Bath Stories and Tips

Bath Sightseeing

Bath bun with chocolate spread Photo, Bath, England

We started our day of sightseeing in Bath at the Abbey. It was started in 1499 and built on the ruins of the former Norman Cathedral. You can go up the tower for a view of Bath. It costs £5.00. I cannot comment on the view however, as we did not do this, due to very overcast weather.

Edgar, the first king of united England was crowned in a church in Abbey Courtyard in 973. The present abbey was built in 1499 and 1616, making it the last great medieval church in England. The most striking feature of the exterior is the west facade, where angels climb up and down stone ladders. This commemorates a dream of the founder of the abbey, Bishop Oliver King.

Inside the abbey, at the entrance, they have a children's quiz trail you can pick up for free. It has clues and things of interest for children to find around the church. It keeps little ones interested and our son was really pleased with the pencil and ruler he got from the gift shop, as a prize for completing the trail.

The church tower is a great landmark. Outside in Abbey Yard there are lots of restaurants and cafes. It is a great place to have a drink or some lunch while watching some really top quality buskers. We especially enjoyed a unicyclist who juggled fire while cracking jokes!

Pulteney Bridge and Weir was designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1773. It is one of only 4 bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides. It overlooks Pulteney Weir. Great Pulteney Street is a lovely Georgian street and was the film location for the Reese Witherspoon version of Vanity Fair.

Pulteney Bridge and Weir is one of the most photographed views in Europe. When you see it, you will easily understand why. The River Avon, spilling over the curved terrace weir with Pulteney Bridge in the background is a wonderful sight.

If you glance from a window at the back of one of the shops on the bridge, a sudden glimpse of the river rushing underneath, almost makes you feel as if you are on board a ship.

The elegant road on the far side of the bridge is Great Pulteney Street - a very grand boulevard. There are lots of bars and restaurants in the area all around Pulteney.

The architecture throughout Bath is splendid, but nowhere more so than The Circus and above all the Royal Crescent. The two streets are not far apart, and are a must see in Bath.

The Royal Crescent is especially magnificient - a row of houses designed by John Wood and completed in 1774. The large semi-circular shaped lawn out the front is owned by the Royal Crescent residents - what a place to live! It is a residential road of 30 houses and is grade 1 listed. The Royal Crescent is one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in Great Britain.

Sally Lunn's Refreshment House and museum is a shrine to the Bath bun. It is also the oldest house in Bath, built around 1483. You can still try the bath bun here - a semi-sweet bread. The basement is the original kitchen Sally Lunn used 300 years ago and is now a little museum. Here you can see how the young immigrant Huguenot baker Sally baked the first bath bun. It is free to enter if you have had refreshments here, otherwise it costs 30 pence to enter.

There are 3 rooms serving a menu based on the Sally Lunn bun. We had lunch here and tried the sweet buns. My advice would be to go to the museum, but eat elsewhere. The bath buns are not that special and the food in Sally Lunns is extremely overpriced. It is a real tourist trap and you would get a much nicer lunch costing a lot less at one of the many other cafes in the area.

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