Bath is the largest city in Somerset, England, known for and named after its Roman-built baths. Fun fact, It is said that Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century, and used the city as a setting for some of her novels. Bath has also been home to many more impressive residents over its long history and has over 6 million yearly visitors, making it one of ten English cities visited most by overseas tourists. Attractions include the spas, canal boat tours, museums, galleries and Royal Victoria Park which hosts carnival and seasonal events. It’s such a quick and easy journey to Bath, it took us less than 2 hours from London by train.
We stayed at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel that sits on 7 acres of private grounds. If you’re looking to unwind or just enjoy a few days of peace and quiet then this is the ultimate destination. The rooms are so cosy and the facilities include an award winning restaurant, breathtaking landscaped gardens, leisure club, hydrotherapy pool, and thermal spa. A lot of our time was well spent relaxing in the sauna’s and steam room. There’s also an ice room where we smothered our bodies with the crunchy ice, it was of course freezing, but always good to do as it closes the pores and cools you down after a steam. One of our evenings was spent out in the hydrotherapy pool which was so calming. It was absolutely freezing outside but the hydro pool was so warm. It was great to just lie back and watch the stars in the nights sky.
Bath is a city where you can relax and discover new things. We took a long winters stroll, taking in the scenery and getting lost in the surroundings and came across a very interesting building called Victoria Art Gallery, which is a public art museum. We walked up a spiral staircase and viewed the galleries collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. The Gallery was named to celebrate Queen Victoria’s sixty years on the throne. It includes over 1,500 decorative arts treasures, including a display of British oil paintings from 17th century to the present day.
If you decide to visit Bath you must try Hudson Steak house. It’s one of the best steaks we have ever eaten! The gravy and mash was so tasty. Hudson steak house specialises in prime dry aged steaks, and some mouth watering classic dishes.
Brighton is famous for its seaside resort and Palace Pier. It is one of the two main areas of the City of Brighton and Hove in the country of East Sussex, England. Its location has made it a popular destination for tourists. Known for its diverse communities, music and arts scene and shopping areas. Brighton has been called the UK’s “hippest city” and “the happiest place to live in the UK”.
We stayed at The Grand Hotel, that stands on Brighton’s iconic seafront. The location was perfect, it’s a stone’s throw from the famous West Pier and the i360, and a 10-minute walk from the Royal Pavilion, the lanes, and all the fun of Brighton Pier. If you’re a fan of afternoon tea like us then this hotel is one for you. Their award-winning afternoon tea includes 3 tiers of sweet and savoury delights that include freshly made sandwiches, pastries, scones, cakes, they have over 30 teas to choose from, and we of course washed this down nicely with a glass of Moet.
The Brighton Zip was a great experience and a way to conquer any fear you may have with heights. Before being fully kitted out in safety gear you are given a briefing by the instructor. You will climb a spiral staircase which takes you 32m above sea level. And then set off flying 300m across Brighton beach down the longest zip wire on the south coast. It was brilliant! The adrenaline is on another level, and is an experience not to be missed.
Ghost Walk Of The Lanes was something different to what we would usually do but we enjoyed every minute. It took place on a cold winters night which made the ghost walk extra spooky. Usually there is a group of people on the walk but we had the tour all to ourselves which was really nice. We joined ghost walker Jasper for a 70 minute walk around Brighton’s famous Lanes visiting eight haunted sites. Alongside the chilling tales, the walk takes in much of the area’s rich and varied history. It includes eight macabre tales of brutal murders, hideous apparitions, wandering nuns and Brighton’s infamous Jack-the-Ripper connection.
We spent our last night in Brighton dining at The Ivy which is located in the lanes. We toasted to an incredible couple of days and with more memories made.
We spent a couple days in Cardiff recently, which was lovely. A friend invited us to her wedding and we thought why not turn this into a mini break. We’ve started to explore the UK a bit more, and really enjoy learning and discovering new places a little closer to home. Especially when we find those hidden gems.
Just a few minute walk from Cardiff City Centre, we stayed at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa which was very comfy and cosy. It offers a great spa if you fancy a day, or a few hours of relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle.
Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales, it’s the eleventh-largest city in the UK. One of the main tourist attractions is Cardiff Castle. When Queen Elizabeth II passed away a 96-round gun salute was fired on the castle grounds to mark every year of the Queen’s life. A 21-gun salute was also held to mark the proclamation of King Charles III.
Packed with so much history which spans around 2000 years. The castle has secret underground tunnels which were used as air-raid shelters during World War II, with room to protect well over 1,000 people. This part of the tour was our favourite. We walked the tunnel grounds whilst an audio played of air-raid sirens. It really made us feel as though we were taken back in time.
Inside the castle was just spectacular. With grande rooms, Victorian interiors and the best home library we’ve ever seen! It is said that the castle underwent a transformation carried out in the late 19th century, with some of the most lavish interiors in Britain, inspired by Gothic, Mediterranean and Arabian styles.
It also has nearly 150 acres of green space that surrounds the castle, and trees from all around the world.
We had the shortest but best time spent celebrating, eating, drinking and exploring. And we’ll definitely be back, hopefully for a longer stay next time.