BATH, England — Yes, there really is a natural hot spring beneath the city of Bath, but soaking in the above-ground sights and sounds will leave you plenty relaxed. With its Georgian brick buildings and lush green hills, almost everywhere in Bath feels like a living postcard. With landmarks from Roman and medieval times, you may feel you’ve landed back in time, but the juxtaposition of stately terraced houses and people hustling about on smartphones brings you out of that fantasy.
Bath somehow weaves together threads of small-town life with cosmopolitan sophistication. It has galleries, museums and theatres. It’s a college town anchored by the University of Bath. And it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even on a mere day trip from London, just 90 minutes away by train, Bath bubbles over with charm.
A majestic landmark in the centre of town, Bath Abbey is the third place of worship to occupy this site in 1,200 years. The first church, built in 757, was replaced by a cathedral soon after the Norman conquest of England in 1066.