I went to Bath yesterday, the city famous, amongst many things, for its Roman baths and Georgian architecture.
It’s a lovely city, unlike any others that I have visited. As you wander the myriad streets and alleys of Bath it feels more like a town than a city. Bath has that homely feel to it – yet it still possesses all the concomitant benefits that go with being called a city.
The relatively new shopping precinct, Southgate, has been built perfectly, with a dream combination of Bath stone and great care – the whole zone fits in perfectly with its surroundings and is an elegant and fulsome transformation from its former carbuncle self – Marchant’s Passage. Marchant’s Passage is the ugly duckling to Southgate’s new and elegant swan.
A little stroll up the street from Southgate brings you both the Roman baths and Bath Abbey, where at various points you will see or hear street performers plying their trade to rapt onlookers. The square beside the Abbey – Kingston Parade – becomes, at times, a little mini concert venue all of its own, flanked as it is on all sides by benches. You can tuck into a sandwich or sip on a hot cup of coffee and listen to someone belting out Oasis, or savour the sounds of an aria.
Bath also boasts a multi screen Odeon; the much loved Victoria Park; is the home of the former multi-time European rugby union champions; is teeming with a zillion little brasseries, restaurants, pubs and places to eat, drink and remain merry; and is skirted by Bath University, an institution fortunate to host several top and up-and-coming athletes.
Add to that the culture, and various musical, sporting (Bath Half anyone?!) and literary events which add flesh to the bones of Bath, and you have a pretty heady mix.
Only before christmas I took a trip over to Bath of an evening, wandered to a church and listened to the author Lee Child talk about himself, his writing and his latest book.
Recently named the second safest city in the world, Bath really has it going on. You owe it to yourself to get going there, too.