10 Days in London - Days 5 & 6

Day 5 - Friday

It was time to get out of the city, and what better place for a day trip from London than Bath Spa.

Approximately an hour and a half by train from London Paddington station, Bath is known for it’s amazing hot springs and the Roman Baths. We arrived shortly after 10am, and made our way directly to the Roman Baths.

The price of admission to the Roman Baths includes a free audio tour that provides a huge amount of information on the construction of the baths some 500 years ago, as well as the life and culture that surrounded them. We learnt that when the Romans occupied Bath they made the hot springs the center point of their local society. Interestingly, they also adopted some of the local culture. Noticing that the Celtic god Sulis strongly resembled the Roman god Minerva, they combined the two and began worshipping “Sulis Minerva”. For this and other reasons, people came from far and wide for the baths supposed healing, spiritual and social qualities.

We came expecting to see a beautiful old bathhouse, but we were both really impressed with how much insight we got into history behind the baths. There were displays with many artifacts, including tombstones, coins and written curses - which people used to have their scribes write on a thin piece of lead addressing the gods directly and asking them to punish people for things like stealing a bath robe.

The highlight of the day had to be our visit to the Thermae Bath Spa. A modern contrast to the ancient baths next door, the Thermae bath’s is whole building day spa - complete with a rooftop hot spa that has stunning views of the city, an undercover hot spa with a gentle whirlpool that carries you around, and a full floor of relaxing showers and sauna’s. We spent three hours there and by the time we left were very pruney, but very relaxed.

Throughout the day, we also strolled around the charming city streets. The buildings in Bath look to all be cut from similar stone and with similar facades, but throughout the windows you see how each one is brought to life in a different way by the locals. Of course, I was also extremely interested in the cafes and restaurants. I had my first ever cornish pasty at the Cornish Bakery, and we stopped for lunch at Chandos Deli for some delicious paninis.

Bath Spa Circus

Bath Spa Circus

Up the street from Chandos Deli is the Circus - a perfectly round series of apartment blocks with huge oak trees in the middle. The apartments have been there for hundreds of years, and yet all feel quite modern. I had the thought that it would be great to buy up a whole building and turn in into a gaming centre.

Shortly after 5pm, we were back at the train station and on our way back to London. We managed to get a bit more of our accommodation booked in for other locations later in the trip, and now only have one or two left to go - will be fantastic when that’s all done.

Day 6 - Saturday

The most easy paced day so far. We got out of bed late and caught the bus to the Tate Modern. There were lots of curious exhibits, and managed to get a good view of London from the top floor.

From the Tate Modern we walked a couple of kilometres to Maltby Markets - a single sidestreet that fills up with food stalls. There was less vegetarian and vegan food selections than we saw at the Bourough Markets, but what was there was fantastic - including the peanut butter and salted caramel brownies from the Bad Brownie Company which we stowed away in our bags for later.

But the stall that caught my eye most was “Devi” which was selling Berber Tagine - a North African slow cooked Chickpea and Apricot spiced stew, with Tandoori Naan bread. It was fantastic, and I’ve added this to my cooking list for when I get back home.

We strolled home passing a few other markets on the way, including a second trip to Borough Markets, picking up a basil and tomato focaccia roll which we ate looking over the River Thames.