2023 Dates: June 20 – 24 (Women’s trip); June 27 – July 1
Inside Bath was offered for the first time in 2022. This four-night trip is based in the historic city of Bath, less than an hour-and-a-half from London by train, and has been planned as an ideal pre-trip for one of our Cotswolds Experience weeks: Women’s Week June 24 – July 1, and our mixed group, July 1 – 8. If you book both trips, we include transportation from Bath to our hotel in the northern Cotswolds on the transition Saturday.
A UNESCO World Heritage city (one of only three in Western Europe), Bath should be on your lifetime bucket list. The city was established by Roman troops who marched to England to expand the Roman Empire. Once the foundation stones were laid for a temple to the newly-discovered sacred hot springs, the Romans constructed intricate baths, which endured for five centuries.
In addition to this surprising Roman history, Bath is also protected as a cultural and architectural snapshot of the time of Georgian England. The city became a fashionable and popular spa and social center during the 18th century. This era is well documented in several novels by celebrated author Jane Austen, including “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility.” The city’s golden colored townhouses are so preserved that Bath is often a backdrop for period films and TV series, most recently the Netflix series Bridgerton.
Our accommodations will be confirmed soon. We’ll stay in a traditional, locally-owned hotel in one of the grand neighborhoods of Bath, within a 10-minute walk of the city center.
Experiences in Bath
Although it’s a shorter trip, Inside Bath will follow the same approach as our other European Experience trips, including a variety of special activities and experiences unique to this area. Because of the city location and the intimate nature of these experiences, we’ll normally have a group of up to eight travelers for this trip.
- A guided walking tour of Bath. We’ll visit Bath Abbey, key sites related to Jane Austen and her novels, and Georgian-era Pulteney Bridge, one of only four bridges in the world with shops along both sides.
- A visit to No. 1 Royal Crescent, the cornerstone house on this residential crescent-shaped row of townhouses. This architectural gem holds significant historic and national importance. It is managed by the Bath Preservation Trust as a “public house” museum, furnished as it would have been during Georgian times (1776 – 1796), both “above stairs” and “below stairs”.
- Long forgotten since the Romans left (approx. 500AD), the Roman Baths were discovered underground in 1880. It took almost 100 years for archeologists to fully excavate the site. We’ll enjoy a fascinating visit of the complex, which includes interactive exhibits and an opportunity to “take the waters” (i.e. taste the sulphurous spring water!).
- A tour of some of the locals’ favorite food and drinks spots. Southwest England is dotted with rural pastures and farms and is treasured across England for its authentic food producers. We’ll learn about the food and drink revolution taking place in Bath as we visit favorite local spots including a semi-celebrity bread baker, a cheese shop for traditional Cheddar, and a historic pub.
- A day out to Bristol, a prosperous port city just a 10 minute train ride from Bath. We’ll transfer on a water taxi to the Floating Harbor and explore the maritime history of 18th and 19th century warehouses and the city center. We’ll learn about Bristol’s links with colonial America and its troublesome connection to the slave trade. A highlight will be a tour of Brunel’s passenger ship SS Great Britain, the first ever iron-built steamer to cross the Atlantic ocean in the mid 1850s.
- An optional opportunity (at your expense) to bathe in the Thermae Bath Spa, filled with water from the natural thermal springs of the city. There will also be some free time to enjoy the many local boutiques and shopping streets of Bath.
- Memorable meals of local specialties in a variety of settings including a pub dinner, an ambling food tour, and a traditional English High Tea.
As tourism opens up this summer, we’ll confirm all the details for this trip. A day-by-day itinerary will be available in this fall.
Arrival and Departure
Our meeting/drop-off point is the Bath Spa train station, a 1 hour 20 minutes trip from London Paddington station. We’ll meet the group on the first afternoon and leave for Chipping Campden after lunch on the last day. (The specific pick-up and drop-off times will be confirmed six months before the trip.)
We always recommend arriving in Europe at least one day before our Experiences begin to allow time to adjust to the time difference and a buffer day for any travel delays. Whether you’d be a first time visitor to London or have visited many times, we always recommend spending a few days (or more!) in London before our trips in England.
Leader: Jennifer Dugdale
Prices: $2,600 per person, double occupancy. $2,950 single occupancy of a double room