Where’s Claire? Taking the Waters in Bath

Mimi ON Sep 17, 2009 AT 3:41 pm

Bedroom at the Kennard Hotel

Bedroom at the Kennard Hotel

By Claire Tamara Yates

When I think of Bath, I think of women in elegant gowns from the time of Jane Austen. Bath was then considered the fashionable place where socialites would head en masse to ‘take the waters’, renowned for their healing properties.  These days, the fashion is quite different, but there are still numerous ways in which to benefit from what Bath has to offer – I spent the weekend there with a friend to find out more.

Kennard Hotel

Kennard Hotel

Seeing the Sights
In her novel Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen writes, ‘They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs…..she was coming to be happy, and she felt happy already’. Bath is indeed a place to feel happy and relaxed because it is, quite simply, the most beautiful city in England – and only 1 ½ hours by train from London. For an easy introduction, I recommend the ‘City Sightseeing’ bus, even if just to gain your bearings and work out the highlights to re-visit. Small and easily walkable, make sure you don’t miss the graceful architecture of the Pump Rooms, the Roman Baths, the Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, the Circus and the Royal Crescent. Did you know Nicholas Cage lives in Bath on the Circus? Neither did we, but it adds a touch of Hollywood glamour to the Georgian elegance!

Thermae Bath Spa

Thermae Bath Spa

Taking the Waters
Bath is renowned for the ability to drink and bathe in the UK’s finest thermal water, filled with healing mineral-rich properties famed since Celtic times. We visited the Thermae Bath Spa – Britain’s original and only natural thermal Spa. From the open-air rooftop pool, we had amazing 360-degree views of the city, before venturing downstairs to the aromatic glass-walled steam rooms to give our skin a real boost. On the way out, we followed up with a glass of the unique water at the Pump Room – not to everyone’s taste but apparently good for you!

Shop til you Drop
Wander among the pretty streets and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. With a girlfriend, shopping was obviously on the agenda and we found a really diverse range of cafes, boutiques and vintage shops to peruse, from the latest fashion trends to antiques, galleries and fine foods. We loved Milsom Street for high street and designer labels, Vintage to Vogue (rated No.1 UK vintage shop recently), and Sassy & Boo for well-selected vintage finds (particularly jewellery).

Click here to read part 2…

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