In typically ostentatious style, the Romans constructed a complex of bathhouses above Bath’s three natural hot springs, which emerge at a steady 46°C (115°F). Situated alongside a temple dedicated to the healing goddess Sulis-Minerva, the baths now form one of the best-preserved ancient Roman spas in the world, and are encircled by 18th- and 19th-century buildings.
Voted Britain’s most romantic buildings, the award-winning Roman Baths and Temple are among the finest examples of Roman architecture remaining in England. Many of the artifacts found during various archeological digs, including altar stones and exquisite mosaics, are on display in the museum or around the Great Bath itself. And if all that wonderful water tempts you to take a dip in these ancient waters yourself, check out the Thermae Bath Spa packages available through the Roman Baths website.
Location: Stall St, Bath
Official site: www.romanbaths.co.uk
The Gothic cathedral of the Bishop of Bath and Wells (aka “the Bath Abbey”) was founded in 1499 after Bishop Oliver King experienced a vivid dream of angels climbing up and down ladders to and from heaven. He also heard a voice declaring: “The crown should plant an olive tree and the king restore the church. Looming above the city Centre, Bath’s huge abbey church was built between 1499 and 1616, making it the last great medieval church raised in England. Its most striking feature is the west facade, where these angels climb up and down stone ladders.
Address: 12 Kingston Buildings, Bath
Official site: www.bathabbey.org
Exploring Bath’s perfectly preserved Georgian architecture is probably the best excuse to visit. When you’re ready, walk Bath’s splendid streetscapes and head for the northwest section of the city where most of the best examples are found. Check out Queen Square and Gay Street with their beautifully symmetrical facades dating from the early 18th Century, then head to the Royal Circus, a perfect circle of three stories with different classical orders (column types) on each story. Finally, there’s Royal Crescent, a monumental 200-yard semicircular sweep of residential townhouses with a breathtakingly uniform, palace-like façade. No.1 Royal Crescent is in fact open to the public (most homes on the crescent remain privately owned), and provides a rare glimpse into what life was like for the wealthy – along with their not-so-wealthy servants – in Georgian times.
Address: 1 Royal Crescent, Bath
Official site: http://no1royalcrescent.org.uk/
Pulteney Bridge is one of only a handful of bridges with buildings that are still standing. Constructed in 1770 to connect central Bath to undeveloped land on the opposite side of the River Avon, it’s considered one of the most romantic such bridges in the world. Three arches support a variety of quaint little shops, and the bridge opens onto Great Pulteney Street with its beautiful Georgian-era homes.
Location: Bridge St, Bath
Located just two miles southeast of Bath, Prior Park has a magnificent colonnaded portico built between 1735 and 1750. Renowned architect John Wood designed the structure, and it is a superb examples of the Palladian style mansions of the period. Be sure to check out the lovely Palladian bridge in the exquisitely landscaped grounds.
Location: Ralph Allen Drive, Bath
Official site: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/prior-park-landscape-garden
Not exactly an attraction but who doesn’t love a local market street when you have the European feel going around. Surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey area. Here you will find a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants. An evening stroll of this area is a must when you are in the city.
UK is a relatively small country and therefore it makes an ideal place to do a road trip.
Experiencing UK countryside and roads would be a great experience on the weekends for people who like to hit the road. Being a fan of the road myself, here I am listing some of the favourites from UK for all of the travellers to explore and enjoy.
Locally known as the Coast Road, Norfolk’s A149 takes you through an official coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For a nice relaxing journey you can drive the Norfolk Coast from Hunstanton to Great Yarmouth. Don’t miss Burnham Market, also known as “Chelsea-on-sea”, for some upmarket shopping. Make a stop at the Her Majesty the Queen’s Norfolk retreat, Sandringham, where the house and gardens are open to the public. Another enjoyable aspect is that this drive takes you through small, rural villages and overlooks fields, marshlands and the sea, beginning in Kings Lynn, taking you to Cromer and on to the Norfolk Broads – beautiful, even if it is a little tight in places.
Due to the amount of tourist destinations en route, the road is best traversed out of holiday season – though if you want to make a trip of it, an early morning drive isn’t a bad shout either.
Start your trip with some shopping in the trendy city of Leeds, then drive out on the A64 towards York and Malton. 15 miles north of York you can visit Castle Howard, which is one of the grandest mansions in Britain and was used as the filming location for ‘Brideshead Revisited’. Stop the night in Pickering, then continue along the A169 across the bleak but awe-inspiring scenery of the Yorkshire Moors. You’ll arrive in the seaside town of Whitby, which is most associated with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Though the entirety of the Antrim Coast Road is worthy of a leisurely drive, it is the stretch from Larne heading north that we most enjoy. Though sticking to the coast, the A2 takes you past the nine valleys that comprise the Glens of Antrim as they edge closer to the coast. As well as making for a stunning scenic drive, the valleys are also great for hiking.
As with any A road, parts of the entire stretch will always be busy. However, the section mentioned above is a deviation from the more direct A36 and A26 routes that head north, making it an open road just waiting to be explored.
Situated in the north west of England, the Lake District national park boasts some of England’s highest peaks and most beautiful scenery. It was the home of Beatrix Potter and the inspiration for famous poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.
One of my favourites !
The Scottish Highlands offer some of the most breathtaking mountain views in Britain. You can also taste whiskey at some of Scotland’s finest distilleries- just remember to book an overnight stay somewhere if you’re going to be having a drop of the hard stuff! You’ll have the chance to sample the best single malts from distilleries such as Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Dalwhinnie.
Anyone who says England doesn’t have great beaches hasn’t been to the south west. Follow the A39 along the Atlantic Highway from Bideford all the way to Newquay and make sure you stop in my favourite towns of Port Isaac, Polzeath, Rock and Padstow on your journey.
If you are planning a trip to Cardiff do make sure following places are on your to-do list:
Located in the heart of the city, Cardiff castle is on top of the must visit attractions in Cardiff. This castle is believed to have been a roman fort and has years of history and fairy tales connected to it. The castle being a heritage and archaeological site, is very beautifully preserved and often restored as it was in use till the Second World War. Highlights include the State Apartments, the Clock Tower, the Chapel and a spectacular Banqueting Hall with murals telling the tales of Robert the Consul and a huge ornate fireplace.
There is a network of underground tunnels between the ground and battlement level that was used during the Second World War.
Another best aspect of visiting the Cardiff castle is that you can catch many of the events happening in the palace grounds like jousting tournaments, medieval markets and open movie shows.
The iconic waterfront of Cardiff city – The Cardiff Bay is an ideal way to spend time on a sunny day. Since its completion in year 2000, Cardiff bay is considered as the most successful redevelopment project in UK which covers nearly 2700 acres. Surrounded by a lot of attractions and places to eat and drink, this place is not to be missed when you are in the city. Main highlights include ‘The Doctor Who’ experience, Wales Millennium Centre, Mermaid Quay, Wetlands reserve and Cardiff Bay Barrage. When you are visiting the bay the most recommended is Cardiff Bay boat trip in the day and an evening walk all around the shore to Penarth.
Some of the best pubs and restaurants in Cardiff Bay area to give a try are are – The Waterguard, The Eli Jenkins and the Dock Bar and Kitchen.
Another iconic structure in the city is the ‘Wales Millennium centre’. Since its opening in 2004, it has been a world renowned centre for arts. Main halls of this centre include ‘Donald Gordon Theatre’, ‘Weston Studio Theatre’ and ‘BBC Hoddinott Hall’. The remarkable front of this building is a giant copper dome with beautiful calligraphy inscribed on front which reads two poetic lines by Welsh Poet Gwyneth Lewis which translates to:
“In These Stones Horizons Sing and, Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration”
Offering a variety of blockbuster West End musicals, opera, ballet and contemporary dance, hip hop and stand-up comedy, art exhibitions, workshops, training days, free daily foyer performances, guided tours, bars and restaurants, it is a place where you can spend a lot of quality time.
Located in Cardiff’s spectacular Civic Centre, the National Museum of Cardiff (part of the National Museums of Wales group) houses the country’s archaeology, geology, art and natural history collections. The Evolution of Wales exhibit takes visitors on a 4.5 million-year voyage that includes the many dinosaurs that once roamed the country. The museum’s displays of fossils and Bronze Age weapons are also noteworthy.
Another highlight of your visit should be the museum’s superb Art Gallery, including fine collections of paintings, sculpture and ceramics spanning five centuries. Of particular note is its collection of Impressionist art, including work by Picasso, Rodin and Monet.
Llandaff Cathedral, founded in the time of Bishop Urban (1107-34), is one of the finest such structures in Wales. The main part of the Cathedral dates from the 13th century, while the northwest tower was rebuilt in the 15th century. Much of the cathedral later fell into a disrepair, but an Italian Temple was built within its walls in 1734. Although severely damaged during the last war, it has since been restored and contains many superb features, including a notable figure of Christ in Majesty by Epstein. Guided attraction tours are available with advance notice.
Being known for Rugby, Cardiff has its very own gem ‘The Millennium stadium’ which is currently known as ‘The Principality stadium’ for sponsorship purposes. Initially built to hold the Rugby World cup in 1999, it has hosted many large scale events and music concerts. If you are into sports or not this massive stadium will be an enjoyable choice for a visit.
The Vulcan Lounge
Clwb Ifor Bach
Tempus at Tides Restaurant & Bar
De Courceys Manor