The City of Bath Day Trip
Carried by coach through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, our 18-24s were about to discover the delights of just one of Britain’s many historic cities. The Somerset city of Bath has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987; this status has ensured that those testaments to the city’s rich history, from its Roman baths to its Georgian townhouses, are beautifully preserved for future generations to enjoy. However our students would find that, despite the reverence for its heritage, this ancient city certainly isn’t living in the past.
Once in Bath, the day’s activities began with a tour of the historic Roman baths from which the town takes its name. Students marvelled at the brilliantly preserved ruins and the ingenious ways in which the Romans harnessed natural springs; founding upon them the luxurious baths which served as a place for socialising and worship as well as simple relaxation. A few students were brave enough to drink some of the authentic baths water served in the restaurant -and the majority agreed that that would be their last taste of it! Having navigated the baths courtesy of an enlightening audio guide (featuring the famed author Bill Bryson), the group enjoyed a leisurely lunch. While many took the opportunity to sample some of Bath’s many restaurants, others made the most of the glorious sunshine and enjoyed a picnic in the park.
In the afternoon, the group split up with half visiting Bath’s 7th century Abbey before going on to visit Pulteney Bridge and its weirs. The rest of the group took a longer walk through the city to marvel at the gorgeous Georgian architecture on show at The Circus and The Royal Crescent.
Alongside its original stained glass windows and frescos, the ancient Abbey displays far more recent works of religious art; these include a number of recent tapestries depicting biblical scenes along with a stunning display of hundreds of paper butterflies seemingly swarming through The Abbey (part of the city’s Forest of the Imagination Festival). Just a short walk from The Abbey lies Pulteney Bridge designed by Robert Adam and initially completed in 1774. The bridge straddles the River Avon and houses a number of shops, restaurants and cafés – making it the perfect place for students to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea before the journey back to Oxford.
The rest of the group walked to The Circus to enjoy magnificent views of Bath and the surrounding countryside as well as the beautiful Georgian townhouses surrounding it. Further fine examples of this stunning architecture, along with a thoroughly deserved rest, were enjoyed in the park near The Royal Crescent. After basking in the fading sun and snapping a final few fantastic photos, everyone reconvened in town for coffee and to hop back on the coach to Oxford; a relaxing end to a busy day.
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Students explore historic Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They visit the Roman baths, admire Georgian architecture, and enjoy a picnic in the park. The Abbey and Pulteney Bridge offer religious art and scenic views.