A Historical Stroll In Anglo-Saxon-Roman Bath

A Historical Stroll In Anglo-Saxon-Roman Bath
| 3 min read

Bath is one of those quintessential English towns that you just have to add to your destination list. With its history preserved in the various buildings and the romanticism of Jane Austen’s works leaving its mark in every corner, we explore this English city, a renowned World Heritage Site, located a mere hour and a half away from London by train.

The Legacy of Jane Austen

a historical stroll in anglo-saxon-roman bath | the legacy of jane austen

No doubt about it, Bath’s most famous resident is none other than Jane Austen. Known for her works “Pride and Prejudice”, and “Sense and Sensibility” among others, Bath celebrates her presence throughout the city. You may opt to tour her house, at specific timed intervals, which is now a small privately owned museum. It was the place where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life, and where she wrote most of her novels. Her legacy still lives on, as Bath hosts an annual ten day festival dedicated solely to her. The festival is usually held in the month of September. For 2016, the exact days are September 9 - 18. It is a time when visitors and residents alike can dress up in period costume, culminating in a parade around Bath’s cobblestone streets directly in the city center. It is such a big event that fans of the author actually fly in just to become part of the festivities!

The magic of the Romans

a historical stroll in anglo-saxon-roman bath | the magic of the romans

Bath’s name aptly came from the Roman Baths, originally built in 1897, and serves as its main tourist attraction. The water comes from aquifers located in the hills near the city, and comes up as a warm 70-90 degrees Celsius (158 - 194 fahrenheit), which is perfect for the cold and wet days you will encounter in England. In fact, it was during Austen’s time that these waters were prescribed as a cure for certain illnesses. Jane Austen’s brother came to the bath to cure gout, so this attraction still has ties to our favorite female author. The water comes out almost green, and is surrounded by the various statues of prominent Romans from years past. You may opt to touch the water, but as the pipes were built from lead, and as it was found that amoeba was growing in its waters, to protect the tourists and the site itself you can’t take a bath in there however tempted you are. There is one place where you can enjoy the warm geothermal heated water in the city, called the Thermae Bath Spa. This attraction is housed in a modern building, but you will pay a price for the privilege – 35 GBP (50 USD).

If you’re in the mood for a bite to eat, there is a nice restaurant inside the Roman Bath complex, called The Pump Room. They have excellent food and a vibrant atmosphere. Try the grilled sea bass with saffron potato puree and courgette.

Semi-circular townhouses that appeal to the masses

a historical stroll in anglo-saxon-roman bath | semi-circular townhouses that appeal to the masses

Never has a townhouse become a popular tourist destination, with the exception of the Royal Crescent. These townhomes have been around for the past 400 years, and several circular townhouses have been built to follow suit. Originally 30 townhouses, and catered mostly to the elite, tourists still love to take a photo of the wonderful architecture or just hang around at the park in front of it. Jane Austen has some ties with the Royal Crescent because of a TV adaptation of her novel, Persuasion, where the Elliott family supposedly lived while they were living in Bath. You will either need to walk to the Royal Crescent from Bath’s historic center, or take on one of the many hop-on, hop-off tourist buses.

Baths, Austen, and cobblestone history

Much like Salzburg’s fascination with its most famous resident, Mozart, Bath likewise has tremendous affinity for the enduring literary greatness of Jane Austen. There are numerous book and gift shops with the themes from her books and even a popular 10-day long festival in her name. And yet there is much more to Bath than simply Ms. Austen. There are the world famous Roman Baths, the historic circular townhouses, beautifully laid out cobblestone streets, and friendly pubs and restaurants with quintessential British flavor.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Ruby is an avid traveler and adventurer, having lived in three different countries in three different continents. In her spare time, she explores near and far destinations, or reading about far...Read more

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