After leaving the cold peaks of Snowdonia National Park, we headed to a much warmer and sunnier destination – Bath. This was the second time we had visited Bath, and when we were there 4 years ago, we couldn’t help but be charmed by the city (even in the dead of Winter). This time we got to experience it in Spring, with flowers blooming everywhere, and so so many more people.
We were very fortunate to get a house sit in Bath, or rather, in the surrounding villages. We stayed in Batheaston, a quiet suburban village about 2 miles from the centre of Bath (yes, 3 months in the UK means we measure things in miles now. Ha). We arrived to the house and met the lovely couple who were entrusting their house and 2 labradors to us, Sarah and Chris, and found out they had 2 kids – an 8 year old boy, and a 6 year old girl. Need I say more? Elena was in toy heaven – dolls, soft toys, Sylvanian families, princess Barbies – hours later and we finally managed to drag her out to the backyard to the trampoline and treehouse! It was a pretty great place to stay and full of things to make us very comfortable, including an Aga – a fun oven range type thing which we’ve had the pleasure of using in a few houses now. Essentially it’s an oven which is always on, meaning toasty warm house and lots of convenience (3 guesses why they are not big in Australia…).
Anyway, we explored Bath over a couple of days. It’s not a big city, but it just has a really pleasant feel to it – beautiful Georgian architecture, nice shops, and plenty of history, including the Roman baths (so named, because they were built by the Romans over natural hot springs). We visited them last time, so we didn’t feel the need to do it again, but I would definitely recommend it for anyone visiting Bath. Bath has been a very fashionable holiday destination since the mid-18th century, and just happens to be the setting for a couple of Jane Austen books (Austen herself holidayed here a number of times and lived in Bath for several years.
Speaking of Jane Austen, I was able to fulfil a desire that had been waiting for just over four years now – visiting the Jane Austen centre. When Pete and I were in the UK in 2013, this was one of the things I was super keen to do. We arrived at the Centre to find that it was closed for refurbishment, reopening in the Spring. I was a tad disappointed (I may have even shed a little tear). Luckily for me, it was open this time, so I went ahead and had a visit (Pete kindly minded Elena and Kilian during this time – I think he felt he dodged a bullet there). It was pretty interesting but I wouldn’t say it rated too highly as a Bath attraction.
We also had a lovely picnic in the Parade Gardens by the River Avon, had some of the best fudge we’ve ever had (at the Fudge kitchen), and heard a choir sing in the park (while Elena ran around and patted probably every dog she could find). We didn’t do a whole lot of touristy things while we were there, as we felt satisfied with what we had done last time we were here, but we had a really nice visit to Bath, and I could definitely go back there. It still rates as my second favourite city in in the UK.
After Bath, we headed to Brighton. We booked an airbnb not too far from the city centre and the Pier, and enjoyed walking to Brighton Pier to enjoy the arcade/fairground attractions that were there. Elena went on a ride by herself which was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, and made me a little bit proud of her bravery. We went to this specialty chip restaurant called Befries – they actually only sold fries that we pretty awesome with about 20 choices of sauces, followed with some pretty awesome burgers at Burger Brothers (these guys should totally merge). It was a pretty short stay in Brighton but a pretty nice little taste of the city. On a side note, the Airbnb we stayed at was someones place – they went and stayed at their parents place while we were there, which was kind of weird. They also had a cat which we fed…. Kind of like housesitting, but we were paying for it…?!!
I’ve just realised I haven’t said much about Kilian. He’s cruising along, having good days and bad days. He has four teeth now, and has a pretty cute and huge gap between the top two. He is gradually sleeping better at night and his favourite time of the day is probably having a bath with Elena.
From Brighton we headed to our current destination, Sissington, Kent. A pretty great place which I’ll tell you all about next time!