Jo’s Monday walk : Beautiful Bath

I love a bit of drama in a photograph.  This is me, not quite falling over the parapet into the swirling waters of the weir at Bath.  I didn’t start the day with any intention to go to this beautiful city but, a few minutes after I’d been dropped off at Yate bus station, what should appear on the stand?  A 620 bus heading directly for Bath.  I didn’t need to be at the airport for my return trip home till the evening.  Irresistible temptation!

A 40 minute ride through gently green and rolling Somerset and I was there.  It’s many years since I was in Bath, and I never did get to visit the famous Roman Baths, so I was almost on a mission.  But first, a little exploration.

Who’d have thought to find a Tardis as I exited the bus station?  Bath is obviously popular with tourists and backpackers, as several places offered luggage storage, including an opportunistic barbers.  Grand Parade is just that, with its elegant balustrade looking down upon the Parade Gardens. I was tempted to go in, but there was a small admission charge, unusual for public gardens.  In any event, I could see most of the garden from where I stood, and I was drawn like a magnet towards the weir.

Pulteney Bridge, which crosses the River Avon, dates back to 1774 and is one of Bath’s iconic landmarks.  It didn’t strike me at the time but it has much in common with Ponte Vecchio in Florence.  Both have shops built into them.  ‘The Bridge’ cafe caught my eye, along with the view through to the river, as I crossed to the other shore, noting the rhubarb and cherry slice in the window.  Maybe later?

Steps led down to the river, and it was a glorious and warm day.  I had picked up a visitor guide at the bus station, and a bench right beside the weir gave me the perfect surroundings for a browse. With the wonderful distraction of a boat coming in to dock.

No doubt about it, I was tempted, but the next departure wasn’t for a precious half an hour.  The riverside walk needed to be undertaken first.

As always, the boats and the watery reflections filled me with delight, and there was a wonderful sensation of peace.  In the very heart of the city, and yet enfolded by nature, I had not a care in the world.

I had forgotten that the Kennet and Avon Canal flows into Bath.  This 87 mile long canal links London with the Bristol Channel and had its heyday in the early 1800s.  With the advent of the railways it went steadily into decline, but happily restoration has turned it into a wonderful leisure facility.  I paused for a while to watch the activity at Widcombe Lock, before crossing a narrow footbridge back into the city.

The walk carried on, along the River Avon, but I wanted to make the most of my limited time. Stall Street led me conveniently towards the Abbey and the bustling heart of the city, where I had a date with the Roman Baths.

An event that I’ll share with you another day.  For now I’ll lead you past the Baths and the beautiful Abbey.  Yes, I know you’d like a look inside, but that will have to wait.  Instead we’ll walk all around the Abbey, admiring the statues, and into irresistibly pretty Abbey Green, with its leafy shade.

Just around the corner you can sample Sally Lunn’s buns, in Bath’s oldest house, dating from 1483.  You might find ‘bun etiquette’ amusing.  Hiding in these streets you will also find Bath’s indoor market, a wonderful melange of craft and food stalls. Too nice to stay indoors for long, I made my selection and headed for a nearby bench.  And yes, that rhubarb and cherry slice was simply scrumptious.

Just time to admire some Bath glass and at 2pm present myself back at the Abbey for the Tower Tour.  Look away now if you don’t like heights.

I think I made the most of my short time in Bath, but left still feeling that there were things I’d like to do.  Next time!

Thanks for your company, everybody.  I have a bumper collection of walks to share this week. Please do make time to visit them.  If you’d like to join me, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’ll be very welcome.  Popping the kettle on now, and wishing I had a Bath bun to share.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Not strictly a walk post, but a composite of many enthralling moments.  This is a must read from Gilda :

Discoveries Down Under Part 4- Sydney and the Blue Mountains

I’d never heard of Jane’s walk, but trust a New Yorker like Susan to tell it in style :

East Harlem Jane’s Walk 2017 (Part 1)

Few people are better traveled than Debbie, so if she invites you for a walk, go!

Wandering through District 5

Jackie likes to hoof it a bit, too :

Day 6 So Cal – Solvang to Bakersfield 

Innsbruck is a city I’ve only dreamed about.  Drake brings it beautifully to life :

Between river and hills

Woolly is in the same neck of the woods, but I’ve been to Salzburg.  It rained! :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk19-Salzburg2

I’ve made lots of good friends in the blogging world.  Becky was kind enough to share a place that has captured my heart :

Something unusual in the Algarve

And speaking of friends, this is pure delight from Jude :

A Woodland Walk

My lovely Meg pootles on a beach- a most delightful occupation :

Eurobodalla Beaches : Billy’s Beach

While our Cathy shops her way around Tokyo, between shrines.  That girl loves a bargain!

Meiji shrine and Harajuku : Takeshita-dori and Togo shrine (part of walking tour 18)

Geoff, meanwhile, takes us on a fascinating exploration of ‘lost’ rivers :

Losing its Rivers : following careless London #londonwalks#lostrivers

Shazza has an interesting (and dog friendly) walk in the Yorkshire Dales :

Clapham Nature Trail and Ingleborough Show Cave

Eunice has some lovely reflective blue skies, and 2 more dogs :

Canal walk – Radcliffe to Bury

And Carol goes hunting Romans in the Lake District.  They can be elusive!

Searching for Romans

Vanessa demonstrates a love for and knowledge of Majorca.  This is the start of a series :

Soller, Mallorca, Spain/A walk past the Orange Groves of Soller to the pretty village of Fornalutx

Finally, here’s Paula.  As near to perfection as you can get in a post.  Turn the music on and feast your eyes!

Canon of the Spaces

That’s it for another week.  Hope you enjoyed, and have a happy week tootling about.

163 comments

  1. You’ve got quite a collection of fab photos there Jo. I’ve never been to Bath – I don’t ‘do’ cities as a rule – but your photos are making me want to go and explore. It’s hard to choose a favourite out of all the shots you took but I particularly like the one above the close up of the front end of the red boat 🙂

    https://mousehouselife.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-reservoir-ramble/ I’ll link back to your new walk once you’ve posted it 🙂

    1. Sorry to’ve missed this, Eunice. I didn’t see it in my Inbox till I’d already published this week. I’ll include it next week, if that’s ok?
      The riverside and canal paths in Bath make it a lovely place for walking. Thanks a lot! 🙂 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa 🙂 It’s a very lovely, historic city and I so enjoyed my unexpected visit. (and the rhubarb slice 🙂 ). Thanks a lot for joining me again.

  2. As you usual you provide us the full experience: beautiful images and cake for the taste. I have to single out your first frame – an unusual perspective in your gallery which I love. I will join you with my post shortly. I hope you will like it (you’d better – it took hours) 😀

    1. Oh no! Not hours, Paula! You don’t have many to spare. 🙂 🙂 Looking out on a damp grey day here so I’m looking forward to your company, and thank you!

  3. Love your spontaneity Jo and delighted you didn’t fall into the water. Would have to give you a finger wag or possibly throw you a rope. 🙂 I have heard so many great things about Bath and your post confirms those happy reports. Gorgeous.

    1. I did spot the odd lifebuoy, Sue, so I imagine it’s happened before. The water probably tastes worse than the spa water though, so not a plan. 🙂 🙂 Such a beautiful city!

  4. Wow!! Bath seems to have everything and I’m enthralled with the city. I imagined it would be beautiful, but not in the Southern European style and the bridge alone has me wanting to drive down immediately to visit.Yes, so like Ponte Vecchio! The river / canal looks heavenly, so serene and pretty and then there is the ‘bun etiquette’. I’m very intrigued. Jo, thank you for sharing this fabulous walk and so glad you took that bus into Bath. A brilliant post and I love your ‘arty’ photographs – just be careful!😀

    1. No bumps on the head lately, Annika, but one of these days… 🙂 🙂 I’m glad you’re impressed with Bath. So was I- very much so! I thought you might have been but I can assure you it’s well worth a trip. I imagine it can be seriously busy at weekends and in Summer. I’m just writing up my Roman Baths piece for tomorrow. Finding a peaceful time to see it isn’t easy but it is pretty amazing. 🙂 Thanks, hon!

      1. Jo, this is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for SO long but never seem to quite there! I have lots of trips planned for the future when work/family commitments are less until then I’m enjoying following your posts. Look forward to reading about the Roman baths!

    1. Hi Karen 🙂 It’s surprising how much you can fit in when you only have a few hours. I was just strolling and stopping to take the shots. It was such a glorious day I didn’t go inside Sally Lunn’s but the website has a few pointers. 🙂 🙂

  5. I, too, love Bath, and your photographs have brought back so many happy memories. Your photos really are amazing, and they get better with every post. Do you work very hard at making them so good. I rely on the camera a lot and I don’t have a lot of imagination when it comes to composition, but I manage, just! I’ve just posted a walk I did in Malaga last week, and I was so enthralled by the place that I almost forgot to take pix at all, missing all the lovely flowers and herbs. Not much wildlife to be seen but I know they were there, hiding in the bushes. Perhaps you’d like to include it in your walks?
    https://travels-with-my-camera.blog/2017/05/16/walking-in-the-desfiladero-de-los-gaitanes-natural-park-spain/

    1. I’d absolutely love to, Maris. Thank you for suggesting it. 🙂 I use a Canon mini IXUS 9515 and as I repeatedly stress on here, I’m no photographer. I think that I probably do have a good eye for composition but I’m primarily just a lover of beauty. I have an enhance feature in Windows 10 which enables me to improve on the originals and I’m very happy with the results. Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂 🙂

  6. Jo, I love Bath. My husband and I first visited it when we were dating back nearly 30 years ago, this city is very special to us. You captured it beautifully with your photos. It was the perfect sunny day to see it. Thank you so much for including my Sydney and the Blue Mountains post, very generous of you😄

    1. It’s a great post, Gilda, and I enjoyed it. That’s my main criteria. As for Bath, I’m happy to recapture happy memories for you. It’s a lovely little city. 🙂

  7. What a glorious tour that was dear Jo! Thank you for going to such great lengths to bring us this amazing gallery. Reminds me I really need to hurry up with plans for a grand return to England. Three decades is rather a long a time 🙂

    1. It really is one of England’s treasures, Alison. Crammed full of interest and an easy size for walking around. Lovely weather helped my photos, too. Thanks a lot! 🙂 🙂

  8. That’s for the grand tour of this beautiful place, Jo. You had a flight that day – How long were you in Bath for? Always good to leave something to see for the next return visit. 🙂

  9. My goodness how did you manage to do all that, they must have dropped you at dawn! Isn’t it a lovely city? I haven’t been for 8 years and I’ve never seen as much as you. I think that we tend to squeeze in more the further from home we are. Bath and Bristol are less than two hours from me, but I rarely get there! I’d love to go up that tower, are there any more photos?
    I hope you had a nice weekend with the young one at home, big G hugs x:-)x

    1. 9.33 bus from Yate. 🙂 I’ll be doing posts on the Baths and the Abbey. It’s a lovely little place and I almost felt guilty at how much fun I was having, Gilly. Thanks for the hugs, darlin.. A bit damp and dismal up here, but it can’t be all roses, can it? 🙂 🙂

  10. Ah, now Bath is one city that I think I could live in, as it has a lovely natural feel with the river and canal running through it and doesn’t feel too big. We had an overnight stop there at the end of December a few years ago on the way home to Surrey from Shropshire and enjoyed walking around the city even if it was rather chilly at the time. I believe we had breakfast at the Bridge café, at least one that was down by the weir anyway and jolly good it was too. And dinner in an old railway station which was also pretty good! Great photos Jo, especially the river and canal ones.

    1. Thanks, Jude. 🙂 🙂 I thought it might be a bit busy for you. I didn’t do too badly but I could see me getting stroppy with the tourists in Summer. It was a fab day though.

  11. Marvelous, Jo Highlights once again how much of my old stomping ground I have never seen up close and personal.
    But these all-too-brief vicarious tours with you are a pretty good substitute!

      1. And you do it very well! If ever you get to visit Chester, give me shout and maybe you can pop in for a cup of tea at my folks place, if you fancy it?
        They are a mile and bit from the city centre. I’m serious,too. I’ll tell them before hand of course, and I can drop you an email with their address if you like?
        You can tell them I sent you!
        They would be only too happy I can assure you.

      2. Bless you, that’s such a kind offer! I’ve not ‘done’ Chester and it would be an honour to meet your folks. The last time I was there was a cool, grey day when I hadn’t been courting my husband long. If I manage a return I’ll certainly let you know, and thank you! 🙂

  12. So, I wondered why you were making us dizzy with that first photo! Glad you regained your balance to wander around – and bring me to a beautiful city that I’ve heard of for so long. Thanks – Susan

      1. That sounds like a great idea , Susan. We have some wonderful gardens. I’ve just been playing about in my modest one, taking a few shots of rhodies and laburnum. The bees are buzzing! 🙂 🙂

      2. Bless you, honey! Thanks very much. 🙂 🙂 Having WP issues which are driving me to distraction, but I will prevail. 🙂 Happy Thursday!

  13. Thank you Jo for including my walk on your list.
    I loved reading about your Monday walk in Bath and enjoyed the sunny photos of the historic town and the canal.
    It brought back some happy memories of our visit ten years ago but I have to say we must have missed that riverside walk. Definitely one for next time.

    1. It is quite a special little city, and I’m glad it’s one you know, Vanessa. I really needed another day to see it properly and I would have loved time in the rooftop thermal spa they have these days. Take your costume if ever you go back! 🙂

  14. Bath is stunning. I wish you could have walked the full length of River Anon, but it sounds like it might take you a few days and you would be too tired for the food at the indoor market 😀 Wishing you a good week, Jo. So many nice photos, I don’t know how you do it 🙂

  15. Bath looks absolutely gorgeous Jo complete with its Tardis, beautiful buildings and bridges, blue skies and delicious cakes. What an amazing walk. Looks like so much fun. Thanks for taking me there. 😊

  16. Bath looks and sounds like another city where one can spend a few days strolling around and taking in all the sites and activities. I’m glad the water has a spell over you, Jo. The photos and experiences there would have me smiling wide as well. You know, when I first saw your photo of that bridge. I thought that it looked like a miniature version of the one in Florence. And then, you mentioned the comparison. Glad to read you had such a fun and successful day, and the weather was nice! Now, how about those Roman baths?

    1. You’ll love the Baths, Liesbet. 🙂 🙂 It’s a rather special city but can get overrun with tourists, so I was very happy indeed with my day of wandering. The Wikipedia link mentions the connection and of course it’s obvious, once you think about it.

  17. Oh Jo, Bath is one of my favourite UK cities and you’ve brought back some very happy memories. It’s such an elegant city. I’ve been twice and both times missed out on going into the Abbey. The first time it was closed for restoration work and the second time it was graduation day for the University and they were having the ceremony inside. I had to console myself with a Sally Lunn bun with lemon curd. Perhaps it will be third time lucky for me one day.

    1. If you make it let me tell you that the tower is a must, Carol. 🙂 🙂 Post to follow, of course! I had the most glorious day there. One of those when it’s a privilege to be alive.

    1. It’s a little beauty, Julie, but not unlike Prague can be rife with visitors, so I felt blessed to see it on such a day. I confess, I did know ‘of’ the bus, but there’s only one a day and I had no idea that I might be able to catch it. Lucky, or what? 🙂 🙂

  18. Wow, Jo! Ever the mistress of the understatement regarding time well spent you “think you made the most of your short time in Bath”?? What! I couldn’t have managed a tenth of what you did….. Lovely to revisit, albeit virtually!

    1. I had the most glorious day there, Sue, and enjoyed every second of it. 🙂 🙂 Unlike today, when I’ve already been out walking and come back somewhat damp. This might be one of those cabin fever weeks, but at least I have some nice memories to play with.

      1. Cabin fever! That’s what I’m in for – just got a sore throat so could be in for the long haul if it d envelops into a full blown respiratory trac t infection….aaargh…. 😥

    2. I sympathise with you re the sore throat, OH has had an horrendous cough for a week and now I have succumbed to what feels like mild flu – achy, sore throat, cough, dripping nose and headache. And to make me feel even more miserable we are lost in the clouds again!! And I can’t even write posts as the computer makes my head hurt! I do so hope this is a 24 hour thing…

      1. 48 hours later and I am still feeling rotten. Definitely fluey, and with a horrendous sore throat and cough 😦 I do hope you are feeling better.

      2. Oh heck! I don’t imagine Sue’s doing too well either. I’m ok, just grumpy 🙂 I had a problem with Ryanair yesterday and they encouraged me to use Incognito mode on Google Chrome. Since then the spam are coming in by the dozen on WP. Nowhere else, fingers crossed, but it’s making me demented! Hhope you’re much better soon.

      3. I hate being ill and it hasn’t helped been enveloped in cloud for three days. Good to see the sun reappear this afternoon!

      4. Not great here either but my rhodies and laburnum are lighting up the sky in the back garden. A peep of sunshine this morning so we’re off to the quarry at Belsay to see if their rhodies are in full spate. 🙂 🙂

      5. I, too, hate being ill but it happens now…I’m feeling really grizzly today because the respiratory tract infection has really set in 😥 it’ll be a while before I’m right again.

      6. Not one I’ve ever experienced either. 🙂 Abstinence, now… I refrained from having cake at Belsay today too! The rhodies were magnificent.

      7. Can I join in the whinge? 🙂 Came home like a soggy rat from a curtailed walk this morning so I may well be joining you in the snivels stakes. And I’ve spent too long on here today so my head hurts too. Where’s sympathy when you need it? Hugs, you two! 🙂

  19. It’s many years since I’ve been to Bath too, but funnily enough The Today programme was broadcast from there today (possibly to do with Jane Austen’s bicentenary) and now your lovely walk pops up! I wandered about by myself too – I think John was maybe examining a PhD student at the university – and thoroughly enjoyed it. The people we stayed with had no children at the time but now have two at uni so that dates it. The only other time I remember going was with my sister when I think we were both still teenagers, so that’s not yesterday either.

    1. Ours was when our son was a tot and we’d been to Bristol to visit the same lady who was 80 a couple of weeks ago. I can’t say I remember a huge lot about it and I don’t think it was sunny. Makes all the difference. 🙂 🙂 Thanks, Anabel.

  20. Can I say that , with this post , you outdid yourself….?
    Adore the perspective in your captures , and every one could stand alone for a relative article….!
    Bravissima , Jo!

    1. What a lovely lady you are, Anna. 🙂 🙂 Some posts really do give me enormous joy and this is one of them. Bath was a near perfect day for me, having spent the weekend ‘in captivity’ with my friends. I just loved the freedom to be myself. Thank you!

  21. oh what a joyful and beautiful post – like you I love Bath. I have even arrived on the Kennet and Avon Canal, which must be one of the best ways to arrive . . .we travelled from Newbury down, and then later travelled back up from Bristol. So much fun and of course we got to moor overnight near your weir 🙂

      1. I’d love to have one too but they are quite expensive so think mine will stay as a dream as well!
        Slowly . . . .took two days to sort house, then a day in garden just to tame it slightly. Now to catch up on paperwork . . . so maybe by next week!!

  22. Your post brings back fond memories of a very nice visit to Bath a couple of years ago – we were on a road trip through south England, covering all the way from Dover to Tintagel… We had a wonderful time.

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