I'm often told by people that I am lucky to live in Bath and you know what? They're not wrong.
Growing up, when I mentioned Bath to anyone when I was on holiday in the north, they wouldn't have a clue where it was and/or had never heard of it. Always popular with tourists due to it's wealth of history, the city has had a massive popularity boom over the past twenty or so years, with many wealthy people from London discovering its charms and making the move from the big smoke. With scenes like this, is it any wonder?!
|The Royal Crescent|
One of the things I love about Bath is its size: all parts of the city are easily and quickly accessible, yet take a ten minute walk and you're in the countryside. It really is the best of both worlds.
Bath is an ancient city dating back to Roman times, when the Romans settled here to take advantage of the city's natural thermal springs. The Roman Baths are still here today and are a huge tourist attraction.
Much of the city's architecture is beautiful and impressive Georgian structures. When talking about Bath many people rave about the architecture and what a pretty city is; indeed it is, but I'm a country bumpkin at heart and its many green spaces and parks are what make Bath special for me.
When Travelodge got in touch and asked me write about what I love about Bath, it was easy to think of my favourite place - Royal Victoria Park. I grew up spending weekends and school holidays playing there, having picnics with my family, I've been on dates there and spent many a lunch break wandering amongst the trees and collecting conkers in autumn.
Victoria Park is big - it covers 57 acres* and is far from just a grassy area. It has a pavillion café, tennis courts, mini golf, botanical gardens, children's adventure playground, a skateboarding park, duck ponds, a bandstand, and huge open spaces with trees and paths to walk. Not to mention one of the most prestigious addresses in the city - The Royal Crescent, pictured above.
There is something so grand-feeling about Victoria Park. Perhaps because it was named for and opened by Queen Victoria* herself. The wide avenues and many paths certainly lend themselves to walking, or 'promenading' as used to be so popular back then. I can certainly picture Regency ladies in their fancy attire sashaying in front of the Royal Crescent, parasols in hand.
The park is a beautiful place all year round: in spring and summer it is positively bursting with colours, as a team of gardeners keep it blooming with flowers. Come autumn, leaves create a crunchy carpet, conkers abound and squirrels are busily burying nuts everywhere you look. I like to meander through the park until I can bear the cold no longer, then warm my hands on a cup of tea in the café, whilst people-watching.
On the day I visited to snap these pics, I sat down on a bench for a rest and was greeted by a very inquisitive little squirrel! Sadly I didn't have any treats to give him, but we did play hide and seek around a tree trunk for a while.
The botanical gardens are so tranquil and a great escape from the busy city centre. They are pretty all year round, but are really spectacular in the summer.
I have so many memories of Victoria Park...sliding into the duck pond and getting my feet wet when I was little, playing at the toy boating pond (which sadly is no longer there), countless picnics, getting a hole-in-one at the mini golf and, up behind the skate park is a tree my nan had planted for my granddad when he passed away.
In addition, one of my favourite ever houses lies in the park. I spent my entire childhood wishing I could live there and I still adore it today. I always stop to admire it when I walk past - there is something so whimsical and magical about it! A proper fairytale cottage.
Whilst walking through Victoria Park I'm always struck by how it doesn't feel that I'm in a city at all - it transports you somewhere else entirely; somewhere peaceful, beautiful and full of nature.
That is a big part of what makes Bath so great - the whole city is like being in a film set or magical place. It really has to be seen to be believed and I cannot recommend a visit to this fair city highly enough. With celebs such as Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch strolling the streets, I think that's a pretty good seal of approval!
Its popularity and comparative wealth can make Bath an expensive place to stay. There are many stunning boutique hotels and B&Bs, but they come with an equally stunning price tag! At work we always book visitors into the Waterside Travelodge, as it's unbeatable value and just a short walk from both the bus and train stations, and from the city centre. It also benefits from its own parking - a rarity in this city! There is also a city centre Travelodge, which steps right out amongst all the shopping, bars and restaurants that Bath has to offer.
If you're planning a trip, take a look at the savings you could make right here.
Other places worth checking out:
- Bath City Farm - a short bus ride/drive from the centre, kids will love the animals.
- Parade Gardens/Pulteney Weir and Bridge - more stunning scenery.
- The canal - perfect for leisurely walks all year round.
- Bath Abbey - gorgeous gothic architecture.
- Independent Spirit - if you're looking for a special tipple for your stay, look no further.
- Walcot Street - Bath's artisan quarter, full of quirky shops and cafés.
- Green Rocket Café - fab vegetarian and vegan place. Best vege breakfast in the city.
- Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen - absolutely amazing gourmet vegetarian and vegan food. Booking highly advised.
- Society Café - independent café, delicious coffee and for the dairy free they offer almond milk as well as soya.
- Christmas market - if you visit in the run-up to Christmas, be sure to check out the traditional wooden chalets that fill the Abbey courtyard and streets surrounding it. This year the market runs from 26th November to 13th December.
- Plus all of Bath's many independent shops - the city is known for them, so make sure you support our local retailers!
Have you ever visited Bath? What did you think?
Big thanks to Travelodge and Talented Talkers.
* Information from visitbath.co.uk
All images used are taken by and are the property of Tiny Grey Cat, unless otherwise credited. The use of any image from this blog without express permission is strictly prohibited.