Bath Abbey, from top to bottom!
Impossible to ignore Bath Abbey, so central is it to this lovely city. Coming out of the Roman Baths, I knew that I would have to take a quick look inside. How glad I am that I did. The delicate laciness of those celestial arches, like a cobwebby entrance to heaven.
As I admired the stained glass windows, a sign caught my eye. Tower Tours. I can never pass up the opportunity to climb a tower. A bird’s eye view of Bath beckons, in the hands of a cheerfully smiling guide, who climbs these stairs numerous times a day. A narrow circular stone stairwell leads upwards. Up 50 steps and through a door. A slim strip between the turrets and the sloping roof gives a first glimpse of the rooftops of Bath.
Then into a surprisingly large space where the bell ringers perform, And an array of bells, mostly obsolete but fascinating.
Up here it all feels melodramatic. We squeeze into a narrow space behind the clock face, and are encouraged to peep through a tiny hole in the floor. The stomach churning view all the way down to the aisle below is to enable the bells to be rung at a precise stage in a procession.
The tower is home to a ring of ten bells, dating back as far as 1700, and ordered from highest to lowest, anticlockwise around the ringing chamber. Bath is a noted centre of change ringing in the West Country.
Did you spot the rooftop open air pool of the new thermal spa? A nice place for a healthy cocktail? And then it’s back down to earth again, a tired but happy 212 steps and 161 feet later.
I can highly recommend it, but not for anyone with a fear of confined spaces or heights. The Abbey website will give you all the details, including a virtual tour of the tower. This concludes my visit to Bath.
Yet again I have far exceeded my six words, but lovely Debbie is very forgiving. I hope you’ll share yours. Happy Saturday!