At some point I decided it had been far too long since I had been back to Bath, so we booked a trip and stayed for two rainy October nights.
I have blogged about Bath before, enchanted by its Roman and Georgian history, and its enthusiasm for Jane Austen. This time we spent a little longer on food and shopping, indulging in chain restaurants like Absurd Bird and Las Iguanas, but making sure to dip our toes in local favourites too.
We tried one of Sally Lunn’s famous Bath buns, and also bought (some seriously expensive) souvenirs from Charlotte Brunswick Chocolates, named for the 18th century chocolatier whose recipes inspire their goods.
On day one we visited Number One Royal Crescent, the home of Henry Sandford, an MP who came to Bath as a widow when his health began to deteriorate. He came, as they all seemed to do back then, to drink the healing waters of Bath.
The building he called home had seen a number of uses since his day, including being used as a school and a dentist’s surgery, but had been restored back to a residency for the purpose of the museum.
The house was littered with trinkets from Sandford’s days in Bath, and it was fascinating to see the use of the space. The detailing on the ceilings, walls and even the staircases were really beautiful.
It was also crazy to see the extremes the Georgians went to for their fashion – fitting into tiny corsets, wearing high and heavy wigs that were often riddled with lice, using lead-based makeup to cover up scarring from small pox. I wonder what we do today that in a few hundred years will shock people.
It was a particularly nice time of year – minus the rain – to peruse Bath, as they had a lot of decorations up in celebration of the Day of the Dead on 2nd November. In the centre of the highstreet they had decorated this beautiful tree with skeletal animals and colourful flowers.
Something I really wanted to do was visit the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. It was located in quite a bizarre place – among houses in a quiet, residential street, and we might have walked unknowingly right past it if we hadn’t been on the look out.
The museum was spread across three floors of the home of William and Caroline Herschel, sibling amateur astronomers who made some incredible discoveries; William actually discovered Uranus, and also infrared radiation through his observations of the sun.
The place was full of interesting facts about the Herschel family, and made a point to celebrate Caroline’s achievements too. Poor Caroline had suffered an abusive childhood, so it is nice to imagine her being whisked away to Bath with her brother, with her life finding new purpose.
The museum had some beautiful Georgian-style carpets.
Downstairs was a small courtyard garden, and we finally got to enjoy a small burst of sunshine whilst sitting out there.
Despite the wet weather, Bath was glorious as ever. I can’t believe it has been three years since my last visit! I definitely recommend adding No.1 Royal Crescent and Herschel’s Museum of Astronomy to your itinerary if you visit the city.
I wasn’t majorly blown away by Sally Lunn’s bun, but I probably went in with my expectations far too high; it’s a tasty bread roll at the end of the day!
What things do you enjoy doing in Bath?