Last week we had a 24-hour stopover in Bath on the way down to Cornwall for a week. Whilst a one-night stay is by no means long enough to take in this historic and beautiful city, we knew we definitely wanted to book in to see The Roman Baths whilst we were there. I hadn't been for a long time and didn't really know what to expect from a Roman bathing complex. I thought it would be mainly outdoors as shown in the picture above but actually, there was a lot to see there so I thought I'd talk through our experience as well as the safety measures in place for a 2020 Roman Baths visit.
Sunday, 6 September 2020
Visiting The Roman Baths, Bath
I am not sure what the process was pre-2020, but since safety measures are more paramount now you have to book a ticket in advance to visit the Roman Baths. Tickets for an adult are £21 on a weekday or £23 on a weekend and you can look on The Roman Baths website to see more detailed prices and book your ticket.
You are given a specific time slot to arrive. It is important you arrive on time or a bit early if you want to use the facilities. They have a nicely organised queuing system outside with a security guard wearing a visor, as all the staff were. Everything is spaced out so that not too many people arrive together and we didn't queue for long, plus the toilets are huge and very socially distanced so it's ideal to break up a day of walking around the city.
We weren't made aware of a time limit for our visit, but we ended up staying around an hour and a half. Most of the way through the complex you are queuing to move to the next spot, so your pace is somewhat dictated by the groups in front. It didn't feel rushed at all though and you can spend as long as you want to staring in awe at the stunning Great Bath, pictured below.
I really didn't know what there would be to see inside The Roman Baths but I was pleasantly surprised as how much more there was to the attraction than I expected. There were staff spread throughout telling you when to move along and where to wait which felt very safe and organised.
We loved seeing everything: from the front of the original temple which was a statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva to the hot springs which bubble and fizz right next to you. Usually you can taste the spa water, but this is not available at the time of writing. I didn't feel like that impacted our visit but it's something to be aware of when booking.
I don't often rave about attractions like this as I can get bored easily if I don't know what I am looking at but the fact everyone gets an audio guide included in the ticket price made it really interesting. The audio guide itself was sanitised after every use which was reassuring, and you don't need headphones as it is like an old-school mobile phone (Nokia 3310 anyone?) We didn't listen to every part of the audio guide, but it was nice to have access to this with specific parts for each section of the Baths so you could pick what you fancied hearing more about.
Masks must be worn in all the indoor areas, unless you have a medical exemption, but we just kept them on throughout The Roman Baths. Most people did the same but some took their masks off for photos which seemed to be fine and within the rules.
As well as the absolutely stunning Great Bath which I just loved, you get some gorgeous views of Bath architecture from the centre of the complex as well so don't forget your camera! It was actually easier than normal to get some good photos without other people in them as some parts of the Great Bath were roped off. It made the experience better if anything as it was quieter than I'd imagine it would normally be. My photos don't do the place justice, especially as it was quite a grey day, but it was great to imagine groups of people here enjoying there leisure time so many centuries ago.
It definitely didn't feel like we missed out on anything we'd have normally seen or done here if the additional safety measures were not in place and I would highly recommend The Roman Baths to anyone visiting the romantic city of Bath for a weekend. Have you been to this stunning attraction, or is it somewhere you'd like to visit? Let me know in the comments!