Cool, windy, wet weather will drive most of us indoors, but you can make the most of it by visiting the UK’s fascinating cities and towns, and few are more alluring than the spa city of Bath in Somerset.
I headed there in our long-term Benimar Mileo 283 and bagged a pitch at Bath Marina and Caravan Park just two miles from the centre of Bath. The great advantage here is that opposite the campsite and next door to The Boathouse Inn – handy, if you want to eat out; you can walk back to the campsite – is the Newbridge Park and Ride, which will take you into the city centre and back for £3.40.
If you just want to make a day of it aim for the vast Charlotte Street car park (BA1 2NE). It costs £6.40 for four hours, £9.60 for six hours and £15 for 12 hours. Not the cheapest, but it puts you in the heart of the city with several museums within a 10-minute walk. And that’s exactly what I did on my first day, heading for the iconic Royal Crescent and the museum at No 1, depicting the life of an Irish gentleman in Georgian Bath.
This wasn’t my first trip to the city. On previous occasions I have visited the spectacular Roman baths and museum, which you should put at the top of your list if you haven’t been before, Bath Abbey – right next door to the baths and with wonderful fan-vaulted ceilings inside and its ladders of angels on the outside – and the Jane Austen Centre.
This time I wanted to see Pulteney Bridge, one of just four bridges in the world carrying shops and houses, and best viewed from the towpath for maximum effect. I also wanted to take in a couple of museums that had previously slipped under my radar.
The Herschel Museum of Astronomy on New King Street celebrates the achievements of William Herschel and his sister Caroline; he discovered the planet Uranus, she identified several comets.
At the Holburne Museum across the river, where there is a small amount of parking, is the fascinating collection of arts and artefacts gathered by Sir Thomas William Holburne. There’s a great café here and take some time to walk in the Sydney Pleasure Gardens.
If you’re here for a few days, there are other museums to visit, including the stunning Fashion Museum at the Assembly Rooms, the Museum of Bath at Work, Bath Postal Museum and the Museum of Bath Architecture. My final visit on my short tour before driving to Bristol to hand over to Bryony was to the Sally Lunn Kitchen and Museum. This you should do when you are hungry because a Sally Lunn bun is huge – they serve you just one half, they’re that big – but as light as a feather and can serve as a savoury or as a sweet.
Incidentally, the shopping here is very good, too, and I am already looking forward to my next visit. Read more about it in the February issue of Practical Motorhome, on sale 13 December. Missed the issue? Subscribe today to get future issues straight to your home.
Visit Sally Lunn's Kitchen and Museum when you are hungry because a Sally Lunn bun is huge - they serve you just one half, they're that big