A Meticulously Preserved Roman Spa-t
There's a lot to love about London. And there's a lot to be said about leaving London for the quiet of the countryside. In just over an hour by train, come visit a spa town that is so rich in history, it's one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the region. And while you no longer can sit in the thermal, curative waters of Bath, you'll still leave refreshed and renewed.
Bath features both Georgian architecture, a perfectly preserved Roman temple and spa and Britain's only natural hot springs. Cross the Pulteney Bridge – designed after the covered bridges of Florence – over the river Avon to the Roman Baths where centurions soaked their warrior aches away.
Bath is ranked as one of the most visited towns in England. Soak up all that this lovely town has to offer by purchasing the Bath City Sightseeing Tour; a 24 hour hop on hop off sightseeing tour. Let the bus climb those famous British rolling hills while you decide which of the local offerings you want to take a closer look at. Like the gorgeous Royal Victoria Gardens. Opened in 1830 as "a breathing space for the occupants of these very dreary localities," today there's nothing dreary about the surroundings. Overlooking the Royal Crescent, this park offers something for everyone – a golf course, tennis court and the largest playground in the area, perfect for the kids.
Another family favorite is a visit to mysterious, ethereal Stonehenge. Now thought to be an ancient burial ground, these prehistoric, circular stones have dazzled travelers for years. Take the requisite photos of trying to knock one of these mammoth structures over. You can visit both Bath and Stonehenge, plus tour the 900-year-old Windsor Castle on our appropriately named Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge Tour. These bus tours leave daily from London and while you may not be doing much strolling –you'll get a great overview of what this beautiful region of England has to offer.
With your BritRail England Pass, go further into the southwest corner of England for more quintessential British charm. In the Cotswolds, homes look like they could be made out of gingerbread on this rolling countryside. The word "wolds" actually means gentle hills. And that's exactly what you'll find. This lovely landscape has inspired artists and writers, including John Singer Sargent and Henry James.
Bath and the rest of this region are filled with history and majesty. Quaintness you can quantify. It's not London. But it's just as easy to love.
Contributed by: Kathryn, who works with our web department, has traveled extensively throughout Europe – utilizing all forms of public transportation!