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One of the most beautiful and unique places in England

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The city of Bath is one of the most beautiful and unique places in England. It lies 100 miles west of London among the lush greenery of Somerset, and is famous throughout the world for its history and architecture.
The name, of course, comes from two thousand years ago, when the Romans arrived, and built several huge bathhouses here. The reason they chose this area was because of its natural hot springs, which are actually the only ones in the United Kingdom. In those days, the town bore the name "Aquae Sulis", and it quickly became popular among the rich and powerful. Over the years, this popularity only grew, and the place got bigger and bigger. This was especially true in the Georgian era, some 17 centuries later, when it became known as the best spa resort in the UK. In order to accommodate more people, the locals built dozens of new buildings, and it is this period that gave Bath its reputation for having the country's finest examples of distinctive Georgian architecture.

Pulteney Bridge
Photo andypowe11
However, the first building on every tourist's check-list is still the Roman Baths. Walking around the complex is a fascinating experience, which culminates with the Great Bath itself. This main pool is in the open air, surrounded by elegant stone columns. Other baths on display include smaller, warmer springs, and the frighteningly chilly plunge pool. You're not allowed to take a dip yourself, but luckily there's a public spa nearby, where you can bathe in hot water from deep underground.

The Roman Baths
Photo heatheronhertravels
The Roman Baths are overlooked by the Abbey, which is one of the biggest and best gothic churches left in Europe. It still runs a full programme of services, accommodating up to 1200 people at any one time. As well as the regulars, the Abbey receives hundreds of tourists, who are allowed to scale the tower, and view the city from above. The church also houses the remains of a man called Arthur Phillip, who founded the city of Sydney - which makes Bath Abbey especially popular with Australian visitors.

Bath Abbey
Photo f_mafra
While the Bathhouse and the Abbey are regarded as the most famous buildings in the city, the stunning Georgian architecture deserves just as much attention. Bath is absolutely filled with eye-catching houses and terraces. Perhaps the best example is the Royal Crescent, a long semicircle of 30 terraced homes, in front of a beautiful green lawn. It's a breathtaking sight, that makes for one of the best photograph opportunities in the whole city and has been used as a location for countless period drama films! The first house in the crescent has been converted into a museum, and is furnished in a traditional Georgian style.

Houses in the Royal Crescent
Photo stevecadman
In addition to the endless attractive buildings, Bath is filled with museums, parks, and independent shops. It has the unique attraction of being historically two places in one, both Roman and Georgian, yet also has all the amenities you would expect from a modern university city. In 1987, the city as a whole was made a UNESCO World Heritage site - so its no wonder that nearly 5 million tourists visit every year.
Visitor Information
Bath Tourist Information Centre, Abbey Chambers, Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LY.
Bath Abbey is open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm. Sunday's open 1pm to 2.30pm & 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Entry is FREE, but donations welcome. Tel: 01225 422462
The Roman Baths are open daily, 9.30am to 5pm (later in summer). Entry costs around £12 for adults, £7.50 child. Tel: 01225 477785
No.1 Royal Cresent is open to visitors Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5pm (4pm in winter). Entry costs around £6 for adults, £2.50 child. Tel: 01225 428126

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