Interesting Facts About Bath
18 June 2020 -
A flurry of curvy, half-moon crescents punctuate the see-saw of winding hills, natural thermal hot springs have been attracting punters since the Roman times, and the whole city boasts UNESCO World Heritage Site status. It’s Bath time!
Built for R&R, Bath is more than just a pretty face. You may already know that the ancient Roman Baths were constructed in the first few decades of Roman Britain (priorities!) but when we look past the bottle-green waters glimmering from the guidebook-famous King’s Bath, there is still so much more to discover.
We’ve collected together these interesting facts about the spa city. A honeypot of history awaits this popular coach holiday destination.
Jane Austen’s muse
Immersed in history, Bath’s stunning seams entwine with its famous Regency roots. The city’s circuses, squares and streets provided a playground for the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century, and the grand, honey-coloured Georgian architecture and elegant terraces come straight out of a Jane Austen novel. The Pride and Prejudice author is in fact Bath’s most famous former resident and used the city as a setting for two of her books. Walking around Bath is like jumping into a literary classic and you won’t be surprised to see people wandering down the street in full period costume.
Surprisingly, the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie headed to Bath when he was in exile during the late 1930s. We don’t blame him, it’s the perfect city break! During his time in Somerset he and his family lived at Fairfield House, this expansive Grade II listed building was the first in Bath to receive an official blue plaque, which commemorates its link to the famous world leader. Revered by the Rastafarian community, the abode has since been used by Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens' Association and as a Rastafarian church.
The planet Uranus was one of the first planets to be found in the modern era. In the early 1780s, William Herschel was at his home in Bath, gazing at the night sky (sans light pollution!) when he detected the seventh planet from the sun. Looking up at the blue-green planet, he originally thought it was a comet! These days, tourists can visit his home; now the Herschel Museum of Astronomy.
Bath’s bridge of sighs
Pulteney Bridge is one of only four bridges in the world to feature shops across its full span on both sides! Adorned with a hodge-podge of teeny boutiques, the bridge was regarded as a revelation when it opened in 1770. Nowadays it is famous as one of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture.
Showbiz meets Somerset
Bath is always ready for its close-up. This leading lady has appeared in countless Hollywood movies, from The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley, which featured The Royal Crescent, to the Oscar-winning Les Misérables. Who remembers that stunning scene at Pulteney Bridge, starring Russell Crowe? Popular TV shows were also captured in this pin-up of a city, including Inspector Morse and Our Girl.
Bath’s compact, visitor-friendly centre is brimming with historical treasures, some of Britain's grandest Georgian buildings and a crop of period tearooms. This sophisticated spa town is pure poetry and you can explore it for yourself on one of our fascinating West Country breaks.