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When you think of the historic city of Bath, what images do you conjure up in your mind? Are you immediately drawn to the Georgian architecture, or do you envisage a bustling city centre, full of antique shops and restaurants? Whatever your perception of Bath, there are some places that you simply have to visit, and we’re talking of the numerous museums and galleries. So if you’re planning a stay in this wonderfully unique city, make sure you check out our guide to get the most out of your trip.
You just cannot visit Bath without a visit to the ancient Roman Baths, built around 2000 years ago and still open today. The Roman Baths are the UK’s only hot water springs and were built as a religious spa back in Roman times. The architecture of the baths is still visible and the springs still flow with naturally hot water. There are four main attractions to see within the baths; the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum. Make a day of your visit by having lunch in the splendid Georgian Pump Room restaurant.
For those who didn’t know, the famous writer Jane Austin lived in Bath on Gay Square from 1805, where she conceived two novels that she situated in Bath itself. Now the house is dedicated to her life and times, and includes exhibits from her actual life, with permanent displays showing the types of shops that were around in those days, and costumes from film productions. There is also a gift shop selling everything from books, to pens and figurines, and on the second floor is a Regency themed tearoom.
With exhibitions including renowned artists such as Gainsborough, Stubbs and Kauffman, and displays of fine English silverware, porcelain and glass, the Holburne Museum of Art is a real treat for art aficionados. Situated in a grand old building set in its own grounds, the museum has recently undergone extensive renovations and now boasts a new café, gift shop, a new library and dynamic new interactive displays. You can also book a guided tour or attend a workshop of your choice.
This is an amazing museum and indeed, the only one dealing with Americana that is located outside of the United States. It was founded to bring the history of America to the people of Britain, in particular, the culture and history that makes up this diverse and vast country. With exhibitions showcasing folk and decorative artefacts, the museum takes you on a journey through America’s past, from the early settlers to the 21st century.
East Asia now and this museum boasts one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London, around 2,000 artefacts. Expect to see objects ranging in date from c.5000 BC to the present, with each item giving visitors an amazing insight into the artistic culture of countries such as China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. Founded in 1993, the museum has grown in popularity and includes a wonderfully wide-ranging jade collection.
Finally, celebrating its 50th anniversary in Bath is the Fashion Museum, a museum dedicated to, yes, you guessed it, fashion. With accolades such as a recent listing of one of the world’s Top Ten Fashion Museums, the museum recently held a special exhibition of 50 fabulous Frocks, which included a dress worn by ballerina Margot Fonteyn, and was even featured in UK’s Vogue magazine.
With so much to see in and around Bath why not consider staying for a while and enjoy everything that Bath has to offer and stay in one of our beautiful Bath Cottages.