Day 10 – Bath and Windsor

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My visit to the UK is flying by! I took the opportunity of the early morning to explore a few more streets of Bath and had my breakfast compliments of Marks and Spencer before the touristy places and most shops opened for the day.

Trip to the UK 4275Trip to the UK 4284

Trip to the UK 4282
The Cross Bath – this site may have been used before the Romans, and then during medieval times the sick came here to bathe in the waters. It is said King James II’s wife gave birth 9 months after coming here to its waters, and a cross was put up in thankfulness. In the late 1700’s this building was created, and it is now part of Thermae Bath Spa next door.

 

 

The Roman Baths opened at 9am and already there was a long line. I had purchased my ticket as part of a package with the Museums Saver ticket the day before so I was able to skip the line. Whenever going somewhere, it is well worth it to do a little research ahead of time and buy your tickets in advance if possible! At the Roman Baths I learned about what life was like in Roman times, especially here in England. There were many artifacts found here from the time, showing daily life.

Trip to the UK 4288
The Kings and Queens entrance
Trip to the UK 4296
Emperor Vespasian
Trip to the UK 4302
The swimming bath. The Roman structure would have had a domed roof over top, 20 metres tall, and would have been quite an airy, impressive building. There were hot baths, warm baths, and cold baths, as well as sauna rooms and changing rooms.
Trip to the UK 4304
Most of the area you visit is underground – modern day street level is now 4 metres above where it was from Roman times
Trip to the UK 4309
Bath Abbey next door
Trip to the UK 4316
An impressive arch going over the street beside the baths.
Trip to the UK 4362
The Romans called the town Aquae Sulis – the waters of Sulis (a goddess). The Roman Empire stretched over a large territory in 60 AD and the importing and exporting of goods flowed freely from one end to the other.
Trip to the UK 4409
An example of some artifacts found. There were several rooms of displays of every day items like these keys, jewellry, hair combs, tools, cookware, and coins. There were examples of tombstones, inscribed building materials, and messages written to the pagan gods of the time.
Trip to the UK 4461
Part of the temple’s foundation.
Trip to the UK 4489
Waterways and ducts. The 3 hot mineral springs that flow in Bath are 46 C / 115 F and rises from the earth at a rate of over a million litres each day. There are over 42 minerals, contributing to the yellow deposit you see here. The hot springs were first discovered by a Celtic prince about 863 BC.
Trip to the UK 4504
Making bricks. There were also examples of small wooden pulleys used with hemp ropes that would have lifted 100 kg stone blocks 20 metres into the air during construction in Roman times, and sluice gates to control water flow.
Trip to the UK 4546
In 1706 the first Pump Room was completed, and this present one opened in 1795. You can still drink the mineral water (not the green water you saw earlier), or enjoy high tea here at this facility which has stayed in fashion since Georgian times. There was an orchestra playing as I peeked in the room.

 

Trip to the UK 4293

A little more wandering about the city before I caught my bus back to the Bristol train station:

Trip to the UK 4554
The doors to Bath Abbey.

Trip to the UK 4556Trip to the UK 4558Trip to the UK 4562

 

Having a centrally located hotel meant I could leave my back-pack there that morning until it was time to check out. A real help, as it was starting to get heavy with a few souvenirs. I took the train from Bristol to Windsor and had to make several train changes, but train travel is so very easy it was no problem at all. Arriving at Windsor, the line up to see Windsor Castle stretched down the street and if I had not bought my tickets in advance, it would have closed before I had time to reach the front of the line. It was so nice to walk up to the front, go through security and collect my audio guide, and start right in my tour.

Trip to the UK 4590

Trip to the UK 4596
There were lilacs in bloom, and wisteria growing up the side of the tower. It was like it was out of a fairy tale.
Trip to the UK 4598
Windsor Castle was originally built after the Norman invasion of 1066. Henry I (1068-1135) was the first monarch to live here and it has been used by the royal families ever since, making it the longest occupied palace in Europe.

Trip to the UK 4600

Trip to the UK 4603
St. George and the Dragon
Trip to the UK 4627
St. George’s Chapel. I toured inside but no photography was allowed.
Trip to the UK 4631
There were beautiful gardens and landscaping everywhere you looked.
Trip to the UK 4633
Looking through into the Horseshoe Cloister.
Trip to the UK 4634
These buildings were originally built in 1480 to house the clergy.
Trip to the UK 4635
The Lower Ward

Trip to the UK 4636

Trip to the UK 4644
Looking up toward the Upper Ward where the state apartments are located. I visited the state rooms, but again, photography was not permitted.
Trip to the UK 4656
Statue of King Charles II in the Quadrangle

Trip to the UK 4659

 

I also took the time to wander a little through the town. Note the narrow blue building on the right!

Then it was time to take the train back to London that evening. I was looking forward to having a chance to sit on the train and rest my feet; I had been carrying my backpack since 11am by this point. Boarding the train at Reading, there were no seats available and I had to stand the whole way to London. Once there, I found my subway train to Hammersmith where I was to stay at Comfotel Blu for my last 2 nights. After giving my feet a short rest, I walked down the street to a nearby Nandos – a South-African/ Portuguese restaurant chain specializing in chicken. I knew they had a book listing all their ingredients and allergens so I would be able to find something dairy-free. Both the hotel room and the restaurant were adequate enough, and reasonably priced. I was a little put off by some black mold in the hotel room’s shower, but the rest of the room seemed clean enough.

Trip to the UK 4689
My room was located on the landing between the ground floor and 1st floor facing the back. It was quiet, and about a 12-15 walk to 2 different Tube stations. Out of all my neighbourhoods I stayed in, this one felt the least safe for a female solo traveller, but it wasn’t terrible, either.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s