A Place To Play And A Place To Pray

To kick off the posts about our holiday to Bath, I thought I start with Pulteney Bridge and the Abbey.

Bath is  Georgian town known for its famous hot springs, Roman Baths and its connection with Jane Austen. Bath buns can be found in many a coffee shop and there are plenty of tourist attractions from the Roman Baths and the very modern Thermae Bath Spa, to the  museums and finally a community farm that sits on the hills above the city.


I’ve been to Bath a couple of times before, once on a canal holiday and once to visit  the Thermae Spa (which I’d thoroughly recommend) and saunter around the markets, but this was a family holiday and together we saw a different side of Bath.

Walks in the surrounding countryside, along the canal, a river trip and visiting several National Trust properties means I have lots to share with you over the next few weeks. But first it’s off to Pulteney Bridge and the wonderful Bath Abbey.

Bath - Pultney Bridge and weir close up

Pulteney Bridge was built in 1774 and connected the new town of Bathwick to Bath. One side is very Georgian and the other side is a patchwork of buildings, which has been compared to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I can see why…

As you can see the pictures were taken on two different days and the second one is from our river trip, which I’ll be sharing with you later next month. The bridge itself  has several shops on it which are small and eclectic, making it a really interesting place to wander along with plenty to see and places to stop and shop or have a cup of tea.

Bath - Pulteney Bridge Shops

At either end of the bridge there are several different restaurants that cater for a variety of different tastes, perfect for a spot of lunch. We stopped at the Ponte Vecchio Italian below the bridge, just behind the trees overlooking the weir and I’d definitely recommend this authentic Italian, family friendly restaurant. The spaghetti alle vongole was amazing!

Further in to the city, the Abbey commands attention, standing tall next to the Roman Baths. Rain threatened throughout the holiday so, when it did descend, we took the opportunity to have a look inside.

Bath - Abbey

The beautifully carved, vaulted ceilings go up and up, covered in light from the huge stained glass window depicting the life of Christ. I’m not at all religious but I am spiritual and this place was just that.

It has been a place of prayer for centuries and to mark this, on the hour, the vergers on duty asks people to join in a prayer. Even if you’re not Christian, this gives the place a real sense of community. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a beautiful building and well worth a visit.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 13.55.52

The Abbey looks stunning lit up at night and I’ve included a photo of a previous visit, pre-children when I was allowed out at night…

Bath - Abbey at night

If you get the chance to visit Bath, there are so many things to see and do, it might  be tempting to rush around and cram in as much as possible but I thoroughly recommend taking the time to see the city as a whole, experience it and go back again. Whatever you choose to do, Pulteney Bridge and the Abbey should be on your list.

I hope you enjoyed the first of my posts about our holiday to Bath.  Next week I’ll be writing about the National Trust’s Prior Park; wonderful parkland nestled in the rolling countryside surrounding Bath.

I’d love to know if you’ve visited Bath yourself and what you thought, so don’t forget to let us know below.


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