Staycation; not everyone agrees to its meaning. Some argue it means simply staying in your own home. Others would say it means holidaying in your own country. We side with the latter definition. So a few weeks ago we took a break from the Coulson Macleod studio and had a very British staycation in Bath, Somerset. Known for its exquisite Roman baths, of course. We’d never been and it’s now up there as our most favourite city in the UK.*
*Although according to Mark, Hannah says this every time they go somewhere nice. True travel lovers can certainly relate!
Read on for our top recommendations for accommodation, places to eat and things to do on a 3-day break or long weekend.
Photo by Liv Cashman
Hannah and Mark stayed in this charming Airbnb - highly recommended: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/plus/23808841
A beautiful Georgian apartment in the heart of the city. The exterior architecture is crafted from Bath stone with its distinctive warm, honey colouring. The interior is full of antique furniture and artwork with the quirky addition of a 'Games Room' cupboard.
Hannah loves an itinerary and their break was planned with military precision to make the most of their stay. Including not one but two open-top bus tours which were delightful in the August sunshine.
Of course, no trip to Bath would be complete without a visit to its namesake.
The ancient baths are part of a superbly-preserved thermae (bathing complex). A glorious remnant of Roman Britain. Although you can no longer swim in the baths, it really is a magnificent place to visit. The hot spring water comes down from the nearby Mendip Hills and sits at a rather toasty 46 degrees celsius. Being such a major tourist attraction, it welcomes 1.3 million visitors annually.
Photo by Mario Klassen
Other iconic sites include the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey, The Jane Austen Centre (for lovers of classic literature) and The Pump Room.
In nice weather especially, you can enjoy the Gravel Walk. From here, you're able to see the backs of the houses lined along The Circus. You'll also find a Georgian garden open to the public; an archaeological recreation of traditional landscaping from the 18th century. Another scenic route would be to walk along the River Avon which flows through the centre of the city.
After your stroll, take a pitstop for some food at Sally Lunn's tearoom - situated in the oldest house in Bath (built c. 1483). Think traditional English afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, exquisite bone china tableware and wonderfully decorated cakes. Way back in the 17th century, this beautiful historic building was home to the baker Sally Lunn who created the very first 'Bath bunn' - a sort of teacake that is similar to French brioche bread. It's worth ordering the milk jam 'bunn' even if it means skipping the savoury options.
Best meal by far was lunch at The Hare and Hounds. A gastropub on the outskirts of the city. The views over the hills were absolutely spectacular. If you have time (and could do with walking off all of your delicious food) you can download the iFootpath app which lists lots of lovely walks in the surrounding countryside.
There’s a lot to be said for holidaying in your own country: you can easily drive which means you can fill the boot with as many pairs of shoes as you like, you can drink the water and you can speak the language (without butchering any pronunciation).
A break from our routine was all we needed to feel refreshed. Until we can freely travel again when lockdown restrictions are lifted, we'll happily continue to explore our own small island.
For more tourist information, head to the Visit Bath website: https://visitbath.co.uk/
Please feel free to post your recommendations for Bath in the comments below.