Monday, February 14, 2011

Bath, England 2009 Part 1

Bath Visitor's Guide, and Jane Austen Centre Brochures

This is another installment of my travel pictures/stories from 2009. I am so behind on everything from that period. I hope that it's worth the read now a year and a half later!

Money, tickets, etc. :)

After being in France (and I will return to some of my French trip in upcoming posts) I went to Bath in England via the Eurostar Chunnel train. I found that just as I was understanding the French train system, I was thrown into a very different one in the United Kingdom. I think I understand it better, but I had time to make some mistakes during my travels in England. Other than I should have bought my tickets in advance to get an advantageous rate, I had very little difficulty aside from navigating stations and walking my luggage through the streets.

View from French TGV while traveling by rail

Bath has to be one of the prettiest cities I've ever been to. It is almost all stone and most of it is neoclassical, the rest usually being historic, as well. While it is a small city, it is on a hill--be advised that if you do not hire a taxi, you will almost certainly be walking up the hill from the train station, which is at the lowest point in town. In my case, I enjoyed not wasting money on rides and did just fine, even if my feet complained a bit.

View from my window at the Griffin Inn

The first place I stayed when I was in Bath was at an inn above a bar called the Griffin Inn. It was actually rather quiet and nicely done up. I believe it was run by some local university students, but they really did a nice job of making the place look respectable. In fact, the room was so newly done over that I could smell the carpet and whatnot when I was there. The television even had a hookup for my iPod to watch movies on it, etc.

My room at the Griffin Inn

You may have noticed that I said I should have bought my train tickets in advance... as it turns out, I was planning my trip out on the spot and ended up staying in a total of three places when in Bath and took an unplanned side trip to Salisbury. Part of this, is because I wanted to participate in the Jane Austen Festival, but wasn't sure what it was like, etc. As it turned out, I was able to get some last minute tickets to events and it ended up being great fun, not to mention I met numerous other Janeites! :)

Entrance to Assembly Rooms / Fashion Museum

Side view of Assembly Rooms / Fashion Museum

Now, I'm not really the sort of person to just sit indoors when I've traveled to an exciting new place, so the moment I set down my luggage, I was out walking every street in the city that I could reasonably get to, so as to get an understanding of how the place was laid out. 

Bath Abbey

Map of Bath, 1803

One of the nice things I discovered, is that because of the way things are laid out in Bath, you can get to most places within 10 minutes by foot; unless both places are on the outer edges of the central city area, at which point it's more like 25 minutes or so. That said, I like to walk briskly, so my times may not be representative of other people's experience.

Pump Room entrance at night

Pump Room entrance at night, closeup of sign

To be continued!


  1. Bath was one of my favorite places we visited. Although it was really scary when the coach driver kept cutting through alleys and such, I would never have thought anyone could make a bus that size fit in such a small place :P

  2. I have always wanted to visit Bath and take the EuroStar. Your post has made me a tad jealous ;-)