After Birmingham, I took off to stay in Bath for a couple of nights. I had also planned some daytrips from Bath, so I was on quite a busy schedule. Bristol, Cardiff and Stonehenge were all part of the plan. But the first city I discovered, was Bath.
Bath is not a very big city and everything is within walking distance. There’s some hills you have to climb to get to certain places, but nothing is too steep. You can easily differentiate Bath from Manchester and Birmingham, the buildings are built so differently. Almost no red bricks in Bath, everything is made out of a golden-coloured Bath Stone. The city is stunning and I loved my days in Bath.
A funny story a tour guide told me: a lot of the windows in the city are blocked off. In the picture above, you can also see some blocked windows. At some time in the past, Bath needed more money (for whatever reason, I forgot) and decided to tax windows. So, if you had more than a certain amount of windows, you had to pay tax. Naturally, the residents of Bath didn’t fancy this, so to escape the tax, they just blocked off the windows they had to pay tax over.
The tour guide I mentioned, is part of a service the city of Bath offers. Every day at some time and in the morning and some time in the afternoon, free walking tours of the city are offered by official tour guides of the city of Bath. They don’t even accept a tip, so it’s 100% free. I recommend going on one of these walking tours, because they give you a much better insight of the city.
One of the things Bath is famous for, are the Roman baths. These baths have been buried below the ground for a long time and were discovered not even that long ago. They’re still in very good state and are open for the public to visit. If you’re ever in Bath, you can’t not go to the Roman baths. Someone I met on the Lake District tour told me to visit the Roman baths at night, since it’ll be much quieter then. I followed his advice and indeed, the baths weren’t that busy when I went to see them.
The baths are incredibly beautiful and well worth their price. However, since I’ve already seen so many Roman buildings and structures, I went through the rest of the exhibition quite fast. Drinking some of the spring’s water I wish I’d skipped, though. I tried it, but it is absolutely disgusting. You get it straight from the spring, so it’s not cooled. It also contains a lot of minerals, way more than usual drinking water contains. To me, it tasted so weird and gross, I didn’t like it. It probably would have tasted slightly better if cooled, though.
Bath has a lot to offer. Besides the Abbey and the Roman baths, the city houses a lot of museums. The architecture of the city is very much worth it, too. Just take a day to walk around in Bath and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It is lovely and I definitely want to return to Bath once in my life.
A city I don’t necessarily need to return to, though, is Bristol. When I booked my trip to Bristol, I might’ve been confused with Brighton. Wouldn’t have been too bad, though, if it weren’t raining all day during my time in Bristol. The weather kind of put a lid on the time I spent there, to be honest. I had fun visiting St. Mary Redcliffe Church, but that was about it.
Remember the Big Hoot Project in Birmingham? Well, meet Shaun the Sheep! Same project, different city! All over Bristol you could find sheep like this one. I love the idea behind these projects and kind of want one in a city in the Netherlands.
The other city I paid a visit to, was Cardiff. Contrary to my trip to Bristol, the weather was beautiful. On top of my to do list, was to visit Cardiff Castle, so it was really nice that the weather decided to play along.
Cardiff Castle is located pretty much in the centre of the city, not hard to find at all. It’s got different sights to see. Obviously, there’s the castle part of it, together with some of Cardiff’s history. But there’s also an exhibition on World War II, when parts of the castle functioned as shelters.
After I left the castle, I took a bus to the Doctor Who Experience. It was quite pricey, but I still had to see it. It’s comparable to the Harry Potter Experience in London, and I’m sure there’s loads of these kinds of experiences all over the world for other things too. You start of with some kind of interactive story and after, you get to walk around different props and others things used to make the series. I’ve seen loads of Daleks, Cyber Men and Tardises.
I walked back along the harbour to see the famous Millenium Centre. There were also loads of other things to see on my way back, so I definitely recommend walking instead of taking the bus.
My impression of Cardiff has been a really fun one and I actually think I haven’t seen all it has to offer yet. I want to come back to Cardiff sometime and maybe experience some of the night life too, though I’m not too sure about that, since I have seen what goes on in The Valleys. Still, Cardiff and the whole of Wales are definitely on my ‘to visit’ list.
Lastly, I felt that I couldn’t go on a trip of the UK and not visit Stonehenge. So I did. There’s not much to say about that, other than that the stones are pretty impressive and the mystery surrounding them is extremely intriguing, but at the end, you are just looking at some stones standing around. I am glad that I saw them, but I don’t understand people who can keep looking at them for the greater part of an hour.
And this concludes the Bath part of the trip! Almost at the end now. I have to say, I was glad that I was about to be going home after a couple more days. I had the best times, but I was also pretty exhausted by all the new impressions and ready to not live out of my suitcase anymore. Not to say that I wouldn’t do it all over again, because I would, without a doubt. I’m even thinking about doing to same north-to-south trip in Ireland, so travelling definitely hasn’t worn me out for good.
After Bath, I travelled to London. I did a daytrip to Cambridge, but it was pretty shit weather and I wasn’t very impressed. I took an earlier bus back to my hostel to pack for the day after, when I would be flying home again.
This post is the last one like this in my series of posts about my trip. After this, I’ve got a few more ideas (for example, one about staying in hostels), but after that it’s the official end of my trip and posts about it.
I’m already planning a city trip to Prague, though, so you know. Not running out of stuff to write about!