Things To Do

Things to Do — By marylynsimpson on June 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm

The Roman Baths Museum is, undoubtedly, Bath’s main attraction. Once a public Roman bathhouse honoring gods like Neptune and Minerva, The Roman Baths  now welcomes visitors from all over the globe. Walk through the ancient Roman bathhouses and marvel at the beautifully preserved architecture. Intricate pediment of the mythological character of Gorgon and terraces supporting Roman statues overlook the bath. Located on Britain’s only natural spring, you can still see the steam rising from the now emerald green bath water. Redeveloped into a museum, The Roman Baths Museum has over a million visitors a year and houses over 12,000 Roman currency coins, the largest collective votive deposit known from Britain. Although swimming in the Roman baths is prohibited, The Pump Room, a neo-classical salon and restaurant, serves hot Spa water for drinking. Open for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, The Pump Room Restaurant, which over looks The Roman Baths, is a once-in-a-lifetime eating experience. If The Pump Room Restaurant is a bit out of your budget, The Pump Room, or salon, open to the public, free of charge. You can still taste the water while peering down at the ancient ruins. It goes without saying that a visit to The Roman Baths Museum is an attraction you don’t want to leave Bath, or Britain, without experiencing.

Bath has attracted fashion-lovers for nearly 200 years with its unique shops and stores that line the Gregorian streets, so it would only be natural for Bath to have its own fashion museum. Definitely worth the visit, the Fashion Museum has world-class collections of historical to contemporary styles of dress. Fashion-lovers can see everything from 16th century ball gowns a replica of J. Lo’s infamous Versace dress she wore to the 2000 Grammys. Get a taste for fashion of decades passed with the “Corsets and Crinolines” display where visitor can partake in trying on reproduction garments. The museum is child-friendly and spouse-friendly as well.

Feel like a Roman god at Thermae Bath Spa. Britain’s only mineral bath spa combines historic architecture and modern spa amenities, giving patrons the spa experience of a lifetime. The contemporary New Roman Bath overlooks the Bath skyline while the remaining thermal baths at the Spa are surrounded by Bath stone, providing an other worldly experience for visitors. A wall of circular glass that is infused with a relaxing mixes of lavender, mountain pine, eucalyptus mint or jasmine surrounds each aromatic Steam Room, providing an aromatic experience second to none. The central waterfall provides sensations of your choice, from a tropical shower to a light mist, indulge yourself in the central waterfall. And what luxurious spa experience is complete without a dip in the whirlpool? Reduce jet lag at the Minerva Bath. A swimming pool-sized whirlpool with invigorating jets, massage currents and warm temperatures, the Minerva Bath is sure to relax even the weariest of travelers. Along with mineral baths and steam rooms, Thermae Bath Spa offers 50 spa treatments and even boasts a restaurant with a health-conscious, always evolving menu. Be sure to book your spa day at Thermae Bath Spa before your trip to Bath, as late availability is not always a guarantee. Rates run anywhere from $100 to upwards of $250.

Calling The Royal Crescent a row of residents doesn’t do this historical landmark justice. Built between 1767 and 1774 by John Wood the Younger, The Royal Crescent is considered one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture. As its name suggests, The Royal Crescent is in the shape of a crescent, made of Bath stone and since its completion has been home to many prominent British socialites and royalty. The architectural design is absolutely breathtaking. Because of its immense popularity thanks to its high-profile residents, TV appearance and its sheer size, tour buses and carriages have been prohibited from driving in front of The Royal Crescent in order to maintain the resident’s privacy. Fortunately for visitors and locals, part of The Royal Crescent is now a museum and hotel. You can also see hot air balloons lifting off the front lawn of The Royal Crescent in the summer months, a spectacle for those traveling with out without little ones. Experiencing the opulence of The Royal Crescent first-hand is not out of reach for those lacking a prolific last name and Swedish bank account. The Royal Crescent Museum, located at Royal Crescent Number 1, gives its visitors a taste of life inside The Royal Crescent with authentic furnishing and original interior design. Admission is not free but a trip to The Royal Crescent Museum is worth the money, as these side-by-side mansions are not your everyday London flats.

Prior Park Landscape Garden and The Botanical Gardens of Greater Bath are the epitome of traditional English gardens. The Botanical Garden is located in Royal Victoria Park and stretches across 9 acres of impeccably manicured trees and shrubs. Take in the tranquil scenery of the scented walk and rock garden with an accompanying pool. One of The Gardens’ highlights is the replica of a Roman Temple. Once exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924, visitors can now marvel at the temple’s beauty. Another traditional English garden to visit is Prior Park Landscape Garden. Built in the 1700’s by Bath entrepreneur Ralph Allen, Prior Park Landscape Garden offers magnificent views of Bath. Among the rolling valleys is the famous Palladian Bridge, one of four in the world. Prior Park Landscape Garden is an ideal spot for a picnic or a an afternoon to admire wildlife strewn throughout these picturesque gardens.

Images via Best Value Tours, Fashion Museum, Thermae Bath Spa, Wikipedia, UkolnGarden Guide and Pbase

Tags: Bath, fashion museum, prior park landscape gardens, roman baths museum, royal crescent, the botanical gardens of greator bath, thermae bath spa, Things to Do, united kingdom