Saturday 1 November 2014

The Roman Baths ... in Bath ...

Yes, we're still on the trail of those pesky Romans, as Emi works his way slowly through his half-term homework assignment.

On our way back to London from Devon we stopped off to take a look at the Roman Baths in ... Bath. No prizes for guessing how this city got its name!

I've been here so many times I think I could hire myself out as a tour guide. Everyone who comes to visit us from overseas gets dragged down to Bath at some point during their stay. It's such a great place to visit, and it was a real pleasure to show little Emi around. He's been pushed around the sights in his pram before, but claims not to remember a great deal about it.

Have you ever seen a more timeless looking place than this?

It's like an onion with every skin a different age. 

Before the Romans the Celts lived here. Some of their gods are still in evidence at the complex.

This sacred trinity of mother goddesses was dug up at Bathwick. They were being venerated here long before the Romans started polishing their lances and wondering whether or not they should cross the Rubicon.

And even after they'd been conquered the ancient Britons still managed to do Roman things their way. Take a look at this wonderful carving that once stood proud on the central plinth of the temple here in Bath. Is it a (male) Gorgon with the snakes for hair, Neptune, god of the seas or our good old Green Man, Master of the Celtic Wild Wood? It's anyone's guess, but whichever way you cut the cake he's gorgeous.

The temple here was dedicated to Sulis Minerva, the goddess of the heavenly hot spring.  Is it just me, or does anyone else think she looks a bit like Margaret Thatcher? Maybe it's just the way she's had her hair curled.

And when we got right down to pool level there were still a few Romans hanging around enjoying the party. I wonder what they're talking about. Where's the best place to get your chariot serviced? Why doesn't anyone in this country know how to cook a decent stuffed dormouse? I wouldn't know where to begin, but at least they did a good job of blending in with the tourists (not).

Here's another chap who's been standing around for so long that he's turned to stone. I think he's drawing his sword to clear a way through all the tourists to get to the pool. It was standing room only when we passed through. And everyone - absolutely everyone - was listening to the talkie guide they hand out at the door.

The water rises out of the ground heated to a steaming 46º C (115º F). It's the only place in the UK where this happens, and those old Romans thought that it was the work of the gods.

It would be amazing to go for a dip in that ancient pool with all those regal statues looking on. These days they've got an amazing modern spa where you can do just that. The best bit is the rooftop pool where you can drift around admiring the view of the rooftops through the steam rising off the water.

It's a brilliant spot to pass an afternoon and Emi seemed to learn a load of stuff about the Romans. But it would be magical to go at night and have the place to yourself. Can you just imagine floating around in the hot water with a glass of something cool and delicious, watching the stars twinkle overhead? How very decadent!

All the best,

Bonny x


  1. Gorgeous Roman Baths, indeed. You captured them beautifully. I had to laugh at your Margaret Thatcher / Sulis Minerva comparison! ;)

    1. Thank you, Kia. I'm convinced of the similarity between them. Sulis Minerva even had Mrs T's hairstyle! All the best and thanks for stopping by, Bonny

  2. Absolutely wonderful place. I would enjoy a wander with my camera for sure.

    1. Hi Sarah, do put it on your list of places to go next time you're over this way. There's loads more to see in the city as well. In my opinion it's one of the most magical cities in England. All the best and thanks for stopping by, Bonny