Four Days in Bath, England
I don’t think Bath is what most people think of when you decide you want to stay four days somewhere. I mean, it’s nice, it’s just not exactly known for long-term stay. Most people take day trips, or have their stag and hen (bachelor and bachelorette) parties here. There were several reasons for my decision to stay for four days in Bath, England. The most important was that I wanted to see Stonehenge and Avebury and the tours for that were cheaper and more interesting from Bath. I used Mad Max Tours, for those interested, it was lovely and I wrote a post about it here: Mad Max Bus Tours Review
The second reason is that my travel philosophy says I’ll get tired if I keep bouncing around. I need to settle in places for a bit if I’m traveling all the way there. Also, I apparently now find “living” with people to be an odd experience. In a way, I feel after all my travels and goals I don’t really have a lot in common with the average person. Often I feel like I’m coming off as elitist and snobby when I talk about my grand adventures, especially with people who treat trips like this as a once in a lifetime thing. Hostels provide a much different experience for me, where there’s always someone on a massive backpacking tour or whatever. I needed companionship with people I felt I could form connections with besides my roommates at Oxford.
Where I Stayed
Bath Backpackers. This was a pretty nice hostel in terms of the people running it and the community involvement. Their chalkboards for where to eat, where the nightlife was, etc., were helpful. However, their lockers are small, too small to fit pretty much anything. I literally used mine to dry my underwear out of sight, because that was its only use for me. The bed was pretty comfortable, although be aware that Bath is generally a loud place on the weekends. Very loud people in the alleyways. Unlike my stay in Cardiff, however, I met a lot of people at this hostel! Bath Backpackers created, somehow, an excellent space for meeting one another.
What I Did
Paid to Get Into a Normal Park at the Parade Gardens
This is normally the kind of thing I balk at, but the entrance fee for students was 1GBP, so I couldn’t feel too bad. It’s a nice park to sit in and read a book! It’s right on the river. After trying to find the name of this park I also discovered the Royal Victoria Park, which also looks very interesting and if I go back I’ll go there.
Thermae Bath Spa
Sadly, you can no longer enter the actual old baths the Roman’s used…This was most disappointing to discover. Especially as viewing the baths is ridiculously expensive at around 15GBP for students! When honestly you could fly to ROME for about $50 and see it all for free….Either way, I’m obsessed with spas so I had to go to the only one utilizing the mineral rich waters (the only ones of the kind in England).
I opted for the less “fancy” version and went to the Cross Bath, which is 18GBP for an hour and half in the actual water. This still felt pricey but it could’ve been worse. I was surprised by how cool the waters were, lukewarm at best. The minerals felt nice, just be careful of drying out your hair. The setting was lovely with the open ceiling and faux Roman decor. I left after about an hour because a group of 5 obnoxious teens arrived to disturb the peace.
Took a Bus Tour to Stonehenge
Most of the tours I looked into for Stonehenge left from London, which was just as inconvenient to get to from Oxford as Bath. Additionally, the tours which leave from Bath are generally much smaller. I really enjoyed my time on MadMax Bus Tours, which took us to Stonehenge, Avebury, Lacock, and the Cotswolds. Check out my full review!
Topping and Company Bookshop
So far this is the best experience I’ve ever had in a bookstore. I did explore the ones in Oxford, but this one definitely takes the cake for me. When you walk in, if you’re browsing and happen to sit down, you will be offered tea or coffee! Which was excellent, by the way…They also have a fantastic selection. Sometimes it’s hard to find a bookstore which organizes itself in a way that makes sense while also being able to find new things. This store had it down! While I picked up a traditional gothic novel I was persuaded by to buy a modern Gothic, in which I have never dabbled before. I absolutely devoured We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and highly recommend it!
Bath has a surprising amount to offer and there was still so much for me to do if I had been able to stay longer. I would have loved to visit the clothing museum, for one, and explore some of the tea rooms. I think Bath absolutely has more to offer than just a day trip!