A quiet day out in Bath

P1030700I’ve been working part-time since my maternity cover post became a permanent jobshare in August. My second job starts next Monday, so I thought I’d do something fun on my last day off. Living in the Southwest, I’m lucky to be near lots of cool places. I opted for Bath; I haven’t visited for nearly a year, when I met Neil Gaiman (!!!!) at his talk/signing promoting The Ocean at the End of the Lane. We had to get a train back home at around 1 am, so my most recent memories of it were of standing on a very dark, cold platform with friends.

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The sign in Wool, a great little yarn shop.

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Part of the ceiling in Bath Abbey.

In the daytime, though, Bath is a dream city for me. The architecture, street signs, and street lamps are so elegant. It also feels compact, even though it looks quite large on paper. Best of all, it is full of history, bookshops, vintage & antique shops, tearooms, and shops that promote local artisans.

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I didn’t have time to do everything I wanted, but overall I had a great day of being a tourist. I visited Bath Abbey, the Jane Austen Centre, and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights (which I’m convinced is one of the best bookshops in the world). I can recommend all 3! I was concerned about the Jane Austen Centre, as it is a little expensive, but I do think it was worthwile. It’s a guided tour and includes a talk by someone in Regency costume. He was very knowledgable and made reference to the objects in the exhibitions, which I appreciated. The exhibitions were small & not the best I’ve ever seen, but I am a sucker for Austen & all things Regency so I still enjoyed it. There was a really charming letter from Emma Thompson, who apparently can draw elephants. Random, huh? Being on my own was really relaxing, as I could move through the city at my own pace. Going on a rainy weekday also meant that it was quiet; while that might not be good for shopkeepers, I greatly appreciated it as a visitor. I only wish I’d had more time for wandering aimlessly, which is generally my favourite thing to do when I’m visiting places. There’s always next time for that!

Apologies for the poor photos. I used to have quite a knack for taking photos, but recently they all seem to have motion blur.

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A Regency dress in the Jane Austen Centre.
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You got free biscuits! These are lace biscuits, but were called Cassandra’s biscuits, as they’re Jane Austen’s mother’s recipe.
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You could dress up in Regency clothes, though I didn’t because I was on my own.
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I thought this was a nice detail on the waxwork Jane.
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Haha!
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The best bookshop ever?
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The manager was briefing a new member of staff while I was there; her homework was to read a pile of 6 books. Amazing! I felt rude listening in, but she really made me want to read all the books she was describing.

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One of the great selection of craft books.

 

 

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