I spent a day in Bath while I was in England and it was like walking through heaven – Jane Austen heaven specifically. It was a day of sophistication and poise, and Bath was a beautiful place to go and visit.
My favourite Jane Austen novel is Northanger Abbey which takes place mostly in Bath and was my main reasoning for going there. I wanted to immerse myself in a place where the lovely writer herself had lived for a time. Bath has a very old-style sort of feel to it, so walking through its streets it was easy to feel like I had gone back in time and was indeed in Austen’s world.
During Austen’s time especially, Bath was the place to vacay at; if you were part of the Bath society, you were très chic. A lot of this was due to the Roman baths, natural hot springs, which you could lounge in, essentially treating yourself to a Victorian era spa day. To keep up with the societal needs, events were held most nights, either shows to go to or dances. Things like that were held in what they call the Assembly Rooms. There’s also the Pump Room, another place to socialize, and take in the special Bath waters. The do’s and do not’s of this society are brought up in Northanger Abbey in quite a comical way, the main character Catherine not being raised as a society girl herself.
I went around and saw some of the Assembly Rooms, as well as the Pump Room and some of the baths, loving how much closer the visit made me feel to the book.
The Pump Room is just a restaurant/cafe now, and I believe none of the baths are in operation anymore (the original Roman baths are underground, the other baths being built over them as time went on, but are available for viewing).
For lunch I went to high tea, and boy did I ever feel sophisticated having high tea in England. There were the classic and delicious tea sandwiches and scones, and I had an Egyptian mint tea which was incredible. High tea in England, Bath especially, feels like it’s on a whole other level, simply because it’s in England. I loved it!
To round off my Austen day, I finished at the Jane Austen Center, a mini museum dedicated to her life and writings. It was the perfect way to end.
Bath is a really interesting city to explore, especially if you’re interested in Austen or Victorian society/history, and even if you’re not, it’s still a great place to check off your list.
Signing off now travel bugs, catch ya next time!