Roman Baths

About one hour from the site of Stonehenge lay the historic town of Bath.  In this town lay the historic Roman Baths – a structure constructed on a natural hot spring, starting with a temple between 60-70 AD, and the Roman Baths slowly being built up in the 300 years to follow.  The original building in the 2nd century was wooden, but fell apart, and was later rebuilt multiple times, the current incarnation being built up in stone in the 1700’s.  It consisted of multiple rooms houses cold, warm and hot baths.

The city of Bath is responsible for the hot springs, as per a charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1591.  People have come for centuries to drink from the mineral rich water, high in sodium, calcium, sulphate and chloride.  Personally, I thought it was just funny tasting warm water (FYI – BC has some of the best drinking water anywhere in the world, as concluded by our group over the course of our trip).
The Pump Room of the Bath House is still the most popular to visit, and the most interesting to photograph.  In addition there is empty spaces where the lap pool and cold rooms use to situate, small rivers of hot springs running through the grounds, a place to make a wish, and an opportunity to taste the water.  The adjacent building contains many Roman ruins from the original site.  The tour comes with an audio guide – so you could move through as fast or as slow as possible.  While some of the group immersed themselves in history – I headed straight to the end of the line to photograph the pump room before any other tourists could get in my frame (yes – such is the life of a photographer).

View of the Main Pump Room at the Roman Bath, from the Top
View of the Main Pump Room at the Roman Bath, from the Bottom
Shelby (left), Harjot (top right), and Kimmi & Qudrat (bottom right) in the main pump room of the Roman Baths, + view of spring with hot water (top centre)
Harleen (left), Ms. Mulji (top right), and Suesha & Rene (bottom right), in the main pump room of the Roman Baths.
Mr. Becker (left) jumping, Shelby checking out the temperatures (centre), and Janey sampling the water (right).
Harsimran makes a wish and throws a coin into the warm pool (top and bottom left), remnants of the Roman structures (top centre and right) and the entrance (bottom right).

After our time in the Baths themselves we had a chance to grab some lunch and explore a little of the town.  Bath sits along the Avon river (one of many rivers called Avon in England), on the outskirts of the Cotswolds.  The beautiful Pulteney Bridge crosses over the river – the only bridge with stores built into it outside of Venice.  Many were able to enjoy a Cornish Pasty for lunch (or yes another meal from the adequate, but groan inducing, Pret a Manger), and a few even did some shopping.  While Bath was the home to the famous Jane Austen, I didn’t see any venturing to walk in her footsteps – though that possibility existed.

Pulteney Bridge
Pasty Presto, for lunch, and views of the Pulteney Bridge

By the time we left Bath we were fully exhausted.  Given our 4:00 am hotel departure and early morning in Stonehenge we were ready for the ride home.  We drove through a small village, though many of us (myself included) had a hard time staying awake.  All and all, a wonderful day!

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