There’s nothing like having to wake up early while on vacation just to add more money to the parking meter. 😐 But, that’s what I did on this morning in Bath, England during my 2007 summer in Europe. At least it got me up and at ‘em!
My travel buddy, Teresa, and I had arrived in Bath the evening before. After checking out of our hostel, we headed toward the Roman Baths.
The baths are quite incredible! So much of the original buildings remain that were built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. It’s amazing to think that something as intricately designed as this could be built so long ago! The original drainage system is still used to this day.
The main pool isn’t covered so it’s exposed to the elements which turn the water green. This is caused by the minerals in the water which come from hot springs way below ground.
We spent over an hour walking around the ruins of this ancient Roman site and through the museum, listening to our audio guides along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there!
I wish we had spent more than one night in Bath. I know there are so many more things to see and do there and I would love to return someday!
Leaving Bath, we headed toward our next stopover, Bakewell. But first, we decided to make a little side trip to Warwick Castle and we were both so glad we did! I mentioned this place a few months ago in a previous post, and let me just say that it provided us with what was probably the most laughter we experienced on our entire 10-week trip through Europe!
Warwick Castle is like a medieval Disneyland, except it’s real! 🙂 It’s huge and impressive and the grounds it sits on are absolutely stunning. We went first into the dungeon – ick! – then explored the Kingmaker Exhibit.
This exhibit takes you back to 1450 as you walk through rooms that recreate scenes as the king and his men prepared for battle. The thing is, these rooms contain life-size, very life-like wax (we assumed) people. Seriously, it was kind of creepy how real some of them looked. The only way I could tell they weren’t was by looking at their hands. And believe me, I was looking at ALL of their hands!
After walking through the exhibit once, and being very thankful that it wasn’t nighttime and I wasn’t in there by myself, we decided we could actually have some fun with these figures. So we went back through, this time immersing ourselves into the scenes and posing with the wax people. So fun!
We explored some more of the castle, the Chapel, Great Hall, and State Rooms, and tried on some armored helmets, laughing so hard that we started receiving glares from the lovely old lady standing guard at the entrance.
We walked through another exhibit, the Royal Weekend Party, which was similar to the Kingmaker exhibit but instead showed life as it was during Victorian England.
Next up was a climb to the top of one of the towers. A good workout (over 500 steps!) provided us with a great view from the top of the tower.
We then left the walled castle and visited the Peacock Garden. First of all, the garden itself is beautiful, but add a couple dozen peacocks wandering about and it’s incredible!
After our exciting side trip, we continued on to Bakewell and our bed & breakfast for the next two nights, Riverwalk B&B. Bakewell is located in the Peak District National Park and is such a quaint town. We decided to visit here because two Pride & Prejudice filming locations are nearby (see my previous post 🙂 ).
After checking into our private room (we felt like queens after hostelling it for over a week!), we headed back out to walk into town for dinner. It was around 8pm and the town was pretty much shut down for the evening. We finally found a fish ’n’ chips place that was open and I ordered their specialty while Teresa had a fried chicken burger and we both split a battered pineapple ring. A wonderful, artery-clogging meal! 🙂
We took our food to go and sat on a bench by the river surrounded by ducks and geese. It was so pleasant. I just love being outdoors and walking everywhere! Absolutely love it!
A very lovely day filled with much laughter!
Accommodations Info & Tips:
While in Bakewell we stayed at Riverwalk B&B, which was very nice and right across the street from the river and a foot bridge that lead into town. We had a private, detached room behind the house with its own private entrance. The room was nice – nothing fancy – but perfect for us. And according to the website, they now provide free WiFi. Even more perfect! 🙂
Breakfast each morning is served in the dining room and was huge and delicious. Current rates start at £32 per person.
The Roman Baths are actually quite interesting to visit. We spent a couple of hours there but you could walk through them in less time, or more, depending on how much you want to see and read. Current entrance rates are £12.75.
Warwick Castle is, in my opinion, a must-see for anyone traveling through or near Warwick or Birmingham. Maybe we’re just too easily amused, but we had an absolute blast there! And we hardly scratched the surface of all the things to see and do! I would absolutely visit again.
I must admit that we probably wouldn’t have visited had entrance not been included in our British Heritage Passes (which are no longer available). Current rates are £25.80 which yes, is kind of pricey for a castle. But this is an experience. People pay twice that much to visit a theme park and this provides just as much entertainment.
Anyway, we had fun and are so glad we went! 🙂