Weekending in Bath
This week, a British colleague of mine asked me for a recommendation on where to take his wife for a romantic weekend. Somewhere in the countryside was his only stipulation. I hope you see the irony in this, me being a New Zealander who has only called this country home for a few years. I just love adventures in the UK, and feel that it is one of the most underrated destinations for London-based, wide-eyed wanderers. Bath is a favourite opening act for a first step beyond London. Less than two hours by train, the mix of history plus nature plus delicious restaurants plus a decent nightlife equals a solid bet for just about any time of the year. It has got strong Roman vibes coupled with embodying every town Jane Austen ever wrote about. One Bank Holiday in May not too long ago, we found ourselves sipping an Old Fashioned or two overlooking the cobbled streets, wondering aloud whether we could commute from Bath to our jobs in London.
Bath may quite possibly be the most beautiful English town yet. Spring was starting to make its much-awaited appearance, which always helps. We filled our days with sampling the many restaurants and pubs we’d heard so much about. We followed the Bath Skyline trail on foot and read our books in the sun, wine in hand. We pretended (well, I did - Sam studied Classics at some point in life) to fully appreciate what we were looking at when we visited the famous Roman Baths. Top tip: go early. And on our last day in the city, underneath greying clouds heralding the end of the gloriously long weekend, we steamed ourselves far along the prune spectrum in the rooftop bath spa overlooking the city.
Home for the weekend was at The Bath Priory, our first taste of a manor house hotel - and we loved it. It was one of those places where the sun seemed to shine all hours of the day, and leafing through our books in the gardens on the wicker chairs tempted us from seeing some of the sights we came to see.
We followed our stomachs at least twice to The Raven. We under-estimated how long the Bath Skyline walk would take us, and reached this pub after several hours of hiking fuelled only by black coffee. Needless to say their pies went down so well, we may have ordered a third to share between us…. Martini Restaurant was a delightful, jovial Italian and local sweetheart, packed out on a Sunday night serving half of Bath. Other favourites included The Circus for a delicious meal (albeit in a slightly stiff atmosphere), and The Salamander for prosecco accompanied by high heels and a cosmopolitan vibe.
The Bath Skyline walk was a medley of sights. The path takes you through a lush National Trust park, round the fields of Bath University where we got caught between rugby trainings (hello boys…) and onwards through some not-so-slightly smelly sheep farms. Perhaps not the prettiest walk throughout, but definitely worth it if you want some exercise thrown into the weekend. Walking around Bath itself is a treat. Make sure to visit the Bath Abbey, and head to the Royal Crescent with a book and a picnic if the sun’s out.
With 4am starts, delayed flights and airports full of irritable travellers, we much prefer to travel by rail than by air for the Bank Holiday weekends. If you haven't already been, Bath is definitely a must-visit in England.
With Love, Kate