I could tell my mom was getting tired of the big city, so for day 3 we headed to Bath. I think this may have ended up as her favourite place for the whole 2 weeks we spent together!
Our first stop was the Roman Baths. Constructed around 70AD as a grand bathing and socializing complex, it is now one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world.
We had afternoon tea in the Pump Room restaurant, stopped by the Jane Austen centre, then hopped on a bus to get a tour of the surrounding countryside.
Back in Bath, we did a tour of Bath Abbey. Fun facts about the Abbey:
- Three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey since 757 AD. First, an Anglo-Saxon monastery which was pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England; then a massive Norman cathedral which was begun about 1090 but lay in ruins by late 15th century; and finally, the present Abbey Church as we now know it.
- The first King of all England, King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973 (as shown above). The service set the precedent for the coronation of all future Kings and Queens of England including Elizabeth II.
- The first sight most visitors have of Bath Abbey is the West front, with its unique ladders of Angels. The story behind this is that the Bishop of Bath, Oliver King, is said to have had a dream of angels ascending and descending into heaven which inspired the design and which also inspired him to build a new Abbey church – the last great medieval cathedral to have been built in England.
If you sign up for it, you can climb the bell tower, and get gorgeous views from the roof. Now, I knew my mom was scared of heights, but it wasn’t until we were climbing 212 steps arranged in 2 spiral staircases that I realized quite how nervous she was. I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to make it, but she surprised the both of us and climbed her way to the top. What a lady!
Finally we explored some gardens across from the abbey, and caught the train back to London.