Perhaps not many realize that, at one point in history, Britain was once part of the Roman Empire. There are actually traces from that period that still remain in the United Kingdom, which includes the historic Roman Baths in England.
The Roman Baths are located in the center of the city of Bath in the south west of England. The city is situated 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of London, and 16 kilometers (10 miles) east of Bristol. From Bristol International airport, one can take a bus bound for the Bristol Temple Meads railway station, and take either another bus or a train to Bath. The Roman Baths would be about a 10-minute walk away from the drop-off station. One can also rent a car from Bristol International, which is approximately a 45-minute drive from Bath. Take the A4 road to Bath, then park at the Newbridge Park and Drive facility following the bridge across the Avon River. The facility is open from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM from Monday to Friday, and is within walking distance from the center of Bath.
What to See There
The Roman Baths is comprised of 4 main features. The first of these is the Sacred Springs, wherein flow 240,000 gallons (1,170,000 liters) of natural hot water with a temperature of 46 degrees Celsius (it should be noted that visitors aren’t allowed to enter the waters of the Baths). A natural phenomenon, it was thought during ancient times to have been caused by the gods, which led to the construction of a temple beside it dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva. The temple had since collapsed centuries ago, but portions of it survive and have been put on display on the Baths’ second feature, the Roman Temple. This attraction also includes an animated exhibit that recreates how the temple might have looked in its day. The third feature is the Roman Bath House, which houses a magnificent pool with a depth of 1.6 meters and lined with 45 lead sheets. Lastly is the Baths’ fourth feature, the Museum, which holds artifacts dating from the Roman period, which include Roman coins found in the Sacred Spring, presumably thrown there as offerings to Sulis Minerva.
Originally a shrine built by the Celts over the area’s hot springs, the Roman Baths would eventually be turned into a public bathing complex by the Roman Empire during their occupation of Britain, which lasted from around 43 to 410 AD. It would be renovated several times throughout then years, most notably in the 12th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. It has since become a significant historical site, a museum, and one of the United Kingdom’s most visited tourist attractions, receiving over a million visitors each year.
The admission prices for the Roman Baths are 12 Pounds for single adults (12.50 Pounds on July and August); 10.50 Pounds for senior citizens ages 65 and above, and students aged 17 and above (valid ID required); and 7.80 pounds for single children ages 6 to 16 years old. The Family Ticket (2 adults with 4 children) costs 34 Pounds. For groups of people numbering 20 and above, adult groups are charged 8.80 Pounds from January 1 to March 31 and 9.30 Pounds from April 1 to December 31. Child groups get in for 5.50 from January 1 to March 31, 6.25 Pounds in the summer (April 1 to September 30), and 6.00 Pounds during winter (October 1 to December 31).
For bookings and additional information on the Roman Baths, log on to their official website, www.romanbaths.co.uk.