Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Finding Mr Darcy in Bath


This post is for those of you who love beautiful places. It's not about writing but it is about inspiration. the weekend before last, my daughter and I had a weekend in the city of Bath. It's not the first time I've been but it was my daughter's first visit and I was keen to show her everything this amazing city had to offer.

The last time I was here was with a group of my girlfriends. Unfortunately, I had flu while we were there and can only remember wanting to be in bed... the rest was a bit of a blur. Trying not to spoil a visit for others is hard when you're running a temperature and ache all over. What I did get from that visit, though, was inspiration for a story. It was a contemporary story about a mother who took her daughter to Bath to find a husband but came back with one of her own. I sold it to Take a Break Fiction feast in 2013.

My husband remembers that story so was a little concerned when I told him my daughter and I would be going to Bath to 'find Mr Darcy' and that I was determined to enjoy my visit this time.

We stayed in Bathampton at the Tasburgh Hotel - a boutique hotel set high on a hill overlooking Bath. This view  was taken from my bedroom window. We could have easily just spent the weekend in the lovely gardens but we had places to visit and husbands to find.

A twenty five minute walk, along the Kennet and Avon canal, took us into the centre of Bath. After collecting our pre-booked tickets from the tourist office, we began our adventure. First, was an orientation tour of the city on the hop-on-hop-off open top bus. We stayed on for the whole circuit and found the commentary interesting. We then retraced the route but this time on foot, stopping at The Circus and No 1 Royal Crescent to see how the other half lived in Jane Austen times.


We walked back via the Assemble Rooms and popped into the fashion museum. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but it was fascinating. How did people have such tiny feet!

By now it was very hot and we found this tiny square, shaded by trees. There was a little market there and lots of interesting eating places and shops. The perfect place to cool down after our sticky walk.

We finished our day with a meal in a Moroccan restaurant. It was delicious meal but might have been better if the waiter hadn't tipped my daughter's mussel shells into my lap as he was clearing the table!

The following day was just as hot. After breakfast, under a sunshade on the terrace, we made our way to the Roman Baths. At this time of the morning, there were no queues and we walked straight in. This has to be the highlight of our visit. It's the third time I've been there but I never tire of it.


Our weekend finished with afternoon tea in The Pump Rooms, complete with piano player, then a boat trip along the river to Bathampton. My friends were amused that I went to the city with a tick list of everything I wanted to do and see but I'm glad I did. It all went like clockwork and I'm happy that even if I didn't find her a husband, my daughter had a weekend to remember in a beautiful city.


My husband tells me he has never been to Bath so I feel another trip coming on. Of course, I won't need to find my Mr Darcy - I already have him.

And, hopefully, there will be another magazine story in it for me... I don't want to break with tradition now do I. 


18 comments:

  1. I recall taking my daughter to Bath many years ago! We did many of the same things! We loved the museum. Your piece inspires a new visit (minus daughter though because she now lives in Australia.) I don't think husband hunting will be on my new agenda though.

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    1. Oh, you must go! It's certainly a place you can visit many times.

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  2. So glad you enjoyed your visit. You certainly managed to pack in a lot. I'm in Bath every week and reading your lovely piece reminded me how wonderful it is to fresh eyes. Next time - if you have time - you might like the Holburne museum at the far end of Great Pulteney Street. It's surrounded by Sydney Gardens and has a rather nice café in the striking modernist extension at the back (won a RIBA award.)

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    1. We had to walk through Sydney Gardens on our walk in and passed the Holburne museum. Will make a point of visiting it next time.

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  3. I lived there about 15 years ago. It's still one of my favourite cities x

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    1. Oh, Lucky you for having lived there, Louise.

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  4. Shame about not finding Mr Darcy - perhaps next time take her to Derbyshire ... Love all the photos, it sounded a terrific weekend.

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    1. Ah, yes Derbyshire... starts planning 😀

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  5. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

    It looked like a lovely day for the canal walk- you passed through Sydney Gardens in that picture. :-)

    The view from the hotel looks fantastic too.

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    1. Yes we did walk through the gardens, Carol. Thanks for your great Bath posts on your own blogs. It helped me plan.

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  6. I LOVE Bath. You took me straight back there, Wendy. I went there last year, not for the first time but this was in the name of research for the Regency I was writing at the time. I know. It's tough, isn't it. Thank you for evoking such lovely memories

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    1. What's not to love about Bath, Natalie. I'm already thinking about going back with my husband who's never been.

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  7. You're right, Wendy - the Museum of Fashion is a gem! We live fairly near, and the Park and Ride bus is excellent. I love the shawls... there must be story in there somewhere!

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    1. I stood there thinking, 'Real people have actually walked the streets, hundreds of years ago, wearing this.' Loved it.

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  8. What a fabulous weekend for both of you, I haven't been to Bath for almost thirty years but I remember it as being a wonderful place.

    I really must organise a trip for myself and hubby as he hasn't been and i think he'd enjoy the open top bus tour and the Pump Rooms, not to mention the tea and cake.
    Thank you for sharing Wendy, and are you sure you didn't get a story idea?

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    1. Well... maybe just a little one 😀

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  9. What a fabulous trip, Wendy. I've only ever had a fleeting visit to Bath so saw the minimum and definitely want to return to explore it properly.

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  10. What memories you evoke Wendy. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Fabulous place and I wish our visit had been longer to allow us take in so much more.

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