Monday, 1 April 2013

A Day in Bath (the city, not the bathroom)

Today was a long overdue day for our family, for today, we played tourists and spent the day in Bath, Somerset. It was a kind of research mission as we were debating on a weekend here when G's parents arrive next month (OMG, they are here next month already!) and we have been very house bound because of the cold, wet weather. Sadly, we'd let it get the better of us, but no more!

We charged the camera battery overnight to ensure we wouldn't run out, anticipating the opportunity to take lots of photos.

We downloaded the BATH app onto my iPhone (have to say, wasn't that impressed with it), and G got ready with tripadvisor (if you're interested to follow him, he's aussiepapa78. I'm aussiemama just in case you'd like to follow me too)

The drive was pleasant, MissM was happy watching DVD's in the back noshing on Nori, a Vegemite bagel and small packet of crackers'n'cheese (it was only a 1.5 hour drive but car trips have always made her hungry)

On approaching Bath we were amazed at the sameness of the color and style of the buildings, set into the hillsides. It's been a while since we'd seen hills as around where we live it's rather flat.

Our first stop was Bath Abbey.  MissM was offered the children's quiz which always helps keep her attention and gives us insight into the things we are looking at.  G didn't want to do a guided tour as we'll be back with his parents in a few weeks so I can only tell you things about the Abbey that you can read yourself by clicking the link, so I won't bore you here. Suffice to say, we enjoyed our time there, and will be back with G's parents ( when I will do the tour, even if they don't want to)

Side view of Abbey

Beautiful interior. The fan vaulting is one of the finest examples of this
kind of workmanship in Europe

Discussing the children's quiz and how best to approach it

One very interesting plaque which was mentioned on the children's quiz was that of Captain Arthur Phillip (Australian's will know him, or should do, as the First Governor of New South Wales). One of the Stewards heard our accent and told us his story.

For those of you who read ms-havachat and are unfamiliar with his tale, he was chose by Lord Sydney as Captain-General of a proposed expedition to New South Wales and be Governor of the new settlement intended to be established. There were 11 ships, carrying 1,487 people of whom 759 were convicts. Philip reached Botany Bay but found it unsuitable for landing, so kept sailing until he found the harbor, which he named Sydney Cove. On January 26, 1788 the landing party made it to shore and hoisted the British Flag.

This date is celebrated as Australia Day across the nation, with parties, picnics and BBQ's. The celebrations and fireworks on Sydney Harbor are not to be missed.

We had a truly inedible lunch at The Roman Kitchen and were mighty cheesed off when we went for a walk afterwards to discover Wagamama, Jamie Oliver's Kitchen, Yo Sushi and many other eateries. Lesson learned for when we visit with G's parents in a few weeks.

The Roman Baths had a very long line of people waiting to get inside. As we think this is something you do once, we opted to wait and do it with G's parents in a few weeks (if you sense a theme here, you are right)

As usual I collected a few brochures from the Information Centre. While I love a good Google, there's nothing quite like holding a brochure in one's hand, or stuffing it into a pocket for later reference.

There's themed guided walking tours of the city, a huge amount of shops (or maybe we've just been in Winchester too long), Longleat Safari (which might be a second outing with G's parents and not part of the weekend in Bath), plus whatever else we can Google or find to do with our English Heritage and/or National Trust memberships.

We're home now, feeling very satisfied with out research and ready for the weekend in Bath, when G's parents are here in a few weeks.

With friendship


  1. Do you know the play 'Our Country's Good' by Timberlake Weternbaker? It's a brilliant play all about Arthur Philip, early settlers, Sidney, etc. Was on in Southampton in December and has just finished a run in London. Amazing production by Max Stafford-Clark

  2. Hi Judehayland -No, not heard of that play. But will look out for it :)

  3. if you want to be posh, have high tea in the Pump Room with G's parents. it's been the 'done' thing since oh, the 1700s. So I've heard, I'm not that old!!!

  4. Thanks Margaret will add the Pump Room to our list of things to do :) x