A Weekend Trip To Bath

There are times in life, when you just need to take a trip.
Lauren (the one below who isn’t me)

Agreed and so we decided that on a trip, we shall go!
Unfortunately, neither of us had a clue where it was we actually wanted to go, so I did what I always do when I can’t decide something; I outsourced the decision.

In this particular instance, it was with the help of Instagram that we decided on a location. You see, we’d narrowed it down to two cities; Oxford and Bath, but we loved the idea of them equally – hence the need for Instagram. I uploaded a poll to my ‘Stories’, let it run for 24 hours and then checked the results.

And so it was decided.

A few weeks later and we were off.

Starting the trip started as all good road trips start; with coffee and donuts.
I mean we also had sausage rolls, mini eggs, cookies, popcorn, bitesize savoury snacks and a whole lot of other stuff but don’t judge our gluttony. We just love snacks.

Before this trip I had visited Bath exactly once so this was my first overnight stay. We made it to the hotel in record time but unfortunately our room wasn’t ready, so we ditched our bags behind the counter and went for a wander.

Our first stop was at Greenpark Railway Station, which isn’t actually a railway station anymore – but it did have an abundance of tables filled with arts, vintage decor and clothes. We arrived just as they were packing up so missed out on a lot of the items, but we did find some rings that we liked. Plus there was a Thai food hut which sold cha yen – so I was happy.

The main city centre was a ten minute walk away from the hotel and as we didn’t have anything to do until 3:30pm so we decided to follow the crowds and see what we could find.

My first stop was into a Thai food store where I stocked up on Nam Prik Pao and Mama noodles – because you can never have too many noodles. After that we roamed around the city nipping in and out of stores and markets.

Bath has a huge selection of shops which includes everything from trinket stores; to high end fashion – so if you like shopping then this is the place for you. However, on this occasion; I was on the budget tour, so gave the shopping a miss. The hotel sweetly called to let us know that our room was ready, but as it was almost 3pm and we had tickets for the Roman Baths at 3:30pm, we decided to stay out in the pouring rain and continue to wander.

Eventually, the rain got annoying so we nipped into a bar for refuge.
And by refuge I mean a gin and tonic and cheesy chips.

We defrosted in the warm before sacrificing our table to the crowds and nipping round the corner to the Roman Baths.

We’d pre-booked tickets so managed to skip the small queue which was inside and after being handed our audiophone, we were off.

I gawked at the ceilings because I’m a sucker for architecture; Lauren gawked at me because she realised I was staring at ceilings so was obviously weirder than she originally thought.

With just a few steps (and a few more to avoid the mass amounts of crowds) we were outside.

I snapped my way around the bath, listening to my audiophone and looking like a peak tourist as I went. I’ll write about the Roman Baths separately because they deserve a post all of their own, but it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon – and not just because it sheltered us from the rain.

After learning that yes, the water is hot and no, you shouldn’t touch it because the water is basically pigeon sewage, we decided it was time to go back to the hotel and freshen up. They’d kindly called us a couple of hours earlier so we knew the room was ready so after a swift check in, we were home sweet home for the night.

We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express because, well, it was the cheapest. But even though it was the cheapest, it still wasn’t cheap. If my mind remembers correctly it was £126 for the twin room. What I wasn’t expecting though, was to have our wifi upgraded to a business connection and our check-out extended to 2pm. Turns out that because I had signed up to IHG rewards when I booked the room, I got the upgrades as standard. I had signed up (for free) to IHG rewards to read at a later date as I didn’t think they’d have any impact on our first booking, so it was a super nice surprise to get some perks – especially the later checkout time.

We chilled in the room for a while nibbling snacks, freshening up and trying to decide where to go for dinner. Not because we were indecisive and weren’t sure where to go (for once) but because every single place we called for a table for that night was fully booked. Eventually we managed to get a table at The Giggling Squid. The table wasn’t until 9pm which is a lot later than I usually eat dinner, but the chap on the phone said that even though it wasn’t on the menu, the chefs would whip me up a Tom Yum, so I was sold.

Pro Tip: If your spoon doesn’t fit in the dish, just use a straw.

Turns out they had made me Tom Kha, but it was delicious and they didn’t add it to the bill so I’m pretty sure I can forgive them.

The waiter however, not forgiven. I ordered a chilli beef starter, Tom YumKha, Rice and Penang, and the judgement his eyes bestowed when he realised those dishes were for me and not both of us, screamed “JUDGING YOU”. I mean I’m pretty sure he just wasn’t sure if I would eat it all, but then he doesn’t know me, so there was know way he could know about my gluttony or addiction to Thai food. Eh. It’s fair to say that, on a stomach full of Thai food, I slept like a baby that night.

The next morning it was clear skies; a pleasant change to the grey ones which had haunted our every minute the day before. After changing out of our jimjams we shuffled down for breakfast where Lauren set fire to her toast (I swear those toast conveyor belt things are disastrous everywhere). I didn’t eat too much because we had plans shortly after, but the scrambled egg I had was surprisingly nice considering it was sat on a bain-marie.

After scoffing our faces we walked into the city centre because we had exciting plans:

The queues for this place the day before were three hours (and people still queued for it) so we were incredibly happy when we arrived and it was only a twenty minute wait. Unfortunately, there were no pictures allowed

So I can’t show you any snaps of the inside (but if you’re curious you can check out their website to see).  I’d never done a spa trip before (I’m terrible at the whole sitting still thing) so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxing I found it. From the heat of the rooftop pool against the cold February air, to the Wellness Suite which had a room which was pitch black expect for a TV plus tiny little LED lights dotted across the walls and ceiling to imitate stars. The whole weekend was exactly what I needed (except the ice bar at Thermal Bath Spa, I definitely could have skipped that part!) and I left feeling so incredibly relaxed that it made me wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner.

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So if you’re in the market for a weekend away – then Bath is definitely a place to consider.
Have you ever been before?
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