Twilight at the Thermae Spa
Let me begin with a disclaimer: although I could see how this warning might be accurate, I did not personally witness either of the problems which were mentioned to me by a local woman (who happened to be giving me a pedicure when these confidences were shared).
One of the things virtually everybody does when they come to Bath is to "take the waters" through a visit to the Thermae Spa. A major highlight of the multi-story facility is the rooftop pool, from which one can see the city spread out below. The spa markets special twilight packages that encourage couples to enjoy the sunset, the water, and appropriate beverages.
There are two problems with this. First, the seagull population has long since figured out that there is a vast pool of warm water in central Bath. And seagulls are not, shall we say, particularly discerning about where they deposit their waste products. Second, sunset, warm water and couples may lead inevitably to conduct which would be better kept for a private venue. Although I visited in the middle of the afternoon, there were apparently several honeymooning couples already enjoying the rooftop pool's ambience...and feeling friskier than I generally like people to be when I'm sharing fluid with them.
So whether I was just getting a load of malarkey with my toenail polish, or there is a genuine issue regarding deposits of one kind or another, I cannot say. But it certainly did help me make up my mind about whether to revisit the spa on a Friday evening!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Being charged to relax in a municipal park!
I always believe municipal parks are free of charge to access. However, I learnt when exiting the park that is a charge of 1.20 gbp for an non resident was enforced (free for residents of Bath and North East Somerset). So I had reluctantly pay this charge but I wasn't sure about the principle of it! I personally think it's wrong! Other Bath parks including Victoria Royal Gardens don't enforce a charge! I never thought parts of the UK would have a two tier pricing system for its residents and non residents! Something I expect in South America but not here!
- Family Travel
Ducks & Pigeons in Parade Gardens
I was having a wonderful picnic in this park but only to be disturbed by the resident ducks and pigeons who tried to help themselves to the food! My only defence was to share my food (which isn't usually allowed but I was little bit frightened!) with them in order for them to go away! It didn't quite work but eventually they were distracted to other picnickers!
Just beware of inquisitive and socialable ducks and pigeons in the park who are keen to share your picnics with them!
Bath has a lot of rather steep streets which can make walking around tiring, especially for older people, or if you are carrying shopping. This especially so in winter if it has been snowing. The last time I was in Bath [December 2010] I fell three times on a street that had a pavement that looked normal, but was actually icy. Fortunately I did not break any bones but was in severe pain for days.
- Family Travel
Park & Ride closed on Sundays
If you come to Bath by car on a Sunday, don't park it on the Park & Ride. It is possible to leave it there, but there won't be any buses going to the city centre. There are numerous parking lots in the city centre, so finding a place should not be difficult. Unfortunately, it is much more expensive. We paid £8 for a whole day of parking on the long stay car park at Charlotte Street.
Chaotic City Traffic
Bath is a great place just to wander and absorb, the city centre is compact and rambling and whilst it can be a bit disorientating is actually quite difficult to get lost in. However it does have a very confusing traffic system with pedestrianised streets mingled almost randomly with vehicular throughfares.
There's a wierd one-way system and you can never tell which direction the traffic will be coming from when crossing the roads. Fortunately the locals are used to us disorientated wanderers and the drivers are usually patient and courteous, but you will get the odd angry beep when you step out in front of somebody coming out of one of the side streets.
For those that want to drive into the city - don't! Car parking is very limited and expensive but there is a good "Park and Ride" system on the outskirts with regular and cheap buses in and out.
- Historical Travel
- Spa and Resort
For such a small town there is a hell of alot of Beggers and low-life types wandering around and for local and tourists bring the place down a bit. Some just want a coppers from you, others can clear a street with thier musical talents and other's just sit about with 20 dogs talking very loudly. They're harmless to be honest, buy a copy of the Issue if you want to but otherwise just say mothing and keep on walking.
I have found that if you have are smoking a cigeratte (or anything that takes your fancy) you attract far more pushy and sinster folk looking for a 'fag' or drag from you and can be quite nasty.
- Budget Travel
End up in the stocks
Misbehave and you might end up in the stocks. [Only joking]
Among the many other attractions at Longleat there is on display the wooden stocks where miscreants of olde were punished. They would be locked in to the wooden frame unable to move head or hands. The locals would throw rotten tomatoes, cabbages, eggs etc at them.
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
Adolf did his training here
As I pulled up to park my car in a parking bay near the Royal Cresent recently, I was approached by a very respectable looking lady who was returning to hers.
She informed me in no uncertain terms that the traffic wardens of Bath are a mean bunch of men who appaarantly lack a mother or father. As soon as your time runs out they are ready and waiting to pounce.
Make sure you get back on time !
darkness in Bath
Bath by day is beautiful, however Bath by night becomes a very intimidating place - it is full of beggars under every cashpoint (get your money as early in the day as you can), the streets are full of gangs of teenagers and drunks and when it gets towards closing time, its not the place to be.
Even be warned of the places you choose to drink - a chap who offered me his seat in a local pub was thumped in the face by a woman who he clearly did not know because of his kindness.
As I say enjoy the day, be wary at night - it is a very intimidating place.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Bat Car Parking
Even the locals pale when it comes to car parking. If you see a Park and Ride sign then use this service. They are usually situated a few miles from the city centre where you (as thay say) park your car and take the bus.
Don't Feed the Mimes
Visitors to Bath may encounter Mimes in unexpected places in Bath. There has been a reported infestation of the silent creatures in the city for the last several years. If you stop to watch them, you may find yourself in danger of being requested to make a payment which would allow them to continue their unusual patterns of behavior. Perhaps the best thing to do is to try to ignore them.
- Historical Travel
Global Positioning Parking
Bath is a small city with a bewildering one way system for drivers, getting lost and ending up heading in the wrong direction is common for locals let alone a visitor who does not know the city so be warned, take a good very up to date map if you are planning to drive around the city. Car parking is expensive and hard to find.
Pick a Pocket or Two
Beware of pickpockets as they proliferate in the summer months when the city is swamped with tourists. Also avoid Whiteway unless you know the area or are with someone who does as it can be a bit rough.
Watch out Bath...
....as Jack visits the Crescent. We spent far too much time taking silly pictures when we should have bene reading up on the history of the crescent:)
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