I chose to sleep in a bit this morning and skip breakfast. After my morning ablutions, a Kashi bar gave my blood sugar a boost and I was off down the hill into Bath. My first stop? What else, but the Roman Baths. The card on my B&B room key gets me lots of handy discounts in the city, including 10% off my ticket into the Baths, although I would’ve gone anyway. I spent about an hour wandering through and marvelling at the age of the baths and the geological wonder that still feeds them. It really was an amazing place. At the end of the tour, there’s even a constantly running drinking fountain and cup dispensers so that you can sample the water. I did take a tiny sip, just so I can look back and say that I did, but I only like my water warm if it’s got tea in it, so I didn’t find it particularly refreshing. But, it was still neat. And they have the poshest bathrooms! I finished up my visit with a wander through the gift shop where I picked up a few postcards.
I then wandered west to the River Avon and Pulteney Bridge with its iconic weir. It was getting close to 11 am and even though it was a bit early for tea, I was feeling a bit peckish after skipping breakfast. So I slowly meandered up to the Jane Austen Centre where “Mr. Bennet” was standing outside, greeting a group of tourists. I decided I’d wander up the street a little further and soon I was at the Circus, a fantastic example of Georgian architecture that was completed in 1768. After taking some pictures, I must have looked a bit awestruck and/or lost because a very nice woman asked if I needed directions. I just asked her to confirm that walking west from the Circus would take me to the Royal Crescent and she responded that it would and even pointed to it down the street. Within just a few minutes, I was there, where I sat on a bench across the lawn and marvelled at it.
Eventually, I made my way back down to the Jane Austen Centre and it’s Regency Tea Room on the second floor, where I was served tea and scones by “Mrs. Dashwood” who was very, very nice. And all throughout my tea, a Mr. Darcy resembling Colin Firth – who was hung on the wall behind my head – stared at me through the mirror on the opposite wall. I can see how Elizabeth Bennet would find it disconcerting.
After my tea and scones, I wandered back across Pulteney Bridge and along the river before crossing back into the heart of town. I browsed through Debenhams, scoping out small spinners just in case I end up having to buy another one in order to get everything home (I still haven’t unzipped PJ’s expander yet, though, so I think I’m still in good shape). Then I wandered through Marks & Spencer, which seems to be becoming a habit on this trip. Luckily for my suitcase and my budget, they didn’t have any different scarves that I couldn’t live without. A trip to their food hall for a sandwich and some fruit to nibble on later for dinner and I made my way back across the bridge and up that hill. Julia, who was working reception, kindly booked me a cab to the station for the morning and after a short chat, I made my way up to my little attic room, where I’ve spent the evening writing more postcards, catching up on more typing, and packing up for tomorrow’s departure. I’ve had a lovely stay in Bath – the B&B is especially lovely – and I almost don’t want to leave, but the rest of my trip awaits. Next stop: York.