After then Jane Austen Centre, I walked around Bath for a bit, taking in a bit of the architecture.
I bypassed the crowds outside the Roman Baths and went into the hushed quiet of Bath Abbey, one of the last great medieval Gothic cathedrals; the site has been used as a place of Christian worship for over a thousand years. It’s also the site where the first King of England, Edgar, was crowned, in 973.
From there, I walked along the River Avon, capturing a view of the 18th century Pulteney Bridge (one of the few bridges in the world with shops on both sides–another, of course, being the Rialto in Venice).
I walked up to the Royal Crescent, a row of terraced houses that was laid out in the late 18th century in the Palladian style and has been home to people such as Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
I had an early dinner at Sally Lunn’s historic eating place. The tearoom is located in one of the oldest buildings in Bath (15th century), and in the 17th century was the home of Huguenot baker Sally Lunn, who pioneered the Bath bun.
The current menu offers several different toppings on the bun, based on sweet or savory; I noticed that most people around me chose sweet toppings such as cinnamon or strawberry jam. However, I got the Welsh rarebit topping, along with a pot of the Sally Lunn house blend tea. It was just the thing I needed on a rainy late afternoon, and I wanted to lick my plate, it was so good!
I had just enough time before my train left to take a short hike up Alexandria Hill, which is just behind the Bath Spa station and offers views of Bath, or so I heard. The step counter of my phone says that the distance I walked was only .72 miles, but it felt much longer, because the path is up a steep, muddy track with many steps along the way, and ends at a park at the top of the hill. However, the climb was worth it, even though Bath wasn’t clearly visible through the rain. It was amazing to look out at the view and realize the distance I’d walked throughout the day (Bath Abbey is in the foreground of the below photo, and the Royal Crescent is somewhere to the left).