Visiting the Roman Baths in England
History came alive for us while visiting the Roman Baths museum in Bath City, England this past summer. Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was once a flourishing spa town 90 minutes from London. We enjoyed this picturesque city filled with white Georgian architecture, but the museum was the best family-friendly attraction for us.
History of the Roman Baths
Bath, England was once the site of ancient temples and bathing complexes when the Romans invaded Britain. The hot water springs running through here were considered sacred and believed to have healing powers. These current buildings were built in the late 1700s to house the hot springs. Archaeological ruins of the temple and bath house were also discovered and preserved.
The Roman Baths were the community centers of today. It was a place to socialize with communal pools, theaters, gardens and temples with ornate interiors and amazing architecture.
The Roman Baths Museum
We were provided a complimentary audio guide for a self-guided tour of the museum. Many of the exhibits were numbered; we entered the exhibit numbers into the device for more information on ones that piqued our interest.
The museum was laid out well with an extensive display of artifacts, exhibits and ruins that gave us a glimpse of the Romans’ lives and how this complex once looked. We mostly enjoyed the unique hologram projections of actors dressed as Roman citizens, who used and worked at the Baths. It was entertaining and a clever way to get everyone’s attention and connect with history.
The can’t-miss area is the Bath’s lower level and pool. The water’s green hue is from the algae growth still flowing from old lead pipes. Drinking, bathing or finger dipping at the pool was strictly forbidden.
Instead, the Pump Room Restaurant provided a fountain for visitors to drink the mineral springs water, which is believed to be rich with minerals and have healing powers. My kids refused, remembering the bad taste of mineral spring water we had on another trip.
Activities for Kids
It’s hard to engage children in museums, but the Roman Baths did an excellent job. Kids had their own audio guide version with characters that helped them on the tour. The characters were animated and really held my kids’ interest throughout our visit. I sometimes listened to their versions because it was more fun.
My kids also enjoyed the family fun trail activity. They collected stickers from six museum stations. This scavenger-type activity kept my kids focused. They earned a certificate as a reward, which was a good souvenir. They also tried various hands-on activities throughout the museum.
Ever wanted to meet an ancient Roman? Though we only saw two, you can interact and pose with costumed characters portraying ancient civilians who visited the Baths. It was a great way to learn more about the citizens and their daily lives.
The Roman Baths was a fascinating museum that combined technology, history and archaeology to engage everyone. Hourly guided and twilight tours were also offered for an enhanced experience. This museum exceeded our expectations and definitely worth a visit with the kids.
Combination Day Tour from London
We were on a day tour that combined The Roman Baths with Windsor Castle and Stonehenge for an easy day trip from London. We would love to return and explore this city more. Bath has gone back to its roots of as a spa town. Several places offer a dip into those mineral-laden waters with relaxation packages and modern amenities. For those wishing to spend a weekend, Hilton Bath City has a great location.
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