In the autumn of 2010, VisitBritain held a competition together with Pan Vision and Classic World where Swedes could win a trip for two to five-star hotel The Royal Crescent in Bath. The lucky winner was Katarina Johansson from Dalstorp in Sweden. Here is her story about the trip:
“I randomly opened my e-mail and I got this one e-mail from VisitBritain saying ‘CONGRATULATIONS! You have won first prize in our contest for a trip for two to Bath in England’. I was filled with happiness – thank you for this fantastic prize!
Bath reminds me of my first InterRail trip back in 1984 when I was 17 and my friend and I spent a couple of days there. I remember we stayed at a beautifully situated hostel and that we hired bikes and took a trip out in the rolling landscape. I was wondering – will I recognise the city when I get back?
It was my oldest daughter who got to go on the trip with me. A little bit funny because she is 17 years old – like I was when I first visited Bath.
We travelled in the beginning of November 2010, flying from Gothenburg City Airport to London Stansted and then taking the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street Station in London. From there we went to Paddington and travelled by train to Bath, which went really smooth! Except, my suitcase got stuck on the tube! My daughter was of course embarrassed over me but after a while we did get my suitcase loose.
When we arrived in Bath we got a map and walked to the hotel, The Royal Crescent. England showed it’s best side: the sun was shining, the beautiful autumn leaves were still hanging on the branches and it was about 15 degrees. It was just lovely!
At the hotel we were welcomed by two gentlemen who opened the door for us. Inside was a beautiful fireplace. On our way to our room, which was actually a suite, we walked through a picturesque garden with illuminated corridors. The size of the suite was almost as big as the entire second floor in our house.
Later that day I showed my daughter what a real English pub looks like. We went to a really cosy place and had dinner there. The murmur of voices stopped a bit when we entered and we were met by friendly smiles and greetings. Great food and great beer (I was the only one drinking) in a genuine environment made us ready to explore the city. We went window-shopping and noticed that the Christmas decorations were already up. A little bit tired after all the travelling we headed back to the hotel and decided that we would go shopping the next day.
After a wonderful breakfast overlooking the beautiful garden, we headed down to the city centre. First we explored the lovely surroundings by the hotel, like the beautiful Victoria Park, and continued with the River Avon and Pulteney Bridge. I realised that I did not recognise anything and that it had been a while since last time… The sun sparkled over this beautiful city when a very happy mother and daughter walked arm in arm.
The rest of the day we did a lot of shopping. My daughter found a nice tea/coffee shop where we tasted delicious teas and exciting coffee.
The following afternoon we enjoyed a fabulous three-course dinner at the hotel. The food was some of the best we have ever eaten.
The next day we visited the Roman Baths, one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Europe, founded after the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. We took a guided tour in English with phone-like devices that allowed us to hear what we wanted to know more about, very smart. We highly recommend this tour to everyone travelling to Bath!
We spent the afternoon in the lovely spa section at the hotel. I took a long swim in the 46 degree warm water, tried the steam sauna and felt like my body and soul were in complete balance.
After three wonderful days, great treatment and lots of new memories we travelled home to Sweden hoping that we will soon come back to this fantastic country.
Did Katarina inspire you to visit Bath? Read our travel guide to Bath and get useful information about accommodation, attractions and much more.