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 :
I’d never heard of Jane’s walk, but trust a New Yorker like Susan to tell it in style :
Few people are better traveled than Debbie, so if she invites you for a walk, go!
Jackie likes to hoof it a bit, too :
Innsbruck is a city I’ve only dreamed about. Drake brings it beautifully to life :
Woolly is in the same neck of the woods, but I’ve been to Salzburg. It rained! :
I’ve made lots of good friends in the blogging world. Becky was kind enough to share a place that has captured my heart :
And speaking of friends, this is pure delight from Jude :
My lovely Meg pootles on a beach- a most delightful occupation :
While our Cathy shops her way around Tokyo, between shrines. That girl loves a bargain!
Geoff, meanwhile, takes us on a fascinating exploration of ‘lost’ rivers :
Shazza has an interesting (and dog friendly) walk in the Yorkshire Dales :
Eunice has some lovely reflective blue skies, and 2 more dogs :
And Carol goes hunting Romans in the Lake District. They can be elusive!
Vanessa demonstrates a love for and knowledge of Majorca. This is the start of a series :
Finally, here’s Paula. As near to perfection as you can get in a post. Turn the music on and feast your eyes!
That’s it for another week. Hope you enjoyed, and have a happy week tootling about.