I’ve always wanted to explore the city of Bath, and since we had her dad’s car on loan for the weekend I jumped at the opportunity to take a day trip from Kingham!
After a winding drive through beautiful country lanes, we parked the car at what is perhaps the most iconic part of Bath- The Royal Crescent.
Having lived in Edinburgh for a number of years, I’m no stranger to Georgian architecture. These homes took my breath away nonetheless, especially striking between the vast green lawn and bright blue sky.
We continued down the street, admiring the architecture (and doorknockers!) as we went along.
Until finally finding ourselves right in the centre of it all!
The square was full of energy with the fresh spring air and sunlight. We took a few minutes to sit there and enjoy the musician busking before finally heading inside Bath Abbey.
Walking in feels like entering the most ornate jewel box. Especially if you look up!
Am I the only one out there that totally geeks out over fan vaulting?
We happened to be in the abbey just as the clock struck the hour, and every hour on the hour the rector stops for a minute of silence. After, we were approached by a friendly volunteer who, in addition to telling us all about the history of the place, gave us shockingly good recommendations for later. So if you happen to be in Bath, don’t be intimidated to talk to the staff here!
Bath Abbey is conveniently located literally next door to the Roman Baths.
It’s kind of expensive for what it is unless you’re a total Roman history buff, but can you really go to Bath and not go to the Roman Baths? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
They offer free tours a couple of times a day that are roughly an hour long, but we meandered through mainly on our own. This rooftop was actually my favourite part of the Baths, as it had terrific views of the Abbey and the music from the buskers that floated in sounded like pure magic.
I probably spent way too much time up here, but I loved every minute of it.
Eventually, I made my way through the rest of the museum, which included lots of beautiful old ruins.
You also get to peek out into the Sacred Spring, which was actually used as a luxury spa during Victorian times, hence the orange line from the water level.
After meandering through a labrinth learning about Roman civilisation and daily life, you’ll emerge back onto the lower level of the first bath you were in.
It’s a small museum that is definitely worth a visit for the unique history alone, and can easily be done in an hour without feeling rushed. And if you just want the check out the baths and skip the tours or educational components, you’d be in and out in ten minutes.
Once we finished, we wandered through the streets again, marveling at the architecture and taking notes of all of the adorable pubs and tea shops we must check out next time we’re in town.
Finally we made our way to a little coffee shop that came highly recommended by the volunteer at Bath Abbey.
It took us about four times walking by before we finally found it, but I’m glad we did. Colonna and Smalls is home to some of the best coffee in the entire world according to the experts who decide such things.
It was a little too late in the day for me to have coffee, so I grabbed a pot of tea (which, although not world famous, is fantastic) and slice of peanut butter & marmalade cake.
And oh my god can somebody please send me a recipe because it was so, so delicious!
Before I left I picked up a bag of beans sourced by Colonna & Smalls to take home, and grabbed another that they very kindly ground to have back at the cottage in Kingham. While I was checking out, the guy working told me that if I like their coffee, I can actually order more online! I might not get the same blend, as all of their beans are single-origin, but I can sort by flavour profile to make sure I find something I love just as much. And they ship to North America!
Having devoured the peanut-butter-marmalade cake in record time, we suddenly realised how hungry we were and decided to get an early dinner.
We headed to Bath’s Antique Quarter and down a little side street where Cafe Lucca was tucked away.
We grabbed a table outside to take advantage of their little sun-trap patio, and thumbed through their petite menu.They have a great selection of fresh seasonal salads, paninis, bruschetta, and the like. Scotch Eggs were the daily special on our visit – and so you know what I ordered!
After finishing our meal, we went to explore the gorgeous interior.
We approached what can only be described an altar to desserts.
Resisting the temptation to ask for one of everything, we managed to settle on two slices for the road home.
I am so looking forward to recreating the Earl Grey Fruit Cake at home!
We also went wandering around the rest of The Loft, where Cafe Lucca was housed. It was filled with little independent boutiques of every kind.
Every shop with just as lovely and well curated as the last, and it took every ounce of willpower not to buy another suitcase and go home with one of everything!
I did walk away with a couple of pieces from new designers I discovered there, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing them in future blog posts when the weather heats up a bit.
We sadly had to return home after our little feast and shopping spree. But there was so much to see in Bath that I can’t wait to go back! And I’ve already got a little bucket list for when I do:
Bizarre Bath is a comedy tour that meets at the Huntsman Inn from late spring through the autumn, and is only £7 for students! I’m still dying to eat at The Cosy Club, The Scallop Shell, The Chequers, The Herd, and The Raven. (Quite a list, eh? Bath isn’t short on great restaurants!) I’d make sure to stop at The Foodie Bugle, an artisan food and drink shop with the most beautiful storefront, to pack up a little picnic basket to take for lunch on some sunny spot along the River Avon. Having made the trek all the way down, I’d charter The Lady Lena, a lovely victorian river launch with a striped awning. I’d have to go to Sally Lunns for one of their famous Lunn Bunns, and of course check out the Jane Austen Centre and their traditional Regency Tea Room. And at the end of the day I’d head over to Thermae Bath Spa and watch the sun set over the city from their stunning rooftop thermal bath. I’m seriously still kicking myself for not remembering to bring my swim suit for that!
Like I said before, Bath is a fantastic place for a day trip, but I could easily spend days exploring the culinary scene and wandering down picturesque little streets.
Do you have any more suggestions for places to check out in Bath? Let me know in the comments below!