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Friday, October 28, 2016

UK & Canary Islands Travelogue | Exploring Bath

Breakfast this morning was a lovely affair and whilst I've been skipping a full English breakfast in favour or a more simple bowl of cereal and toast, I did manage to snap a picture of my mum's breakfast just so we have the usual breakfast photos on this space. We were sat at a table in the dining room and it was great. 

Before we checked out, we spent a few moments in the little garden and it was such a hidden gem. While I wish it was filled with flowers, it was just great being surrounded by greenery and breathing in chilled fresh air. It's little things like this that I will never experience in Singapore that I really appreciate.

We stuffed our luggages into the car, drove into town and parked our car in a public carpark before setting off to explore the amazing city of Bath. 

Bath is a city in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. The city became a spa with the Latin name Aqu√¶ Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") c. AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although hot springs were known even before then. 

Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious centre; the building was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, claims were made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became popular as a spa town in the Georgian era. 

Georgian architecture, crafted from Bath stone, includes the Royal Crescent, Circus, Pump Room and Assembly Rooms where Beau Nash presided over the city's social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. Many of the streets and squares were laid out by John Wood, the Elder, and in the 18th century the city became fashionable and the population grew. Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century. Further building was undertaken in the 19th century and following the Bath Blitz in World War II. (Credit: x)

Our first stop was to the world-famous Royal Crescent. I cannot explain the feeling of awe I got when I caught my first glimpse of this stretch of buildings. These buildings were build in the 1700s, making it nearly 300 years old and yet, here they stand, strong and proud for tourists all over the world to appreciate. If you're ever in Bath, do pay a visit to this historic site. I don't believe you can enter the buildings because they are privately owned.

Most of the buildings around the town area are so picturesque and just a stone's throw away from the Royal Crescent, we came across the Bath Circus. 

Divided into three segments of equal length, the Circus is a circular space surrounded by large townhouses. Each of the curved segments face one of the three entrances, ensuring that whichever way a visitor enters the circus, there is a classical facade straight ahead. Just how amazing is that.

We stopped for a cheeky cup of coffee, mostly because it was freezing and I was so chilled. This place was probably the only coffee place we visited throughout the whole trip which served a latte with actual latte art so I was very appreciative of this fact. 

We decided to make one last stop before lunch and we found ourselves at the Bath Abbey. The Abbey is a breathtaking building that is beautiful no matter which side of the building you are at. I made my parents wait for me as I literally walked around half of the Abbey snapping away with my camera. I really wished I entered the building but at that moment we weren't really interested in paying the entry fees especially since we've seen so many impressive churches and cathedrals during this whole trip already. But for lovers of architecture, I can imagine this would be an amazing place to stop by even if you don't head inside.

After we stopped at M&S for a quick bite, we had just a bit of time to spare before our carpark ticket expired so we took a quick stroll to the Pulteney Bridge. The Pulteney Bridge crosses the river Avon in Bath and it is one of the 4 bridges in the world which has shops built across the full span of the bridge on both sides. We didn't actually walk across the bridge though we did photograph it from another bridge.

Sadly, we only had a few hours to spend in Bath and time literally flew past and then it was time to head out of Bath. On our way to the next B&B, we stopped by Farleigh Hungerford Castle. I would probably call it the Farleigh Hungerford Castle ruins more than just the castle because all that is left is literally the ruins of the castle. 

It was a whole different experience to be wandering around the ruins of what used to be a castle. It wasn't a very big area and I felt a little sad to see it all abandoned and frankly falling apart. You could see the stones left on the ground marking out where rooms used to be and the remains of towers which used to be around the castle wall. There were little signs which explain a little about what the place used to be like and what the rooms were like. The only standing and restored building was the castle chapel and we did poked our heads in to take a look around.

We then drove a little way to the Garden House B&B which we were staying in that night. I have to say that if you're using the phone line provider "3", you may want to avoid staying in this area because we lost signal about 15 minutes away from this B&B. 

There was literally no 3G and no signal at all in the area. And the worse part was that the wifi provided by the B&B could only be accessed in the hallway near the main door. We couldn't access the wifi from our room at all. It was probably the longest time I was without service and internet whilst not being on a plane and it was a challenging time although I did have the foresight to download a whole bunch of videos on my iPad so I wasn't really that bored.

The room was lovely and long, with a main bedroom area, and a little bedroom beside it which you have to walk through to head to the toilet. It was slightly run down and felt outdated but I could deal with it for one night.

For dinner, we drove about 3 minutes to the Neeld Arms which was recommended by the owner of the B&B. It was a pretty lovely little place with a decent amount of dishes on the menu. I opted for a soup once again and the parents went for a steak each.  This was probably the first time I had mushroom soup on this trip, the English just don't do mushroom soups very often which I was surprised about because a staple soup served in most cafes and places selling Western food is the mushroom soup. 

8 oz. Sirloin steak with chips, onion rings, tomato, mushroom & salad (£15.95)

Soup of the day (£4.95)
Mushroom soup

I had an amazing day in Bath and honestly, if you're in the UK, I would definitely recommend making a stop in both Brighton and Bath. These 2 places probably left the greatest impression on me besides London of course. I will definitely be bringing the husband here one day when we visit the UK together. Thank you so much for reading!

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