Six word Saturday

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!

71 comments

  1. That was a quick look?!!😀 I think I could spend a day in this cathedral, I’m already overawed by it from your description and glorious photos! I love all the bells and interesting to read about change ringing. Did you get to hear them whilst in Bath? Hopefully not standing too close! Have a great weekend, Jo – I’ll pop over for your next Six (++) word Saturday…this just couldn’t be shorter!😀❤️

    1. I wondered why the tower was done as a tour, Annika, but there was a safety aspect and the guide was full of information. Sitting behind the clock face was like being on a movie set. Yes, I did hear the bells, distantly 🙂 🙂

    1. Yes always a tower Madhu! I’m a sucker for stairs. I should have great legs after all these years but they’re getting weary. This was worth it though. Thank you xx

  2. I’ve never been up . . . . must have missed the sign when I was there. Definitely have to explore next time in Bath thanks for the tip 🙂
    PS You know you are amazing don’t you, just so impressed by how much you squeeze in to a day.

  3. I’m glad to read every one of your words and love every photo. I’ve never been inside so you’ve given me the urge to go and see for myself, and go to the tower of course. Are you having a good weekend, family around? I was in Bridport yesterday for the artisan market, so today is a chores and catching up day,but I’ve got the urge to make another bag and have ideas so may have to try to make a pattern. Hugs babe x:-)x

    1. Hiya darlin. 🙂 I must have just missed you when I put the laptop off this morning. Mick has been really busy but we played hookey this afternoon to go to an Open Gardens event down in Yorkshire. (busman’s holiday 🙂 🙂 ) It was excellent. No James this weekend. Glad you enjoyed the Bath stuff. Wish I got the urge to make things. All I make is a mess 🙂 🙂 Love ya, hon!

  4. I enjoyed your posts on Bath. What a beautiful city. Prior to reading your posts I had been reading about Emperor Haile Selassie and his residence in exile in Bath, so it was great to see photos of Bath. The Emperor and his entourage lived at Fairfield House, which he donated to Bath in 1958. Apparently (and I don’t know how true this is) one of the reasons the Emperor decided to settle in Bath was because of the city’s baths; a reminder of the hot springs in Addis Ababa, and elsewhere in Ethiopia.

    1. That’s a nice connection, Ann. Thanks for telling me. It really is a lovely city, and such a nice size. I love that you can see the countryside from the tower. Hugs, darlin. Hope you’re doing fine. 🙂 🙂

  5. Beautiful architecture, I would definitely go up in the tower to see the views. I will be taking my cousins to visit it in June. Thanks for all your posts on Bath Jo😄

  6. A beautiful cathedral and exquisite stained glass windows. I love the plaque detailing the bell ringing done in honor of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Including the names of all the participants is a nice bit of history and appreciation.

    1. I included that as an afterthought, Nicki. Funny what catches your eye sometimes, isn’t it? Bell ringing is quite fascinating. If I lived nearer I might be tempted. 🙂

  7. I’m with you Jo. Ladders, stairs, towers, hills, staircases who can resist? The views were obviously well worth the effort. Thanks for venturing skyward to show us.

    1. The views were great and our little guide was very cheery and full of facts, Sue. It’s not often that you have a guided tower tour, but there was an obvious safety factor. Definitely one to do if you’re ever in Bath. 🙂 🙂

  8. We visited the Roman Baths but didn’t see the Abby, Maybe next time. I recently learned that bell ringing in Georgian times was quite competitive, with hours long progressions of ringing that were done by memory.

    1. It was right alongside, Noelle, so I had to stick my nose in. 🙂 The guide was very informative and there’s quite a lot on the Wikipedia link about bell ringing.

  9. I visited bath countless times but I don’t think I’ve ever been inside the abbey. I must put that right when I next visit. The ceiling in one of your first photos looks so beautiful.

    1. It really is, Kathryn! Just like lace. 🙂 🙂 Inside the entrance is a little timber and glass reception and the sense of pride in the Abbey from all the staff is really lovely.

  10. That door is fabulous. I even have a photo of it myself, though our visit was on a very cold, foggy New Year’s Eve. We didn’t go inside the Abbey, for some reason I believe it was closed, but we walked up to the Circus and the Royal Crescent. I think Bath is far more attractive in the sunshine!!

    1. Where isn’t? 🙂 🙂 Is it sunny down there today? We’ve got sunny intervals and showers but I’m recovering from my exertions with a bit of tennis on in the background. Thiem was amazing yesterday. Might be a new hero 🙂 Knew you’d like the door.

  11. What a wonderful walk around Bath Abbey. It looks stunning on the inside. The tour guide sounds like he is such a pro at climbing those stairs and giving tours at the same time every day, many times a day. It must be easy to him going up now 😀 Stomach churning view indeed from the top to below, but going up means a deeper walk through history and stunning views too 🙂 Have a good weekend, lovely. It is a quiet one for me, finally 😀 ❤

    1. We had a lady guide, Mabel, and she was extremely pleasant as well as informative. 🙂 The addition of a website is always useful as it saves me spelling out all the history. Imagine what would happen to my six words otherwise? 🙂 🙂
      I’m zumba’d out and currently collapsed watching tennis. Have yourself a wonderfully relaxed time.

      1. Websites are always helpful, and they can help refresh our memory, and we remember what we’ve seen. But, I trust you have a good memory 🙂 I like watching tennis too. Enjoy the tennis. Back to blogging and writing for me D: 😀 ❤

  12. Fabulous tour of the tower, Jo, and those views are stunning! Thanks for my Virtual tour! As to the cobwebby entrance to heaven, it would suggest not many went that way…😳

  13. I, or any guy like me, who can only do a very few steps (and even those can only be done one laborious grunt at a time), but who loves views from high places, truly appreciate you taking us all along on this beautiful adventure. I know it’s Bath, not Notre Dame, but I felt like Quasimodo reading this. THANKS!!!

  14. Definitely forgiven for this one! A great tour with you Jo. Internal shots in a place like that can be tricky but you’ve caught them very well. Why have I not been inside?

    1. Too busy rushing through tunnels, Debs? I did like that Paddington one. One of my bells shots is seriously blurry but I only had the one. Cracking place! Next trip, Debs? Thanks a lot, hon.

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