Lunn’s for another cup of tea! A day trip to Bath was the perfect way to spend another day sightseeing the delights of England.
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The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.