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Tweety with umbrella and bowler hat in United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Bath and Cheddar[Unesco]

Bath

It is an ancient Roman city (43 B.C.) where you can visit the remains of Roman baths, but also the Cathedral and other monuments. It takes several days for a complete tour, with museums.

Roman baths

Roman baths

A source of hot water (45┬░C / 113┬░F) had already attracted the Celts before the Romans arrived. Rainwater seeps into the rock and heats up by pushing its way to the exit : to Bath. This phenomenon, unexplained at the time, gave rise to beliefs and the source was then supposed to have curative powers.


The Romans built the spa with a water filling system and an automatic draining of the overflow. Note that the statues on the terrace date back to the 18th century.


Several sub-basin complement the main basin. Relics are on display including a bronze head of Minerva, goddess of thermal springs.

Note, however, individual entry ticket is expensive : ┬ú10.50 in 2007.


Although the first baths (thermae and balnea) were Greeks, this is the Romans who gave them the greatest importance : for hygiene, but for its social aspect too as it was also a place for physical exercise (in a room named the palestra) and a place for meeting people. A tavern and a library could even be in the building. The architecture is composed of at least four parts : the locker room (apodyterium), the cold bath (frigidarium), the warm bath (tepidarium), and the hot bath (caldarium). To this could be added other rooms such as steam baths...

Abbey

The abbey of Bath has a beautiful west facade, which describes the dream of Bishop Oliver King urging him to build the current abbey on the ruins of the Norman cathedral of 1499. Bath depends on the cathedral of Wells, and so in bath it is an abbey and not a cathedral...

The fan vault is superb. But beyond that, do not forget prayers.

Abbey Fan vault

Pulteney bridge

This bridge gives an 18th century charm to Bath.

Pulteney bridge

The "royal crescent" and "circus"

The Royal Crescent is a street in a semi-circular arc consisting of 30 houses. A little further we find another architecture in an arc or "circus".

Royal crescent

More visits

Several museums can be visited in Bath. About architecture, we easily notice the particular style of Georgian houses with their so characteristic doors.

Cheddar

Cheddar gorges

About 50 km (30 miles) south-west of Bath, we can go to Cheddar which has given its name to one of the best known cheeses from England with Leceister. Yep ! there are some cheeses in England...


Nothing more to report in particular except the gorges nearby.

In the vicinity

  • The cathedral of Wells.

  • Near Wells, we can go to 'Wookey hole caves' where there are wax figures reproductions from Mme Tussaud, an exhibition on the making of handmade paper, and old slot machines.