Austen, Bookshops and Roman Baths in… Bath!

A few weeks ago I had a late celebratory weekend for my birthday in Bath with my family and boyfriend. Bath is certainly a beautiful city, especially with its Georgian architecture throughout the centre. (As Alex pointed out, its unusual to see such consistency of architecture in such an old city.) The Georgian style is definitely one of my favourites, and Bath did not disappoint!

We were only visiting for a few days (I would love to have stayed for longer), but we still managed to get a lot done in the time we had. Along with the well-known and touristy areas, we also discovered some bookshops (obviously!), went to the theatre and had lots of cake and tea and coffee at various shops across the city.

Roman Baths
The Roman Baths have got to be the most famous landmark of this city, and a “must go” place while here – and to be honest, I agree! They were fascinating, and the museum complex was really interesting, with lots of information available (both to read and with the audio-guide – provided in the price of entrance).

I thought it was incredible being able to see the natural spring, and see how the Roman’s had cleverly created the architecture, the hidden pumps and tunnels to use the resources to its potential (and it all still works!).

The Abbey, which sits behind the Roman Baths

Jane Austen Centre
This is another of the main attractions of Bath, which I felt like I just had to go to while I was here (as a bookworm and lover of Austen). I loved learning some new things about Austen (although I knew quite a lot from a biography project I did in school aged 12!), such as Jane’s attachment to the city of Bath, both in her novels and when she loved there. However, I did also feel like there should have been more to see and learn about (especially considering the price). I still enjoyed it though.

Circus and Royal Crescent
These two areas are the pinnacle of the high society Georgian architecture in the city. This was mostly a self-indulgent visit to marvel at the grandeur of these houses – which looked so much better in person than my camera could ever capture.

Royal Crescent

Bookshops: Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights and Topping & Company Booksellers
If you want independent bookshops in Bath, these two are always the first anyone who has visited Bath will recommend (myself included now). They were both gorgeous in a way that only a bookstore can be (and it might be a thing in Bath, but both of them offered us tea and coffee while we browsed!?). Personally, Mr B’s was my favourite; it’s tied with Shakespeare & Co. in Paris as my favourite store I’ve ever visited. It had a reading room with a working electric fire, (perfect for me on a cold November day), a bibliotherapy room and its own publishing house! Can I work here please?


Needless to say, we interspersed visits to tourist sites and bookstores with lots of food and drink – mostly in the form of cute cafes and coffee shops, of which we visited many! (I would recommend Chapel Arts Cafe for veggies and vegans; I think my dad would recommend Boston Tea Party for its great range, and size, of cakes on offer.)

We were also lucky to get tickets to see Austentatious, who were on their UK tour. I laughed so much, and loved it just as much as when we saw them at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

I had a great weekend, and I just know that I will return to Bath in the (hopefully) not to distant future!



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