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-   -   Peak at the Roman Baths? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/peak-at-the-roman-baths-1302399/)

janieanderson May 13th, 2017 01:22 PM

Peak at the Roman Baths?
 
I read that you can peak through a window at the Roman Baths from the Pump Room. Is that true? I'm considering a Mad Max Tour to Stonehenge that leaves from Bath but is gone all day. The Baths will be closed when we return but we could see other parts of Bath in the evening I imagine? Does everything close early? I don't need the fashion museum. But I'd love just a few seconds peak into the bath. I didn't know if that was actually true that you could see in from the PUmp Room. Does anyone know?

janisj May 13th, 2017 01:44 PM

You can't see the main bath, the Hypocausts etc.. You can see one of the side baths -- the King's Bath I believe it is -- from an alcove where the Bath Water fountain is. But no, you can't really see much of anything else.

PalenQ May 13th, 2017 01:45 PM

So the baths after closing hour are a real wash-out!

janisj May 13th, 2017 01:46 PM

Meant to ask -- when is your trip? In the summer, the Baths are open quite late. I think last entry is 9PM

janisj May 13th, 2017 01:47 PM

Go play in the street PQ . . . >)

Or at least try to be helpful.

StCirq May 13th, 2017 04:19 PM

We were just there this morning. No, you can't see anything much at all from The Pump Room. The baths are still closing at 5 m - didn't check for summer hours.

janisj May 13th, 2017 06:39 PM

Just checked the website: From 17 June through August they are open until 10PM/last entry at 9PM https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/opening-hours

But you haven't told us when you are traveling.

bilboburgler May 14th, 2017 08:32 AM

to be fair, P's remark raised a smile here :-)

Sassafrass May 14th, 2017 09:37 AM

The Baths are really worth seeing more in-depth. Try to do that if you can. We enjoyed a MadMax tour, and DH was keen on seeing Stonehenge, but the Baths are also amazing. The engineering and history of the Roman Empire is a wow.

Also wonderful in Bath is the free walking tour every morning from the Pump House and the Abby is beautiful.

janisj May 14th, 2017 10:52 AM

Sassafrass is right IMO. In fact if I had to decide between Bath and the Baths vs. Stonehenge and a bus tour -- I'd stick to Bath. (easy for me to say since I've been to both many times)

When are you traveling and what is the itinerary before and after Bath?

StCirq May 14th, 2017 01:58 PM

The Abbey is indeed beautiful. Its PR brochure, on the other hand, was very off-putting to us. I don't have it handy at the moment but it was heavily, heavily religious and Catholic-oriented, with the suggestion that if you didn't visit the Abbey to be saved by God as a Christian you might as well forget it. I'll dig it out at some point and post again afger we get back, but really it was offensive. If I wee of any religion but Catholic I wouldn't visit it. We didn't, and our apartment was 100 meters behind it.

emily71 May 14th, 2017 05:06 PM

St. Cirq- I visited the Abbey on a daytrip and never got that impression. Yes, there were collections and donation plates. But I never felt any more out of place than other churches in GB and no one asked me to convert:)

For the OP, I'd also ditch Stonehenge for the Roman Baths. The Baths and Museum are amazing, especially on a cool morning when the steam rises up.

janisj May 14th, 2017 05:24 PM

I also find that strange. I've been inside the Abbey many times and have no idea what you mean by a proselytizing 'PR brochure'. And it wouldn't be Catholic in any case.

You did visit during their Pentecost Appeal which is their christian charity appeal.

http://www.bathabbey.org/globalmissionmonth

Maybe you thought that was out of line for a <i>church</i>?

Scootoir May 14th, 2017 06:05 PM

I pulled the Welcome brochure from Bath Abbey that I received last year on a visit there. On the front it describes the church as it relates to Jesus Christ and Christianity. It directs attention to the east window and states that it "contains 56 scenes in the life of Jesus Christ" then goes on to describe them. Inside it says that 2 billion people worship Jesus and explains why. Then there is a floor plan and a numbered key so you can do a self-guided tour. There is a history of key dates related to Bath and the Abbey and finally a list of services that the Abbey offers.

The Welcome brochure is certainly Christian but since it is from a church that's expected. There's no obligation to subscribe to the beliefs of the congregation.

janieanderson May 15th, 2017 06:01 PM

Thank you so much for your replies. We are going in 2 weeks-- end of May. Friday or Saturday. Not sure if it's more important to be in Bath or London in a non- weekend day.
I am excited about Stonehenge... have a photo of my parents there I want to duplicate. So the side pool isn't very exciting to see compared with the whole bath tour. It'll have more detail than we need and we have to choose between that and a walking tour. We decided against the Mad Max tour due to difficulties getting out to Bath early... if anything goes wrong we'd miss the tour. So most people seem to think the tour of the baths is worthwhile.
I guess my husband will survive if he's an it bored.
Summer would've given us more options .

Sassafrass May 15th, 2017 06:45 PM

Bath is a most beautiful city with a very interesting history. From the Baths and spa of Roman times to the fashionable Bath of the Beau Nash era, it was an amazing center of society when the US was still a backwater. Maybe your husband will find those things interesting. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will recognize the Bath she described. The soaring ceiling of the Abby looks like lacy palm fronds. The free tour that begins in front of the pump house is really, really good, better than the ones you pay for.

The engineering and beauty of the Baths is amazing - even more so when you contemplate the age in which they were built. Stonehenge was high on DH's list of things to see, but he said, after seeing them both, if he could see only one, he would see the Baths. We both enjoyed the Cotswold villages, so I hope you get a taste of those too.

janisj May 15th, 2017 07:24 PM

>>So the side pool isn't very exciting to see compared with the whole bath tour.<<

It is like seeing part of one room of a huge house through a window -- no you really wouldn't see much at all.

>>Not sure if it's more important to be in Bath or London in a non- weekend day.<<

Bathe get very crowded on weekends with local shoppers in town along with all the tourists that are there every day.

London is crowded every day and it makes no difference whether a weekend or weekday.

>>I guess my husband will survive if he's an it bored.<<

Not sure what you are talking about here - the Baths or Stonehenge. I can't imagine being bored in Bath or the Baths.

How long are you in London? It is very easy to visit Stonehenge as a say trip from London: Train to Salisbury, local bus from the station to the Stones, train back to London.

historytraveler May 15th, 2017 07:33 PM

When touring the Roman Baths, be sure to get an audio guide as this is essential in understanding and enjoying the tour. Unless, of course, you are already an expert on Roman Britain then you'll likely be fine on your own. ;) I'm guessing that with audio guide in hand, no one could be bored. It may be something that doesn't pique your interest beforehand, but the Baths really are amazing when you know something about them.


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