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The Roman Baths 2023

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One of the most well-preserved historical sites in Britain, The Roman Baths have stayed standing for nearly two millennia, attracting well over a million tourists each year. Come experience this historical marvel this season!

The Roman Baths date back to the First Century AD, where, during the Roman rule of Britain, a series of public baths were built atop a hot spring, keeping in line with the Roman cultural practice of public bathing. Similar baths were built across the empire, from Portugal to Israel, but few, if any, are as well-preserved as the Roman Baths in Bath, where the water still flows hot.

torchlight via romanbaths.co.uk

The water, that is regularly pumped out at a temperature of 46 degrees, bubbles up from the faulty limestone underground under intense pressure; rainfall from the nearby Mendip Hills trickles underground to aquifers, which is heated to near-boiling point by geothermal energy, before rising through the limestone into the baths to provide regular hot water. This advanced process is a testament to the engineering ingenuity of the Romans, whose bath in this area of Somerset remains full.

The site became ruins after the end of Roman rule in the 5th century, but has since undergone numerous waves of preservation and restoration, with numerous buildings added in the Neoclassical style. You can learn all the history in more detail in one of the guided tours of the Roman Baths, with Audioguides included in the price of the ticket, available in twelve different languages. One of them is even narrated by famous travel writer Bill Bryson! 

There are sign language tours available for those hard of hearing, and enhanced audio descriptions available for the visually impaired. Despite the numerous stairs, 90% of the site is wheelchair accessible. 

A perfect day out for the kids, the little ones can be guided by Hoot The Owl through activity trails, while the older ones are offered an Audioguide designed for a younger audience, narrated by acclaimed childrens writer Michael Rosen. Actors in period appropriate costumes help provide an immersive and interactive environment of education and entertainment. Pushchairs are not permitted on the site, so be sure to bring your own baby carriers. 

The Roman Baths complex includes the Pump Room Restaurant, which has been the social heart of Bath for nearly two centuries with patrons including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Alongside being serenaded by the house band or resident pianist, the Victorian-styled Neoclassical decor will transport you to a world gone by, becoming a vacation from current space and time. 

Photography by Andy Fletcher

The rail and bus connections to Bath are plentiful from London, and is well connected to the rest of the UK. High-speed trains run regularly from Paddington, with the slower services coming from Waterloo, to Bath Spa station. Additionally, National Express runs from several points in London and around the country. A Park and Ride service is recommended as parking in the city is less guaranteed. The city of Bath itself is a gorgeous, walkable city with much to do, with plenty architectural and historical sites of public interest. 

With adult tickets available from £18, and deals available for families, the elderly, and students, the Roman Baths are a relatively inexpensive historical outing, especially considering the sites historial peculiarity, being one of the best preserved Roman sites in the world. See ticket information here.

Note that ticket prices vary each month, and that between the 9th and 10th of March, the baths will be drained, cleaned, and refilled.