Alan Wooding spent a weekend enjoying the delights of Bath
Granted UNESCO World Heritage status back in 1987 thanks to its thermal spas, stunning classical Georgian architecture and sweeping terraces, the City of Bath is truly unique and it makes for a wonderful weekend break.
Founded by the Romans in the 1st Century AD, they named it 'Aquae Sulis' after the three hot natural springs, while today the city attracts visitors from around the world.
Arriving in their droves, they marvel at the sheer elegance of this North East Somerset city with its neoclassical Palladian buildings, magnificent Abbey and Roman baths – which were carved into easily worked limestone – all the major attractions being within close proximity of the city centre.
While wool played an important part in its historic past, it was in the 18th century that Bath really developed during the reign of King George III to become a centre for art, literature and learning.
As far back as the 1700s, English Royalty, the aristocracy and commoners all came to bathe in the warm spa waters while today, its just as easy thanks to the commercial Thermae Bath Spa project which finally opened its doors back in August 2006 following a long and difficult planning journey which drew objections from many quarters.
Just a short walk from the original Roman Baths down the aptly named Bath Street, you find the Thermae Bath Spa building with its glass walls and huge stone cube designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw.