Bathtime

Bath, England is as cozy as its name– IF you go in the off-season. Suggestion: early May, in my opinion the loveliest time of year for England. The sun comes out in earnest and everything– every bush, every patch of grass, every tree, every crack in the pavement–blooms.

Even in May, Bath crawls with tourists, so imagine what the high season is like. Much like a bathtub, the number-of-people to amount-of-fun quotient has a steep drop-off. Here are my quick tips for a quick dip in Bath:

The eponymous, originally Roman site is amazing: cultural artefacts, historical technology, and the natural wonder of the bubbling hot spring waters besides.

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above-ground structures date from much later, obviously

Visible from the baths is the abbey – I ducked in and was impressed by the generous light and the lacy, delicate-looking ceiling.

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Walking around the rest of the town center, everything is demure and elegant, with muted golden beige-colored Georgian houses in tidy rows.

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part of the famous “Royal Crescent” terrace 

The most beautiful place in Bath, though, is the pedestrian walkway next to the River Avon. The cascading water near Pulteney Bridge makes a quiet, constant rushing that muffles the sound of traffic on the road. Some of the city’s most charming buildings are caught upside down in the lazing river, and in spring lush green trees lean over the water, petals float down into it.

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Bath alone is lovely enough, but the city also sits at the foot of the Cotswolds, a massive protected landscape of gentle green hills and pasture. The Cotswold Way long-distance trail starts in Bath and runs along the spine of the region, an idyllic ramble.

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There are plenty of big, healthy-looking cows…

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…some of whom have got the hang of this trail thing.

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relax and sweat, at the same time

Suggestion: venture into the Cotswolds, then return to Bath for a guilt-free cream tea at Sally Lunn’s

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Bath may be a city itself, but it’s the perfect break from the bustle of a City like London and a delight for foreigners looking for picturesque England.

One final cute-note: when I was in Bath, I stayed at a B&B called Henrietta House. Everything about it was adorable, from the characterful furnishings to friendly staff bringing home-made cookies to my door. The location was central, the bed was comfortable, and the included breakfast choices were varied and delicious.

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