Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Two Days in Bath

I've wanted to visit bath for longer than I can remember. I'd heard so much about it, it looked beautiful and it seems like a lovely way to spend a weekend. After trying to find a slot in our diary, we circled September 6th & 7th and finally we booked it into the calendar.

We ended up choosing to stay in the Bath City Hilton and we couldn't have been happier with the location. It was really central, literally a stones throw from the Bath Abbey and all the other places we wanted to visit. The hotel wasn't even expensive and we ended up booking a package deal, which included a nights stay, dinner, breakfast plus two hours in the famous Bath Thermae Spa for around £200. 

So we woke up at 7am on the Sunday (this should be illegal, but it was totally worth it) and started the journey to Bath. It's around a two hour journey from where we are, so we ended up arriving pretty early. When we arrived in Bath the first thing we decided to do was visit the Roman Baths. Obviously the Roman Baths is a major tourist attraction, but we was really happy that it was quite quiet. We're not huge 'readers' in museums, so we just had a mosey around and the whole building was just fascinating. Chris thoroughly enjoyed popping the Go Pro as close to the water as physically possible, which made me pretty nervous. To our surprise, an old Chinese gentleman actually FELL IN to the Roman Baths whilst we were there, he was pretty shocked to say the least. Luckily lots of members of staff were on hand to help him and Chris did not need to perform his favourite lifeguard techniques.

After the Roman Baths, we decided to jump on a City Sightseeing Bus Tour, like proper little tourists. The bus company do two different tours and you can do the both for £14 each. One takes you round the city sights and the other takes you up into the hills to get a view over the city. The bus tour of the city was pretty good and we were able to see all the famous places in around 45 minutes. The skyline tour on the other hand was a bit naff, the bus isn't allowed to stop for pictures and all the trees haven't been cut back, so I think we saw the 'skyline' for all of 15 seconds.

After the bus tour and a brief stop for lunch, we went inside The Bath Abbey. The Abbey has restricted public opening hours, so it's worth checking these before you plan your day. As you can imagine the Abbey is absolutely breathtaking. Again, it's a bit of a tourist hotspot but the detailing inside is just beautiful, especially with the Organ playing in the background. 

Then it was time to pop back to the hotel and get ready for a bit of a swim. The Thermae Bath Spa has been created using the hot, mineral waters in Bath. The same water from the Roman Baths has been taken and treated, so that people can once again swim in the mineral water. There are two sections to the spa and over the course of our two days in Bath, we visited both. On Sunday evening we decided to visit the Cross Bath Spa which is an open air pool which allows ten people at a time. You simply book for a 90 minute stay and it's a very simple round pool which you can lounge and swim in. All the other people in the pool were also couples and it was a great chance just to chill out before dinner.

For dinner we had the vouchers from the Hilton Bath City for the onsite restaurant 'Atelier', which is a French-style bistro. We were able to choose a starter, main and dessert from the menu. We were pleasantly surprised at the standard of food, I'd read a couple of negative reviews and I was worried it would disappoint. However, to say it was sensational would be an understatement. We both had steaks for the main course and they were exceptional! The next morning we went back down to the restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast included a buffet of continental and cooked breakfast items, plus a few made to order options. The made to order options included pancakes, which we both really enjoyed. 

After breakfast, we quickly packed and headed down to the Thermae Bath Spa to use our vouchers. This time we entered the 'Royal Bath' which is the main section of the spa. The vouchers gave us two hours in the spa, which we upgraded to include an extra hour. The spa has two baths, one is a swimming area downstairs which has a lazy river and a jacuzzi area, the other is a rooftop pool which has views of bath. Then there is also four steam rooms, which all have different scents inside. Again, I had read some pretty naff reviews of the spa and I was a bit worried, but we were really impressed. The whole experience was really relaxing, my skin LOVED the mineral water and really was not that busy inside. We highly recommend it.

After the spa we headed to Patisserie Valerie for their Afternoon Tea. The tea featured sandwhiches, scones and a variety of cakes. The Afternoon Tea costs £25 for two people, but we actually had a voucher from Amazon Local which only cost £19. It was not the most luxurious tea I've been too, but it was pretty damn tasty and really enjoyable. I'm going to do a full review of the Afternoon Tea next week, so tune in for that!

The final stop before we headed home was Alexandra Park, which I had read had some incredible views of the city. You can actually walk to the park, but they warn that it's a very difficult walk, so we took the car. It took about 15 minutes to get there in the car, there's free parking when you get there and the views at the top were breathtaking. Definitely take the time to visit Alexandra Park if have the time!

That concludes my write up on our trip to Bath, I honestly had such a lovely time and I highly recommend taking the time to visit if you can. They warn that it can be a bit of a tourist hotspot, so if you can visit at an off-peak time, it sounds like it can make all the difference. 
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