Bath is a small city in England famous for its Roman-built baths (together with Hadrian's Wall and Vindolanda are some of the best Roman remains in Britain). In fact, the city is named after those baths for which it gets its notoriety. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. They are only around 97 miles out of London in the county of Somerset. They were constructed by the ancient Romans who built baths and a temple on the hot springs that are found here. The city is packed with old buildings that take the visitor back in time to see how the lives of people like Jane Austin would have been.

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History Of Bath

  • Where: Somerset, England
  • Latin Name: Aquae Sulis Literally "The Waters Of Sulis"
  • Three Hot Springs Are Underneath The City: The King's Spring (Feeds The Roman Baths) And Hetling And Cross Springs (Feeds The Thermae Bath Spa)

The baths have a long history. First, there's the old legend of Prine Bladud being cured of leprosy in the hot muddy waters that characterized this site before it was developed. In gratitude for having his ailment cured, Bladud founded the city of Bath in 863 BC and went on to become the 9th king of the Britons.

Then along came the all-famous Romans who started to develop the site in AD 43 as a sanctuary of rest for the tired Romans. For a Roman garrison that grew into an English city, check out the stunning city of Chester just a short drive away. Construction was expanded here by the Romans in AD 70 and the site grew to include a religious shrine and a bathing complex.

During the 1100s sick people from all over England would come and bathe in the waters and over time some buildings were constructed around the site. Then Queen Anne would visit from 1688 to 1703 and from then on Bath became the premier resort of frivolity and fashion of the time. This led to a building boom that built the stunning buildings seen in Bath today.

  • Jane Austen: Famously Jane Austen Visited Bath In The 19th Century

Related: 10 Soothing Pics Of The English Countryside (Taken By Real Tourists Who Visited)

The Roman Baths Today

The old Roman Baths are still partly preserved, although none of the buildings that one sees are actually Roman. The Roman remains include the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, the Sacred Spring, and the museum containing various artifacts from the Romans here. The Roman Baths were built to have three separate temperatures. There was the:

  • Caldarium: Hot Bath
  • Tepidarium: Lukewarm Bath
  • Frigidarium: Cold Bath

The Roman bathing complex was built over a period of around 300 years. Today they are one of England's most important cultural heritages and a national treasure. They are one of the finest of the many historic sites in Northern Europe. The Roman Baths are at the center and heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Heritage Site and it pulls and lures travelers seeking its rich architecture and soothing waters from far and wide. After thousands of years, the baths are still being fed with natural thermal water bubbling to the surface.

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Today visitors can see these Roman Baths (the buildings above them are Georgian) and walk on the original Roman pavements. The ruins of the old Roman Temple of Sulis Minerva are still visible.

  • Number of Visitors: Over One Million Per Annum

But Bath is much more than just the baths that it contains. The whole city is filled with some of England's finest architecture and monuments. There are plenty of museums to be explored and it boasts some of the country's finest shopping. One can choose from Michelin-starred gourmet establishments to typical English street food and of course, the city is full of famous English pubs.

Related: The Ideal 22-Day England Itinerary (With Secrets Not Even Locals Will Tell Us About)

Dining And Shopping Onsite

Today the Roman baths boast some of Georgian England's finest architecture and are one of England's greatest attractions. The Roman Baths also come with a shop and a restaurant.

The shop offers a range of quality gifts of both Georgian England and Roman flavor like locally made crafts, souvenirs, jewelry, chocolate, etc.

The restaurant is called the Pump Room and is open for morning coffee, good old English afternoon tea, and evening dining. Dining is seasonal for the summer months. This is a finer dining establishment with three-course dinners costing £42.50 ($59) per person while two-course dinners setting one back £34.50 ($48) per person

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Admission And Hours

Opening hours vary depending on the season and on weekdays and weekends.

  • July - August: 9.00 am - 10.00 pm Daily
  • September-October: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Weekdays (6 pm Weekends)
  • Weekend Cost of Admission: 27 Pounds Or $37.50 Per Adult
  • Weekday Cost of Admission: 25 Pounds Or $35.00 Per Adult

Next: 10 Completely Free Things To Do In England