Bath time …

IMG_1035

byline

BATH is just as wonderful as I imagined it would be.

Seeing the historic settlement always sat very high on my travel to-do list, so it was a big moment when I drove into town two days ago and got my first glimpse of the rows of regal Bath stone buildings that meander over the town’s gentle hills.

The Victorian-era structures – three and four-storey terraces built in long rows that are as straight as an arrow or curved to follow the sweeping turns of Bath’s streets – are so elegant with rows of panel windows and tall wrought-iron fences painted a glossy shade of black.

The most expensive real estate is found on the Royal Arcade, a long sweeping line of terraces set on a street that looks like one half of a circle from above with the front rooms enjoying a view over the park where posh Victorians would promenade on a Sunday.

But my favourite neighbourhood was the Circus, just a couple of blocks from The Assembly where the 19th century’s rich and famous would gather four or five times a week to dance the night away and find themselves advantageous matches.

The Circus is a round road about the size of a modern velodrome, with four streets leading onto it and a big park in the middle with a garden of old trees that currently stand naked to endure the winter, and the terraces that sit beside the wide footpaths are built in a curve to complete the circle.

I think it’s exactly what our generic new subdivisions are missing, lines of terrace houses built in cycles around grassy parks.

The local guide told us Nicholas Cage used to live at number 7, but had to put the grand old house on the market recently when he declared bankruptcy, and that Handel and Haydn were just two of the other eminent occupants.

But these two districts are not unique in Bath and almost every building is made from the blond stone that’s indigenous to the region with the walls turning a golden yellow when the weak winter sun falls on a facade.

IMG_0977

Visit the Bath website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s